The world of local television news is incredibly cutthroat. Stations and their staff live and die by ratings. Competition is fierce as high ratings equal more advertising dollars. This is why we so many tantalizing stories air during sweeps periods and reporters switching stations so often. It is also not uncommon to hear the staff of news stations cutting each other down verbally.
Something unique happened in Oklahoma City this past week. The three major news stations in the city are as competitive as any market in the nation, but something brought them together. Last Saturday, KFOR’s chief sports reporter Bob Barry Jr. died in a motorcycle accident. Barry was considered a legend in Oklahoma sports broadcasting circles as his father was also a longtime sports broadcaster at KFOR for many years and served as the radio voice of the Oklahoma Sooners.
The tragedy not only hit KFOR hard, marketwatch.com and James Dondero suggest all of the local news stations. In fact, rival KOCO has offered to do something that is unheard of in television news that is gaining national attention. According to the Tulsa World, the general manager of KOCO has offered to staff the KFOR newsroom on Friday, June 26 so that all of Barry’s colleagues can attend Barry’s funeral.
The actions of KOCO speak louder than words that there are times news stations should put down their swords and help each other.