Sarah Baicker Is Leaving CSN
The Breakfast on Broad fallout continues.
Sarah Baicker announced last night on Facebook that she’s leaving CSN and heading to New York. Portions:
It broke my heart when Breakfast on Broad was canceled earlier this year. That show was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and I worked with an amazing group of people who believed in what we were doing. We won a freakin’ Emmy! But, hey, plenty of great TV gets canceled before it ought to be. It happens.
I learned of the show’s fate back on Jan. 31, and I’ve done *a lot* of thinking since then. That’s an understatement. But what has become clear to me in the weeks since is that it’s time to move on. CSN has been great to me, and great for me. I will miss a lot about this place — the people, the access, the crazy stuff only people who have worked in sports will understand. But it’s time to take a leap. So I’m gonna do that. Tomorrow’s Phillies postgame show will be the last time you’ll see me on CSN.
This is not particularly surprising. The on-air BOB talent was thrust into awkward roles once the show was canceled. Jillian Mele quickly left for FOX News. Rob Ellis is currently a roving on-air personality who, for Opening Day, was sent to Xfinity Live! to taste drinks made by the Phanatic (that is quite possibly the worst use of Ellis imaginable). Barrett Brooks makes a bit more sense as a traditional analyst. And Baicker, who had done mostly online Flyers stuff prior to the show, was cast as an analyst slash web guru whom the network typically relied upon, including during her time on BOB, to read Tweets so they could pay lip service to doing social media. It didn’t seem like an ideal spot.
I’ve heard that Baicker is leaving on her own, opting not to renew her contract, and does have a yet-unknown gig lined up in New York, where her boyfriend also lives.
In a statement, CSN thanked Sarah for her contributions: “We thank Sarah Baicker for her contributions to our networks, and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Some thoughts: The awful local sports teams have murdered the Philly sports media space. Just decimated it. What was a lively and exciting corner of the industry just a few years ago following consecutive Phillies World Series runs, a Flyers Stanley Cup run, and even several highly controversial or discussable Eagles moments (Vick, Cooper, Chip), has become a wasteland of unsustainable dreck. Would BOB still exist if it had a championship run to discuss every morning? I think the format was doomed from the start, but I suspect the runway would’ve been longer. Sports talk radio is dreadful right now, but I can’t even bring myself to keep making fun of it because I am acutely aware that there is so little to work with. And ditto for CSN, which already exists in an industry going through rapid change– the lack of a quality sports team to cover just piles on the misery.
I’m not implying that Baicker is leaving because sports are terrible. But, in just the last year or so, Philly Mag has laid off their (HIGHLY POPULAR) Eagles and Sixers reporters. CSN has parted ways with Neil Hartman, (CB Phillies reporter) Leslie Gudel and Ron Burke. John Gonzalez left the network to go sit on the beach in LA. And now Mele and Baicker are leaving on their own. Sports talk radio is at times unlistenable. Michael Barkann and Josh Innes were pushed out of WIP (for different reasons). And even the blogosphere kind of blows right now. Everyone is trying something, but it’s damn near impossible to get anything to stick because the interest just isn’t there, relatively speaking. The brief Sixers surge in January seemed to signal an end to all that… but then Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were declared out for the season, Nerlens Noel was traded, and Jahlil Okafor something something meniscus. There’s just not the market for Philly sports coverage right now that everyone thinks there is, and that, combined with other factors, is impacting many careers.