How the networks differed in how they stacked their evening newscasts and the Bernie Sanders announcement

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Bernie Sanders‘ official announcement of a 2020 presidential bid was handled much differently on each network newscast — just like it got different billing on the morning shows.

  • CBS Evening News” mirrored its morning counterpart “CBS This Morning” by leading with the story.
  • This was largely thanks to “This Morning” co-anchor John Dickerson being granted an exclusive interview with Sanders before the announcement was made.
  • In its Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, edition “CBS Evening News” lead with a package from Nancy Cordes that included clips from the Dickerson interview.
  • ABC, meanwhile, didn’t lead with the story but got to it about 11 minutes into “World News Tonight” with a full package from Mary Bruce — that also mentioned reports that former vice president Joe Biden is nearing an announcement on his decision to run.
  • Before it covered Sanders, ABC covered the weather, the Cohen investigation, the Patrick Frazee case and the Jussie Smollett case.
  • NBC Nightly News” blended the Sanders news into a Hallie Jackson report about the lawsuit states are bringing against Donald Trump’s “national emergency” to secure border wall funding. The package aired about five minutes into the newscast and was introduced with anchor Lester Holt on camera next to an image of Sanders and a border fence under the headline “Battle Lines.”
  • “Nightly” lead with the tangled web of investigations into Donald Trump — including clips from the live interview with former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe that aired earlier in the day on “Today.”