July 03, 2013 11:27am PT by Michael O'Connell
Networks Turn to Tahrir Square as Egypt Military Ousts President Morsi
As millions crowd Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, stateside cable news networks continue to shift focus to the budding coup and an anticipated statement from the nation's military -- with all outlets breaking in to show the African nation's second revolution in as many years.
UPDATE: Shortly after 9 p.m. Cairo time, the military made its expected announcement that President Mohamed Morsi has been ousted following a refusal to meet demands. Fireworks shot up throughout Tahrir Square and around the capital as foreign correspondents on all networks chimed in about the significance of the change in power.
Egyptian Armed Forces, the largest in Africa and the Arab world, had issued an ultimatum to the embattled Islamist leader -- only in office for a year -- that went unacknowledged on Wednesday. And with the deadline to meet their demands several hours passed, live footage from the square showed an increasingly rowdy scene.
NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin remains perched above the crowd during MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, recounting the events of the last few days -- including the rising number of fatalities. Mohyeldin, who has been reporting the Egypt situation for NBC across platforms, is slated to appear throughout the day as night falls on Cairo.
Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly, anchoring her last day of America Live before going on maternity leave, opened her two-hour afternoon broadcast with Egypt after Fox & Friends First spent the morning offering heavy coverage of the unrest. The network has foreign correspondent Conor Powell covering live from Tahrir Square, with additional contributions from Jennifer Griffin at the Pentagon and David Piper at the Jerusalem Bureau.
On CNN, Wolf Blitzer is anchoring the network's afternoon coverage. Showing multiple vantage points above Tahrir Square, the broadcast features commentary from Egyptian-American journalist and talking head Mona Eltahawy.
All networks also showed the smaller, somber, pro-Morsi rally as news of the leader's ouster sunk in.
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Egypt is not the only story on Wednesday. And cable news networks were covering, to varying degrees, NSA leaker Edward Snowden's search for asylum, the deadly fire in Arizona and the George Zimmerman trial in Florida all prior to the coup. HLN and CNN, in particular, remained fixed on Zimmerman early on -- with the latter turning to Egypt during the Florida trial's lunch break.
On the broadcast side, ABC News has both Middle East correspondent Alex Marquardt and chief national correspondent Byron Pitts reporting from Cairo, with special coverage planned for Wednesday's World News With Diane Sawyer and Nightline. Christiane Amanpour and Martha Raddatz are also scheduled to offer perspective on the events during both broadcasts.
Mohyeldin and NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, in addition to appearing on MSNBC throughout Wednesday, are also likely set for the night's broadcast of NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams -- though a network rep could not confirm official plans on Wednesday morning.
CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward, also in Cairo, continues to cover for the network after appearing during Wednesday's CBS This Morning. She'll likely also be included in the evening's CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley -- though Norah O'Donnell is pinch-hitting as anchor this week.