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TV News Piles on Irma as Hurricane Approaches Continental U.S.

The nation’s TV-news outlets plan to ramp up their coverage of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in the southeastern United States, a signal of the storm’s growing intensity and its ability to wreak havoc on millions as the nation is in the midst of recovering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

The Category 5 hurricane has been steadily swirling over islands in the Caribbean and moving toward Puerto Rico and Florida. President Trump has already  declared a state of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. At present, Irma is expected to reach Florida on Sunday, with severe flooding anticipated.

NBC News said it planned to air a special edition of its “Today” morning program on Sunday, assigning weekday hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie to anchor the proceedings. Both NBC News and MSNBC plan to air rolling coverage of the storm. NBC News expects to air special reports throughout Saturday, including during the halftime of a pending college football game between Georgia and Notre Dame slated to air on NBC Saturday afternoon.  NBC News expects to air what it called “wall to wall” coverage of the storm throughout Sunday.

Lester Holt, the “NBC Nightly News” anchor, is already stationed in Miami, and medical correspondent Dr. John Torres, who NBC said the only broadcast-network doctor on the ground at present, will be in Miami Saturday for both NBC News and MSNBC.

CBS News plans to air a special Sunday broadcast of “CBS This Morning” co-anchored by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Jeff Glor in Miami and Anthony Mason in New York will co-anchor a CBS News Special Report at 11:30 p.m. Eastern, following “CBS Sunday Morning” and “Face the Nation. CBS will broadcast an an extended CBS News Special Report later that day at 5 p.m. Eastern.

CNN, meanwhile, said it had dispatched four of its most recognizable anchors to Miami in anticipation of coverage. Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, John Berman and Victor Blackwell will anchor from Miami this weekend as the Time Warner-owned cable-news network stays with live coverage. CNN has assigned 22 different correspondents to cover the event from Florida, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, among other places. Erica Hill, the early-afternoon anchor at sister outlet HLN, will be stationed in Florida as well.

Fox News Channel said Friday that anchor Bill Hemmer would report live from Miami starting Sunday, with a dozen correspondents stationed around Florida and the southeast. On Friday, Fox News will air live programming through primetime, with anchor Jon Scott leading a two-hour special between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. eastern. Fox News plans to air 68 hours of live coverage starting Saturday at 5 a.m. Fox Business Network said Friday that correspondent Jeff Flock would report live from various locations in Florida throughout the duration of the storm.  On Monday, September 11, Fox Business will feature a special two-hour live edition of “FBN:AM” between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., where hosts Cheryl Casone and Lauren Simonetti will provide breaking news updates and futures market reaction related to the storm and its economic impact.

NBCUniversal’s Telemundo said it would offer live coverage of the storm on Sunday starting at 9 a.m., led by Noticias Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart in Miami.

Others have already unveiled plans. ABC News has sent David Muir, the “World News Tonight” anchor, to lead coverage from Florida, while CBS News has dispatched Jeff Glor.

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