Mobile Stations Go Live to Cover Carnival Cruise Liner’s Return

By Kevin Eck 

Stations in Mobile, AL, broke in to regular programming to cover the return of the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph.  The ship with 4,200 passengers and crew members on board was being towed into the cruise ship terminal in Mobile after a fire on board left the ship adrift and disabled.

The Triumph was expected into port by 11:00 p.m., but a towline being used to bring the ship into port by tugboat broke, delaying its return. By 2:30 p.m., the United States Coast Guard was reporting the towline had been repaired and the ship was, again, on its way.


WALA – The FOX affiliate went live throughout the morning and afternoon relying on anchors Joe Emer and  Bob Grip in the studio to report on the progress of the cruise ship. Candace Murphy was live on Dauphin Island interviewing the husband of a passenger and giving updates on the liner from a vantage point where she could see the ship. Chasity Bird spoke with Mobile Mayor Sam Jones on why the passengers were being bussed to New Orleans or Galveston, TX, and not put up in Mobile hotels.

WEAR – Jared Willets kicked off team coverage for the ABC affiliate by tossing to the live press conference with Terry Thornton from Carnival Cruise Lines at 10:26 a.m. The station then stayed on air throughout the morning and afternoon with team coverage including anchor Sue Straughn, reporters Will Kennedy, Lena Deflores and Christina Leavenworth. Chief meteorologist Allen Strum also gave updates on how weather conditions would affect the ship’s return to port.

WKRG – The CBS affiliate also broke in to regular programming at 10:26 with Devon Walsh tossing to the press conference. Bill Riales joined Walsh on set after the conference.  Peter Albrecht, Chad Petri, Allen Carter and Randy Patrick were some of the WKRG talent to add to team coverage cutting in to regular programming throughout the morning and afternoon.

WPMI – Mobile’s NBC affiliate went with short updates breaking into regular programming. Pat Greenwood, Tami Brehse, Kym Thurmanand Christian Jennings contributed to team coverage.  Meteorologist Kelly Foster gave weather updates for the cruise liner’s return. Reporter Darwin Singleton pitched in with a phoner. Singleton was on board one of the tugboats guiding the ship into port.