Explosions at Finish Line of the Boston Marathon

By Merrill Knox 

The cable news networks pivoted to breaking news in Massachusetts shortly after 3pmET Monday afternoon as two explosions went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Fox News was the first cable news network to report the news at 3:06:18 p.m., followed just seconds later by CNN at 3:06:53 p.m. MSNBC reported the news at 3:08:45 p.m. All three cable news networks were several minutes minutes behind the first reports of the explosions on Twitter.

Fox News and CNN are relying on live pictures from Boston local stations. MSNBC has video from New England Cable News, which is owned and operated by NBC Universal.

> More: The broadcast networks also broke in with news of the explosions. CBS News was first at 3:10pmET, followed by ABC News and NBC News at 3:13 p.m. Scott Pelley is anchoring on CBS, Brian Williams on NBC and Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos on ABC.

> More: Matt Frucci, the incoming executive producer of CNN’s new morning show, is doing eyewitness reports from the scene for the network. Wolf Blitzer is anchoring. And on Fox News, Shepard Smith is talking with WGBH’s Emily Rooney, former network executive and daughter of Andy Rooney.

> More: Anderson Cooper is on his way to Boston and will anchor at 8pmET and 10pmET.

> More: Here’s affiliate video of one of the explosions, as seen on CNN:

> More: ABC’s Terry Moran is en route to Boston where he will anchor “Nightline.” Sawyer and Stephanopoulos, anchoring an ABC News special report, are interviewing ABC News producer Kendall Heath, who was on the scene at the marathon. Stephanopoulos and Josh Elliott will be reporting from Boston for “Good Morning America” tomorrow.

> More: At 4pmET, Neil Cavuto took over on Fox News, Jake Tapper on CNN and Chris Jansing on MSNBC. There is a news conference expected from Boston at 4:30pmET.

> Shepard Smith, on Fox News at 3:50pm: “Terrorism is defined by these pictures. The marathon, the longest running race of its kind in this nation where the fastest people in all the world come and whoever did this targeted not the ones who would cross the finish line first, but those who would cross in the afternoon hours, after the Red Sox had long left the field, after the television cameras had long left the winners position and people who run this race in some four hours or so, who’ve trained in their own towns and come to Boston to prove that they have excelled in this manner and celebrate after on Patriot’s Day.”

> More: Fox Business is preempting “Money with Melissa Francis” and “The Willis Report” tonight. Liz Claman and Adam Shapiro will anchor until 6pmET and Neil Cavuto will anchor the 6pmET hour. Lou Dobbs will anchor the 7pmET hour and Cavuto takes over again at 8pmET. FBN will also be live beginning at 5amET.

> More: “CBS Evening News,” ABC World News”and “NBC Nightly News” will be expanded to an hour tonight.

> More: Shepard Smith returns to anchor at 5pmET. The network’s evening anchors: Baier, Smith, O’Reilly, Hannity and Van Susteren, will anchor their shows live, with Greta anchoring a 2-hour show from Boston (10pm-Midnight). Smith takes over again at midnight for an hour. Beginning at 5amET, Megyn Kelly will co-host “Fox and Friends” in place of Gretchen Carlson, who is off tomorrow. FNC’s Bill Hemmer is also en route for his 9am show tomorrow.

> More: In addition to Cooper, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Poppy Harlow, Brian Todd, Jason Carroll, Peter Hamby, Zain Asher, and Maria Santana will all be on the scene tonight.

>More: On Bloomberg TV, Emily Chang, Cory Johnson and Jon Erlichman will anchor the 6pmET hour. Mark Crumpton will anchor at 7pmET.

>More: President Obama will address the nation at 6:10pmET.

>NBC/MSNBC have announced coverage plans for tonight and tomorrow. Brian Williams will anchor a primetime special tonight at 1opmET with reporting from Matt Lauer, Lester Holt, Ron Allen, Pete Williams and Katy Tur. Lauer will anchor “Today” from Boston tomorrow morning. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will anchor from Boston tonight at 9pmET, and Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will be live from Boston for “Morning Joe” tomorrow morning. Chris Jansing is also on her way there.