Today, Jan. 28, marks the 24th anniversary of space shuttle Challenger’s explosion during liftoff. Just like the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks years later, the Challenger accident was one of those “where where you when it happened” moments in our history.
Besides being national news, the shuttle accident as big news locally. The stations here aired the launch live — unlike the networks (other than CNN). Here’s video from 1986 of WFTV-Channel 9’s coverage that evening. Look for appearances from anchors Bob Jordan and Martie Salt, and at the end, see Bob Opsahl with Jordan, weatherman Danny Treanor and sports anchor Mike Storms.
Veteran WESH 2 News reporter Claire Metzgives Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker an update on her condition. She and her videographer were injured last week when a car slammed into the side of a WESH live truck in Daytona Beach.
“I have four broken ribs and a broken, displaced clavicle,” Metz told Boedeker. “They debated whether to operate, but they decided it was so close to blood vessels. I’m in a strap that holds your shoulders back in the hope the two bones will meet and heal. I have a lot of bumps and bruises. My left arm is swollen. It’s not a pretty picture. I’ll never be a hand model.”
Another casualty of the the crash — a favorite suit. “I had this great red suit on,” Metz said. “The paramedics said, ‘We have to cut it off.’ I said, ‘I’ve dreamed of people cutting off my clothes.’ ”
OK, that got a little weird. Still, best wishes to Metz and Hutch Breneman for speedy recoveries.
Nancy Grace, the caustic and controversial HLN talk show host, will be coming to Orlando … in the fall of 2010.
Her new syndicated show, “Swift Justice with Nancy Grace,” has been cleared for 90 percent of the country, including O-Town. The show is being distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Here’s what one salesman for CBS said about the show: “Nancy is a powerful force in television with a built-in audience that tunes in to hear her point of view. We’re thrilled to have gotten such an immediate response from all of these groups, and their enthusiasm proves we’ve got the right show for them at the right time.”
Orlando must certainly hold special meaning for Grace. Her nightly coverage of the Casey Anthony-Caylee Anthony case helped make her the top-rated talker on HLN. Her interview with Melinda Duckett, the Lake County mom of another missing toddler, gained national attention when Duckett killed herself shortly after an interrogation by Grace. That incident has landed Grace in a legal fight where she’s trying to avoid publicity.
Since CBS has signed national deals with both the Fox and Cox station groups to carry the show, my only question is which Orlando station(s) gets Miss Nancy? The Fox-owned duopoly of WOFL-Fox 35 and WRBW-My 65 or the Cox-owned duo of WFTV-Channel 9 and WRDQ-Channel 27? Any guesses?