Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CBS 2 News Covers Pope Benedict XVI's U.S. Arrival

Pope Benedict XVI's airplane arrived at Maryland's Andrews Air Force Base a few minutes ahead of schedule, pushing up CBS 2's coverage. Originally planned to start at 4:00 p.m., CBS 2's special report kicked off at 3:52, making it the first local station on the air (the others started at the top of the hour).

Chris Wragge and Kristine Johnson anchored the report and spoke over live video of the pope's arrival ceremony. They were joined at the desk by Father Joseph Chapel of Seton Hall University's Immaculate Conception Seminary. Mary Calvi reported live from Washington, D.C. in front of the Catholic University and spoke with Father Mike Russo, a professor at St. Mary's College. She was later joined by the Catholic University's Frank Persico. John Slattery also reported from Washington and Tony Aiello was live at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, where the pope will visit Friday afternoon. The lower-third graphic during the live coverage provided all sorts of biographical and historical information but also reported that Pope Benedict XVI plays the piano, listens to Mozart and Beethoven, and is the first pope to own an iPod.

CBS 2 News at 5:00 began at its usual time (4:58) with a special pope-related opening. Calvi, Slattery and Aiello returned to provide live reports and Sean Hennessey also reported live from the Flatiron District with how the city's subways are stepping up security. Pablo Guzman, Jennifer McLogan and Scott Rapoport contributed packages related to the pope's New York visit. Lonnie Quinn came on in the third block of the newscast with an abbreviated weather forecast. After a recap of the papal top stories, the 5:30 half-hour covered the rest of the day's news. Lonnie Quinn's forecast at 5:50 included "Weather for Papal Visit," a summary of the weather for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

At 6:00, Dana Tyler and Jim Rosenfield continued with more coverage of the pope. Calvi, Slattery and Hennessey were back with live reports and Hazel Sanchez, live at St. Patrick's Cathedral, joined the team. Rosenfield reported on the first time a pope visited the United States back in 1965, with appearances by Bill Plante and Harry Reasoner. It was the first time in recent memory that an entire black-and-white package has aired on CBS 2 News. The 6:00 newscast returned to the rest of the news in the second block.

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