How ABC News Got the Exclusive on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Chris Ariens 

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KerleyFlightAs the mystery of missing Malaysia Air Flight 370 grows, global news organizations are working around the clock with government and industry sources to piece together where the Boeing 777 may have ended up.

On “World News with Diane Sawyer” Thursday, ABC News had an exclusive from correspondent David Kerley, producer Matt Hosford and Senior Investigator Reporter Josh Margolin.

The teamwork produced a last minute confirmation from two U.S. officials that two communications systems were shut down at different times, posing the possibility that these acts were intentional.

“We had good info on the flight continuing for hours and pinging a satellite,” Kerley tells TVNewser, a fact widely reported Thursday afternoon. But less than an hour before air Kerley and his team, working with separate sources, learned of a deliberate shut down of systems. “We compared the statements, all the while Matt [Hosford] was in an edit bay trying to prepare the original piece and Josh [Margolin] worked the phone, coordinating with [ABC News Producer] James Hill.”

The mystery of flight 370 has been of great interest to news viewers. It has been the lead of all three evening newscasts, all week, and has been given increasing coverage by CNN for the last three days. The network notched second place finishes (behind Fox News) in the cable news ratings, in total day and primetime, both Tuesday and Wednesday.

And as we write, Kerley and his team are working on tonight’s “World News” story. With less than three hours to air, it could be another down-to-wire afternoon.