(Photo:English: Around 9:10 a.m. and just after the second plane hit the WTC, President George W. Bush leaves the classroom he was visiting at Booker Elementary School (Sarasota, Florida) and enters his staff's holding room. He had not yet seen video of a plane hitting the towers. The first tower would fall later in the hour. )
The major broadcast networks; ABC, CBS, and NBC, were in the last half-hour of airing their morning programs live in the Eastern and Central time zones: Good Morning America (ABC), The Early Show (CBS), and Today (NBC) respectively, at the time of the first attack. During the second attack, the networks had already suspended programming, in all time zones, to air special coverage from their respective news divisions: ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News. As Fox did not have a network morning program, many Fox affiliates began airing local news telecasts with coverage from Fox News Channel. ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC would air commercial free, live news coverage until September 15. Some affiliates broke away from network news coverage at certain times to air their regularly-scheduled local newscasts. The three major networks brought their main evening news anchors to lead coverage within the hour; Peter Jennings took over from GMA at 9:12 a.m., Tom Brokaw came in at 9:45 a.m. (though NBC's coverage continued under the purview of Today for several more hours), and Dan Rather went on-air at 10:00 a.m. as the first tower fell.
The major television stations in New York City provided local coverage of the World Trade Center attacks, though they also had to deal with the additional hamstring of their transmission facilities atop the World Trade Center being destroyed, along with six station engineers at WTC being killed in the attacks; outside WCBS-TV and Univision flagship WXTV (which maintained backup Empire State Building facilities), the other major New York English commercial stations hastily made arrangements with other full-power and low-power stations in the market not based at the World Trade Center to continue broadcasting their coverage over-the-air (coverage over cable television was for the most part not affected due to direct fiber connections from stations to Time Warner Cable and Cablevision; the attacks pre-dated the addition of local channels to direct-broadcast satellite providers). WXTV relayed news in both Spanish and English in order to provide information to over-the-air viewers.
One station in Washington, D.C. (CBS affiliate WUSA) broadcast local coverage of the attack on the Pentagon, to some criticism that the global scale of the story was too overwhelming for WUSA to cover as a strictly local news event and they should have deferred to CBS News instead.
Smaller broadcast networks also altered their schedules. Most affiliates of The WB simulcast coverage transmitted at the network level from CNN. In general, the majority of UPN affiliates also carried CBS News's coverage of the events, though nine of the 10 UPN stations owned by Fox Television Stations Group, including KCOP in Los Angeles, along with other UPN affiliates that did not carry CBS News coverage, deferred to sister operation Fox News Channel, with Secaucus, New Jersey-based WWOR-TV continuing New York-based local coverage; UPN resumed normal programming on September 13. PAX TV (later i: Independent Television, now ION Television) aired coverage from NBC News, which had a close relationship with many of the network's affiliates at the time through news share agreements with local NBC affiliates. The All News Channel continued their usual "news wheel" format updated when needed, albeit with the full half-hour devoted to the attacks rather than its usual format. Most independent stations also suspended normal programming...