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A viewers' guide to the inauguration coverage

January 19, 2009|Matea Gold

As many as 2 million people are expected to descend on the National Mall on Tuesday to witness the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, but most of the country will experience the event on television. The broadcast and cable networks will begin coverage well before the start of the swearing-in ceremony, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time. Reporting will begin at dawn in Washington and continue on most networks into the night. All times listed are PST.


The Disney Channel: "Kids' Inaugural: We Are the Future," 8 to 9:30 p.m. The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus are among those set to perform at the concert honoring military families. The event will be streamed on after the telecast.


ABC: "Good Morning America" airs a special three-hour edition from the Library of Congress beginning at 4 a.m. Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos anchor coverage from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a news special at 7 p.m. From 8 to 10 p.m., the network will exclusively air "The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration," the first gala of the night attended by the new president and first lady. That will be followed by a 10 p.m. news special with reports from the inaugural balls and an overview of the day's events.

CBS: "The Early Show" broadcasts live from Washington beginning at 4 a.m. Katie Couric handles the coverage from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as an hourlong edition of "CBS Evening News" and a live webcast on at 7 p.m. with extended analysis. At 9 p.m., the network will air "Change and Challenge," a prime-time news special anchored by Couric that traces Obama's journey to the White House.

NBC: A special edition of "Today" from Washington kicks off coverage at 4 a.m. (KNBC-TV Channel 4 will carry local coverage until 7 a.m.) Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw and Lester Holt lead a special report from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Williams will anchor an hourlong edition of "NBC Nightly News," along with a live prime-time special at 10 p.m. with reports from the balls and special guests.

PBS: Jim Lehrer anchors coverage beginning at 8 a.m., joined by columnists Mark Shields and David Brooks. At 9 p.m., a special "Frontline" chronicles the new president in "Dreams of Obama."

Telemundo: Pedro Sevcec and Maria Celeste anchor a two-hour special at 8 a.m.

Univision: Coverage begins at 4 a.m. with "Despierta America." Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas take over at 8 a.m., followed by live coverage of the parade and a special edition of the prime-time news magazine "Aqui y Ahora."

BBC America: Huw Edwards and Matt Frei lead live coverage beginning at 8 a.m., with reports from Kenya and London.

BET: Rene Syler and actor Hill Harper lead the coverage beginning at 8 a.m., joined by Jeff Johnson. At 8 p.m., the network will air "Yes We Will! The BET Inauguration Celebration."

CNBC: Carl Quintanilla and John Harwood anchor "Squawk Box" from Washington at 3 a.m., followed by reports throughout the day about the incoming administration.

CNN: Coverage begins at 2 a.m. with a special edition of "American Morning." Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper anchor reporting of the swearing-in and parade beginning at 7 a.m. Cooper and Campbell Brown host extended editions of their nightly shows from 4 to 9 p.m., followed by a special edition of "Larry King Live."

C-SPAN: Live coverage of all inaugural events from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fox Business Network: Alexis Glick kicks off coverage at 4 a.m. Neil Cavuto will provide analysis throughout the day and host a special "Cavuto" at 3 p.m. from the parade route.

Fox News Channel: Nonstop coverage from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. beginning with "Fox & Friends." Bret Baier, Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace take over at 5:30 a.m., followed by coverage of the swearing-in and parade, anchored by Wallace from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer will report from the balls beginning at 6 p.m.

MSNBC: Twenty-one hours of coverage kick off at 3 a.m. with "Morning Joe" from a Capitol Hill restaurant. Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Eugene Robinson take over at 7 a.m. Live reporting continues until midnight.

MTV: At 7 p.m., the network will televise "Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural," a special focusing on volunteer service anchored from the Youth Inaugural Ball, where Obama is scheduled to speak.

TV5MONDE USA: The French-language network covers its first American presidential inauguration with a two-hour special that begins at 8 a.m., followed by commentary from Paris.

TV One: Continuous inauguration-related programming for 24 hours, beginning at 4 a.m. with "The Gospel of Music With Jeff Majors." Live coverage starts at 7 a.m. anchored by Art Fennell and Joe Madison. Roland Martin hosts a three-hour special at 3 p.m., followed by live coverage of the balls from 7 to 9 p.m.

-- Matea Gold

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