Newsday reports the station’s news director Byron Harmon wanted his station to stop producing newscasts like it was 1997 and recognize that ESPN, the emergence of multiple mobile platforms and regional sports networks around the country, his station had the chance to take another look at the era of the sports highlight in local news.
“To me that’s like a waste of resources when people consume sports from so many different platforms now,” said Harmon. “We wanted to use this as an opportunity to present sports in a different way. It’s not like we don’t care about sports.”
Last year, Harmon told TVSpy he thinks local TV is “cryogenically frozen in the era of the mid-90’s” and he wants to wake it up.
“We had this conversation last summer with our sports department,” Harmon said. “Everyone said, ‘Oh, my God, everyone’s going to be up in arms about this!’ I said, ‘What’s going to happen? Who’s going to call? The sports journalism police?’
“We only had one email that I read that someone said, ‘Hey, I noticed you guys didn’t do highlights,’ and this is in a year.”
Will other stations follow suit? Too soon to tell. But Harmon said he is fine with being the first.
“I’ve seen so many different new initiatives and people want to try things and want to be creative but rarely does a station attempt to do those things,” he said. “We’re doing those things here . . . Everyone says they want to change but no one does it because change is scary.”
Here’s Harmon in his TVSpy interview in January 2015.