On last night's Channel 4 newscast (in a segment rebroadcast this morning), the sports report was delivered by an unlikely person: Mike Hooker, who's served as either the station's mountain or northern newsroom reporter since 1994.
Why? News operations traditionally scramble during the summer months to cover for vacationing staffers -- but fewer bodies are on hand the rest of the year as well. Note that a few weeks ago, former Bronco Reggie Rivers, who would previously have been the logical choice to helm the holiday weekend 'cast, was laid off as part of ongoing budget-cutting/belt-tightening.
Hooker did a competent, if dry, job filling in. Still, his presence in this role sends an unmistakable message to viewers about the current state of local-TV news in general and Channel 4 in particular. Although it might be fun to watch investigative reporter Brian Maass delivering the weather forecast....
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.