10 Years After Hurricane Katrina: Roundup of TV Specials, Coverage

By Brian Flood 

Hurricane Katrina struck 10 years ago next week and it seems like every network is doing something for the anniversary. Katrina is regarded as one of America’s worst disasters and many prominent TV newsers were personally affected by covering the devastation.

Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith recently spoke with Adweek regarding the 10 year anniversary, saying “I don’t like thinking about Katrina.”

Smith, who was clearly touched by the storm and its aftermath, will air packages during his program throughout next week on the recovery and rebuilding efforts, although he might not be looking forward to it. He went on to tell Adweek that “I’m willing to think about it, but I’m not willing to like it. I don’t know what I gain by reliving it. I lived it already.”


FNC is also airing Fox News Reporting: Timeline of Hurricane Katrina tonight at 10 p.m. ET. The special features first-hand accounts and interviews that examine the devastating hurricane. FNC anchors and correspondents, who were on the ground providing coverage a decade ago, will recount those horrifying days. Smith, Bill Hemmer, Greta Van Susteren, Geraldo Rivera, Rick Leventhal, Steve Harrigan and Phil Keating are part of the program.


CNN will air a special report, Katrina: The Storm That Never Stopped on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET. Anderson Cooper, another newser clearly moved by what he witnessed 10 years ago, travels back to the region and learns new information about the people he reported on in the storm’s aftermath. Cooper had been in the Gulf Coast when the storm hit, and after the levees breached, remained in the region for several weeks.


MSNBC’s Trymaine Lee will be reporting live from New Orleans beginning on Thursday, Aug. 26. Back when Katrina hit, Trymaine was a new reporter with The Times-Picayune who chose to not evacuate, but to stay and cover the storm. His coverage won a Pulitzer Prize in 2006. Lee will speak with Lucrece Phillips; the woman profiled in his award-winning article.

ABC News’ special Katrina: 10 Years After The Storm with Robin Roberts airs on Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET. Mississippi Gulf Coast native Roberts will return to the region, exploring Katrina’s legacy.

“I’ve lost count how many times I’ve traveled back home these last 10 years after Katrina,” Roberts said.  “With my own eyes I’ve witnessed the determination and grit of volunteers and locals to not only rebuild but also revitalize that beautiful region of our country. It’s a challenging story of loss and growth that’s still unfolding.”

CBS News will feature extensive original reporting across all broadcast and digital platforms.

The Weather Channel’s special Katrina 2065 hosted by Sam Champion and Jim Cantore airs on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. ET. The program promises to “take viewers on a scientific journey through likely scenarios that could take place if a storm with a similar multitude to Hurricane Katrina were to hit 50 years from now.”

The Weather Channel will also revisit two cities that were devastated by Katrina for the network’s special report, Katrina: 10 Years Later on Friday, Aug 28. Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams will anchor Wake Up With Al live from New Orleans while Cantore returns to Gulfport, MS – where he covered Katrina in 2005 for live reports throughout AMHQ. TWC also plans long-form programs throughout the week devoted to explaining, analyzing and raising awareness about the amazing power of hurricanes.

Al Jazeera America will air a week of special coverage including a new original documentary Only New Orleans on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET. The film explores the role of music in New Orleans and how the city used its roots in jazz, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, soul, funk, reggae and hip-hop to re-build spirits after Hurricane Katrina. On Monday, Techknow will investigate the storm’s aftermath at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Joie Chen will host two special episodes of America Tonight from New Orleans on Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday Aug. 29 on AJAM. BET News is premiering a new original documentary Katrina 10 Years Later: Through Hell in High Water on Aug 26.

ESPN has an entire week of cross-platform content beginning Sunday on SportsCenter at 10 a.m. ET. ESPN.com’s coverage launches on Monday and will look at Katrina through the lens of sports, including the Saints’ first game back in the Superdome.

HLN will have continuous coverage through the week, including New Orleans native Rocsi Diaz taking viewers on on a personal tour of some of the areas of her childhood that were destroyed by the storm. The series “What Happened To…?” will examine five of the most memorable images and people surrounding the storm on Morning Express with Robin Meade, The Daily Share and Weekend Express with Lynn Smith. Additionally, HLN will also present the commentary and emotional recollection of the rescues and footage shot by CNN photojournalist Mark Biello.

Link TV has a special that will air on Aug. 29 at 9.m. ET focusing on the heroics of the Coast Guard during the storm.

This story will be continuously updated as we hear from other networks.