Chuck Scarborough/Daily News Photo
The revamped news lineup at WNBC/NY may be getting revampier, according to a report in today’s NY Daily News. Richard Huff reports the Chuck Scarborough-helmed 7 p.m. “New York Nightly News” could be cable-bound in the next month, moving onto the yet-to-be-formally-named-or-described-but-definitely-24-hour-channel that WNBC has been planning as a key part of its evolution into a “content center.”
Huff reports: “As part of programming the new network, expected to launch next month, Ch. 4’s 7 p.m. newscast may slide over to the so-far-called NY Channel and become a “signature” show, the Daily News has learned.”
Sources also tell the News the 7 p.m. show will expand to an hour, and Scarborough will continue in his role as main anchor of Channel 4’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.
What the remaining 23 hours will look like on the tentatively-titled “NY” channel remains unclear, though it won’t be an all-news competitor to Time-Warner’s NY1.
Sam Ryan/WCBS/NY's Entire Sports Department
Sam Ryan, weekend sports anchor at WCBS/NY will take over weeknight sports duties Friday, with the departures of main anchor and sports director Ducis Rodgers and morning sports guy John Discepolo. Rodgers’ last day is tomorrow, and Discepolo wraps his Channel 2 tenure on Friday, according to Richard Huff in the NY Daily News
Huff reports Ryan will get some help covering sports on weekends from weekend news anchor and former WABC morning news anchor Steve Bartelstein who may do both news and sports duties; morning sports will be taped, but may also include contributions from CBS-owned WFAN radio personalities.
Ducis Rodgers/WCBS Photo
NY Daily News TV writer Richard Huff quotes a source at WCBS/NY this morning, saying Channel 2 has pink slipped sports director Ducis Rodgers and morning sports anchor John Discepolo, leaving the CBS O&O with a sports team of precisely one: Sam Ryan. Huff says station officials refused comment, but Huff’s source credited the cuts to “cost cutting.”
The layoffs (Rodgers’ last day is reportedly Thursday, with Discepolo ending his Channel 2 run on Friday) come just days after Huff’s column
arguing that local tv sports itself is an endangered species.
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/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?