Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May Mailbag

Now that Darlington and the high school season in the rear view mirror, I can catch up on some emails. The world of sports is vast, both national and local and it's tough to keep everyone happy, but we do the best we can. I also enjoy letting our viewers know why we do the things we do. So here are this month's questions:

Anita writes:

Why is there sports shows for High School football and basketball, but no reports for any other HS sports, such as baseball, soccer, etc. Are these not just as important? Thanks

Anita - I seem to get these questions all the time. After finishing up the spring sports season, I can give you the best explanation possible. We have had a lot of high school baseball, softball and soccer fans that have voiced their displeasure with our lack of coverage in the months of March and April. In recent years, we've made it a point to focus on the post-season in the spring sports and we really went all out in covering the post-season. We were able to get to a number of teams who made great runs in the playoffs. The logistics of getting from diamond to diamond or soccer pitch to soccer pitch makes things very hard to devote a show to these sports. On Saturday afternoon, I was in Pawleys Island and had the opportunity to participate in John Fox's charity golf tournament at Caledonia. After the event, I went to Waccamaw High School for the Warriors quarterfinal game against Barnwell. I got there with 25 minutes to go in the second half in a scoreless game at approximately 3:00 pm. In a thriller, the Warriors scored a 1-0 win in quadruple overtime. I left the school at 4:30 pm and arrived at our studio at 5:15 pm. Simple math dictates that I invested 3 hours for a 20 to 30 second highlight clip. No complaints here, it was great to get a sudden death game winning goal and the folks in Waccamaw were awesome and grateful for the coverage. But unlike football or basketball where you can get to multiple locations in a span of 2 to 3 hours, it is much more difficult to do that in other sports. On Monday, we had three local teams playing for softball state championships. South Florence and Johnsonville were both playing around 6:00 pm. We had to choose one or the other as we would not have gotten signficant highlights for both.
For high school football, thanks to our tremendous sponsorship we are able to get 8 to 10 shooters to help us put together our 50 minute show. After that, we are a two man department trying to do our best to cover 34 high schools.

Jack Lutes writes:

That's it, I'm done watching WPDE!!!!

Though I totally enjoy watching "most" of your 6, 10 (and sometimes 11 PM) news programs, I can honestly say today, I have watched for the last time. And you can thank your so called sports director, Rich Crampanis for that.

Today, he covered golf in Hilton Head, tennis in Charleston, High school lacrosse, NBA basketball in Boston and Braves baseball. No mention of our local pro baseball team, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. I understand that people are interested in all the sports and believe me, I enjoy hearing the results of all the other events but would it hurt to at least mention last night's score or a few words about tonight's game?

Come on, give us a break and at least mention our local guys. He fails to mention them more than he does mention them.

Count me as a new viewer for another (newer) local station. They might not have the news and weather coverage of WPDE but the sports coverage has to be better that what you try to pass off as quality sports reporting.

Jack Lutes

Jack was fired up and I called him directly. On this particular night, the Pelicans were playing at 7pm and we didn't do a story at 6pm. The modern news cycle usually dictates a rundown with entirely fresh material. There are some times when we have a big local story at 11pm that we would re-run the following day at 6pm usually with a different twist to it. In the old days, the local TV sportscast would be one of the few places along with the newspaper to get your sports information. The fact of the matter is that you can get the scores of the Pelicans on their website, the Carolina League's website as well as the newspaper. We make it a point to report their score on the 11pm news if they are on the road and we continue to go to nearly every home game during the season. What I find ironic is that Hags and I have been to more Myrtle Beach Pelicans combined than just about anyone (media, front office, etc). That's why I was a little miffed that Jack was coming down on us. You can criticize us about some things, but saying we don't cover the Pelicans well is a little out of bounds. Jack wrote a nice email back which I appreciated and we will continue to do our best in giving extensive coverage of the Birds in 2009.

Carol Colaner writes:

Yesterday,May 13 St James high baseball won their game so to go Lower State Championships.A local team and not a mention on your sports news ?????

Carol - plain and simple we did not get a score called in. We made it a point to focus on the winner's bracket games in our coverage during the playoffs and did not shoot the Saint James win on Wednesday night. Here's the other dilemma we have. I am anchoring the news at 6 and 7pm. I couldn't get to the Finway Park until 8pm and I'm sure the game is nearly over. Congratulations to the Sharks on a great season - I'm glad we were able to get to their district win over Myrtle Beach