CNN was the center of breaking news after a Mercedes crashed into the lobby of the network’s building in downtown Atlanta shortly after 4:00 a.m this morning.
All the local stations converged on the scene during their 5:00 a.m. newscasts showing the car with Florida plates already out of the lobby and ready to be pulled onto a flatbed. The only thing left by that time was to figure out the how and the why. Here’s how the stations reacted initially:
WGCL, the Meredith owned CBS affiliate, claimed to be first on the scene. Anchors Michelle Burdo and Frank Wiley teased the story off the top of the 5:00 a.m. news and went live to Rebecca Schramm at 5:03. She told viewers she heard from the security guards at the scene unconfirmed reports that the driver may have been drunk.
WSB, the ABC affiliate, did something interesting by teasing the story off the top the 5:00 a.m. show with video taken from instagram showing the car in the lobby. A couple of minutes later, the station went live to Liz Artz showing pretty much the same video everyone else was showing: the car on a side street being towed.
Artz said she had spoken to a taxi driver who told her he saw the whole thing. He said the car had driven up onto the sidewalk at the Omni Hotel next door, driven down the sidewalk and straight into the CNN building. She told viewers the taxi driver said he saw police taking the driver away.
WXIA, the NBC affiliate, used traffic reporter Crash Clark at 5:11 a.m. in studio to toss to video of the car still in the lobby. He promised more details to come.
WAGA, the FOX owned station, went at 5:32 a.m.. Good Day anchor Karen Graham tossed to Carolyn Ryan at the scene. Ryan reported a man and a woman had been in the car. She said the man was missing, but the woman, who they showed on camera, was still on scene. Ryan said the woman refused to speak to the station.