Updated: 6:42 p.m. ET
All three of the broadcast networks broke into regular
programming with special reports as news broke that two explosions had occurred
near the finish line of the Boston marathon at about 2:45 p.m. on Monday.
Scott Pelley is anchoring for CBS, Brian Williams for NBC
and Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos for ABC. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are
also in continuing coverage. Most are relying on video from local affiliates. The networks were also live-streaming coverage on their Web sites. President Obama addressed the nation at 6:10 p.m. which all the networks carried.
At latest count, the Boston Police Department had confirmed at least 86 injuries and two dead. Authorities have not confirmed the cause of the blasts, though at 4:32 p.m., CNN reported that a source was characterizing them definitely as bombs. By just before 6 p.m. both ABC and CBS were characterizing the blasts as bombs, though NBC's chyron still said "explosions." At 6:07 p.m., CNN reported that the FBI said the incident was officially classified as a terrorist attack, though there are no claims yet of responsibility.
Because of the destruction, networks were faced with decisions about what images of injuries and the aftermath to show. On NBC, when throwing to video from WHDH Boston, Williams said "
We are hoping and praying this video has been
edited before air because there are likely to be graphic images." WHDH said there was some footage of victims, some with missing limbs that was not being shown on-air.
Networks are beginning to send anchors to the scene, with ABC's Terry Moran to anchor Nightline from Boston on Monday. For CNN, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Poppy Harlow, Brian Todd, Jason Carroll, Peter Hamby, Zain Asher and Maria Santana will be on the scene.MSNBC's Rachel Maddow will host her 9 p.m. program from Boston on Monday.
On the morning shows Tuesday, Stephanopoulos and Josh Elliott will report from Boston for ABC's Good Morning America, Matt Lauer will co-anchor Today from Boston with Lester Holt also on the ground and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will be there for Morning Joe. MSNBC's Chris Jansing will also be live in Boston starting Tuesday.
CBS Evening News, ABC World News and NBC Nightly News will all expand to one hour for live coverage of the explosions. NBC will also have a special hour of coverage at 10 p.m. ET anchored by Williams, pre-empting Revolution. MSNBC will stay with live coverage in the 11 p.m. and midnight hours. Updates will be made as coverage plans are announced.
The attack is also affecting media events -- ESPN and the Southeastern Conference said they would postpone their press conference scheduled for Tuesday in Atlanta in light of the tragedy.