Robert Bell did a good job peeling back some layers on Rich’s medical problems. I knew of two heart attacks and thought that he had gotten better control of that issue. My family has heart disease and I have already outlived my father and grandfather. Heart Attacks are not the fatal events today as they were in the past; but there comes a time where you must look out for yourself. I think that Rich is doing that. Bell states that Rich won’t be going away, he’ll be slowing down. I’m sure that he will have more than enough opportunities to keep his hands in sports.
Robert pointed out something else. WGHP is being sold and their future is uncertain. As a FOX Owned and Operated Station, they were one of the leaders, often out-performing larger market FOX stations. A lot of that can be attributed to their JUMP START when they became a FOX affiliate. The station was a VERY STRONG #2 ABC Affiliate. The had established news and sports departments, they had relationships throughout the state for sharing news/sports video. (This was one of the reasons that WXLV failed as an ABC affiliate in news – these relationships WGHP had were not transfered with the affiliation in 1995.)
With a new owner coming, there is a good chance there might be cuts. It was a major part of the Bell article. WGHP is unique as it has 8 hours of news programming to fill and they relied upon sports. But over the past few years, sports time has been reduced and apparently so have budgets. Will the new owner cut news back? Will they drop sports? They already did so in Norfolk.
When local TV is no longer local – who you gonna call for sports?