> FNC’s Shepard Smith gets some high praise from the Kansas City Star’s Aaron Barnhart. “Now that Shepard Smith is on Fox, there’s really no reason to watch anything else,” he writes. “Knowledge of his home state and his experience from the Katrina watch makes him the authority.”
> CNN’s Anderson Cooper is leading the on-the-ground coverage of Gustav, reporting from the French Quarter in New Orleans. As for the rest of Cooper’s week, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein tells TVNewser, “We’ll make a call based on the severity of the storm and what the Republicans decide to do.”
> ABC has filled it’s 10pm hour reserved for RNC coverage — they’ll air a one-hour primetime special edition of 20/20 tonight, anchored by Charlie Gibson. An interview with Mayor Ray Nagin will be part of the special. George Stephanopoulos will have the political implications from St. Paul.
> Update: NBC is using 10pm slot for a Hurricane special as well, anchored by Brian Williams. Williams (from New Orleans) is joined by Ann Curry from Houma, LA and Tom Brokaw from St. Paul.
> Update, update: CBS is doing the same. Katie Couric anchors at 10pm from Baton Rouge, with contributors ranging from Harry Smith, Dave Price and Byron Pitts discussing Gustav and Bob Schieffer and Jeff Greenfield talking RNC. CBS will also have Couric interviews with Nagin and Michael Chertoff.