Orlando Stations Go Live for Discovery Launch

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By Andrew Gauthier

Orlando stations honored the final mission of legendary space shuttle Discovery on Thursday afternoon, providing with live coverage from nearby Kennedy Space Center. NBC-affiliate WESH was well-positioned for the launch, originally scheduled for 4:50 p.m., since it fell within the station’s hour-long 4 p.m. newscast. WFTV, WKMG, and WOFL all preempted regularly scheduled programming to bring viewers coverage of the launch.

Anchor Jim Payne joined veteran space reporter Dan Billow at the Kennedy Space Center for WESH’s 4 p.m. newscast.

ABC-affiliate WFTV cut from “Oprah” around 4:35 with Kevin Oliver reporting live from KSC and Melanie Holt stationed in Cape Canaveral, where she spoke with excited spectators.

CBS-affiliate WKMG began its live coverage at 4:30 with Lauren Rowe anchoring a special news report from KSC.

Fox-affiliate WOFL had Sonni Abatta and Bob Frier anchor its special report from the studio beginning at 4:30, relying on reporter Steve Gehlbach, as well as NASA’s radio feed, for live updates from KSC.