All Other News Takes Back Seat to JoePa in State College


Dark days in Happy Valley

Election coverage, and all other local news, appears to be something of an afterthought right now in Johnstown-Altoona, which encompasses State College–and Penn State’s sex scandal.

Politics takes the seventh spot on the story breakdown, after: “Paterno to retire at end of season,” “Paterno Legacy,” “Paterno retirement statement,” “PSU President sneaks out side door as hundreds of students rally downtown,” “PSU trustees to form investigative committee,” and “Paterno addresses crowd outside his home.”

WTAJ, a CBS affiliate, has a whole “Sandusky Scandal” section on, named, of course, for Jerry Sandusky, the man at the center of the criminal allegations. In its mixed story breakdown, Paterno’s pending retirement is the lead, followed by “Criminal Paperwork in Sandusky Scandal,” then a fatal car crash and the elections.

ABC affil WATM and Fox WWCP look a little tardy in their coverage. Identical homepage stories on the two, which presumably operate jointly through a JSA, say, “Hundreds surrounded Paterno’s home in State College earlier this evening in a show of support for the coach…,” with “this evening” meaning last night.

On both, the stories go: “Joe Era Ending,” “Clearfield Unimarts Under Investigation,” “PSU Protests” and then “Cambria County Elections.”

The WJAC and WTAJ websites have Paterno’s retirement letter, which begins:

I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief. I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today. That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season.