After being pushed back three times, NASA’s space shuttle Discovery launched Friday night at 11:59pmET. CNN and Fox News covered the launch live and MSNBC went into split-screen to stream the launch alongside the audio and video from the pre-scheduled Sen. Ted Kennedy documentary.
ABC was the only broadcast network to be airing a live news show – “Nightline” – on the east coast. But the network chose not broadcast the launch. An ABC News spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Last Friday, ‘Nightline’ kept a close eye on the shuttle launch but felt that at the time it wasn’t a significant enough news event to warrant cutting away from the program in process, which featured a news breaking exclusive interview on the kidnapping case last week.” That interview was with Ally Jacobs the police officer who helped crack the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping.
But when the shuttle launched, toward the end of the live “Nightline,” the show was airing a pre-taped interview with Queen Latifah.