WGBA, the NBC affiliate in Green Bay, has received marching orders from their bosses at Journal Communications (the biggest game in Wisconsin when it comes to mass media - they own the JOURNAL-SENTINEL, WTMJ in Milwaukee, radio stations, etc.): send your sportscasters home. We’ll handle all the Green Bay news from the big city of Milwaukee.
Sports news will instead be handled by the existing WTMJ crew in their Milwaukee studios, broadcasting live or on tape as part of the broader WGBA newscasts. Green Bay and Appleton, WI, will receive their high school or local college sports information from other news sources as Journal Communications has no plans determined yet on how to handle local sports.
And what of the Green Bay Packers?
They’re not mentioned in the article, but it’s clear the move had everything to do with the Packers. WTMJ always sends crews up north for games (except the ones in Milwaukee, natch) and didn’t feel the need to duplicate work. Instead of trusting the Green Bay team, though, they cut the rural team out. After all, a snide 30-second bit on the start of hunting season will do.
Also, why would the Milwaukee team (who rules the roost) give up their crown jewel of local sports coverage to anyone? So out with the old and in with the basically-as-old.
We wonder: is this the only NFL franchise to have a major network affiliate (NBC, CBS, ABC) without a sports broadcasting team? If so, what will this mean for the Packers in 20 years? We honestly don’t know, but one or two Packers fans may want to hug their cheeseheads a bit more tightly as they tuck themselves in tonight. Just in case.