Media Re-Set For Shuttle Coverage


TV news crews are back in position in Cape Canaveral, Fla., waiting to see if the space shuttle Discovery will take off as scheduled Tuesday at 10:29 a.m. ET.

The shuttle was originally slated to launch July 13 -- the first U.S. space flight since the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2002 -- but NASA scrubbed the mission only two hours before lift-off.

The news media was out in full force to cover the original launch, with more than 2,000 credentialed journalists. U.S. TV news organizations sent hundreds of personnel to the event.

For the rescheduled lift-off, the broadcast networks plan to interrupt regular programming for short special reports. The cable news networks will likely devote considerable time to the event.

While some networks say they've maintained the same number of staffers as they sent for the first launch, others report scaling back.

The big-name anchors will sign on to lead coverage.

CBS' Bob Scheiffer will anchor Tuesday in New York, as will Brian Williams for NBC News. MSNBC will simulcast NBC News' coverage when Williams is anchoring. ABC News' Charlie Gibson will lead the networks coverage in New York, with correspondent Bob Woodruff in Florida. CBS has correspondent Mark Strassmann and space consultant Bill Harwood in Florida, while NBC/MSNBC has dispatched MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing, NBC News correspondent Tom Costello and NBC News veteran Jay Barbree.

CNN will have its space correspondent (and American Morning anchor) Miles O'Brien on hand. In the evening, Lou Dobbs will host a special themed edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight focusing on the business and politics of space.

AP Television has a crew of several producers, reporters and photographers on hand, as well as anchor Jon Belmont.