TV Networks Reshuffle Schedules to Cover Prince’s Death

The death of a music legend sends newsrooms into a scramble

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The death of musician legend Prince has caused both broadcast and cable news organizations to scrap their plans and focus on the “Purple Rain” singer.

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC have spotlighted on Prince’s death since the news broke Thursday morning, with everything from vintage interviews and footage of emotional fans reacting.

CNN announced that tonight’s scheduled new episode of “The Eighties” will be moved so the network can focus its attention on Prince.

CNN will be live throughout the evening with reporters en route to Minnesota including Kyung Lah, Stephanie Elam and Ryan Young. “CNN Newsroom” anchor Brooke Baldwin was emotional throughout the network’s coverage.

Fox News has former MTV VJ Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery on hand, providing insight with FNC contributor and actress Stacey Dash.

“It is impossible to measure Prince’s influence on music. My favorite is his song ‘Darling Nikki,’ mild by today’s standards, inspired Tipper Gore to start the Parents Music Resource Center which spawned a huge 1st Amendment fight over lyrics and expression,” Kennedy told TheWrap. “He stayed true to what he loved: music, Minnesota and God.”

Fox Business Network will air a special edition of “Kennedy” tonight at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 PT focusing on the life of Prince and his impact on the music industry. FNC’s Mike Tobin and Matt Fin will be in Minnesota to report from the scene.

“The Real Story” anchor Gretchen Carlson, a Minnesota native, publicly wondered if the book that Prince was currently working on will ever be released while interviewing a childhood friend of the music legend.

Brian Williams will anchor a special live hour at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC commemorating the life of Prince.  The program will feature a look at Prince’s vault to stardom, interviews with music industry insiders and those that worked with the legendary performer, as well as tributes from friends and fans who are mourning this stunning loss.

HLN will go live until 10 p.m. ET with a rotating group of anchors including Mike Galanos, Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew covering the Prince news.

CBS broke into coverage with a special report with Don Dahler at 1:23 pm ET and followed with another special report Dahler joined by WCCO reporter Reg Chapman outside Paisley Park. CBSN will continue live coverage throughout the evening. 

ABC broke into programming with a special report by George Stephanopoulos. Entertainment Weekly critic at large Leah Greenblatt, ex- Billboard editor Jem Aswad and People Magazine executive editor Kate Coyne all weighed in.

TheWrap will continue to update information as it becomes available.