Networks Went Into Special Reports With Nelson Mandela Coverage

South African leader died Thursday afternoon
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News networks broke into their regular programming Thursday with special reports on the death of South African president Nelson Mandela, who passed away Thursday afternoon at the age of 95.

MSNBC cut into programming at 4:44 p.m. ET, with ABC right behind at 4:46 p.m. Fox News, The CW, NBC, CNN and CBS are all in special reports as well.

ABC will air a special edition of Nightline on Mandela live tonight on both coasts Thursday.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the White House beginning at 5:25 p.m. ET, which was carried by all the news networks. He spoke until about 5:30.

NBC broke into its special report at 4:45 p.m. Will air a one-hour Nightly News on Mandela tonight.

For CNN, Anderson Cooper will anchor coverage from 8-11 p.m. ET, along with Robyn Curnow (from South Africa), Christine Amanpour and Wolf Blitzer.

FNC said it will continue coverage of Mandela through primetime (7-11PM/ET). FNC has producer Paul Tilsley and a crew in South Africa. Senior correspondent Greg Palkot is traveling to South Africa and will begin coverage this weekend.

CNN Films' An Unreal Dream, which was scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Thursday, will be rescheduled.

CBS cut into special report at 4:45, ABC said they went off at 5:12, but assuming they will cut back in with Obama's remarks.

Shortly after Obama's remarks, the national special reports were done, with the broadcast networks switching to local coverage, where some continued to cover Mandela. Cable nets stayed in their special reports, will likely continue with the coverage through the end of the day.

ABC is also expanding its nightly newscast, World News with Diane Sawyer, to an hour.

More to come…

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