Hurricane Sandy has local stations and networks scrambling

Hurricane Sandy has TV stations scrambling.
(AFP / Getty Images)

Many television stations on the East Coast have preempted network and syndicated programming in favor of local coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

In New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Boston the majority of the television stations are in storm coverage mode. Many other stations in the Carolinas, Virginia and elsewhere are doing the same. The networks themselves are not yet sure how many of their affiliates in regions affected by Hurricane Sandy are currently preempting programming or are planning to later this afternoon.

The networks are discussing whether, with so many stations on the East Coast potentially going with local coverage or perhaps losing power if the storm lives up to expectations, they should rethink programming plans for the evening.

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CBS, NBC and ABC all have new episodes of shows scheduled for Monday night. If a big chunk of the country drops network fare for local coverage, then the networks may opt to go for reruns tonight. No decisions are expected until later in the afternoon. Fox is already planning to run a repeat of “The X Factor” tonight, although that has more to do with a shorter-than-expected World Series (which ended Sunday after four games) than it does Hurricane Sandy.

Meanwhile, as the entertainment divisions figure out what the storm will mean for their lineups, the news divisions are beefing up their efforts. CBS, NBC and ABC have all said their evening newscasts will be extended from a half-hour to a full hour so as to provide more Hurricane Sandy coverage. The cable news channels and the Weather Channel are focusing their reporting efforts extensively on Hurricane Sandy.

Production for movies and TV shows in New York City has also been shut down until the storm passes.



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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.



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