Connecticut School Shooting: Coverage Plans For This Evening

By Alex Weprin 

Credit: Shannon Hicks, The Newtown Bee

With the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT, the broadcast networks and cable news channels are changing up their plans tonight.

All three of the evening news anchors, Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley, will be anchoring from Connecticut tonight.

“The CBS Evening News” will expand to one-hour, and CBS will air a one-hour special report at 10 PM ET. “ABC World News” will also be one-hour, and ABC will be pre-empting Barbara Walters’ interview with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for a special on the shooting, with Sawyer and Chris Cuomo anchoring from CT. There will also be a special edition of “Nightline” with Cynthia McFadden anchoring from CT. “NBC Nightly News” will also be an hour, and “Dateline” will be pre-empting its holiday special for a report on the shooting at 10 PM.

On cable news tonight, the shooting will be the big story, if not the exclusive one.

MSNBC will be sticking with its normal lineup of hosts, with the shooting expected to be the primary story. Chris Jansing will host the 10pmET hour live from Newtown.

CNN will also be staying with its normal lineup, though the 10 PM edition of “AC360” will be live instead of taped. With Erin Burnett in Afghanistan, Ashleigh Banfield will fill-in at 7 PM.  “Piers Morgan Tonight” will be discussing the latest regarding the shooting, as well as gun control. Banfield will also anchor at 11 PM.

Fox News is pre-empting “The Five,” instead having Jon Scott anchor the hour. Bill Hemmer will anchor at 7 PM from CT.  “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” will be live instead of on tape, and will be talking about the shooting, and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” will originate from Connecticut and air from 10PM-midnight. In addition tonight’s edition of “Red Eye” is being pre-empted.

We will update this item as we get more information on coverage.