TV News Anchors Rushes to Tornado-Ravaged Joplin, Mo.

6:58 AM PST 05/23/2011 by Lindsay Powers

How the networks are covering the storm-ravaged town, in which 89 people were killed.

TV network anchors rushed to Joplin, Mo. Sunday night to cover the devastating tornado that killed at least 89 people.

On Monday morning, Al Roker broadcast his cut-ins on NBC's Today show in the small town, which is about 150 miles south of Kansas City. There, he broadcast while standing amidst wreckage and spoke about how the infrastructure, including the local medical center, had been destroyed.

Roker and NBC News Correspondent Ron Mott traveled overnight. Kevin Tibbles is also en route. Senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers will also contribute; Joplin is her hometown.

Brian Williams, who lived in Joplin for his first TV job at KOAM, will anchor NBC Nightly News from Missouri Monday.

CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers is also in Missouri, a rep for the network tells The Hollywood Reporter. Harry Smith will be there shortly to anchor the CBS Evening News Monday evening.

Chris Wragge will be on-site soon to co-anchor The Early Show from there Tuesday. Correspondent Don Teague is also en route to report live for all of CBS' broadcasts.

Diane Sawyer will anchor from Joplin Monday as well, with World News weekend anchor David Muir. Terry Moran will broadcast Nightline there.

Josh Elliott and Sam Champion reported on the storm live Monday for Good Morning America, and will also report Monday night on ABC World News.

ABC News Radio Correspondent Jim Ryan drove from Dallas to Joplin overnight.

Robin Roberts spoke via satellite to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and George Stephanopoulos spoke via satellite to Jasper County Emergency Management director Keith Stammer, who was live on the scene.

The Weather Channel's Mike Bettes was on the ground with his "Chase" team shortly after the tornado struck. (Watch raw video here; the correspondent got emotional when describing the half-mile wide twister's touchdown.) His reports, which livestreamed on Weather.com, also appeared on MSNBC Sunday, as The Weather Channel is part owned by NBC Uni. On Monday night, the channel will air Devastation in the Heartland: Joplin, Missouri Tornado Tragedy.

Anderson Cooper will broadcast 360 from Mo. Also there from CNN: T.J. Holmes, Jeanne Meserve, Casey Wian, Gary Tuchman, Brian Todd, Jim Spellman, Paul Vercammen and Jaqui Jeras.

On Sunday, Piers Morgan Tonight was pre-empted with live coverage on CNN, and Fox News featured the tornado with news cut-ins.

- Marisa Guthrie contributed to this report.

Lindsay.powers@thr.com

Twitter: LKPE

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