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Networks to break for Discovery launch

(Posted July 11, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - When the space shuttle program roars back into space with a scheduled Wednesday launch, the high-profile network coverage will be slightly reminiscent of NASA's heyday -- at least briefly.

It's been years since the Big Three networks have covered a shuttle launch live, with perhaps the last time being the 1988 launch of Discovery, the first since the shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts in 1986.

ABC's coverage will be anchored by Charlie Gibson in New York and Bob Woodruff at Cape Kennedy along with other reporters. The network's coverage is scheduled to be about a half-hour total, if all goes well, starting a few minutes before the 3:51 p.m. EDT scheduled launch time. NBC and CBS will start around the same time, with Brian Williams anchoring NBC and Bob Schieffer anchoring CBS' coverage. It wasn't clear how long NBC planned to be on the air, but CBS would be on about 15 minutes, said Marcy McGinnis, CBS News senior vp news.

- By Paul J. Gough


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