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JUL
17
3 YEARS

Casey Anthony's Jail Release: How the Networks Covered

Surprisingly, HLN didn’t live broadcast her release, while CNN and MSNBC did.

Casey Anthony Released From Jail 2011
Getty Images

Casey Anthony was released from Florida jail shortly after midnight ET on Saturday. While the midnight hour may not be the peak of TV viewing, many networks interrupted their regular programming to bring live video of Anthony’s release. 

The most surprising news was that HLN, the network that has been most thorough on the coverage of Casey Anthony’s release, did not interrupt a feature on Casey Anthony to bring the live footage. 

HLN did Tweet about the event, and had a crawl with updates running on their scheduled feature on the Casey Anthony trial. HLN host Nancy Grace, who has come under fire for her powerful statements on the case, did tweet that at “about 12:09 a.m., Tot Mom walked out of the front doors of the jail and into a waiting dark-colored sports utility vehicle.” HLN also tweeted that they plan on providing very thorough coverage during the day Sunday.

STORY: Casey Anthony Trial Propels HLN to Highest-Rated Month Ever

CNN, FNC and MSNBC all interrupted their news programs to bring the early-morning release live to viewers. They showed the 15-second pool footage of her leaving the jail, along with helicopter shots of her vehicle.

The broadcast showed Anthony, in a pink shirt and dark sweatpants, exiting the jail with her attorney, Jose Baez, flanked by security. She entered a dark SUV, and headed off to an unknown location.

Only three reporters, acting as a pool, were allowed in the jail for Anthony’s release. They were Matt Sedensky, reporter for The Associated Press, Red Huber, photographer for the Orlando Sentinel, and Tony Zumbado, video photographer for NBC News. They participated in a press conference after the release, which was aired on Fox News.

Here is video of Anthony leaving the Florida jail: