News Networks Outline Anniversary Coverage of January 6 Capitol Riot

WUSA Washington coverage of January 6 Capitol riot
Protestors surround the Capitol on January 6, 2021. (Image credit: WUSA)

News networks will be massing their journalistic forces to cover events in Washington surrounding the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riots and insurrection spurred by unfounded allegations of significant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

That‘s according to coverage plans drawn up by some of the news organizations.

Fox News Channel plans extensive January 6 coverage, including an appearance on Special Report with Bret Baier by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), one of only two Republican members (the other is Adam Kinzinger of Illinois) of the special congressional committee examining that day‘s events.

Fox News‘s coverage of the day's events begins at 9 a.m. with remarks by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the Capitol. Fox News Digital will live-stream the remarks of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as her planned moment of silence.

Coverage will also include interviews with Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Tex.), who barricaded himself inside the chamber; and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.), who used a chair leg as a potential weapon of self-defense.

Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram will discuss his experiences from that day, which he has also talked about on

The January 2 episode of Fox News Sunday aired an interview with Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger.

C-SPAN, the public affairs networks funded by the cable industry, will begin its coverage at 7 a.m. on Washington Journals with viewer calls and a recap of the sights and sounds of the  day and a discussion of the events and hearings that ensued.

C-SPAN will go live with the Biden and Harris remarks and carry the pro forma House session at noon. At 1 p.m. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will moderate a conversation with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham on the historical impact of the events.

At 2:30, House lawmakers will share their memories of and reflections on the attack, followed by the 5:30 vigil by congressional leaders on the steps of the Capitol.

ABC News‘s coverage will be led by David Muir. That coverage will include special reports throughout the day, and include Muir's interviews with three of the officers who testified in a congressional hearing on the riots, which will air on World News Tonight.

ABC's ongoing coverage has included a January 2 interview with Cheney by George Stehpanopoulos on This Week, and the Wednesday (January 5) debut of documentary Homegrown: Standoff to Rebellion, debuting on streaming platform Hulu.

Good Morning America, GMA3: What You Need to Know and Nightline will also all include coverage of the day's events and import. Nightline will also air Muir‘s interviews with the three officers, while streaming channel ABC News Live will feature insights from ABC News correspondents who covered the attack.

ABC NewsOne, the network's news service supplying content to more than 200 affiliates, will report live from Capitol Hill with multiplatform reporters Faith Abubey and Ike Ejiochi and input from ABC News political director Rick Klein and correspondent Karen Travers.

In addition to covering the day's events, CNN will air "January 6th, One Year Later," a two-hour special live from Capitol Hill starting at 8 p.m. and "honoring the heroes who protected our democracy in the face of an insurrection." The special will be anchored by Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper and feature, among many others, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Select Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

NBC News' coverage of the day begins with a special edition of Today anchored from  Washington by Savannah Guthrie, who will talk with Cheney.

Lester Holt will also anchor his Nightly News newscast from Washington Jan. 6 and 7, with an interview Jan. 6 with House Speaker Pelosi, which NBC is billing as a broadcast-exclusive interview.

NBC News will air special reports throughout the day, including the President's remarks anchored by Guthrie and the 5:30 vigil, hosted by Holt.

On the cable side, MSNBC's Morning Joe will launch its coverage, featuring Peril co-authors Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, followed by daylong coverage on MSNBC Reports, with Katy Tur anchoring the 2 p.m. Congressional commemoration ceremony joined by Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd.

At 4 p.m., Democracy in Peril will feature Nicolle Wallace, Ari Melber, Joy Reid, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell looking at the insurrection from various angles, including from lawmakers in the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, and the "emotional fallout" from the attack.  

On the streaming front, MSNBC's free news channel, The Choice, will provide Peacock-exclusive content throughout the day.

CBS News will air a special report at 9 a.m. to cover the Biden and Harris remarks.

It will be anchored by Tony Dokoupil from the Capitol, joined by Nancy Cordes, Kris Van Cleave, and Jeff Pegues, and will also stream live on CBSN.

Norah O'Donnell will anchor the Washington-based Evening News from the Capitol.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.