UPDATED with FCC comments
ABC, NBC and Telemundo announced special weekday coverage focused on the coronavirus as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai thanked broadcasters for their efforts in educating the public about the pandemic.
Pai held a conference call yesterday with television and radio broadcasters and broadcaster trade associations to thank broadcasters and discuss additional ways that broadcasters can help Americans stay safe and informed.
“I’m grateful for the steps that broadcasters are taking,” Pai said. “Going forward, I urged them to air public service announcements featuring prominent entertainment and sports personalities, and local news anchors asking Americans to practice the social distancing that is needed to combat this pandemic. We need this vital message to be delivered by Americans who are familiar to different segments of our society, and broadcasters are ideally situated to the task.”
Pandemic: What You Need to Know, anchored by Amy Robach, will air weekdays at 1 pm temporarily in place of GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke on ABC and at 4 pm ET on ABC News Live. Robach, starting Wednesday, will address the widespread issues caused by the global pandemic and offer solutions from those adjusting to a new way of life. ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton will weigh in with health and safety guidelines. The show begins Wednesday.
NBC News will air a live primetime special NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic, anchored by Lester Holt on Thursday, March 19 at 10pm ET across NBC, MSNBC, the streaming service NBC News NOW and Telemundo Digital.
Fox News Outnumbered Overtime anchor Harris Faulkner has been dedicating the 1 pm ET hour each day to providing viewers the latest insights on the pandemic during Coronavirus Pandemic: Questions Answered. FNC contributors Dr. Marc Siegel and Dr. Nicole Saphier provide medical expertise and analysis on the crisis. Faulkner and various experts answer viewer questions submitted online via email, social media, and Skype.
Noticias Telemundo will air Coronavirus: Un Pais en Alerta (Coronavirus: A Nation On Alert), new national weekday newscast starting today at 11:35 pm ET. Hosted by Telemundo anchor Julio Vaqueiro, the program will focus on the latest developments regarding the coronavirus and its impact on the Latino community.
ABC’s special program will feature live guests and information to help families navigate homeschooling, how to talk to their kids at home about the crisis, mental health, conversations with service-based workers and corporate CEOs, good deed stories in communities and of neighbors helping each other and debunk myths and misinformation spreading online.
“Pandemic: What You Need to Know” is produced by ABC News Live, the network’s streaming news network. Katie den Daas is Executive Producer for ABC News Live special event coverage, and Cat McKenzie is Senior Producer. Justin Dial is Senior Executive Producer for ABC News Live.
Telemundo said its new late-night newscast reaffirms its “ongoing commitment to provide the Latino audience with the most comprehensive, credible information they need to make decisions every day.”
“We want to help our community understand the effects of this emergency and rather than live in fear, be empowered to make informed decisions about their health,” said Luis Fernandez, president of Noticias Telemundo.
Telemundo said its Telemundo Deportes’ Titulares y Más, a popular sports studio show hosted by Ana Jurka and Karim Mendiburu, will now air in its new time slot at midnight during the week.
Earlier today, MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, CMT and VH1 announced new PSAs in collaboration with the Ad Council for #AloneTogether as part of a national campaign to promote safety and unity in the coronavirus era.