Friday, August 31, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer at Texas Tech passed along this story about another local television station dropping sports from its newscast. Interesting to note the very hard core opinions of the news director, who basically said the local sports segment is worthless because no one wants to watch it.

To me, this sounds like an overreaction to either a) industry research b) ratings c) consultants or more likely d) a combination of all three. We're constantly being told that local sports is dead (at least in the newscast) because there's not enough people watching. But how come any time there's a really big local sports event it's always the lead story, not just in the sports segment but in the entire newscast? I just watched some of the Little League World Series and I guarantee you that was the lead story in every newscast for at least a week in places like Lubbock, Texas and Warner-Robbins, Georgia.

We know there's interest out there ... it's simply a matter of finding a way to make sports more interesting to the local audience. By running up the white flag and cutting the sports segment news directors are saying they don't want to put in the time and effort to make the segment more relevant. It's the lazy way out and gives sports a bad rap it doesn't deserve.


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