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Local TV Newsers: Has Sports Run Out the Clock?

Richard Huff at the NY Daily News puts it bluntly to local tv sports anchors and reporters:  “That’s it.  Goodnight.  Go home.”  As stations’ budgets contract and reporters are cut from payrolls, Huff argues the money committed to a daily sportscast is not well spent:  “When die-hard sports fans are glued to ESPN – with tickers at the bottom of the screen giving them all the results – along with all-sports Web sites, what exactly do local sportscasters bring to the table?

Very little, if you think about it.

Generally speaking, local sports anchors update box scores and intro highlights.”

As we’ve reported, KVVU/Las Vegas just decided to drop weeknight sportscasts altogether, saving sports for weekends and special events.  George Michael unplugged the Sports Machine in DC.  

A High School Football Game... on ESPN

A High School Football Game... on ESPN/New York Times Photo

And if you take a moment today to drift over to the sports office in your newsroom today and take the talent’s temperature, you’ll notice an icy fear.  They feel time running out.  Anchors who once had extended segments in weeknight newscasts now struggle to get in a minute of scores, and most have had the experience of hearing, scripts in hand, IFB in ear, pancake on face, “Sports is dead!” as a breaking news story forced news producers to take back the few seconds sports was allotted to make room for live chopper pictures of that rolled-over bakery truck.

So, come on sportsters… what’s the argument for survival?  Can a regional cable sports net cover high schools as well as you can?  Can ESPN really do what you do?

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