How a CBS News Exclusive with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Uncle Ended up on CNN

By Merrill Knox 

If you’ve been watching as much coverage of the Boston manhunt as we have, you’ve likely seen some interviews and images repeated on several networks. Due to a number of partnerships, content is spread around more widely than just the traditional affiliate lines — especially during breaking news.

But this morning CNN, unwittingly, aired CBS News exclusive video. A CBS producer in Maryland got the first interview with Alvi Tsarni, one of the uncles of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. That video was then picked up by Boston CBS station WBZ. WBZ is a CNN affiliate. CNN assumed the video was from WBZ, and ran with it.

CNN has owned up to their faux pas. But in breaking news, it happens.

CNN, by the way is affiliated with three different Boston stations — WBZ (CBS), WHDH (NBC) and WCVB (ABC). Fox News, CBS News and ABC News pool content through Network News Service, a partnership that allows Fox News access to live pictures from both WBZ and WCVB in addition to content from Fox O&O WFXT.

With few developments in the manhunt for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, much of the day’s news has been focused on reaction from various members of his family. His father and mother have spoken out. So has an aunt in Candara. And another uncle, Ruslan Tsarni who lives near Alvi has become a bit of an internet sensation for his comments to the media.

One more note about the hours and hours of network news coverage today: for the most part, it’s not being seen in Boston. As TVSpy has been reporting, the local stations there have been producing breaking news coverage around the clock.