As 24-hour cable networks tried to divine the color of the smoke, broadcasters blew out their regular programming to join the roadblocked coverage of St. Peter's Square Tuesday a little before noon (ABC said the smoke began at 11:49 a.m. (EST), the bells at 12:04, according to NBC) as it became clear that the smoke was white, meaning that a new Pope had been picked.
Fox, which called the Pope's death prematurely, waited until the confirming bell began to ring before posting the "We have a Pope!" graphic before eventually changing it to the Latin, "Habemus Papam!"
CNN appeared to err in the other direction, saying the smoke appeared black. Blogger TVnewser http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/?page=2 posted a screen grab showing CNN with the graphic "Black Smoke: No Pope Elected" to illustrate the confusion.The cable news channels had been preparing for the moment for days, including keeping a camera focused on the smokestack and a shot of it onscreen during other stories.
Now the watch became the balcony window, with play-byplay on every ruffle of the curtain as they awaited the announcement of the new Pope's name.