The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI may be a big story, but news networks still seem to be waiting for the arrival of a new pope to send their biggest anchors to Rome.
The run-up to Benedict's exit from the stage has, on the whole, been a less than dominant part of the news agenda. (Benedict didn't even make the front page of the paper's print edition.) This was perhaps reflected in the way networks chose to cover the story. TV Newser compiled a handy list of which people each outlet flew over.)
To be sure, everyone is devoting a lot of time to Benedict. All the networks are set to air multiple special reports None of the broadcast networks sent their evening news anchors -- typically seen as the top-ranked figures in the hierarchy -- to Rome on Thursday. Instead, ABC and NBC sent morning anchors George Stephanopoulos and Savannah Guthrie. CBS didn't send any anchors, choosing to rely on correspondents instead.
Cable news also refrained from deploying its biggest stars. There was no Anderson Cooper and no Shep Smith.
So, what's the holdup? It would seem that everyone is waiting for the next pope to be chosen to really roll out the red carpet. TV Newser wrote that ABC's Diane Sawyer; CBS' Scott Pelley and Charlie Rose; and Smith will all head to Rome when Benedict's successor is elected.