Twin Cities Sports Anchor is the Last of a Dying Breed

The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes and article about WCCO Mark Rosen and how he is one of the last "red-hot Sportscasters" in TV News. 

When Rosen shows up to an Minnesota Vikings game, he is almost as big a star as the players on the field. 

“Rosieeee!” screams a voice from the TCF Bank Stadium stands. “How you doin’?”

Legendary defensive lineman Jim Marshall teases him about the early ’70s, when the sportscaster had to lug around his own camera. Comedian Nick Swardson wraps him in a hug. A woman in San Diego Chargers colors asks for a photo while pledging her allegiance, if not to the purple, then at least to the Twin Cities’ most enduring TV personality.

But the Star Tribune says, being like Rosen — a reporter who’s more famous than most of the athletes he covers — is becoming nearly impossible, as instant sports delivered via smartphone makes TV anchors seem as antiquated as the town crier.

“There was a time the sports guy was bigger than life. That’s no longer the case,” said Don Shafer, news director at San Diego’s XETV, which eliminated its sports department six years ago. “When kids talk to me about wanting to do sports when they grow up, I tell them, ‘You better have a firm grasp on reality.’ ” Nationwide, most stations have whittled the time for sports updates in half.

And yet, Rosen remains.

While his stiffest competition has retired or moved on, Rosen is still embedded in the wild world of sports, whether deflecting jabs from the jocular morning crew at KFAN Radio (1130 AM) or breaking down the Wild’s playoff chances on “Rosen’s Sports Sunday,” a late-night staple since 1981.

While Rosen rolls on, the same can't be said for his peers.

Dennis Janson, the dean of Cincinnati sports for decades, took a $100,000 pay cut and, in 2013, shifted to on-air columnist. Buffalo’s John Murphy, frustrated by growing demands and shorter airtime, went to work for the Buffalo Bills in 2012. KARE’s Randy Shaver moved over to the news anchor desk.

“When I was growing up in Cedar Rapids, the sports guys were gods,” Shaver said.

“I never met a TV consultant who said sports is important. Weather comes first,” said Scott Jones (not sure that guy is, but he sounds like he knows what he's talking about), a former news director who founded FTVLive, a Florida-based website focused on local TV. “Sports guys who were used to seven or eight minutes on weekends now get 2½, less if rain is coming.”

H/T Star Tribune