TV Plans for President Obama’s Final State of the Union Address

By Chris Ariens 

As the Today show plans their broadcast from the White House tomorrow morning, the networks are solidifying plans for prime time coverage of Pres. Obama’s final State of the Union address.

  • ABC: Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos leads ABC’s coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET on the ABC television network. ABC News’ David Muir will anchor World News Tonight from Washington, DC on Tuesday. Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz and congressional correspondent Mary Bruce will report on the news and major topics before and after the speeches. Senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas will report on domestic issues and homeland security and ABC News political analyst Cokie Roberts and senior strategic adviser Matthew Dowd will provide analysis. Nightline will have complete coverage of the address and response with anchor Byron Pitts at 12:35 a.m. ET.
  • NBC: Lester Holt anchors coverage for NBC. The broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET across the NBC television network. Holt will anchor Nightly News live from Washington, DC, joined by Meet the Press moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell. The coverage will also feature NBC News senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News correspondent Hallie Jackson live from New Hampshire and both NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker and NBC News correspondent Katy Tur live from Iowa.
  • CBS: Scott Pelley, Norah O’Donnell, and John Dickerson will lead CBS’s coverage live from Washington, DC, and will be joined by CBS News correspondents Margaret Brennan at the White House; Nancy Cordes on Capitol Hill; and Major Garrett with reaction from the campaign trail. Also joining the coverage, CBS News political analyst Jamelle Bouie and Michael Gerson, columnist at The Washington Post.
  • Fox News / FOX: Bret Baier will anchor FNC’s Coverage and Shepard Smith will anchor FOX broadcasting’s coverage. A panel of commentators on FNC includes The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard and FNC contributors Charles Krauthammer, Charles Lane and Steve Hayes. Additionally, FNC White House correspondent Kevin Corke and chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel will provide live reports. Political correspondent Carl Cameron will be live from South Carolina. Contributors for the FOX special include Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace and Supreme Court correspondent Shannon Bream. On Fox News, coverage begins at 8:55 p.m., as The O’Reilly Factor signs off 5 minutes early. Following Baier’s coverage, The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly will air at 11 p.m. ET.
  • CNN: Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper will lead the network’s coverage with CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront kicking things off live from Capitol Hill at 7 p.m. ET. CNN’s Brianna Keilar, Jeff Zeleny, Sara Murray and Manu Raju will be deployed across the country and Jim Acosta will be live from the White House. Throughout the evening, news and commentary will be provided by John King, Gloria Borger, Michael Smerconish and David Axelrod, along with the network’s political contributors Paul Begala, Amanda Carpenter, Van Jones and Mike Rogers. CNN will also incorporate a Microsoft Pulse National Focus Group into its coverage, with Tom Foreman offering viewers real-time feedback on the President’s speech. CNN International will simulcast.
  • MSNBC: Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will lead MSNBC’s coverage, joined by Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, and José Díaz-Balart from Washington DC and Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, Steve Kornacki, Kasie Hunt and Joy Reid from New York. Chris Jansing will be live from the White House while Luke Russert and Kelly O’Donnell will bring reactions from Capitol Hill. Kristen Welker will be with the Clinton campaign, Katy Tur with the Trump campaign, and Hallie Jackson with the Cruz campaign. NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel will be live from Istanbul. And there will be analysis from Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, former RNC chairman Michael Steele, Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, Col. Jack Jacobs, Voto Latino President Maria Teresa Kumar and presidential historian Michael Beschloss.
  • FBN: FBN’s Neil Cavuto will anchor coverage from South Carolina beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Cavuto will be in South Carolina ahead of FBN’s second GOP debate on Thursday night. Guests include Montel Williams, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), among others.
  • Al Jazeera America: Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with Ray Suarez in Washington, D.C.; followed by special coverage at 7 p.m. with anchor Tony Harris in New York. From 8-11 p.m. John Seigenthaler anchors from New York with Ali Velshi in Washington, DC. Antonio Mora picks up coverage in New York at 11 p.m. Senior Washington correspondent Mike Viqueira and Libby Casey will provide live coverage along with insight from David Shuster. Correspondent Michael Shure will be in Iowa, Jonathan Martin will examine criminal justice issues from New Orleans and Sarah Hoye delves into issues of race and income inequality in Philadelphia. Other correspondents include Jane Arraf in Amman, Jordan, Omar al Saleh in Kabul, Afghanistan, Heidi Zhou-Castro will focus on immigration from El Paso, Texas and Melissa Chan will examine security fears in the U.S. from San Bernardino, CA.
  • Bloomberg: Brendan Greeley will anchor from 9-11 p.m. Al Hunt and Margaret Talev will be reporting and providing analysis from D.C., with Scarlet Fu, Meghan Murphy of Bloomberg Politics and Paula Dwyer of Bloomberg View on set in New York.
  • Yahoo: Katie Couric anchors a special edition of Yahoo News Live from the Yahoo News Studio in New York City.  Couric will be joined for the pre-show by Matt Bai, Yahoo News National Political Columnist, Anita Dunn, Managing Director SKDKnickerbocker and Former White House Communications Director, Ramesh Ponnuru, Sr. Editor, National and Neha Gahndi, VP Editorial Strategy at Refinery29, who will be sharing an exclusive first-look at a survey that captures the millennial female audience and their ideas and expectations about the State of the Union.