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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

TV, Web sites lead blitz of royal coverage

BY MARIA SCIULLO
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE
Workers set up lights on a media stand outside Westminster Abbey earlier this week. Workers set up lights on a media stand outside Westminster Abbey earlier this week.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

There are media blitzes, and then there is the royal wedding.

More than 8,000 journalists are expected to report the tiniest details from Friday's nuptial extravaganza in London. By now, eloping must sound pretty good to Kate Middleton and her betrothed, Prince William.

Anyone with a television, or radio, or computer, smart phone, or tablet has discovered by now that the run-up to the 6 a.m. EST ceremony at Westminster Abbey is unavoidable.

Beyond the networks and dedicated news channels, just about everyone has jumped onto the royal bandwagon to Buckingham Palace.

TLC, which will take over part of New York City's Times Square, will be holding a viewing party near the Jumbo- Trons and put on a Say Yes to the Dress fashion show. Also, three couples will be married as part of the celebration.

The TV Guide Network is counting on a D-Lister extraordinaire to break down the event with its Kathy Griffin's Insightful and Hilarious Take on the Royal Wedding, a one-hour special set for 8 p.m. Friday.

But the Big 3 of morning network news are really going to town this week. NBCUniversal is pulling out all the stops on the wedding day with more than 20 hours of combined NBC/MSNBC anchor coverage as well as reports from its United Kingdom partner, ITN.

On NBC's Today, anchors Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and Al Roker begin their reports tomorrow from London, joining Meredith Vieira and Natalie Morales, who have been reporting from abroad.

A behind-the-scenes special, Inside the Royal Wedding, airs on NBC at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

On the day of the royal nuptials, a special edition of Today begins at 4 a.m. across all time zones and will follow the pageantry until 10, when Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb pick up the fourth hour from New York.

On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Geist conclude a week of Morning Joe from London tomorrow.

A press release for Windsorknot.today.com claims total obsession with the event, "from the tiniest, tartan-clad tidbit to the most momentous monarchical milestone."

Twitter fans can follow twitter.com/royalwedding#.

ABC has sent its big guns to London, led by interview doyennes Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer. ABC World News weekend anchor David Muir will be working the Facebook and Twitter angles during the wedding, and others on the royals beat include 20/20 co-anchorman Chris Cuomo and Nightline co-anchorman Cynthia McFadden.

CBS Evening News anchorman Katie Couric is front and center, with Early Show anchorman Erica Hill stationed outside Buckingham Palace on the big day. Ms. Couric's weekday news show airs live from London, beginning tonight.

CBSNews.com will stream the live coverage and provide special reports, videos, essays, and analysis. CBS Radio News, CBS Newspath, and a contingent of digital journalists will take coverage beyond the television.

BBC America, which bills itself as The Home of the Royal Wedding, gets the jump on everyone when it begins its live, commercial-free coverage at 3 a.m. This special block of wedding hoopla concludes at 8:30 a.m.

In the four months since BBC America launched its buildup, the network will have aired 184 hours of "royal programming," according to a press release that also mentioned this nugget: "The BBC has covered royal weddings as far back as George VI's marriage to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923."

BBC One news anchor Huw Edwards is chief commentator.

The venerable news lion's reports from the field will include live reporting from on board the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight "as it soars across London and down the Mall to salute the royal newlyweds."

Returning to the 21st century, viewers can check out the Royal Wedding Insider blog at BBCAmerica.com. The Web site will stream the festivities live beginning at 5:45 a.m. Among others streaming the event will be Reuters.

Piers Morgan will anchor CNN's operations, along with Anderson Cooper, Richard Quest, and Kiran Chetry.

Online at CNN.com will be live streaming reports from various venues around town.

In addition, Anderson Cooper 360 begins three days of reports tonight live at 10 both on CNN/US and CNN International. American Morning is live from London this week as well, from 6-9 a.m., and Piers Morgan Tonight runs through Friday from London at 9 p.m.

CNN, like BBC America, NBC, and others, has created an app on various platforms.

More than 2 billion people are expected to follow the royal wedding in some fashion on Friday. St. James's Palace, which represents the couple, said the live feed on youtube.com/theroyalchannel will be accompanied by a live multimedia blog.

An official "Wedding Book" will collect fans' video contributions, and an @ClarenceHouse account on Twitter will provide live updates throughout the day.

And, yes, the couple have a Facebook page at facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy.

Visitors can post their best wishes without worrying about the hassle of buying Ms. Middleton and Prince William a wedding gift.

Because really, they probably don't need any more tea sets.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Maria Sciullo is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.

Contact Maria Sciullo at: msciullo@post-gazette.com, or 412-263-1478.



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