First of all, thanks for watching News 12! My name is Dan Doskey, and up until recently, I was the sports photographer here at the station. I also coordinated our high school Athlete of the Week program, and I still make an occasional on-air appearance. I have since moved into our investigative unit, but I wanted to respond to your note about FAU.
I have covered this team from the time the school announced Howard Schnellenberger would be the head coach. I personally covered every scrimmage the Owls had in 2000, a full year before they even played a real game. We have also covered every home game in FAU history, and we are the only station in this market that consistently stays around to get post-game comments from Howard and his players. Every Wednesday, we attend the media session the team holds at the Oxley center, and we run at least two FAU preview stories each week. In addition, WPEC News 12 is one of the program's founding sponsors. I'm telling you this not to boast about our coverage, but to help you understand the depth of our coverage of the Owls football program.
It's also important to understand the landscape of local TV news as it relates to sports. Every year, more and more stations around the country reduce the chunk of time in their newscasts devoted to sports. Here in our own market, WPBF (Channel 25) has dropped sports entirely. I would bet that if Pat still worked at WPTV, we would probably have dropped sports as well. At 6pm, Pat typically gets 2 minutes and 15 seconds for sports. He probably had twice that ten years ago. As a result, tough decisions have to be made about what is included and what is not. Most times, preference will be given to events that are happening or have happened the day of the newscast. This is especially true at 11pm, as the events of the entire day are at your disposal for broadcast.
As far as Friday goes, on Friday nights at around 10:40, we have a new 15 minute show on our news partner, Fox 29. It's called the Fox 29 sports zone. The longer format allows us to include all manner of stories. This football season, we have typically begun the show with high school football, followed by college previews. In the college segment, we have faithfully led off with an FAU preview, because the Owls are our local team. We then follow with UF, FSU, Miami, etc. I would encourage you to watch the show and let people know it's out there. Unfortunately, the hurricanes and World Series canceled some shows earlier in the year. They also wiped out much of the promotion Fox put into the show, so it has gone largely unnoticed. However, it is another outlet where FAU coverage is available.
Now, on a personal note, let me say that I think it is a shame that the Owls' great story has gone unnoticed and unappreciated by the great majority of people in this area. Like you, I am extremely excited about the prospect of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast having a big-time college football program to root for. I have been lucky enough to watch this team from the first practice, and it is truly unbelievable what this group of young men has accomplished in four years. At the beginning, Howard's goals seemed ridiculous. Well, I'm telling you he has made me a believer, and I have a great amount of respect for the man and his team.
So now what? Well, I think as journalists, our role is not to root for FAU or to try to help the program sell tickets. I feel that here at News 12, we have given the program the proper amount of coverage given the community's level of interest. I think now it's time for dedicated fans like yourself to call everyone you know and bring them with you to the "Shula Bowl", and push this team over the top. I'll be there with my wife and my in-laws doing my part not as a representative of WPEC, but as a University of Florida alum who now has a place in his heart for the big bad burly Owls.
Thanks again for watching.
He is absolutely right about their coverage and with coverage relative to interest level. It does start with people like us to help generate interest in the program.
The buzz is starting to grow - we just need a way to set the hook .
Sunshine does a great job with us as well, their coverage may not be extensive, but is growing - they have even included the Owl helmet along side the UF, USF, Miami, USF & UCF on the "Tail Gate Show" on Saturday mornings. Last night, Coach was interview from Miami before the B-Ball game against Huricannes, where a good 15 min of the 30min secment of the program was all about FAU.
I think I have 2 extra people coming with me. Will know more on Thursday if they can get off work Sunday Morning becuase we stay overnight.