The Herald’s Jessica Heslam has a story this morning where she reports on some local TV stations that will be forgoing the customary trips to Red Sox spring training next month due to the economy.

Channel 7 (WHDH) will not be sending anyone down to Fort Myers, while FOX25 may not send sports anchor Butch Stearns, or anyone else.

Channel 4 (WBZ) will be scaling back their live coverage from Florida, while Channel 5 (WCVB) plans on staying consistent with what they’ve done in the past. NECN will also be sending someone down, but it isn’t clear who that will be just yet.

NESN, the TV home of the Red Sox is expanding their coverage this spring, and Comcast SportsNet has big plans as well. They’ve grabbed Lou Merloni from NESN for baseball coverage this season and will also be broadcasting Sports Tonight live (with an audience) from the Pink Shell resort on Fort Myers beach the week of Feb. 16th. The look of their coverage is always distinctive, and different from the other stations which usually just broadcast from the practice field, or at the hotel pool.

For the local TV stations, I think it is a wise move to reduce or eliminate the spring training coverage. The sports segments are already shortened, it can’t make any business sense to spend big money for a couple minutes each night.

For the sports networks like NESN and CSN, it makes more sense to keep going down there because they’re doing entire shows on location, and the return on the investment is much higher, as they can spend more time interviewing players and other guests and give them more airtime than the TV stations are able to do.


9 thoughts on “Less Live Spots from Spring Training on Local TV

  1. Several Ft. Myers watering holes closed today upon hearing the news that Bob Lobel would not be headed down for Spring Training this year.


  2. Oh, the whining & wailing from Boochie Stearns must be at a fever pitch right about now. One person we KNOW will be down there is Dan Shaughnessy. Never mind the moribund financial status at the Globe and parent NYT; there’s ALWAYS enough to send ‘Chairman Emeritus’ Shaughnessy on his merry way to yet another all-expenses-paid boondoggle. Somewhere there are about five or six ex-Globe people on unemployment that Shaughnessy ought to thank.


  3. Can you imagine what an a**hole Shank is to the waiters, hotel staff, and other service industry types down at Spring Training? He must think they are all stupid rubes without any culture.


  4. My guess is the braintrust at Fox25 puts our hero Butch in a brightly lit sauna, releases a batch of mosquitoes, foley’s in some “crack o’ the bat” fx and tells the Mayor of Braintree he’s really in Florida after all. All he has to do to return is get his ba-ba and take a nappy in the closest airport terminal near the most comfortable looking trashcan…

    Your? Thoughts…


    1. There’s only one person at Fox25 dumber than Stearns, and that’s the morning show rodeo clown whose sole purpose in life is to fly around in a helicopter telling people what he sees down below.


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