Sunday, September 23, 2001

Coverage Of The Terrorist Attacks On The World Trade Center

Tuesday, September 11th started out as a beautiful day throughout much of the northeast. That all changed when a hijacked airplane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:45am. Eighteen minutes later, another plane hijacked by terrorists crashed into the south tower. A half hour later, all air traffic nationwide was halted, the first time in U.S. history that has happened. But that wasn't enough to halt the attacks. At 9:43, another hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Just before 10, the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. At 10:10, a fourth hijacked airliner crashed near Pittsburg, missing its probable target: The White House. Less than twenty minutes later, the north tower fell in ruins. Over 6,000 people are reported missing, including hundreds of police officers, firefighters, and other rescue workers.

CBS 2 had continuous coverage of these tragic and horrific events all week long. Dana Tyler, Ernie Anastos, Angela Rae, and Todd McDermott anchored the coverage, called "Attack On America", throughout the afternoon and evening. CBS 2's full team of reporters provided every angle of the story; from the disaster, the local, national, and international reaction, the search, the rescue, the recovery, the investigation, and the healing. Whitney Casey joined CBS 2's reporting team on the day of the attack. CBS News and Dan Rather had special reports for many days as well, but CBS 2 chose to stay local most of the time, providing more local coverage than any other station. At 5:25, Seven World Trade Center collapsed, live on CBS 2.

On Tuesday, CBS 2 announced, "It is with deep regret that WCBS-TV announces that two of our transmission engineers were located on the 110th floor of One World Trade Center when it was attacked. Isaias Rivera, an employee of the station for more than 30 years, and Bob Pattison, who joined CBS 2 in 2000, are both still missing. Channel 2 and all of its employees regard Isaias and Bob as tremendous professionals. We are saddened by these tragic events and offer our prayers to the families of our colleagues." CBS 2 was the only New York station to have a back-up transmitter located on the top of the Empire State Building. All other stations were knocked off-the-air for viewers without cable or satellite.

Saturday morning, September 15th, CBS 2 and CBS News renamed the coverage to "America Rising", focusing on the aftermath of Tuesday's deadly terrorist attack. CBS 2 continued to use their regular weekday anchors. The week after, CBS 2 began to lessen the amount of coverage slightly and resumed some normal network programming. Most local shows during the day (Martha Stewart Living, Crossing Over, Entertainment Tonight, and Hollywood Squares) were preempted for local coverage beginning at 9:00am, 3:00pm, and 7:00pm (the CBS Evening News sometimes went on for one hour until 7:30pm).

On Thursday, "America Rising" became "America Fights Back", changing the focus slightly to the nation's response and military retaliation. The same day, Dr. Mike Rosen joined CBS 2 as medical reporter. Yesterday, CBS 2 started out yesterday morning at 7:00 with a two-hour newscast anchored by Michael Pomeranz and Cindy Hsu. CBS 2 had more hour-long newscasts at 11:00am and 2:00pm. Vince DeMentri and Kirstin Cole (who has probably replaced Amanda Grove as weekend anchor) were on at 7:00pm. Then they were back at 11:00 with more coverage. This morning, "Sunday Edition" with Marcia Kramer was live for one hour starting at 6:30 interviewing the six mayoral candidates running in Tuesday's primary elections (they were originally scheduled to take place September 11th, but were postponed due to the attack). At 7:30, Lisa Hill and Cindy Hsu had more news until 9:00. Dana Tyler and Ernie Anastos had coverage of the "A Prayer For America" memorial service at Yankee Stadium from 2:00 to 4:00. More news tonight at 11:00. And this week ahead, CBS 2 will have special coverage at 9-10am, and more coverage beginning at 3:00pm.

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