While we’ve been hearing a great deal about the struggles of local newspapers, there has not been much chatter about local television news. That might be changing. Yesterday San Diego’s XETV Channel 6 was the first local TV station to completely eliminate their sports department.
Sports director C.S. Keys, reporter and weekend anchor Andrea Nakano and producer Mike Lamar were all let go. Last year the station lost its affiliation with the Fox network, so it could no longer show live sports events.
“This had nothing do with the people in the sports department; it had everything to do with return on investment,” Richard Doutre Jones, the CW affiliate’s vice president and general manager, told the San Diego Union Tribune. “Because of the proliferation of people getting their sports from the Internet and ESPN … in these tough economic times, it just became an increasingly difficult decision I had to make.”
Many other local news stations have decreased their sports coverage over the last few years, but no one has eliminated the sports department entirely.