In a press release this morning, the network announced that long-running Daily News Live, which has been a mainstay at 5 p.m. on weekdays since 1997, will become Philly Sports Talk on April 8.
From the press release that includes the sub-head “Philly Sports Talk will Tap into Resources from NBC’s Family of Companies”:
Comcast SportsNet, Philadelphia’s source for comprehensive local sports coverage, announces the launch of “Philly Sports Talk.” This new sports news and entertainment program will debut on Monday, April 8 at 5 p.m. and will air weekdays on Comcast SportsNet.
Hosted by Michael Barkann, “Philly Sports Talk” will engage and inform the viewers on the trending topics in Philadelphia sports and from around the globe. Philadelphia Daily News writers will continue to contribute to the program but additional guests including local and national media members, coaches, players, radio personalities and others from the sports and entertainment industry will appear on the program. Comcast SportsNet will also tap into the NBCUniversal portfolio with guests from NBC’s family of companies.
The Talk thing is used in virtually every facet of NBC Sports– all of the brand’s national sports blogs are titled _____ Talk, CSN folks have been using the Twitter hashtag #____talk for about a year now, and then, of course, there is Pro Football Talk Live on NBC Sports. The change to DNL just further cements the synergy (I bet the folks at Comcast Global Super Power World Owners love terms like synergy) between NBC Sports and its regional affiliates. [Truthfully, this has mostly happened already.]
From a practical standpoint, it’s probably not a bad thing that CSN is divorcing itself (a little bit, at least) from a dying newspaper and any place that employs Marcus Hayes on a full-time basis. And while it’s sometimes painful to see guys like Hayes, Dick Jerardi and Marcus Kram shout at kids on their lawns and regale Barkann with tales of yesteryear, I’ve always liked DNL. It’s infinitely more watchable than SportsNite, with just enough structure to be serious, but not enough to kill a lively conversation. I would imagine that the changes for Philly Sports Talk will be mostly cosmetic and that the show will remain largely the same… except for maybe the infusion of more wide-ranging guests from the NBC Global Empire and perhaps topics near and dear to the hearts of NBC Sports NBC Comcast Bilderberg Skull and Bones advertisers. We’ll find out on April 8.
UPDATE: Oh this is fun. Perhaps not accidentally, the Daily News jumped the announcement last night. Molly Eichel wrote that, previously, 13 writers were contracted to be on the show each week. That number will shrink to just five on Philly Sports Talk.