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April 13, 2021 9:00 am  #1


Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

Lance Brown. Russ Salzberg. Jim McKenny. Fergie Olver. Pat Marden. Rob Leth. Joe Tilley. Brad Diamond. Jim Hunt. Brian Henderson. Bill Stephenson. Mike Toth. Bob McCown. Mark Hebscher. Jim Tatti. Kathryn Humphreys. John Gallagher. Claude Feig.

That's just a small list of sportscasters who made an impression on viewers and listeners on Toronto TV and radio over the past few decades. It's hard to name even one now. 

This comes up after I heard a top of the hour newscast on CKTB St. Catharines that concluded with - how old fashioned! - an actual sportscaster. Rod Mawhood has been with the station for years and somehow survived all the recent devastating Bell Media cuts. He's one of the last of a very large vanishing breed. He actually caught my attention with his tag line, which went something like, "Sports updates 11 times a day!" Imagine having to promote that as a unique feature of your station, because no one else is doing it. 

Other than 680 News and the all sports stations, I can't think of a single major Toronto radio station that has a fulltime or even parttime sportscaster on staff. TV still has at least one - Jesse Fuchs from Sportsnet does updates on City TV on the weekend.

I can't figure out why CTV does not leverage TSN more often. Their sports segment on their CFTO newscasts now comes mostly at night, consisting of a mostly uninformed anchor showing one play, followed by the score. That's it. 

What happened to sports reporters? I know they still have them in Buffalo and other cities. But in one of the biggest markets in North America, they've all but vanished. I remember tuning into Sportsline on Global every night to see the full Jays' highlights.

Earlier this week, the Leafs made some significant trades - and they were given lip service on regular TV newscasts, rather than interviews and a lot of analysis for what it would mean for the team. You never would have seen that even a few years ago. 

So what happened? All sports cable networks is certainly one explanation. Cutbacks are another. The Internet is also a factor. And perhaps those segments no longer rated well. 

Do you miss them during your regular TV or radio newscasts? Or were they a tune-out for you? Or maybe you haven't even noticed they're gone until something big breaks. 

Either way, good for CKTB hanging on to a storied sports broadcasting tradition that was always part of a full-service station. Too bad so few in Toronto are following their lead.    

 

April 13, 2021 9:26 am  #2


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

I get all my updates on Twitter.

 

April 13, 2021 9:47 am  #3


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

grilled.cheese wrote:

I get all my updates on Twitter.

And that's the reason you don't see a lot of sportscasts anymore. Things have changed in the last 25 years, sports fans don't have to wait til 6pm the following night to see highlights. You'll see a couple highlights on the late news seeing as the event just ended an hour before, but this is not worthy of a full time sports anchor.

For years, the FAN was famous for their 20/20 sports updates. And longtime listeners will remember that for a couple years, they were doing them every 15 minutes. Now, they do them 90 seconds once an hour.

I think news/talk radio will follow a similar path. I wonder what 680 News will sound like 10 years from now. I don't see all news 24/7 being viable going forward.

 

April 13, 2021 9:50 am  #4


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

CHCH has Bubba O'Neil full time and Justin Dunk part time

 

April 13, 2021 10:09 am  #5


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

Agreed, it's a shame overall...but these are the times we live in...bean counters and shareholders need to find as much cash as possible...I don't know why they can't record a recent and dedicated 3-minute TSN sportscast and slap into local supper and late night CTV newscasts?...I didn't think Bell was that cheap but once again they prove me wrong....I'm also quite surprised that TSN/Sportsnet still have so many hour long highlight shows?...what's the point when instant replays, news and highlights appear online literally the second after they happen live on multiple platforms...ESPN, etc in the USA have cut a lot of these highlight shows and replaced them with talking head sports commentary and round table opinion programs...seems TSN/Sportsnet still like to showcase their teleprompter reading 'talent' that try to come up with some witty comedy routines while they roll the highlights...this mostly comes off as just plain lame...

 

April 13, 2021 10:23 am  #6


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

I don't think it's a cost thing.

It would cost CTV and City basically nothing to slap on a pre-produced report from TSN or SN.

Both networks do a fair bit of audience research, so I'm assuming it's just pretty far down the list in terms of demand.

As for radio, if even the sports stations have cut down the scheduled casts, it points to the same thing.

In the end, if you care about such a thing, you're not waiting for a linear broadcast to get to it.


 
 

April 13, 2021 11:41 am  #7


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

TheWiz wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

I get all my updates on Twitter.

I wonder what 680 News will sound like 10 years from now. I don't see all news 24/7 being viable going forward.

Assuming Rogers will even be around in 10 years, the idea would be to own as many things as possible that fit nice into a news wheel. 
Sports @ 15 &45 already comes from Sportsnet Fan 590, to name one fact. 


 


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.
 
 

April 13, 2021 11:43 am  #8


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

Radiowiz wrote:

TheWiz wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

I get all my updates on Twitter.

I wonder what 680 News will sound like 10 years from now. I don't see all news 24/7 being viable going forward.

Assuming Rogers will even be around in 10 years, the idea would be to own as many things as possible that fit nice into a news wheel. 
Sports @ 15 &45 already comes from Sportsnet Fan 590, to name one fact. 


 

I have a feeling Rogers can last another 10 years.  

 

April 13, 2021 11:44 am  #9


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

RadioAaron wrote:

In the end, if you care about such a thing, you're not waiting for a linear broadcast to get to it.

It's almost as if the media world is changing and people are consuming it in a different manner. Soon radio will be like telegrams when telephones were in every household. 

 

April 13, 2021 12:45 pm  #10


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

Surprisingly on the west coast Global BC still has a full sports department. Not only do they have a sports anchor who has been with BCTV for about 25 years, but also two sports reporters. They do a full sportscast on every single newscast, including weekend mornings.

I can see a good reason for this, however. Sportsnet and TSN are both based in Toronto, and their programming is perceived as Toronto-centric, so doing a BC-based sportscast that is more focused on the Canucks, Whitecaps, Lions, and the Seattle teams is probably a good strategy for them, even in 2021.

 

April 13, 2021 4:35 pm  #11


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

MJ Vancouver wrote:

Surprisingly on the west coast Global BC still has a full sports department. Not only do they have a sports anchor who has been with BCTV for about 25 years, but also two sports reporters. They do a full sportscast on every single newscast, including weekend mornings.

I can see a good reason for this, however. Sportsnet and TSN are both based in Toronto, and their programming is perceived as Toronto-centric, so doing a BC-based sportscast that is more focused on the Canucks, Whitecaps, Lions, and the Seattle teams is probably a good strategy for them, even in 2021.

Same in Edmonton, Global still has a sports segment on their 6 PM and 11 PM newscasts. They have 3 sports reporters/anchors on roster. They are the only station still doing a regular sports segment in Edmonton.

 

April 15, 2021 12:46 pm  #12


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

I still like sports with a news package on local television.  Sure there are lots of ways now to get sports scores and sooner, but I always enjoyed some video highlights and an overview of what happened in various sports.  Even enjoyed most sports editorializing, especially when the sportscaster had a sense of humour, which most do.  Sports on a news package is geared more to the casual sports person.   Also it gives a needed break from the relentless negative and complaining found on most newscasts.  Gives the on air people a chance to show some of their personality.

But like radio, local TV news packages mostly ignore sports now. This of course gives less of a reason to tune in as often for some viewers.  Smaller local radio stations like CFOS, CKNX and CJOY still include sports in major casts.  CFOS has a full time sports director.

I am surprised that CTV's Your Morning doesn't do much in the way of sports.  But hey if you want to know the temperature and weather today in Penticton, you will get it every 10 or 15 minutes.   CBC TV mornings I believe has sports highlights and they do on radio.

Last edited by paterson1 (April 15, 2021 12:54 pm)

 

April 15, 2021 3:31 pm  #13


Re: Sports Reports In Short Supply On Local Radio/TV

paterson1 wrote:

I still like sports with a news package on local television.  Sure there are lots of ways now to get sports scores and sooner, but I always enjoyed some video highlights and an overview of what happened in various sports.  Even enjoyed most sports editorializing, especially when the sportscaster had a sense of humour, which most do.  Sports on a news package is geared more to the casual sports person.   Also it gives a needed break from the relentless negative and complaining found on most newscasts.  Gives the on air people a chance to show some of their personality.

But like radio, local TV news packages mostly ignore sports now. This of course gives less of a reason to tune in as often for some viewers.  Smaller local radio stations like CFOS, CKNX and CJOY still include sports in major casts.  CFOS has a full time sports director.

I am surprised that CTV's Your Morning doesn't do much in the way of sports.  But hey if you want to know the temperature and weather today in Penticton, you will get it every 10 or 15 minutes.   CBC TV mornings I believe has sports highlights and they do on radio.

What really differentiates sports on local newscasts from cable sports networks is coverage of high school, university/college, and junior professional sports. Citytv really excelled at coverage of high school sports back in the day. And in years past CFPL in London had very strong coverage of local high school sports, sports at Western and Fanshawe, and coverage of the London Knights and other OHL teams, in addition to all the pro sports - all covered by the "godfather of sports" Pete James and a team of reporters. You generally won't see any of that on Sportsnet or TSN, though Sportsnet has been a good supporter of the CHL in non-Covid years, and sometimes university football has gotten coverage too, but it's not the same.

Global BC doesn't have a lot of local sports to cover right now but they have been showing highlights from WHL games (equivalent of the OHL in Western Canada/US Northwest, which has gone ahead with a shortened season this year).

Last edited by MJ Vancouver (April 15, 2021 3:33 pm)