Familiar Faces and Some Surprises in Election Lineups

By Andrew Gauthier 


With election night around the corner, networks and news agencies are announcing their anchor teams for the evening. While most stops on the TV dial will feature familiar faces, there are a couple of notable moves.

ABC News coverage from mainstays Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will be supplemented with web-based reporting from John Berman and Claire Shipman.

NBC and CBS have rounded up the usual suspects: Brian Williams will be joined by David Gregory, Andrea Mitchell, and Chuck Todd, among others; Katie Couric will turn to Bob Schieffer, Jeff Greenfield, and Dee Dee Myers for news and analysis.

Perhaps the most dramatic decisions were made by rivals MSNBC and Fox News. MSNBC’s election night coverage will be anchored by its usual primetime roster, including Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow, while FNC is going with news anchors Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. With Baier and Kelly, FNC has created an opportunity to emphasize its news chops and effectively engage both MSNBC and CNN in the ratings race.

CNN’s coverage will be anchored by Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, with John King. As Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik notes, “One of the most fascinating aspects of the night will be how CNN does compared to Fox News in terms of audience size.” MSNBC’s pundit-led lineup may hurt its chances in the ratings race as Fox News and CNN court a wider, breaking news audience. While struggling CNN tries to capitalize on a breaking news event, it will be staring down the Fox News behemoth.