Fox 45 News Cutting Back On Sports

Posted on July 21, 2011


By Dave Hughes
DCRTV.com

Channel 45/WBFF is cutting back sports in its newscasts.

The Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate will experiment with dropping its 15-minute "Sports Unlimited" segment at the end of its 10 p.m. newscast, in favor a shortened sports report.

WBFF General Manager Bill Fanshawe told the Sun: "Our research indicates that local viewers watch local sports programming less than they did 15 or 20 years ago."

He stressed that, while "no definite decision has been made" about eliminating "Sports Unlimited," WBFF will likely add a sports segment to the end of its 30-minute newscast at 11 p.m.

But Fanshawe acknowledged that "viewing patterns have changed, and there is so much more sports information readily available" on cable TV, the internet, and via social media.

***

Rob Long, a casualty when Baltimore sports talker WVIE, 1370 AM, flipped to news talk earlier in July, has been heard on sports talker 105.7 The Fan, WJZ-FM, fill-in hosting on the 6 p.m. baseball show.

Is Long, who had hosted mornings on 1370, a permanent hire at CBS' 105.7? More as we hear it.

And, look for more possible talent shake-ups at CBS's 105.7. We're told that morning man Ed Norris' contract is up for renewal this fall and that he might leave the station.

***

Jim Williams at the Examiner tells us that the Women's World Cup soccer final between the USA and victorious Japan was a ratings hit in the Baltimore area.

Baltimore was the top U.S. market for the July 17 telecast on ESPN, delivering a 12.3 rating. In Washington, D.C., the event achieved an 11.5 rating.

The game, which crowned Japan as tournament champion on a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2-2 tie, was seen by more than 13 million U.S. viewers, making it the most-watched and highest-rated soccer telecast on any ESPN network, Williams adds.

The match also ranked as the sixth most-viewed soccer telecast ever in the United States.

***

Legendary local sportscaster Nat Albright passed away July 18. He lived in Arlington, Va., and was in his 90s.

The gravelly voiced Albright worked at a number of Washington-area radio stations, including WMAL, WEAM, and WAVA.

"Nat was a character, that's for sure," a friend of his said. "They don't make sportscasters like him anymore."

***

Rod Beaton, a sportswriter who covered baseball for USA Today for many years, and who once had a testy clubhouse confrontation with superstar Barry Bonds, died June 22 at a nursing home in Arlington, Va.

He was 59 and suffered from Lewy body dementia, a progressive neurological disorder, and Parkinson's disease. Beaton was a member of the original staff of USA Today when the newspaper was founded in 1982.

***

Will John Thompson stay or will he go?

The legendary Georgetown basketball coach's lucrative contract with ESPN 980, WTEM will expire soon, we're told by a number of sources.

And there are rumblings that he may end his afternoon show at the Red Zebra sports talker.

Despite what numerous sources are saying, a top WTEMer said Thompson's contract would not expire "for some time." Stay tuned.

***

The official word has been made: Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff will again call the Redskins' radio broadcasts this season via ESPN 980, WTEM.

Posted July 21, 2011

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