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HNN eliminates sports segment from newscasts

July 16, 2017 - 12:05am

Hawaii News Now will no longer have a daily sports segment on its newscasts.

HNN general manager Rick Blangiardi said the station instead will focus on expanding its sports coverage on digital platforms, such as its web site and social media.

“We’re not backing off of sports,” Blangiardi said of Hawaii News Now, which is shown on KGMB and KHNL. “We’re going to deliver sports differently in what makes more sense.”

The past several weeks, HNN changed its sports presentation on newscasts, going with more feature stories and fewer highlights. Some sports segments had only one story. On some nights, the sports segment would run only in the 10 p.m. newscasts. Blangiardi said the new approach will be to put the sports reports on digital platforms immediately while allowing the bigger stories to be included in the newscasts.

“We’ll treat sports stories as we do other stories, and they’ll be woven into the fabric of our newscasts,” Blangiardi said. “Whether or not they’re in the A block (first series of stories) or the B block, that remains to be seen on the importance of the story. Meanwile, we’ll be very fresh, very covered, very current in serving up our digital platform in building up the whole sports thing.”

Blangiardi said sports reporter/anchor Taryn Hatcher will have a significant role in the digital projects, which will include videos. Blangiardi said he plans to hire producers to also work on the digital side. Sports anchor/reporter Collin Harmon is no longer with the station.

Blangiardi said the move is aligned with the way consumers receive their news.

“Let’s face it, at 10 o’clock at night, nobody’s waiting around for 10:25 to learn about scores that happened hours and hours ago,” Blangiardi said. “What people are interested in is right now. They go to digital places, and that’s where we’re going to be. … We’re going to go where they live. We’re going to build that up. We’re going to be even more live with sports (updates) because that’s what the appetite has become. That means the transition (to digital) from the traditional end-of-newscast reports.”

Blangiardi said the “Nick Rolovich Show” will return for a second season in the fall. Rolovich, the UH head football coach, and Kanoa Leahey will serve as co-hosts of the weekly show. Blangiardi also said other local sports programming will be added.

Blangiardi said the station had “remnants of yesterday in trying to do a traditional sportscast and very little going for us digitally in sports. That (was) a completely missed opportunity, a missed audience, or whatever. We’re reversing all of that right now. We’re going to be bigger in digital.”

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