Meet Your Beat: A Buffalo-Based Freelancer and Minor League Soccer Co-Owner Covered the Flyers Game for CSN Last Night

Voila_Capture985As we told you the other day, in an effort to cut costs CSN outlets around the country will begin using local freelancers in place of embedded beat reporters for select road games. It’s not a terrible idea, seeing as though a typical game recap can be written from a basement somewhere, saving thousands on travel (and wine) expenses. But it certainly goes against CSN’s all-access, Insider shtick. So, I thought it would be fun to Meet Your Beat the first few times CSN farms out coverage of your local teams.

Last night, freelancer, Buffalo FC co-owner and former sports talk radio host Nicholas Mendola, who uses pictures of Sabres players as cover photos on two separate Facebook accounts…

Voila_Capture984

… was your Flyers reporter for CSN Philly, for their game against the Sabres.

He did a good job, though. Mendola’s prose was better than Tim Panaccio’s usually stilted list of quotes that masquerades as a useful game recap, and tapping him for the spot-start coverage was certainly cheaper than sending a reporter to Buffalo. [You can compare Mendola's recap to Panaccio's most recent work.]

This latest push to save money makes you wonder if CSN will decline to renew Panaccio’s contract when it expires in August (I’m told he makes six figures) and instead use Sarah Baicker as their main Flyers beat, relying more heavily on local freelancers for road games. We’ll see.

I’m no Panaccio fan, and I honestly think someone like Mendola can churn out a game recap just as well, but there is something to be said for having a longtime reporter travel with the team. Panaccio breaks more news than any other Flyers beat writer, for better or worse, and relying on total outsiders to cover the team (for a major sports outlet like CSN!) means even less news and more generic coverage.

19 Comments

  1. How much do you think that these freelancers make per game? I have a friend who may be interested in this type of work. Sucks for Panaccio but whatever…he writes about sports. That’s a talent that’s very easily replaceable.

  2. See name^^^^

  3. ^^see name^^

  4. comcast is becoming quite the joke. their quarterly earnings for the 3rd quarter in 2013 was 16.2 billion with an an expected earnings of 64 billion in 2013. with those numbers, comcast doesnt strike me as a company that needs to pursue cost-cutting measures such as employing free lance writers for away games. sounds more like a company nickle and diming the consumers and when quality takes precedence over quality, we can expect shit for results.

  5. It’s a zero sum game, pal.

  6. That dude looks like Keifer Sutherland’s younger brother.

  7. You know, glass is half full opinion, maybe this is a good thing? Maybe instead of getting constant Type OB articles from Pantoch and the like, there will be some refreshing non-biased articles from outsiders?

    Now how do we get rid of Les Bowen?

  8. Manfred von Richthofen

    January 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    More Sarah Baiker would be terrible…that strange, rug-munching, annoying creature needs to fade away rather than be made front and center…

  9. The only reason Sarah is a hockey reporter is so she can go check out guys tools in the locker room.

    • Uh…I don’t think that Sarah is all that interested in the guys in the locker room, but the locker room scene may be why she plays girls hockey.

  10. Tim Panaccio is a Yinzer

    January 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I wasn’t fucking going to Buffalo! What a Shit-hole!

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