×

TV News Gears Up for Coverage of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence has yet to swirl over North Carolina, but the nation’s TV-news operations are already setting up to meet her.

“It’s a large area, and we really want to be able to cover a big part of it,” says Wendy Fisher, vice president of newsgathering for ABC News, which has already dispatched multiple crews of anchors, reporters, camera operations and technicians to various points in the southeastern U.S. “Most hurricanes “hit the beach and then they peter out” she adds. “This one, there are warnings that it will linger. We kind of have to cover several different stories,” ranging from the storm itself to the consequences of its aftermath.

All the big news networks have plans to cover Hurricane Florence, which meteorologists predict will slam into the U.S. east coast later this week. It is now a category 4 hurricane and has sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. Millions of U.S. residents in coastal areas have been urged to evacuate.

Journalists are not among their number. Already, ABC News’ David Muir, NBC News’ Lester Holt and CBS News’ Jeff Glor are expected to anchor from different points in the Carolinas starting this evening, and then continue to report from the ground in the days ahead. Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer will be in Wilmington. North Carolina, starting Thursday.

NBC News’ Craig Melvin will report on the ground for both NBC”s “Today’ and MSNBC. Melvin will be joined on MSNBC by Ali Velshi, and Chris Jansing will anchor overnight coverage on September 13. Amy Robach., co-anchor of ABC’s “20/20,” ABC chief meteorologist Ginger Zee, and chief national affairs correspondent Tom Llamas will all be stationed in the field. CNN’s plans have yet to be announced in full.

There’s good reason to send some of the big names near the center of the storm. Hurricane coverage can create national moments that often spur emotional reaction. While covering the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston in 2017, CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell garnered recognition for entering the George R. Brown Convention Center,which the Red Cross was using as its main shelter in the area. The organization wasn’t letting cameras in, but she managed to accompany an evacuee inside and shed light on the limited resources available to people who had to sleep on the floor. NBC News’ Lester Holt made some waves by being the first of the three broadcast-network evening-news anchors to get to Houston to cover the disaster.

The TV networks are also making plans for hurricane coverage that will reach news consumers on the go. CBS News’ Glor, for example, will provide reporting for CBSN, the news unit’s streaming-video hub. CBS News has also created a digital site for coverage, cbsnews.com/florence. NBC News’ coverage will be featured at NBCNews.com/Florence with live streams of all special coverage and NBC News’ hurricane tracker, as well as stories from digital reporter John Schuppe. ABC News plans to feature multiple raw, live feeds of the storm, continuous reports from ABC News’ team of correspondents and meteorologists and live coverage from at least seven ABC affiliates in the affected region, all on its ABC News Live streaming hub. It’s “On Location” Facebook program will also feature coverage.

Many correspondents will deploy across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. MSNBC and NBC News will station Gadi Schwartz in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., for example, and Garrett Haake in Virginia Beach, Va. Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan will report live from North Topsail Beach, N.C. CBS News correspondents David Begnaud and, Elaine Quijano are among those who will be stationed in the field.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content