Local TV

WPTV Outsources Sports to ESPN Radio

It's about access to a 24-hour sports operation, not cutting costs, station says 12/04/2009 10:01:21 AM Eastern

Starting Jan. 1, some ESPN 760 radio personalities will
become "the faces of sports coverage" at WPTV West Palm Beach, the Scripps
station announced this morning. Partners since 2003, WPTV and ESPN 760 are
stepping up their symbiosis.

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.

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