‘NewsNation’ correspondent’s phoner cuts out twice during breaking RBG coverage

After less than a month on the air, WGN America’s primetime newscast found itself covering what was arguably the biggest breaking news story in its short history — and the broadcast had two embarrassing technical glitches and F-bomb on live TV.

NewsNation,” which hit the air at its normal 8 p.m. eastern time, started its Friday night newscast about 30 minutes after news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

The newscast shed its normal opening sequence that includes a choreographed handheld shot of an anchor teasing stories while the studio’s motorized LED segments pivot and instead opted for a “cold open” with its breaking news stinger and music cut.

The show offered uninterrupted coverage for its first hour, but ran into trouble not once but twice when trying to bring in political correspondent Dean Reynolds in via phone.

Reynolds, who is based in Chicago where “NewsNation” is produced, called into the show for a phoner. On the first try, he was abruptly cut off in the middle of a sentence with a telephone company recording saying “if you feel you have reached this recording in error…” followed by silence.

It’s not clear if Reynolds was in the Chicago area but could not be summoned to the studio in time or was traveling outside the city. Having prominent anchors and correspondents join via phone isn’t uncommon in breaking news situations.

After the call dropped, the anchors picked up the trail and promised to get Reynolds back on the line, which they did a bit later.

But once again, Reynolds was midsentence when the call dropped, the same recording could be heard followed by a dial tone.

Anchor Rob Nelson acknowledged that the broadcast was an evolving situation due to the breaking news.

Later, during the 10 p.m. hour, correspondent Joe Khalil moved from the newsroom to the Supreme Court building when a passerby F-bombed his live shot.