Austin news director Kevin Benz writes the Centerpiece for Poynter.org today about the trend in local news markets to scrap the sports segment, but he suggests some ways they can instead salvage it and make it attractive. One way, he says, is through coverage of local stories that have impact on parents, children and local participatory athletes. Trying to cover the pros, he says, is a no-win strategy because national outlets do it better.
Benz' advice, I think, is also great advice for the newspaper sports section. Look at the paltry amount of space devoted to advertising in these sections. They need to draw a wider readership to attract advertisers. That means local -- and relevant to women and those who participate in the many sports available in their communities.