‘Catastrophic’ Tornado In Oklahoma Spurs Special Coverage

By Alex Weprin Comment

A massive tornado–as wide as two-miles–ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City this afternoon. Cable news channels picked up the tornado as it barreled through the city, while video of the aftermath spurred special coverage.

All three cable news channels went wall-to-wall with coverage, with Fox News forgoing the politics-centric “The Five” to have Shepard Smith deliver special coverage (video of Shep here). CNN stayed with “The Lead” and “The Situation Room,” while MSNBC kept special coverage going straight through the beginning of “Hardball.”

Our sister blog TVSpy has more information from the local TV coverage.

Update: TV networks are beginning to send teams to Oklahoma City. We will update as we get them. CBS actually had a correspondent (Anna Werner) in Moore, OK in time for the 6:30 evening newscast (video here).

ABC News: ABC News Weather Editor Sam Champion and Meteorologist Ginger Zee are reporting from Oklahoma tonight where a massive tornado has ripped through the Oklahoma City area. In addition, ABC News anchor David Muir and Alex Perez are en route to cover the aftermath of the storm. Nightline will be dedicated to the tornado, with Champion and Zee already in town.

Fox News: FOX News Channel (FNC) kicked off the 5pm hour of The Five with live coverage of the tornadoes, hosted by FNC’s Shepard Smith. Your World with Neil Cavuto was wall-to-wall on the tornadoes with live updates from FNC’s weathercaster Janice Dean. Additional contributions include: FNC’s Casey Stegall and Garrett Tenney reporting from Shawnee, Oklahoma along with additional contributions from FNC’s Alicia Acuna who is currently in Wichita, Kansas and en route to Oklahoma City. FNC will be live all night, as John Roberts heads to the scene.

NBC News:

NBC News had Al Roker, Janet Shamlian and a slew of Weather Channel correspondents on the ground in Moore in time for “Nightly News.”
More:All NBC News broadcasts will originate live from Oklahoma on Tuesday, including “TODAY,” “NBC Nightly News,” and a special primetime hour anchored by Brian Williams beginning at 8pm.

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” will also originate live from Oklahoma, followed by “Jansing & Co.” and the 11am ET hour of MSNBC Live.

Other anchors and correspondents from NBC News, MSNBC, and The Weather Channel will report from Oklahoma across all platforms, including Lester Holt, Ann Curry, Harry Smith, Kate Snow, Anne Thompson, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Janet Shamlian, Chris Jansing, Thomas Roberts, Jim Cantore, Mike Bettes, and Mike Seidel. In addition, the resources and reporting of NBC News affiliate KFOR will continue to provide breaking coverage as events unfold.

CNN: Will be live all night, and Indra Petersons (more on her tomorrow) is en route to Oklahoma.