The Incredible Shrinking Sportscasts
Source: The Times-Picayune Most sportscasts on local TV news are shrinking like a New Orleans Saints fourth-quarter lead, and to visit the roots of the trend -- which isn't just local -- you have to go back, back, back, back, back to the 1979 launch of the all-sports cable-TV network ESPN.
Until then, local-TV-news sportscasters were -- let's recite the cliché together, sports fans! -- the only game in town.
Ever since, scores and highlights have become a round-the-clock torrent on cable TV, all-sports radio and the Internet.
"The fact of the matter is (sports fans) can go anywhere, anyplace and find anything they want at any time of the day," said Mimi Strawn, news director at New Orleans Fox affiliate WVUE-Channel 8. "There's no reason for people to wait till 9 p.m. to get sports."
For most stations, the trend has resulted in cutbacks in sportscast air time, sports-dedicated staffing and sports-related travel.
Though some stations are bucking the trend, local TV sportscasts here and elsewhere are going, going, almost gone.
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