Journalists On Hold at Canaveral


Now that NASA has scrubbed its planned space shuttle launch this afternoon, TV networks are waiting to make their next move.

The broadcast and cable news networks had all planned live coverage from Cape Canaveral, Fla., for liftoff of Discovery Wednesday afternoon, the first flight since Columbia exploded on reentry two-and-a-half years ago.

ABC, CBS and NBC had planned to interrupt afternoon programming for special reports.

NASA is scheduled to hold a news conference this afternoon. After that, the networks will have to decide whether to keep staffers in place or pull them out, but the signs weren't looking good for a quick fix for a faulty fuel tank censor.

Key network talent are among the more than 2,000 media personnel in Florida for the launch.

CNN sent in Miles O’Brien, who was slated to go into space himself as the first journalist on a NASA flight before the Columbia disaster. MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, Fox News’ Shepard Smith and ABC’s Bob Woodruff were also on hand. 

ABC's Charlie Gibson, CBS' Bob Schieffer and NBC's Brian Williams were slated to anchor the broadcast networks' specials from New York.

CBS says it was the first TV network to report the news of the delay in a special report at 1:32 p.m. ET. CBS had correspondent Bob Orr and contributor Bill Harwood reporting from Cape Canaveral.