In a world without sports, local newscasts are still finding ways to use their sports anchors and reporters. Some are folding them into the news staff while still utilizing their broadcasting talents, and others are sticking to normalcy by keeping the sports segment alive. Either way, sports reporters are still employed by their local stations.

NFL free agency this week has helped to fill the three minutes that make up an average local sports segment, but once this now-rare period of sports activity passes, they’ll need to find creative ways to fill time.

In Harrisburg, PA, WHTM anchor Damon Turbitt used NHL 20 video game to simulate highlights for a game between the AHL’s Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Hershey Bears.

Had the game been actually played, it might have been quite the barnburner. Take a look:

Over at Providence’s WJAR, sports reporter Joe Kayata appealed for home video of trick shots for a “Play of the Night” segment. While Joe failed to hit his attempt, others were successful.

Mike Gillespie of ABC Columbia (WOLO in South Carolina) said he will continue to anchor the nightly sports segment until his bosses tell him otherwise:

The Twitter account Local Sports Anchor asked its followers if they were still reporting sports or going to news, eliciting these responses:

As you can see, some sports reporters are contributing to their newscasts by shifting to news, while others are doing their best to fill their normal segments. But the best advice came from Zach Borg of Dakota News Now who said in times like these, using file footage and B-roll video are key for putting together a report.

As the days without sports pile up, local news will continue to monitor the coronavirus to determine whether their sports staffs will remain on the athletic side or if they’ll join their news brothers and sisters. It’s certainly a trying time for everyone involved, although they’re clearly trying to make the best of an unprecedented situation.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.