Somewhat surprising news from Leslie Gudel yesterday:
For the first time in 19+ yrs, I’m a free agent. I’m proud of what we built at CSN. Looking forward to a new chapter, whatever that may be.
— Leslie Gudel (@lesliegudel) October 3, 2016
In an interview with Rob Tornoe, Gudel, who has had a mostly reduced role covering the Phillies in recent years, said it wasn’t her decision to leave after the season:
“We discussed this prior to the season starting, and I’m comfortable with the decision,” Gudel said in an interview. She said it wasn’t her idea, however.
“I love baseball. I love the Phillies. If I don’t end up back at the ballpark covering the team, I’m really going to miss it,” Gudel said, who also added she had nothing but respect for CSN and the people who work there.
CSN put out a statement:
We thank Leslie Gudel for her years of contributions to CSN. We wish her the best, and know she’ll be successful in her future endeavors.
— CSN Philly (@CSNPhilly) October 3, 2016
Interestingly, both Gudel and Neil Hartman – two of the original CSN-ers – have left this year. Hartman had posted a similar message on social media, which was also followed up by a brief statement from CSN:
“We would like to thank Neil Hartman for his many years of service at Comcast SportsNet and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Typically, two well-liked sportscasters don’t just leave their jobs without somewhere to go. So it certainly seems like there’s maybe a cost-cutting element here, but who knows. Hartman just lists Sportscaster on LinkedIn, and it doesn’t sound like Gudel has any immediate plans to go elsewhere.