Report: Eagles Asked CSN to Remove Gonzo From Eagles Coverage

Eagles_press_boxWhere's Gonzo? [Photo: Philly Chit Chat]

Journalism took a nut shot today. Allegedly.

According to a report by Dan Gross (who – by the way – is just hitting home runs this summer), the Eagles asked Comcast SportsNet to remove John Gonzalez from all team coverage. As Gross points out, Gonzo hasn’t said a word about the team on the website or Twitter.

Odd.

Anyone who is familiar with Gonzo’s work, both his columns and former radio show on 97.5, knows that he liked to talk about the Eagles… and Andy Reid… a lot. Most of the time not in glowing terms.

Gross reached out to CSN for comment, and was told the following by the network’s spokeswoman, Maureen Quilter: [Philly.com]

“Comcast SportsNet and CSNPhilly.com have plenty of Eagles coverage with Ray Didinger and Reuben Frank on the digital side and Derrick Gunn on the TV side . . .. If we need John to write about the Eagles he will.

We talk with all the teams, including the Eagles, all the time. And as a good business practice, we don't share those conversations with the public."

 

Eagles spokesman Rob Zeigler said the team made no such request about Gonzo.

If the Eagles did indeed make that request, it is a very ballsy move on their part. They’re not fans of that whole freedom of speech thing, and this would be an all new low.

What’s worse, however, is if CSN honored that request. CSN already provides mostly sunny-side up coverage of local teams (example: Comcast owns the Flyers, too) and they are granted extraordinary access to the Eagles (I mean, how else would we get to see Shady McCoy giving D-Gunn celebratory butt slaps?). Catering to the one team that they don’t have any ownership ties or broadcasting rights with? Well, that’s not good.  

Of course, this wouldn’t be a surprising request from the Eagles. Their skin isn’t exactly thick. Last season, they denied one local – often critical – radio personality a credential, telling him “he wasn’t a beat reporter.” Well, neither are half of the people in the press box. But most of them usually say nice things about the team… or at least don't have the freedom to bash them in a public setting, the way, say, a columnist would.

I’ll update this story if there is anything new to pass along.

23 Comments

  1. I don’t really like the Eagles. They seem like little bitches. Whether it’s trying to steal attention from the Phillies, or micromanage their image, they often irk me.
    Buttt, I must say: I’ve never been a fan of Gonzo. I hated the Vai and Gonzo show. I liked Vai, but Gonzo just sort of… annoyed me.

  2. First time i’ve ever agreed with the birdz management
    EFF YOU GONZO

  3. Really Beez Nutz? Still holding a grudge because they drafted DeSean Jackson and NOT one of the other 5 WR’s that Eagles fans seemed to like more in the draft? How about Michael Vick? Should have let him go to another team I guess. And who can forget that damn Trent Cole. What a wasted draft pick! Yeah, this would be the FIRST time I’ve agreed with the Birds management too.

  4. Who was the local media personality Kyle? Mikey Miss?

  5. Stil can’t believe Gonzo snagged Colleen Wolfe

  6. I don’t see the problem. Gonzo is quite possibly the worst sports columnist in history. How he has succeeded in the field is beyond imagination.

  7. Mikey Miss is what im thinking

  8. The Eagles aren’t the government, so they have a little more control over this sort of thing. Still, it’s a bush league move.

  9. Gonzo isn’t exactly a shining beacon of journalism. I pretty much stopped reading anything he writes.
    But that’s just stupid.

  10. Christopher Stengal

    September 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

    97.5 should bring back the Gonzo & Vai show!!!!!

  11. @Go Kick Rocks…yea that same Eagles Management you are fawning over for D-Jax, Trent Cole, and Mike Vick has also let this “Dream Team” play with a horrible offensive line, and even worse LBs and Safeties. For every good move they have made in free agency and the draft there are 5 terrible picks or free agents i can name. Daniel Teo’Nashim in the 3rd round? How bout Bryan Smith…in the 3rd rd! Remeber Matt McCoy? How bout Andy Studebacker? Chris GoCong anyone? Or the fantastic Stacey Andrews signing. Or Darren Howard. Look at all the 1st rd picks the front office has whiffed on. Jerome McDougal? Brodrick Bunkley? Trevor Laws? And Graham and Watkins aren’t looking very promising right now either. So you better relax a bit before you go acting like they are the greatest front office ever. We all know the draft is a crap shoot but they miss A LOT more than they hit on.

  12. gonzo is the fucking worst anyway
    get him the fuck out of town

  13. At the end of the day this bodes well for crossing broad, censorship in any form is futile. With regards to Gonzo, his act’s a little thin at this point, he try’s to be the angry young man with the radical negative opinion but it comes off desperate and insincere. He’d do well to move to a smaller more easily impressed market.

  14. Fuck Gonzo. His only accomplishment has been being an extremely annoying and juvenile hack across several media formats. I still wish Vai punched him at least once on the air.
    However, gay move on Eagles part if true.

  15. Regardless of if anyone here likes or dislikes Gonzo (his style never bothered me anyway), for the Eagles to lean on Comcast to drop him is damned disturbing as this clearly smacks of censorship. And who knows where this might end up. Perhaps tomorrow the Birds will decide that, say Ray Didinger should be the next guy relieved of his duties covering the team for some arbitrary, half-baked reason. Anyone who thinks that couldn’t happen is dreadfully naive. Welcome to the slippery slope.

  16. More like welcome to reality. If you choose to believe the Eagles don’t have the juice to directly dictate how CSN covers their organization, you clearly aren’t living in it. Ethical? No. True? Absolutely.

  17. I enjoy Gonzo’s writing

  18. @PhillyFlash- I get what you’re saying, but Ray Didinger is an award winning, NFL HOF writer. Gonzo is bad imitation of Bill Simmons.

  19. Manrico Troncelliti

    September 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Gonzo is a terrible writer and totally boring. that being said, if the Eagles attempted to persuade Comcast to use someone else, that is a petty and classless move by the Eagles. Of course, what else is new with upper Eagles management?

  20. So you’re just not going to answer who the local snubbed journalist is?

  21. guys this isn’t exactly hard to figure out. radio, eagles, reporter. and no, it’s not eskin- they LOVE Howard.

  22. it’s not missanelli, it’s the kid that reported from training camp for missanelli, it’s not a secret they mentioned it on missanelli’s show, several times.

  23. Brian Seltzer?

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