The Scoop: They all came: Brian Williams, Katie Couric, etc.

2011-01-16T00:00:00Z The Scoop: They all came: Brian Williams, Katie Couric, etc.Phil Villarreal Phil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The national and international media swarmed over Tucson after last weekend's shooting.

Dozens-strong contingents of media members, satellite trucks in tow, camped out in front of the northwest-side house in which shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner lived with his parents, as well as University Medical Center, where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims underwent medical care.

Brian Williams, anchor of "NBC Nightly News," broadcast the show from here Monday through Wednesday, and Katie Couric did the same for "The CBS Evening News" on Monday.

The scene was particularly tense outside the Loughner house, near West Ina and North Oldfather roads. On Tuesday afternoon, as the media awaited a first statement from the family, vehicles lined the streets of the block, in some cases blocking neighbors' driveways and mailboxes.

Pima County sheriff's deputies were on scene to keep watch. Swedish and British news agencies were among the media outlets on hand.

Included in the fray were former Star reporter Jack Gillum, who now works for USA Today, and Savannah Guthrie, an Amphitheater High School and University of Arizona grad who is now an NBC News White House correspondent.

"It was hard to see so many people hurting," Guthrie said via e-mail. "When 'Nightly News' asked me to put together a closing piece Tuesday about how Tucson was coping and what the town is really like, I felt a great responsibility to get it right, to convey the essence of this unique desert city and the reasons why it is so beloved by those who live there and those, like me, who have moved away but keep a piece of their hearts there."

Local stations go wire-to-wire during tragedy

Tucson's local networks had the feel of CNN Saturday during the shooting, with some stations pushing aside regularly scheduled programming for non-stop coverage.

KOLD led the way, becoming the first to hit the air with coverage of the shooting at 10:39 a.m. Saturday. News director Michelle Germano said the coverage continued with no commercials until 11:05 p.m.

Other stations made laudable efforts as well. KVOA was hamstrung by the need to show two NFL playoff games, but broke in several times during breaks for coverage of breaking news.

KVOA station manager/news director Kathleen Choal said her staff worked 20-hour days Saturday and Sunday.

KMSB did not break into live coverage, and instead focused on online efforts.

"We concentrated our efforts on two fronts: delivering a detailed, complete review of the day's activities in our 9 p.m. newscasts and feeding topical info to our website and our Twitter account," KMSB president and general manager Bob Simone said via e-mail.

KGUN news director Forrest Carr said his station provided the most hours of coverage over the weekend - owing to the fact that unlike KVOA and KOLD, KGUN had no football games on the weekend - going commercial-free past 11 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal, who covers local media for the Star, at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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