Hurricane Isaac made landfall just as cable news networks went live with their prime time coverage of the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa Tuesday night.
The convention had to share coverage with the category 1 storm, as it moved along the gulf coast at 8 miles per hour towards New Orleans. While each cable news network focused on the prime time convention coverage, anchors provided viewers with frequent updates about the storm. CNN's Wolf Blitzer, who covered the conventions, continuously tossed to Anderson Cooper, drenched on storm watch.
Fox News' Shep Smith was also on storm watch in New Orleans, and during the 7:00 p.m. hour (EST), the network's coverage tilted heavily towards Hurricane Isaac.
The broadcast networks began their GOP convention coverage at 10:00 p.m., ahead of Ann Romney and Chris Christie's speeches. Each network led with the storm, then launched into convention coverage.
Even after the first night at the GOP convention concluded, networks continued to cover the hurricane through the early morning hours. As TVNewser reported, Fox News was live from 1:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m. The network's 5:30 a.m. program, "Fox & Friends First" sent anchor Anna Kooiman to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to cover the storm.
As the network did after Republican primary nights, CNN's Piers Morgan hosted his program at midnight, which consisted of convention coverage and Isaac updates. MSNBC was on the air till 1:00 a.m. covering both stories. Willie Geist's "Way Too Early" led with Isaac at 5:30 a.m.
Network morning shows led with Isaac on Wedneday. "Good Morning America" had co-host Sam Champion and "Nightline's" Bill Weir live in New Orleans. ABC's Ginger Zee and Matt Gutman also reported live from the gulf coast.
"Today" and "CBS This Morning" spent the first roughly ten minutes of their broadcasts on the storm as well. "Today" cut to weekend host Lester Holt and Al Roker in New Orleans getting blown around on storm watch.
Local Louisiana papers also led with bold front page stories about Hurricane Isaac, which Poynter's Julie Moos presented with similar-looking pages from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. As Moos highlighted, Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005.