NBC-6 — which featured what was believed to the only all-female on-air sports team on a major affiliate just 10 months ago — is losing its entire on-air department. As of Monday, there won’t be a single sportscaster remaining at the station.
Ruthie Polinsky, who had essentially served as NBC-6’s lead sportscaster for the past 2 1/2 years, will make her final appearance during the 11 p.m. newscast on Sunday. NBC-6 offered her a new contract, but she declined and will pursue other opportunities.
Polinsky declined to comment; the station generally does not like on-air talent speaking to reporters, and she still has a couple of weeks remaining on her contract. She had been at the station since March of 2020, after leaving a TV job in Providence, Rhode Island.
She initially was the station’s No. 2 sportscaster but essentially moved to the top slot when NBC 6 did not renew the contract of Keith Jones in August 2020.
The station plans to hire a new sportscaster and will continue covering sports.
“We are committed to covering local sports and want to ensure our sports content remains valuable and compelling to our viewers,” Dawn Clapperton, NBC’s vice president of news, said in a statement to the Miami Herald. “That means, like many successful teams, we are in the market to acquire a new star player to lead our coverage of South Florida sports.”
NBC will use its newcasters to anchor sports segments until Polinsky is replaced.
NBC-6, which dropped sports a few times on its 11 p.m. newscast in recent weeks, will resume doing a regular sportscast on that late newscast. There won’t be regular segments assigned to sports on the 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. segments, but the station will report on sports during those newscasts when there’s news it deems relevant.
“Sunday Sports Final,” the 11:30 p.m. Sunday show, will go on hiatus until football season.
Polinsky is the fourth person to leave the station’s sports department in the past year. Hailey Sutton, who had been NBC-6’s No. 2 sportscaster, left last summer for a media job with the Dallas Cowboys.
Giselle Espinales, who was a producer and did on-air work at NBC-6 during the past year, left the station after this past Sunday’s show.
NBC-6 is the only station in the market that doesn’t employ a full-time designated sports photographer. And Alex Suarez, the executive sports producer, was moved to an entertainment position at NBC-6 and Telemundo; his sports position was eliminated.
From a sports perspective, this is a challenging time for a station that once led the way for local sports in the market, with Tony Segreto, Hank Goldberg and Joe Rose carrying the torch.
NBC-6 sent several sportscasters onto network jobs, including Chris Myers (now with Fox) and Karie Ross, who worked for ESPN before leaving broadcasting to raise a family with Philadelphia Phillies and former Marlins general manager Dave Dombrowski.
THIS AND THAT
We hear WINZ-940 tried to hire WQAM’s Joe Rose to do a talk show, but Rose opted to stay at WQAM-560.
Dolphins games are moving from WQAM-560 to iHeart stations WINZ-940 and Big 105.9. Rose will be permitted to announce Dolphins games on iHeart (with Jimmy Cefalo) while continuing to do a talk show on WQAM.
iHeart is paying in the neighborhood of $3 million a year for Dolphins rights, according to a source; WQAM offered well below that, according to a source.
▪ Bally Sports Florida did not replace J.P. Arencibia in its Marlins analyst rotation. Tommy Hutton and Rod Allen will get the majority of games alongside Paul Severino, about 50 for each. Gaby Sanchez and Jeff Nelson will combine to do another 50-plus games.
▪ NBC and its streaming network Peacock plan to pursue NBA TV rights when the current contracts with ABC/ESPN and Turner expire after the 2024-25 season, according to a Monday report on CNBC. ABC and ESPN are expected to try to retain the games; TNT’s plans are unclear.
The NBA could create an additional package or two. ABC/ESPN and Turner (Time Warner Media) have an exclusive negotiation period through early next year.
NBC owned over-the-air NBA rights from 1990 through 2002, before the league switched its marquee package to ABC/ESPN.
This story was originally published February 14, 2023, 3:59 PM.