With earthquakes in both the Eastern and Western United States, TV stations’ news operations scrambled to stay on top of the natural disasters, B&C reports.
Cable news outlets such as CNN, meanwhile, had to divide their attention between breaking events at home and abroad, as Libyan rebels seized the compound of Moammar Gadhafi. CNN captured the moment live on video from Tripoli, where correspondent Sara Sidner, in full battle dress, covered the seizure of the compound and the subsequent celebration live.
Stations on the U.S. East Coast, where earthquakes are relatively rare, were caught off guard by a 5.9 quake that hit suburban Virginia and was felt across several states.
Bill Lord, VP of news at WJLA-TV in the Washington market, said: "We all felt it — we all thought it was a Metro train going under us. Then it got worse and worse and worse."
B&C reports: “Lord, speaking about 30 minutes after the quake, said staffers promptly resorted to their ‘battle stations,’ such as the control room and out in the field, to tackle the unique story. ‘The sites are going crazy, [News Channel 8] cable is going crazy, the stations are on all over the place,’ he says.”
Across town, the quake shook the NBC building in northwest Washington, where WRC-TV Senior Producer of Content Matt Glassman, who has worked in the town for 23 years, commented: “I’ve never felt anything like this in Washington.”
WRC “had the good fortune of having anchor Barbara Harrison shoot a cooking segment with a couple local chefs from her home as the quake hit, which provided a live shot of the frightful shaking,” B&C reports.
An earlier earthquake measuring 5.3 hit Colorado late Monday, followed by a series of strong aftershocks. While quakes are more common in the West, this one got people’s attention. "Usually they shake the windows and don’t really do anything," said Greg Boyce, interim news director at KOAA-TV in the Colorado Springs market. "This one actually did some damage."
Here’s some of CNN’s video from Tripoli, Libya: