Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Casey Anthony was released from jail. The Orlando stations, which have followed the case for the better part of three years, were ready. All five stations in the market started coverage in primetime Saturday night and stayed on the air well past midnight, when Anthony allegedly boarded a jet at a local airport and took off for a still-unknown destination.
Fox O&O WOFL went on the air the earliest and stayed on the latest, with Keith Landry and Tracey Jacim anchoring coverage from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
WESH stayed in regular programming until a few minutes before Anthony was released from jail. The NBC affiliate broke in to “Saturday Night Live” with coverage anchored by Cara Moore. WESH went back into regular programming at 1 a.m.
WFTV, the ABC affiliate, went to continuing coverage with Greg Warmouth and Nancy Alvarez at 11 p.m., leading in with a re-air of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jaycee Dugard, which aired for the first time last weekend. Warmouth and Alvarez said goodnight around 1:20 a.m.
CBS affiliate WKMG did an expanded edition of their normal 11 p.m. news with Lauren Rowe and Gaard Swanson. Rowe and Swanson stayed on the air until shortly past 1 a.m.
Central Florida News 13, the local cable channel, stayed on the Casey Anthony topic for the better part of the night, with Ybeth Bruzual anchoring coverage.
In addition to reporting on the ground and in the studio, all four network affiliates had their own helicopters in the air to track Anthony’s SUV aerially. All four network affiliates also presented expanded morning shows, with live news starting at 5 a.m. Sunday morning.