Two stations in the West Palm Beach market have announced an innovative collaboration that’s expected to be mutually beneficial. Radio personalities from Good Karma’s WEFL-AM “ESPN 760” are going to become the faces of local sports coverage on Scripps’ WPTV-TV (NBC).
The stations say the innovative partnership will raise the profile of local sports in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast to an unprecedented level.
Under this long-term agreement, WPTV will tap the local sports expertise of the ESPN 760 sports team, utilizing its on-air personalities to become the faces of sports coverage on NewsChannel 5. The new arrangement extends and deepens a relationship between the broadcasters that began in 2003. For the past six years, ESPN 760 personalities have appeared frequently as contributors to various WPTV sports programs.
“This long-term partnership benefits our station by giving us access to a 24-hour sports-focused operation that is affiliated with ESPN, and I think ESPN 760 benefits from the added reach and audience we provide,” said Steve Wasserman, WPTV’s Vice President and General Manager. “But the real winners are the sports fans from Sebastian to Boca Raton who now have an unparalleled source of sports information through the powerful combination of the region’s top-rated television station and the area’s unrivaled leader in sports radio programming. It’s refreshing during challenging economic times like this to make a decision motivated not by the desire to cut costs but instead by the ability to enter a partnership from a position of strength and deliver a more compelling product to viewers and advertisers,” he added.
Starting January 1, 2010, ESPN 760 will provide extensive sports coverage to WPTV’s NewsChannel 5, including local sports features at 6 p.m. and a nightly sports wrap-up at 11 p.m. ESPN 760 will produce “Braman 5 Sports Live,” the 15-minute sports show seen every Sunday after WPTV’s 11 p.m. newscast.
Evan Cohen, ESPN 760’s popular sports talk show host, will anchor “Braman 5 Sports Live” and lead the on-air effort weeknights for WPTV. Former Florida Atlantic University defensive lineman and current ESPN 760 host/reporter, Jason Pugh, will anchor the sports segments on Fridays and the weekends. ESPN 760 producer/reporter Herb Uzzi will serve as producer/reporter for the sportscasts on WPTV, and Cohen and Pugh will provide insights and commentary on wptv.com.
“This is a bold and exciting development for local sports coverage, and there aren’t two better resources to make it happen than ESPN 760 and WPTV. Great things can happen when two media companies at the top of their game join forces. ESPN 760 brings great assets to channel 5’s newscast, and we’re thrilled to have our brand extended through the reach of the area’s most-trusted news operation,” said Steve Politziner, WEFL’s Vice President and General Manager.
RBR-TVBR observation: This sort of arrangement does not strike us as one that in any way diminishes the overall quality of broadcasting in the market. It is more a case of two companies bringing different benefits to the table that build one another. The television station benefits from the sports expertise of the radio station; and the radio station benefits from the enormous exposure provided by the television station.