NBC News

NEW YORK – August 13, 2012 – The U.S. is currently in the throes of the worst drought to hit the country in over five decades. On Wednesday August 15, the networks of NBCUniversal News Group will provide comprehensive coverage and special programming of the devastating drought of 2012. Throughout the day, NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, Telemundo, NBCNews.com and Newschannel will all bring forth the current state of the drought and its impact on Americans today.

More than sixty percent of the country is in a stage of drought impacting corn, wheat, cattle, commerce and, ultimately, the consumer. Nearly half of the corn crop in the U.S. is in poor or worse shape than earlier in the year, pushing corn prices to all-time highs. As the price of corn increases, so does that of feeding cattle and producing essential food items. As a result, consumers are forced to pay higher prices for meat, dairy and grains.

NBC News correspondents will report live from various drought-affected areas across the country on Wednesday. NBC’s John Yang will report from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers barge along the Mississippi. With the Mississippi River at an all-time low, trade along the river has been deeply impacted. NBC’s Janet Shamlian will report from Dallas, TX on how consumers nationwide will be affected by rising commodity prices moving forward. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren will be live from the pastures in Colorado, with details on the drought’s tremendous impact on the area and NBC’s Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson will be stationed at a poultry farm in North Carolina.

CNBC correspondents will report from across the country and on CNBC.com focusing on the financial impact of the drought and its effect on the economy. CNBC’s “Power Lunch” will broadcast a half-hour special devoted to the drought at 1:30pm ET with CNBC’s Sue Herera anchoring from the grain pits at the CME. CNBC’s Rick Santelli will join Herera to look at the big spikes in grain and livestock this summer. CNBC’s Phil LeBeau will report from Texas on the drought’s impact on big business and tourism. CNBC’s Jane Wells will be live from Iowa reporting on farmers’ responses to the money they spent on GMO/hybrid seeds and whether or not they are delivering worthwhile results. CNBC’s Diana Olick will be in Washington, DC reporting on why the government has not stepped up to offer aid to the suffering ranchers and farmers and if a deal is coming. CNBC’s Jackie DeAngelis will broadcast from Kentucky on companies that are benefitting from the drought. Additional coverage will be available online at drought.cnbc.com.

MSNBC will provide correspondent reports during dayside coverage.


The Weather Channel will report on what has caused the drought of 2012 to become so intense and long lasting, where the worst of the drought is now and what the prospects are for drought areas to see potential relief.


Telemundo will focus on the drought impact from the U.S. Hispanic perspective. “Un Nuevo Día” will kick off with a comprehensive report by news anchor Ramón Zayas looking into the causes and potential consequences of the phenomenon. “Al Rojo Vivo con María Celeste” will broadcast a special report from Fresno, CA offering useful information on water rationing. “Noticiero Telemundo,” with news anchor José Díaz-Balart, will air a story on the drought’s impact on Texan farms and the way it is affecting Latino workers.


NBCNews.com will feature stories and images from drought-affected areas and will feature video spots from across NBC properties including msnbc.com, CNBC, Nightly News and NewsChannel. All on-air and online coverage will be organized in social media around the #Drought2012 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, NBCNews.com will curate a collection of the best user-generated content around the #Drought2012 hashtag in the US News blog utilizing Storify.


Newschannel’s Jay Gray will report live from Bolivar, MO with personal stories from farmers who, once accustomed to making a living from their land, are now finding themselves struggling to survive.


Additionally, NBC News Radio will broadcast drought coverage throughout the day across more than 750 affiliate stations nationwide.