It’s been almost a year since a pair of high profile newspaper columnists, Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich, departed the Louisville Courier-Journal for the TV world, landing at Fox affiliate WDRB Louisville. Two sports are followed above all else in Louisville; college basketball wrapped up in early April, while horse racing had its marquee event this past Saturday.
While WDRB did not have the Kentucky Derby on its air, Bill Lamb, general manager, says the former newspaper guys stood out in the station’s Derby coverage. For the first time in seven years, says Lamb, the station is doing weekend morning news–giving Bozich and Crawford a six hour pre-Derby platform to show off their reporting chops.
“If something happens on the back side, if someone’s scratched–if they tell anybody, they’re gonna tell these guys,” says Lamb.
With five sportscasters contributing, WDRB did a 3.5 household rating for the 6 a.m.-noon broadcast, a fair showing behind NBC affiliate WAVE’s 5.2. “I can’t say we showed up and won mornings, but man, I was happy,” says Lamb.
Lamb says the new sports guys’ writing also had a strong presence at a pair of Block Communications sibling properties over the weekend: The Toledo Blade and the Pittsburgh Gazette. “It was a real time for them to shine,” he says.