The Ticker: (Spitzer Edition): FNC, Nets, WNET…

By Chris Ariens 

> During coverage today, FNC’s Shepard Smith, on location in Mississippi, reported Gov. Eliot Spitzer had resigned his post. “He came in, he resigned and that was it,” Smith said. Two minutes and 15 seconds later, Smith interrupted his guests who’d been discussing Lt. Gov. David Patterson, “Excuse me, I’m now told he did not resign in his statement.” Smith sourced his VP of News-Editorial who was speaking to him “by computer from New York.”

> The Spitzer story warranted double coverage on the evening newscasts. The Elizabeth Vargas-anchored World News saw a report from Dan Harris and Q&A follow-up with George Stephanopoulos. Ann Curry subbing on Nightly News got a report from Mike Taibbi and Q&A from MSNBC’s Dan Abrams. CBS spent the most time on the story, seven minutes, with a Katie Couric set-up and reports from Armen Keteyian and Byron Pitts.

> New York’s PBS station is crashing a Spitzer half-hour special to air tonight at 10pmET. Thirteen/WNET is run by former NBC News boss Neal Shapiro.