State of the Union Address: How the Networks Are Covering

TheWrap’s guide to television coverage of President Barack Obama’s speech, including who’s anchoring the broadcasts and providing analysis

Last Updated: January 20, 2015 @ 8:06 AM

President Barack Obama will give his seventh annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET, with expected topics including national security, immigration, health care and the environment. Sen. Jon Ernst (R-IA) is expected to provide the Republican response.

After the president’s address, while the Republicans are giving their response and the networks are starting to break down their analyses, Obama will be preparing for something altogether different. His administration has invited three YouTube stars to the White House to interview the commander-in-chief.

He will sit down and chat with Bethany Mota, who can boast eight million subscribers to her YouTube channel about fashion and makeup; Hank Green of the VlogBrothers, who will rant about any topic to their two million subscribers; and Glozell Green, who dons bright green lipstick and performs silly stunts for her three million subscribers.

“After President Obama addresses the nation on Tuesday, January 20, he’s once again turning to YouTube to discuss the policies laid out in the speech and answer your questions,” the White House said in a press release. “This year, we’re trying something a little different: We’re inviting a handful of YouTube creators to the White House to talk with the President in person, and you can watch it all live [on the White House YouTube page] on Thursday, January 22.”

Following is a guide to broadcast and cable network’s planned coverage of the 2015 State of the Union Address:

ABC

– George Stephanopoulos will lead ABC News coverage live from Washington, D.C. beginning at 9 p.m. ET., presenting the presidential address and the GOP response. Coverage will begin online at 8:45 p.m. ET on ABCNews.com, anchored by “Nightline’s” Byron Pitts.

– David Muir will anchor “World News Tonight” from Washington, D.C., and report throughout the night on major topics before and after the president speaks. Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl and Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz will report on the latest developments — as well as hosting a 15-minute post-broadcast roundtable at ABCNews.com — while ABC News political analyst Cokie Roberts and contributors Matthew Dowd, Nicolle Wallace and Donna Brazile will provide post-speech analysis.

– ABC News Digital will stream ABC’s coverage on ABCNews.com, Yahoo! News, GoodMorningAmerica.com, and ABC’s mobile platforms. Correspondents will provide reporting, analysis and updates throughout the evening at ABCNews.com.

CBS

– Scott Pelley leads CBS News coverage of the address beginning at 9 p.m. ET. The CBS News team will also appear on CBSN — available at CBSNews.com, connected TV devices and other mobile platforms — beginning at 8 p.m. ET to preview the broadcast network’s primetime coverage of the speech and the Republican response.

– Pelley will be joined by Bob Schieffer (CBS News chief Washington correspondent), Norah O’Donnell (“CBS This Morning” co-host), Major Garrett (CBS News chief White House correspondent), Nance Cordes (CBS News congressional correspondent), and John Dickerson (CBS News political director).

Fox

– Shepard Smith anchors live coverage on the broadcast network starting at 9 p.m. ET, with contributions by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

NBC

– “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams will anchor the network’s coverage of the speech and the Republican response from Washington, D.C. beginning at 9 p.m. ET, and streaming on NBCNews.com. Coverage will begin at 8:45 p.m. ET on NBCNews.com with a pre-speech live stream featuring Williams and the NBC News team.

– Williams will be joined by NBC News political director Chuck Todd, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, NBC News senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing, and NBC News senior political analyst Joe Scarborough for analysis. Coverage will also include NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, “Noticiero Telemundo” anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, and NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O’Donnell.

– Todd, Mitchell, Jansing and others will also answer viewers’ questions on the Meet the Press Facebook page. @NBCNews will live tweet the address, with the NBC News team posting real-time analysis using the hashtag #NBCPolitics.

PBS

– “PBS NewsHour” will broadcast live from 9-11 p.m. ET, offering both the president’s address and the GOP response. It will be co-anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. They will be joined by syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks for analysis after the president’s remarks.

– @NewsHour will be live tweeting the speech, along with analysis from Shields and Brooks. Real-time video excerpts and clips from the speech will be available via Facebook.

Al Jazeera America

– Network will provide coverage from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m., beginning with a special edition of “Real Money with Ali Velshi” from 7-7:30 p.m. ET. Anchors John Seigenthaler, Tony Harris and Ray Suarez will be joined by White House correspondent Mike Viqueira and NYU Professor of Campaign Management Jeanne Zaino.

– Guests will include Col. Cedric Leighton (former member of joint chiefs, and former Air Force colonel), Ambassador James Jeffries (former ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, former Deputy National Security Advisor), Tricia Rose (Brown University professor of Africana studioes), Cesar Vargas (Dream Action Coalition), Mo Elleithee (DNC Communications Director).

– “The Stream” co-host Wajahat Ali will be live at the Newseum in D.C. before, during and after the speech monitoring the social media response. Correspondents Michael Shure and Libby  Casey will be on Capitol Hill with analysis and interviews, while David Shuster will provide analysis and the results of the first-ever Al Jazeera America/Monmouth University nationwide poll.

Bloomberg TV

– Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin and John Heilemann anchor coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET, joined by Bloomberg View’s Al Hunt and analysts Carly Fiorina, Anita Dunn and John Sununu. Correspondents Peter Cook, Phil Mattingly and Margaret Tale will be on hand to provide additional coverage.

CNN

– Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper will anchor the network’s coverage of the address beginning at 7 p.m. ET with “Erin Burnett OutFront.” Viewers with cable or satellite providers can stream the network’s coverage at CNN.com/go.

– News and commentary will be provided throughout the evening by Gloria Borger, John King, Michael Smerconish and the network’s political contributors. Jim Acosta will report from the White House, while Dana Bash will be at the U.S. Capitol. Tim Foreman will examine the president’s remarks from the virtual studio.

– CNN.com and the network’s mobile app will host enterprise analysis and live coverage, including a social stream on CNNPolitics.com. CNN will provide commentary and analysis using the hashtag #CNNSOTU throughout the night, while Peter Hamby’s Hambycast will stream live on CNN.com beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

C-SPAN

– Network offers bare-bones coverage, kicking off with analysis from former U.S. House of Representatives historian Ray Smock, and featuring reactions from viewers and commentary from lawmakers after the president’s remarks and the GOP response.

Fox Business Network

– Neil Cavuto will anchor the network’s coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET. He will be joined by Peter Barnes and Rich Edson, reporting live from Washington, D.C. A special edition of “Stossel,” hosted by John Stossel, will air after the address and GOP response.

Fox News Channel

– Bret Baier will anchor the network’s coverage beginning at 8:55 p.m. ET, following a special edition of “The O’Reilly Factor” at 8 p.m. ET. Coverage will be followed by a special edition of “The Kelly File” at 11 p.m. ET.

– Baier will be joined by Fox News contributors Steve Hayes, George Will, Juan Williams, and Nina Easton. Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry will report from the White House, while chief Congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel will provide reports from Capitol Hill.

Fusion

– Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez will co-anchor the network’s live coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET, which will also be made available via a live-stream on Fusion.net and YouTube.

– A live edition of “AMERICA with Jorge Ramos” featuring Menendez will air after the speech, where the two will be joined by political columnist Zerlina Maxwell, national strategic director for The Libre Initiative Jose Mallea, ABC News political director Rick Klein, and Sarah Audelo of the Center for American Progress.

– Fusion will present reactions from several members of Congress, scheduled to include Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

MSNBC

– Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will host coverage of the address beginning at 8 p.m. ET. At the same time, the network’s digital platform Shift will launch its own coverage, hosted by Krystal Ball, Dorian Warren and Josh Barro, which will include a live stream of the address and Republican response.

– Maddow and Matthews will be joined by Chris Hayes, Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Kornacki and Kasie Hunt, as well as contributors Steve Schmidt, Robert Gibbs, Michael Steele, Eugene Robinson and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Andrea Mitchell, Ed Schultz and Luke Russert will report from Washington, while Jose Diaz-Balart will report from Miami.

Yahoo! News

– Katie Couric will anchor coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET on Yahoo.com. She will be joined by members of the Yahoo! News Team, including national political columnist Matt Bai, chief investigative correspondent Mike Isikoff, chief White House correspondent Olivier Knox, and journalist Janell Ross.