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HOWARD ROSENBERG

The Fair And Foul On Sportscasting

August 17, 1987|HOWARD ROSENBERG

We get letters. . . .

Today's letters--responding to "The Art of Local Sportscasting" (Aug. 5)--reflect how strongly viewers feel about local news figures.

TV is an intimate medium whose celebrities are often regarded by viewers as their extended family. Although some readers agreed with me, therefore, others were deeply offended by my rap of Jim Hill--who has switched sportscasting venues to KABC-TV from KCBS-TV--and local sportscasting in general. Some even thought my comments about Hill, who is black, were racist.

We feel the Los Angeles Times and Howard Rosenberg owe an apology to Jim Hill, sportscaster Gene Washington and a large segment of the Southern California population. Our television station is a large and well-established institution in Southern California. We can take abuse from critics . . . it's part of the business. But unsolicited and undeserving personal attacks on our employees are beneath your dignity.

JOHN C. SEVERINO, General Manager

KABC-TV

Finally, someone has the guts to say it like it really is: Jim Hill is the most overrated sportscaster in the country. Losing Hill and gaining a Jim Lampley is the greatest move CBS could ever make. They should send a thank-you letter to ABC for its generosity! Sure, Hill dresses great, but since when does the quality of your suits have anything to do with ability? Hill has a mediocre delivery, at best, and is about as exciting as watching three rounds of golf. And, as Rosenberg pointed out, accuracy is also not one of Hill's strong points.

For fear of sounding like Al Campanis, I'll say it anyway. Would Hill be so highly regarded if he were white? There's no comparison between Lampley and Hill. As a matter of fact, there are many, many other sportscasters much more talented than Hill right in our own backyard.

TOM SHERWOOD

Whittier

Mediocrity is triumphant in television sportscasting and America is obsessed with trivia. I applaud Rosenberg for really driving home the point by writing one of the most mediocre and trivial articles I have had the displeasure to read.

RUDY LICERIO

Mission Viejo

I was beginning to think I was alone in my opinion of Jim Hill. I cannot believe that such a pompous, overrated sportscaster should receive such a salary.

ELIZABETH MERRILL

Whittier

After the hatchet job you did on Jim Hill, all you need now to be properly dressed is your white sheet and hood and your White Citizen's Council and Ku Klux Klan membership cards. I thought Larry Stewart was the radio and TV sports critic for the Los Angeles Times and not you. He has praised the talents of Jim Hill numerous times and so have the other radio and TV sports columnists in the nation. Who anointed you God?

BRAD PYE JR.

Los Angeles

I liked your observation that "money doesn't always buy much these days." Where monetary considerations are given the first priority, mediocrity, at best, is most often the result. And mediocrity in television doesn't stop with sportscasting.

Although I spent half my career as a television news reporter, the medium has become so mediocre in so many aspects that my TV set, wrapped in a large green garbage bag, is ensconced on a shelf in my garage. Incidentally, though disillusioned with television, I am still in the communications business, having at last found something truly worth communicating and in which ego has no place: preaching the gospel of Jesus--but only to a live audience.

PASTOR RICHARD H.ALBERS

San Bernardino

Obviously the AIDS situation seemed extremely sensitive to you and to many of us, but the article was in poor taste. I quote: "Sneezy leaving the sports staff to make room for Dopey." I don't know what your problem is, but your article stunk!

KAREN CHANG EUBANKS

Diamond Bar

The insensitivity and stupidity of Jim Hill's statement about "being put back on a speedy recovery" from AIDS is mind-boggling. He's going to give Tawny Little some competition at Channel 7.

FRANK O'CONNOR

Santa Monica

Forgive me if I misunderstood the drift of your piece, but you seemed to imply that sports anchors Jim Hill and Gene Washington don't have the "necessities" to be working in a major TV market.

PAUL M. THIELE

Los Angeles

You were overly complimentary to Jim Hill in refering to him as "mediocre." He is absolutely the worst in the business, only topping himself when he does play-by-play, with brilliant remarks like, "The most important thing to a running back are his legs." How thought-provoking.

CANDY SANGSTER

Sepulveda

As a 70-year-old woman who makes no claims to be an authority on sports or sportscasting, I nevertheless have been annoyed by the inept and amateurish reporting of Jim Hill and Ted Dawson. I have hesitated to express this opinion as to Jim Hill's incompetence for fear of being thought prejudiced. Thank you for your on-target remarks concerning "mediocrity."

TUDY HUDGINGS

Studio City

You pompous ass! Perhaps Jim Hill is extremely ill-informed concerning the present plight of AIDS. At the same time you are extremely oblivious to the arena of sports and sportscasters. You owe Jim Hill an apology. Your article clearly contained signs of racism.

STEVE KELLOR

Upland

It appears to me that you have something against Jim Hill or blacks or both. It seems that you would not like to see blacks in any position except cleaning or not existing at all.

M. E. McCRARY

Los Angeles

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