Global TV farms out sports news


TORONTO -- Canadian conventional broadcaster Global Television on Thursday said its Ontario newsroom was getting out of in-house sports coverage, just as the rival Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said it was ramping up its own local and regional news coverage.

Toronto-based Global Television said its over-the-air stations in Ontario will begin receiving their sports coverage via live feeds from regional sports channel Rogers Sportsnet this January. Sportsnet is owned and operated by cable giant Rogers Communications Inc.

The move will cost three full-time jobs at Global News Ontario, including that of longtime sportscaster Don Martin.

Global Television's deal with Rogers Sportsnet will see on-air talent Sean McCormick report at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on the latest sports highlights and scores.

The sports channel plans to eventually offer Global Television Ontario morning sport highlight packages.

Elsewhere, the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster, on Thursday said it was restructuring its TV news operations around local and regional news coverage, and putting a focus on Web-based and "civic" journalism.

Details on the revamping of the CBC TV news coverage were revealed during a closed-circuit townhall address led by executive vp of English Television Richard Stursberg and other senior executives.

CBC executives explained that reinvigorating its local news coverage was part of a continuing integration of its radio, TV and Internet reporting divisions.

In 2000, the CBC cut back on its local newscasts and launched "Canada Now," a national supper-time newcast originating from Vancouver.

Returning to local and regional newsgathering comes as young Canadians increasingly go online for their news, rather than to newspapers or the TV set.

The Canadian Media Guild, the CBC's journalist union, welcomed stepped-up local news coverage as "promising," given the initiative calls for the redeploying of existing staff.

"We're happy the CBC is getting back into local news on television," CMG national president Lise Lareau said before expressing concern that no new money was going toward expanded local news coverage nationwide.