WNBC Adds Extra Coverage for the Conrad Murray Verdict

WNBC anchors Tom Llamas and Shiba Russell, with NBC News legal analyst Rikki Klieman

The verdict came yesterday in the trial of Michael Jackson’s physician. Dr.Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the King of Pop in June 2009. Murray will be sentenced November 29 and could face a sentence ranging from probation to four years behind bars.

WNBC/Channel 4 was the only local station with special coverage following the announcement. Just past 4:15 p.m., Harry Smith broke in for NBC News as the verdict was read. Within ten minutes, though, Shiba Russell and Tom Llamas picked up the torch, anchoring the station’s additional coverage, in advance of their regular five o’clock broadcast.

The tandem, helped by NBC News legal analyst Rikki Klieman, provided the running commentary of the live video outside the L.A. County Courthouse.


WABC/Channel 7 did not break into regular programming, but there was no reason to do that with the city’s only 4 p.m. newscast. Additionally, Channel 7 did not use the ABC News feed or staffers in the courtroom.

As for the other stations, WNYW/Fox 5 broke into programming with the Fox News talent, while WCBS/Channel 2 took the network’s feed. Both stations, though, chose not to make it a New York story until coming on for their usual 5 p.m. broadcasts.

Dr. Oz resumed on WNYW, WCBS went back to Judge Judy.

WPIX/Channel 11 with Jodi Applegate came on the air for the verdict, breaking away from Anderson Cooper’s syndicated show for about five minutes.

WWOR/Channel 9 took the Fox News special report, as did sister station WNYW/Channel 5.