By mid-day Thursday it became apparent the jittery stock market had taken a dramatic turn for the worse: The markets were down hundreds of points in an uncomfortable reminder of the 2008 collapse.
What were the networks to do?
Jump on the story. Quickly.
After programming went on as usual for much of the morning, the market activity began to take over the cable news networks -- literally.
Graphs demonstrating the decline in stock prices began to dominate the screen, large blocks of bleeding red larger than the face of the show hosts.
Also read: Stock Market Plunge Puts Hollywood on Edge
CNN was a tad slower on this front, opting to focus on famine in Somalia and the FAA shutdown -- oh right, that.
Yet eventually not only did all three of t
he main cable news networks succumb to the story of the market, the broadest trifecta did as well.
CBS, NBC and ABC all aired special reports just after the markets closed at 4 p.m. ET. NBC and CBS even used their evening anchors to deliver the news – Brian Williams and Scott Pelley. (ABC used David Muir.)
The coverage should only grow more expansive in the immediate future as the cable business networks amp up the coverage: CNBC and Fox Business Networks, which spent the day obsessing over the markets to begin with, scheduled evening specials and should do the same Friday as well.
Not to be outdone, some of the cable news prime time shows have altered their schedules for Thursday night by leading off with the economy.
So much for restoring confidence.