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Former WINK TV sports director Bill Halter presenting The News-Press All-Area Girls Golfer of the Year Award to Brittany during the All-Area Stars Awards Banquet in 2016.(Photo: Sarah Coward/news-press.com, Sarah Coward/news-press.com)Buy Photo

Have you missed them? Did you even notice they were gone?

I’m not just talking about former WINK sports director Bill Halter and Waterman (NBC-2/ABC-7) sports director Joe Girvan. Sportscasters come and go. The 6 and 11 p.m. weekday sportscast remained. Until now.  

A television market that over the last 40 years has produced a network star (Craig Sager), a handful of ESPN anchors, a standout who became a Philadelphia icon (Ukee Washington) and local stalwarts like Jay Severson and Brian Simon, will likely never have a strong sports presence again.

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WFTX (Fox 4) eliminated the traditional sportscast from their newscasts over a decade ago. WINK, which refused comment, changed their approach last fall.  “I was told in September”, said the 36-year-old Halter, “that they were restructuring the sports department. The decision was made to get heavily involved in weekend sports. Seeing what was coming, I made the decision to leave (which he did last November).”

Girvan’s decision was made for him. “I was told in October that there would be no more weeknight sportscasts on both NBC-2 and ABC-7.”  

The last traditional sportscast on ABC-7 was Jan. 1.  The last on NBC-2 was Wednesday, Girvan’s final day. “I was told being let go was not about me,” said the married 45-year-old, “an assistant news director said we could not monetize it (sports). There is no pro team for everyone to rally around. Maybe in 20 years, FGCU will be that.”

Much like WINK’s