Robert Durst Story Has Legs on TV News

By Brian Flood 

The bizarre story of Robert Durst is all over TV news and it’s not going away anytime soon.

The newsmagazines on CBS, NBC and ABC each produced specials on the case since police arrested him March 14. The story behind the millionaire murder suspect is clearly a hit with both networks and viewers.

“It’s a fascinating story, says “Dateline NBC” EP Liz Cole. “‘Dateline’ has been on the Durst case for years, and we’ll continue to cover it closely as the latest chapter unfolds.”

The “Dateline” Durst special last week was the network’s most-watched hour of regularly scheduled programming in the Thursday 8-9pmET timeslot in six years — since “My Name is Earl” was on the network.

CBS News’s “48 Hours” Saturday night special drew 3.65 million viewers. (The broadcast didn’t begin until 10:18 because the NCAA tournament, likely disrupting the numbers.) On Friday night, ABC’s “20/20” went a different route, attempting to link Durst to the disappearance of a fourth victim, Karen Mitchell.

Robert DurstFox News host Jeanine Pirro is all over the coverage, as she was the Westchester County DA who pursued murder charges against Durst 15 years ago, before she became a TV newser herself. Pirro also had a prominent role in the HBO documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” which seems to have put this case back on everyone’s radar. Pirro hosted a FNC special titled “Justice – Robert Durst Arrested” on March 15.

This morning on the “Today” show, Durst attorney Dick DeGuerin spoke with Savannah Guthrie. Last week, Guthrie spoke with Jim McCormack, the brother of Kathleen Durst, who thinks Durst essentially confessed to killing his sister during the HBO doc.

“CBS This Morning” has covered the story pretty much every day, with “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty joining the show to discuss the latest developments. “CTM” even had “The Jinx” director Andrew Jarecki on the morning after the finale of his documentary aired.

Moriarty, who has been investigating the story for a decade, had the first interview with attorney DeGuerin since his client had been arrested. DeGuerin revealed that Durst was interviewed for three hours without an attorney and ran across various CBS platforms.

Durst is due back in court on April 2.