Monday, September 08, 2008

Dropping sports coverage: The answer to declining viewership of local newscasts?

No, argues UNC professor Charlie Tuggle, in the latest edition of Electronic News.
Tuggle says the trend toward scaling back or getting rid of sports segments is misguided. The problem is in how they present sports, which he calls "banal." He accuses too many local sportscasters of being "ESPN wannabes," chasing national stories when they should instead focus on local athletes.
While I think Tuggle is right about the lack of priorities for in local sportscasting, the problem for local newscasts may be much bigger than their sports segments, making the question of how to improve those segments a very low priority for news directors.

1 comment:

Jason Clinkscales said...

It appears that with the advent of cable-specific channels such as ESPN, FOX Sports and the regional networks, local broadcasts newscasts are the stepping stone to those networks as opposed to trying to build a strong niche for local sports news.

I do ask to your point of the size of these segments compared to the rest of the news program, do you believe that location as much to do with it? Here in NYC, I don't think that anyone can get away with having less than five minutes for sports news because of how many teams and this being the country's largest media market. Maybe I'm wrong about that.