Remembering Peter: Special Report On ABC; Extensive On CNN

By Brian 

Charlie Gibson broke the news on ABC at around 11:48pm ET. (Update: Lost Remote says it was 11:41pm.) The ABC News special report lasted 20 minutes.

Gibson was joined by Diane Sawyer, Ted Koppel and Barbara Walters, among others.

“I work at an ABC station…Our master control got word a little before 11pm (ET) that we needed to be on standby for a special report,” a tipster says.

CNN, with Carol Lin, broke in a couple minutes after ABC. MSNBC followed second, with Bill Fitzgerald. FNC was last, with Carol Iovanna. Bill McCuddy offered a tribute on Fox News. According to several e-mailers, CNN/HLN and MSNBC stayed live after FNC returned to tape.

“CNN briefly simulcasted ABC News coverage when Charlie Gibson was interviewing Barbara Walters.” CNN also reaired parts of the ABC report later. “This surprised me — I don’t remember seeing CNN run a straight feed from
another U.S. network before,” an e-mailer says. (It was a TV-shaped insert in the middle of the screen.)

Another e-mailer said: “CNN, with its dozens of former ABC staffers working throughout the network (Aaron Brown, Zahn, Cooper, Greenfield, Lin, Frazier, Rodgers) is doing what it can only do right now: Putting his colleagues on-air to discuss their experiences with him.” Brown’s interview was especially emotional.

Headline News simulcasted the CNN/U.S. coverage until 12:39am. The CNN report lasted more than an hour, after everyone else had returned to normal programming. CNN reaired a September 8, 2003 Larry King Live interview with Jennings at 1am and 3am.

> Also: After midnight, ABC News Now ran regular programming, with a notice of Jennings’ death at the bottom of the screen.