After just a day of deliberation, jurors in the Casey Anthony trial handed down their decision today shortly after 2:15 pmET. It was no surprise to see Orlando-area stations, which have been in gavel-to-gavel coverage of the court proceedings for the past month, cover the trial extensively. But as evidence of far-reaching public interest in Casey Anthony, many stations across the state of Florida broke in with special coverage as the verdict was handed down.
All the local stations in Florida’s major markets, like Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa, aired special reports on the stunning not-guilty verdict handed down by the jurors. Tampa stations had an especially unique local angle on the story, as all of the jurors were from the Tampa area.
FOX and ABC News both offered their affiliates across the country special reports, but with just one exception — Jacksonville’s WAWS, which aired FOX national coverage anchored by Bill Hemmer in New York — stations from all three markets chose to go with their own reporters and coverage for the verdict.
The court proceedings have been the subject of intense media scrutiny, particularly in Anthony’s hometown of Orlando. Since the trial began on May 24, Orlando stations have had ratings success offering gavel-to-gavel daytime coverage of the court proceedings.