O-Town Stations Gear up for Zimmerman Trial

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The Orlando stations are getting ready for the Case Anthony Sequel and it starts Tomorrow.

When the topic is the George Zimmerman TV coverage, the discussion inevitably turns to Casey Anthony.

"We as a media learned as we went along with that case because of the way it exploded two years ago," said Jeff Zeller, news director at WOFL-Channel 35. "That's kind of a blueprint, but this is a very different case. We may have more going on in the community."

The Zimmerman case already has generated hundreds of hours of coverage, locally and nationally, about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. But the stations acknowledge they don't know whether the public will follow Zimmerman with the same fervor accorded the Anthony murder trial.

•WFTV-Channel 9 will telecast the Zimmerman opening statements live, then check how the public is responding, General Manager Shawn Bartelt said. "If the viewer demand is there, we're covering it on Channel 9," Bartelt said.

•WKMG-Channel 6 will put everything on its main channel or subchannel 6.2, which is 463 on Bright House Networks. "We're going to start off taking the trial [on Channel 6]," news director Steve Hyvonen said. "We do anticipate a great deal of viewer interest."

•WOFL has developed plans to cover the trial gavel-to-gavel on its air, Zeller said. "Many things happen in the trial. We'll be flexible," he added. "I think there's significant interest in this community."

•WESH-Channel 2 wouldn't discuss its TV plans. But most stations will stream everything online, starting with jury selection Monday. Central Florida News 13 won't but will post clips and stories through the day. The plan is to cover the entire trial live on News 13, said Elliott Wiser of Bright House.

H/T Orlando Sentinel