CBS News announces election coverage plans

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CBS News has announced its plans for 2020 election coverage across its broadcast network, streaming service CBSN, and CBS News Radio.

“CBS Evening News” will anchor live coverage from a specially designed studio in New York City starting at 7 p.m. eastern.

The new studio will use augmented reality and the latest technology, including dozens of visual displays showcasing the latest data and mapping to help tell the complex stories of this election.

“We’re empowering our top political journalists with the latest data visualization and storytelling tools to bring as much clarity as we can to this election,” said Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior executive producer in a statement.

“Our political team has been delivering insightful reporting at every turn of this campaign season. As we prepare for one of the most complicated election nights in presidential history, we will bring the strength of our reporting team and the most in-depth voter information and polling from all 50 states to give audiences around the world an accurate assessment of the state of the race. We’re committed to being transparent – telling viewers in real time what we know, when we know it and how we know it,” she added.

Anchoring from the CBS News Election Headquarters aside O’Donnell with be “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King; “Face the Nation” moderator and senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan; “60 Minutes” correspondent and CBS News senior political analyst John Dickerson and CBS News political correspondent Ed O’Keefe.

CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett will provide live exit poll analysis, report on any voter integrity issues and dive into the issues voters cared about and how they made up their minds.

CBS News contributor Maria Elena Salinas will cover voting trends.

CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes will deliver updates on Senate and House races.

CBS News political analyst and Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former senior adviser to President Obama Valerie Jarrett will offer analysis and insight. CBS News election law expert David Becker will contribute his legal expertise to help viewers understand the implication of potential voting issues and challenges that could emerge throughout the night.

The CBS News Decision Desk will make projections and characterize races in real-time throughout the night.

CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto will lead the decision desk and be in-studio with the new Election Night Tracker, which builds on the strengths of the CBS News Battleground Tracker.

The CBS News Election Night Tracker combines exit poll data and vote tallies with CBS News’ proprietary polling. By election day, the CBS News Battleground Tracker will have surveyed 100,000 people from all 50 states, and the decision desk will show viewers how all the contests are trending.

CBS will use the latest integrated graphics and virtual storytelling tools, and a brand new advanced multi-touch screen developed for CBS News’ election night coverage, to help tell the stories and provide original reporting and breaking news about the presidential, Senate and House races.

Salvanto’s reporting will take viewers beyond the numbers, providing in-depth explanations of CBS News’ methodology and how the network makes projections, transparently showing audiences what we know and why we know it, delivering understanding as well as projections.

Dozens of displays of real-time data, maps, results and video feeds from around the country will be displayed on four massive high-resolution LED video walls.

Two zones of augmented reality will be used to show the state of the presidential race across the nation and will also be a novel way to track which party will control the U.S. Senate.

As each state’s polls close, sophisticated displays and tracking technology will help the viewers understand where the vote is at that moment — keeping the viewer informed as the story evolves in real time.

CBS News will simultaneously report exit poll data, the latest projection information and analysis on all platforms including on air, on CBSN, and on social media.

CBS News Digital’s multiplatform coverage will include CBSN’s 12 national and local live streams as well as a liveblog and the CBS News Battleground Tracker – all available for audiences around the globe. On Twitter, @CBSNews will communicate all election projections and characterizations and provide transparency into all CBS News political reporting on all races as soon as the information is reportable.

CBS News will also have an extensive correspondent team contributing live reports and original reporting from battleground states and across the country, including Manuel Bojorquez in North Carolina; Adriana Diaz in Wisconsin; Jericka Duncan in Pennsylvania; Janet Shamlian in Michigan; Mark Strassmann in Georgia; Kris Van Cleave in Nevada; Omar Villafranca in Texas; and Jamie Yuccas in Arizona. CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion will report live on location with the Biden-Harris campaign. CBS News White House correspondents Weijia Jiang, Paula Reid and Ben Tracy will also contribute the latest reporting on the Trump-Pence campaign.

CBS News chief justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues will report on the latest misinformation and disinformation efforts from the CBS News studios in Washington. CBS News’ team of campaign reporters will also be in battleground states. CBS News correspondents Errol Barnett and Mola Lenghi will report from Washington, D.C. and New York City. CBS affiliate stations will contribute to the Network’s coverage, including WCCO in Minneapolis, WOIO in Cleveland and KCCI in Des Moines. CBS News’ team of international correspondents will be positioned across Europe and around the world covering the global reaction.

Election Day coverage on CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 free streaming news service, will begin at 7:00 AM, ET anchored by CBSN’s Anne Marie Green. Throughout the day, anchors Vlad Duthiers and Tanya Rivero will provide election updates with “Red & Blue” anchor Elaine Quijano leading the platform’s evening and primetime coverage beginning at 5:00 PM, ET. CBSN will stream live election updates from reporters in studio and on-the-ground including CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns. Anthony Salvanto will provide updates on the state of the race via the CBS News Battleground Tracker, joined by CBSN’s Lana Zak who will report results from the Decision Desk and provide analysis on exit poll data throughout the night.

CBSN will deliver key local perspectives through its network of 10 dedicated CBSN local services in major markets across the country to keep viewers updated on critical down-ballot races, with reports from local journalists on the ground.

CBSN anchors will be joined by CBSN political contributor and Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez; CBS News contributor and Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright; and CBSN political contributor Lynda Tran.

From 7 to 11 p.m. eastern, CBSN will present unique multi-platform coverage from both the CBSN election team and the network election team. The platform will simulcast the network’s coverage in full beginning at 11.

CBSN’s coverage is available for free by downloading the CBS News app on all mobile and connected TV platforms.

CBS News’ additional coverage plans will also include:

  • Norah O’Donnell will anchor the “CBS Evening News” from CBS News Election Headquarters in Times Square beginning Monday, Oct. 26. As Election Day approaches, “Evening” will continue to provide comprehensive coverage, helping viewers make sense of a historic election and shedding light on the issues that matter most to voters. The broadcast will feature coverage of the home stretch of the Trump-Pence and Biden-Harris campaigns from the team of CBS News White House correspondents and CBS News political correspondent Ed O’Keefe. CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett will also examine the voting process and how states are preparing for potential complications. And our team of reporters will highlight the concerns of voters in key swing states as part of the CBS News series “Every State Has a Story.”

  • “CBS This Morning” will launch a special series titled “At America’s Crossroads.” Over three days, beginning Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, co-host Tony Dokoupil will hit the road in an RV and visit three battleground states: Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. As he travels through cities and suburban communities, Dokoupil will talk with voters about the issues and policies shaping their choices on Election Day. Starting Oct. 19 and continuing through Oct. 21, Dokoupil will anchor “This Morning” from a different battleground state. Additionally, on Oct. 21, the final day of the road trip, CTM will dedicate the entire 8 a.m. hour to “At America’s Crossroads.”
  • “Face the Nation” will broadcast from the CBS News Election Headquarters on Sunday, Nov. 1. In addition to being a part of the team leading election night coverage, moderator Brennan will preview the week’s historic election with newsmaker interviews and political analysis ahead of election day.
  • CBS Newspath, CBS News’ newsgathering organization providing news and information to 200+ affiliates nationwide and to broadcasters around the world, will feature extensive coverage and digital content on Election Day and beyond. Correspondent Skyler Henry will begin coverage Election Day morning with reports from a polling location. Tuesday night, Natalie Brand and Michael George will cover the Trump-Pence and Biden-Harris campaigns, respectively, and Skyler Henry will wrap the election results on Wednesday morning live from Washington, D.C.
  • CBS News Radio will provide stations with extensive coverage starting at 7 p.m. eastern through at least 2 a.m. eastern with short-form special reports, feeds of victory and concession speeches, and interviews from analysts, election officials, pollsters, candidates and voters. CBS News Radio’s election coverage starts with an experienced line-up of correspondents led by chief White House correspondent Steven Portnoy and Washington correspondent Steve Dorsey. Spread across the nation, covering the night’s key races, are correspondents Steve Futterman, Peter King, Jim Krasula, Matt Pieper, Wendy Gillette and Allison Keyes. Also joining the radio broadcast are pollster Leonie Huddy, former White House correspondent and contributor Peter Maer and political analyst Leonard Steinhorn.