No comment one hour is confirmation the next, it seems. This morning I had a story in the Crikey email tipping that the ABC was dropping the sports presenter from it’s news bulletins. While the tip was strong, I could not get confirmation from the ABC.
But lo and behold, hours later the following internal memo, closely followed by a media release in similar terms, puts a spun version of the same news.
Readers will remember the fury that greeted the introduction of the national sports wrap some years ago. Melbourne viewers were particularly incensed that reportage in that sports mad town would now be done from Ultimo.
Now there will be no hosted sports segment at all but a clip reel put together in Sydney.
From: Amanda Prince on behalf of Kate Torney
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2010 3:15:49 PM
To: Amanda Prince
Subject: New Role for Peter Wilkins and 7.00pm Sports Wrap Auto forwarded by a Rule
I am pleased to announce that Peter Wilkins has been appointed to a new and expanded role as Network Sports Reporter for ABC News. He will provide radio and television news and current affairs stories and analysis for national programs and news bulletins, including ABC News 24. He will also contribute to our online sports coverage.
Peter is one of the ABC’s most experienced sports broadcasters and for the last seven years he has led the coverage of sport in our 7pm television news bulletins. Through the sports wrap, he has helped raise our coverage standards and delivered consistency in our sports reporting.
During this time Peter has also played a major role in most key sporting events both here and overseas. He has covered a number of Olympic and Commonwealth Games and the last four soccer World Cups. He has also helped break a number of major sports-related stories. In 2008 he won a Walkley award for Australian Story’s coverage of the aftermath of Australian women’s eight rowing final at the Athens Olympics.
Peter takes up his new role on Monday and will join the national rounds correspondents reporting to the Head of News-Gathering, Shane Castleman.
So what’s the future of the sports wrap? We will not be continuing with a hosted sports segment.
The sports team in Sydney will continue to produce a package of well-written, keenly observed highlights of the day’s events, maintaining the essential elements of the national wrap but providing greater flexibility for the needs of bulletin producers in each state.
I am confident that this new structure will uphold the high standards set by Peter and the ABC News sports team.
Director, ABC News