WPTV Outsources Sports to ESPN Radio
It's about access to a 24-hour sports operation, not cutting costs, station says
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/4/2009 10:01:21 AM
WPTV's two sportscasters, Ryan Lieber and Jay Gilmore, are departing the station.
WPTV VP/General Manager Steve Wasserman insists it's not about cutting costs. "This long-term partnership benefits our station by giving us access to a 24-hour sports-focused operation that is affiliated with ESPN, and I think ESPN 760 benefits from the added reach and audience we provide," he said in a statement. "It's refreshing during challenging economic times like this to make a decision motivated not by the desire to cut costs but instead by the ability to enter a partnership from a position of strength and deliver a more compelling product to viewers and advertisers."
Stations are increasingly sharing content with radio properties in their markets. In late November, CBS O&O KYW Philadelphia and CBS' local radio properties in Philly teamed up to launch "digital newsstands" airing 24-hour news on screens installed at newsstands around the market.
ESPN 760 will do local sports features at 6 p.m. and a nightly sports wrap-up at 11, along with a 15-minute show Sundays after WPTV's 11 p.m. news.
An NBC affiliate, WPTV is a ratings and revenue giant in the #38 DMA.
Apologies...when I first read the article, I thought this was about using a national sports feed of some kind. However, let's be clear...this IS all about cutting costs, unless the station is cutting checks to the ESPN760 folks who will be doing sports from now on.
MIke Nassour - 12/9/2009 11:16:03 AM EST
"It's not about cutting costs"......BS!
I guess it's just a coincidence that the two local sports reporters are "departing", that is fired.
Until management realizes that...in the long run...LOCAL CONTENT is the ONLY thing radio has to sell, this industry will continue to shrink. Without local content, you're just one more voice in the Internet wilderness.
Mike Nassour - 12/9/2009 11:09:54 AM EST
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