New Orleans Stations Focus on Super Bowl Blackout

By Kevin Eck 

Instead of reporting on the positive aspects of their city hosting the worldwide spectacle that is the Super Bowl, New Orleans stations focused on last night’s partial power outage early in the third quarter of the game.

The outage delayed play for more than 35 minutes and even managed to silence the CBS play-by-play team of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz for a short time.

>RELATED: TVNewser, CBS Knocked for Super Bowl Blackout Coverage


WWL, the New Orleans CBS affiliate had the most extensive coverage of the four network affiliates. After a quick recap of the evening’s events, Karen Swensen and Dennis Woltering tossed from the studio to live team coverage fronted by Katie Moore standing outside the Superdome.

Moore addressed the obvious by saying, “The biggest question in our world tonight: Why did the lights go out?” She was quickly joined by reporter Monica Hernandez for a quick live interaction and a toss to a package about the power outage inside the dome featuring statements from the Superdome and energy company Entergy about who might be to blame.

For its 10 p.m. news, NBC affiliate WDSU saw anchor Rachel Wulff toss to Blake Hanson standing live outside the Super Dome. Due to CBS rules about showing video while they were still on air, Hanson’s report consisted of him describing his experience with the blackout and showing pictures of the outage from inside of the stadium. Hanson also read statements from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu before tossing back to Wulff in the studio.

WGNO, the New Orleans ABC affiliate, lead off their 10 by calling the power outage a “Super Bowl Blunder.”  Anchors Curt Sprang and Susan Roesgen wondered aloud if the outage would be a black eye for New Orleans.

The two, sitting behind a distracting amount of Super Bowl memorabilia, tossed to reporter Darian Trotter by saying,”Fans were frightened, coaches were furious and Darian Trotter was there when the lights went out.”

Trotter, who was live at the stadium, tossed to taped interviews of fans who described their experience with the power loss.

FOX affiliate WVUE called the outage a “Super Glitch” and started their 10 p.m. newscast with Jessica Holly talking over a long distance camera shot of the darkened Superdome. She then went to a taped report by reporter Chad Sabadie detailing the outage with statements from Entregy, the Superdome and the NFL.