Networks finally sent their top anchors to Rome to cover the arrival of the new pope.
Pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff to resign from his post in 600 years, citing health concerns. His announcement shocked everyone, including the news media. Networks did not immediately send their top anchors to Rome to cover the announcement of his resignation or his final day.
Instead, broadcast and cable networks chose to send their top talent to cover the announcement of the new pope, which could be announced as early as Tuesday when the conclave, the meeting of Cardinals who gather to elect the next pope, convene in the Sistine Chapel.
CBS News, who previously relied on correspondents to cover the story, sent "CBS This Morning" hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell to Rome to cover the conclave. "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley is also in Rome. ABC News' Diane Sawyer will anchor "ABC World News" from the Vatican, and lead "GMA's" coverage with Josh Elliott. The network previously relied on "GMA" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos. NBC sent weekend "Today" anchor Lestor Holt to lead the network's coverage. "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams will cover from New York.
Over at CNN, the network sent Anderson Cooper and its new morning show host Chris Cuomo to lead its coverage live from Rome. Fox News sent Shep Smith. MSNBC sent daytime host Chris Jansing.