How TV News Is Covering the Passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush This Weekend

By A.J. Katz 

One of America’s most consequential figures of the past half century, the 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush passed away late Friday evening at the age of 94.

Broadcast news outlets broke into regularly-scheduled programming at around midnight last night with special reports. The networks’ respective morning shows covered the story, and broadcast news will continue to cover on their respective evening newscasts.

Cable news is presenting wall-to-wall coverage of the POTUS 41’s passing throughout weekend daytime and prime time programming.

We will continue to update this item as additional news network coverage plans trickle in:


ABC News correspondent Lynda Lopez anchored a special report for the network on the passing of America’s 41st President at 12:02 a.m. ET. on Dec. 1.

A special edition of Nightline was anchored by Byron Pitts aired at 12:30 a.m. ET followed by a special edition of 20/20 airing on the West Coast at 1 a.m. ET.

Correspondent Marcus Moore is reporting from Houston.


KCBS-TV anchor Sharon Tay broke into CBS regularly scheduled programming with a CBS News special report live from the network’s Los Angeles affiliate at 12:01 a.m. ET / 9:01 p.m. local time.

She announced the news, then intro’d a taped piece voiced by CBS This Morning host Norah O’Donnell, before closing the special report:

And to repeat, President George H.W. Bush died today. He was 94 years old. There will be more on your local news on this CBS station and on our 24-hour streaming news service CBSN. This has been a CBS News special report. I’m Sharon Tay, CBS 2 News in Los Angeles.

Jeff Glor will anchor tonight’s CBS Evening News from CBS News’ Washington DC bureau tonight with extensive coverage and updates regarding the death of former president George H.W. Bush.

Reena Ninan will be back-up from the CBSN set in New York.

Additionally, Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are featured in Norah O’Donnell’s special double-length segment to be broadcast on Sunday night’s edition of 60 Minutes.

 The three former U.S. leaders share their personal experiences and informed opinions of their colleague in separate interviews.

In a bonus web clip for 60MinutesOvertime, George W. Bush recalls a poignant moment between him and his father when he spoke about 9-11 at the Washington National Cathedral days after the attack.

 The report also contains interviews with the late president’s close friend and former Secretary of State James Baker, and George H.W. Bush historian Jon Meacham.


At 12:06 a.m. ET, Steve Kornacki anchored an NBC News Special Report, which was simulcast on MSNBC. He was joined by NBC News and MSNBC anchors who shared personal thoughts and memories of the late president, including:

  • Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe, via phone
  • Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, via phone
  • Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief foreign affairs correspondent, via phone

Steve Kornacki anchored another NBC News Special Report at 1:01 a.m. ET, which was also simulcast on MSNBC. He was joined by:

  • Hallie Jackson, NBC News Chief White House correspondent, from Buenos Aires
  • Jon Meacham, presidential biographer, from D.C.

This morning, Today show aired a special report at 6:00 a.m. ET anchored by Sheinelle Jones and Harry Smith. They were joined by:

  • Garrett Haake, NBC News correspondent, from Houston
  • Peter Alexander, NBC News national correspondent, from Buenos Aires
  • Jon Meacham, presidential biographer, from D.C.
  • Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief foreign affairs correspondent, from D.C.

Additionally, former vp Dick Cheney and former secretary of state James Baker will appear on NBC Meet the Press Chuck Todd tomorrow.


The aforementioned Steve Kornacki reported the news on MSNBC at 11:53 p.m. ET. Kornacki was subbing in for Brian Williams on The 11th Hour.

The MSNBC coverage was simulcast on NBC beginning when he delivered an NBC News special report at 12:06 a.m. ET.

on Saturday, Chris Matthews will anchor MSNBC’s live special coverage Remembering George H.W. Bush at 6 p.m. ET, immediately followed at 8 p.m. ET: George Herbert Walker Bush: A Life of Service,” a documentary anchored by Lester Holt on the life and journey of the 41st President of the United States.

Don Lemon was anchoring CNN Tonight when the news broke. He reported it at 11:51 p.m. ET.

  • 8 p.m.: CNN Special Report: Remembering 41: President George H. W. Bush (Premiere)
  • 9 p.m.: CNN Films: 41 on 41 (2 hrs)
  • 11 p.m.: 41  (2 hrs) (Premiere)
  • 1 a.m.: CNN Special Report: Remembering 41: President George H. W. Bush (Tape)
  • 2 a.m. CNN Films: 41 on 41 (2 hrs)

Fox News Channel:

Shannon Bream was anchoring Fox News @ Night when she reported the news at 11:52 p.m. ET.

Fox broke into the network with a Level 1 cut-in where Bream was simulcast on both Fox Broadcasting and Fox News Channel. They accomplished this a couple minutes ahead of the other networks.

  • The network will present two prime time specials this evening hosted by senior political analyst Brit Hume at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET, respectively. FNC’s Dana Perino will also anchor special coverage this afternoon from 4 – 6 p.m. ET.
  • Additionally, FNC’s Casey Stegall and Rick Leventhal will report live from outside the Bush residence in Houston, Texas and William La Jeunesse will provide coverage from outside the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, TX.
  • FNC’s chief political anchor and Special Report’s Bret Baier along with Fox News @ Night’s Shannon Bream reported live late last night and early this morning on the passing of President Bush from the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Reagan Library and New York respectively. Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, The Daily Briefing’s Dana Perino and FNC political analyst Juan Williams also joined the coverage.
  • Saturday, December 1st Programming Schedule:
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET – Cavuto Live (NY)
    • 12 – 2 p.m. ET –America’s News Headquarters/Special Coverage anchored by Leland Vittert and Eboni Williams (DC)
    • 2 – 4 p.m. ET – America’s News Headquarters/Special Coverage anchored by Eric Shawn and Arthel Neville (NY)
    • 4 – 6 p.m. ET – America’s News Headquarters/Special Coverage anchored by Dana Perino (NY)
    • 6 –  p.m. ET – FOX Report w/ Jon Scott (NY)
    • 8 p.m. ET – Brit Hume hosts a one-hour special on 41st President George H.W. Bush
    • 9 p.m. ET – Justice with Judge Jeanine (NY)
    • 10 p.m. ET – Brit Hume hosts a one-hour special on 41st President George H.W. Bush