Election Media Central: Times Square TV



At Times Square, dubbed as “the Crossroads of the World,” thousands of people gathered to watch CNN’s and ABC’s broadcast of the 2012 Presidential race.

People from all over the world gathered in Times Square to watch as more and more results came in from each state. New York’s polling places closed at 9 p.m., and the last state to close is Alaska, at 1 a.m.

“I came to Times Square for the last election four years ago and it was electrifying,” said Susan Ferrantelli, 62, a tax accountant from Long Island. “It’ll be a tight race, but I feel like every vote counts and can make a difference.” She voted at 6.45 a.m. in Long Island. Ferrantelli said she would stay in Times Square until all the results are in, unless it goes past 11 p.m. After all, it’s November and the temperatures are dropping in New York.

ABC News turned Times Square into a virtual studio with its “Your Voice, Your Vote 2012” election coverage, which showed real-time election results on Times Square’s iconic screens. The newscast was shown on ABC’s Super Sign, NASDAQ’s facade and the Reuters sign.

ABC began with a special edition of “World News with Diane Sawyer” at 6:30 p.m. and continued its full election coverage from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. Josh Elliott, news anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” interviewed people in the crowd to gather reactions.

Josh Elliott gave his analysis live as results came in. Photo: Stephanie Ott.

“ABC’s coverage isn’t much different from everyone else’s, but it’s fair to both candidates,” said Carlton Cash, 47, who works for ABC News. “Times Square is the perfect location, because it’s the meeting place of minds.” He said he’s looking forward to the end of the elections, as the TV ads and debates have become overwhelming. “It’s overkill,” he said. He voted in his South Bronx neighborhood in the afternoon.

“It’s not the same excitement as four years ago. Back then, people really wanted Obama to win, but he wasn’t as good as expected,” said Christopher Bizot, 44, from France. He came to Times Square to watch the broadcast. He thinks that the U.S. presidential election is important for Europe as well, as the United States is a powerful nation.

CNN also set up a public viewing event. On the corner of 47th Street and Broadway, CNN broadcast its coverage on three massive screens. “We’re giving out free hot chocolate, coffee, pretzels and hot dogs. We’ve got seating areas that are heated,” said a CNN employee who did not want to be named. When asked for an estimate of how many people showed up to watch the live coverage, he said, “It’s Times Square – you can never count the people.” In addition to the CNN-branded food carts, there was a photo booth where people could pose in front of a CNN sign.