On TV, 9/11 was last huge story for ‘Big 3’ network anchors

By DAVID BAUDER, September 7, 2021

Fire and smoke billow from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center. Both towers collapsed within hours of being struck. (AP Photo/David Karp)


NEW YORK (AP) — “Turn on your television.”

Those words were repeated in millions of homes on Sept. 11, 2001.

Friends and relatives took to the telephone: Something awful was happening. You have to see. Before social media and with online news in its infancy, the story of the day when terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people unfolded primarily on television.

Even some people inside New York’s World Trade Center made the phone call. They felt a shudder, could smell smoke. Could someone watch the news and find out what was happening?

Most Americans were guided through the unimaginable by one of three anchors: Tom Brokaw of NBC News, Peter Jennings of ABC and Dan Rather of CBS.

Source: On TV, 9/11 was last huge story for ‘Big 3’ network anchors