Here’s Who Logged the Most Hours On-Air Last Night

By A.J. Katz 

TV newsers worked marathon during election night and into the early morning after.

On Fox News, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum kicked off the network’s marathon special election coverage at 6 p.m. ET on Election Day, and continued through the following morning until 4 a.m. ET. A total of 10 hours.

They were joined in studio during that same 10-hour time period by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace. Additionally, Bill Hemmer was also in studio from 6 p.m.-4 a.m. ET, albeit on a different floor manning the “Bill Board.”


Neil Cavuto put in impressive work on Fox Business Network. Cavuto also helmed 10 consecutive hours of marathon coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET and continued straight through until 5 a.m. ET the following morning.

On closing up shop at 5 a.m. ET, Cavuto remarked, “I started out saying what seems like three days ago when we started this broadcast that we would have hopefully some closure tonight. We do not. That is where we remain, stuck. Frozen. With neither candidate within even a shout of 270 electoral votes.”

When it comes to election night, CNN’s John King shines, and he was at again last night and into the early morning hours, taking viewers (and Wolf Blitzer) on a quadrennial journey across the famed Election Night Magic Wall. He analyzed election results for 11 consecutive hours, from when CNN’s Election Night in America coverage kicked off (Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. ET), until 3 a.m. Wednesday, before making a return to CNN coverage Wednesday afternoon.

If John King is 1A, then MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki is 1B when it comes to election night “wall work” (we can throw Hemmer in the mix as well). King’s 11 hours on air is impressive, as is Hemmer’s 10, but Kornacki managed to dwarf that number. He was on hand at “the big board” for the start of MSNBC’s Decision 2020 coverage at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and remained there until 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

That’s 19 consecutive hours on-air.

The network even had a Kornacki Cam (which MSNBC senior ep Pat Burkey teased on Monday), which kept tabs on the newser in a separate screen even as the network’s anchors were discussing the matters at hand.

Kornacki provided a message to his fans after that 19-hour marathon:

Across the river at CNBC, Shep Smith was put to work, and then some. He anchored CNBC election night coverage from 7 p.m.-5 a.m. ET. That’s a whopping 10 hours on-air.  Smith will also anchor special coverage tonight, Nov. 4 from 7-10 p.m. ET.

Carl Quintanilla appeared on CNBC prime time (8-11 p.m. ET). Kayla Tausche was in-studio from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. ET. Fast Money Halftime Report host Scott Wapner 9 p.m.-5 a.m. ET. Melissa Lee, 1 a.m.-5 a.m. ET. Jon Fortt 9 p.m.-1 a.m. ET, and Jim Cramer appeared during the 8 p.m. hour.

Ed O’Keefe and Gayle King were the two who put in the most on-air time for CBS News.

O’Keefe was on from 7 p.m.-4:30 a.m. ET (9 1/2 hours), then came back to do CBS This Morning from 7-11:15 a.m. ET for East and West Coast live.

King was on from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m ET. She returned to the air just 3 hours later for CBS This Morning, staying on until Noon ET to do CTM East and West Coast live.