Reader Email: What Happened To CSN?

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Email from reader yvonne:

Just read your article on ‘CSN thinks it gets millennials’ and wanted to tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed it. A pleasure to read such a well considered and written article.

I feel a point not made by anyone in all of the changing faces and formats at CSN in pursuit of the millenial audience is the price the company will pay in the alienation of its established, long time generation of sports fans, radio listeners and TV viewers who identified with and felt a personal connection to the long time ‘faces’ of the network and the comfort of usual expectations being met. I enjoyed Leslie Gudel and Neil Hartman and when Ron Burke joined with Brian Baldinger and Ray Didinger I thought that interaction was informative and they ‘clicked’ for me. The viewer has to be able to identify with the hosts and want to invest emotionally in them and their way of doing things. I personally never enjoyed the Ruben Frank/ Dave Spadero segments on Michael Barkans’ Show. I thought they were fabricated to reflect the fiesty/ passionate character of the Philadelphia sports fan and ended up being ridiculously juvenile spats. That emotional investment by the viewer is a valuable asset which needs to be respected by the company which elicits it.

Surely, there are things that need to change but I feel a more measured approach would have served CSN better. I think BOB was a good idea. The format, personnel and time slot had a lot to do with it not being successful. It was uncomfortably ‘stiff’ in its format and presentation. I think The Dan Patrick Show is a great model of how to transcend the gender gap in sports on TV/Radio. I agree with you about Michael Barkan and his ease with the incorporation of the many streams of information. I enjoy his easy going yet confident style of hosting..

What is happening to CSN sports, (NBC influence, maybe), is akin to what’s happening in sports today generally…. everything is metrics and analytics, a business calculation. Not all things lend themselves to that being the main or only focus for executive decision making. Sports teams and the groups who report on them are organic and are more about personalities, chemistry, confidence, leadership and always talent.

Thank you for the article.

I agree with a lot here. CSN is going in a strange direction. They’ve jettisoned or not renewed the contracts of some of their more household names while at the same time embracing the debate format of sports TV with often out-of-their-element personalities. ESPN is doing the exact opposite. Sure, they laid off a bunch of their big-name reporters, but they’re literally building their lineup around personalities. CSN, it seems, only lets personalities shine if they’re boxed into a debate segment and a relaxed-fit sweater.

More credit goes to ESPN for dumping more money into 30 for 30 and Outside The Lines. Ergo:

CSN doesn’t do regular programming like this. Not close. Relying on sports rights and post-game shows may be enough, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s little else on the air that people like or need.

I used to think Comcast zapped the life out of everything, but NBC Sports Network’s EPL and hockey coverage is really good and natural. So it’s not like Comcast can’t put on quality sports programming. Things are never as good at the local level – take for example genuine talent Jillian Mele bouncing for FOX News – but certainly they can do better. I mean, the second slide on their video page is a banner featuring Sarah Baicker and Mele, BOTH OF WHOM DON’T WORK FOR THE NETWORK ANYMORE:

Third slide:

I watch Snapchats of John Gonzalez drinking Mai Tais on the beach. He couldn’t be further from that slim tie and Michael Barkann’s ever-upgraded iPad. Come on, guys. Get it together.


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57 Responses

    1. I am a mellennial. I actually think csn has a really good format. Roob and Gunner are awesome. They don’t try to be cooler than they are. I like that. Plus, they don’t wear suits that are 3 sizes too small like everyone else. I love the casual look csn has. I really enjoy the guys wearing the casual pull over shirts.

      1. I agree they are like 2 regular dudes. Reminds me of shooting the shit at a local bar when I hear gunner and Reuben on quick slants

        1. I agree. Quick Slants is the best thing on there. Roob knows his shit. I agree that them wearing casual clothes makes it a lot better too.

  1. Fly Eagles fly, on the road to victory
    Fly Eagles fly, score a touchdown 1,2,3
    Hit them low, hit them high and
    Watch those Eagles fly
    Fly Eagles fly on the road to victory
    E A G L E S

        1. Everybody change their handle to unfunny jerkoff and tell kyle he has aids rofl how funny would that be.

    1. Ball sees the floor better than almost anyone coming out in years. He is exceptional on the fastbreak, which is something the Sixers want to do regularly

  2. Kyle, you better not put another picture of me on your website or I’m coming down into the basement after I’m done with your mom.

    1. Kyle, don’t worry about idle threats from Dee Gunn. He only does what his Eagles’ masters tell him he can do. Any time spent in your basement would be time away from kissing the Eagles’ asses, and they just won’t allow that.

  3. Wow Lil Robbie E going full dork outfit in that one pic. It’s amazing how the voice/personality can match the look so perfectly

      1. Delco Robbie E is the dweeb’s poster child.

        Hard to believe he could out-debate all those schmoes on WIP for 4 or 5 straight years.

    1. That guy is a turkey. I heard him say on the air that Eagles GM Jim Murray was his godfather or something, so it’s obvious that he’s been on the inside his whole life. When I see his mug I change the channel.

  4. Roob knows his football, but he honestly has a lot of Bill Conlin in him:

    1. Cruises around watching all of the “new” bands playing in the area, even though he’s pushing 60
    2. Announces high school track and field – referred to a female hurdler in front of me as “so hot when she crossed the line”
    3. Morbidly obese

    1. Top 5 high school girls i openly fap to:
      1. D Gunn’s daughter- her blinds are see through
      2. Anne Frank- could be related but either way i give her a “full salute”
      3. Timmy Gudel- he may be 11 and therefore not actually in high school but by then he will embrace his tranny-ness
      4. The down’s girl who claps at the finish line- i believe this drooling hottie was already mentioned
      5. LaSalle chess club captain- she hides the rook like nobody’s biz

      1. Hell I still PLAY them and in 70! WANGO TAAAANGOOO EFF DA BLACKS YEEEEAAHHHHH!!!! Hold on i just dropped a shitball in my leather pants #wipewithbandana

  5. DNL was pretty good in the old days before they ruined it with polls and Twitter nonsense. Anybody who spends all day voting on polls and sending out Tweets doesn’t spend any money. All they do is spend time in their mother’s basement. DNL shoved all the newspaper columnists out the door. I liked when they paneled together and had debates. Now the columnists solo or are paired with a CSN employee. I only watch Quick Slants now because D Gunn and Franks do their homework. It’s no nonsense coverage of the Birds.

    1. Hey we got da guv, Vaughn, B West, the pride of the Hong Kong Buffet Reuben Frank, and a whole lot of side-mouth action yelling at you the viewer coming up on this specisl circle jerk edition of quick slits…

      1. Sadly, this commenter above has described the real Michael Barkann exactly. He has become Philly’s own Chris Berman.

    1. it’s fucking terrible right? I used to be a regular here going on about 4-5 years, but it’s jumped the shark. Kyle will say it’s because the 4 teams are dreadful, but that’s bullshit and he knows it. It’s really been shit since the hiring of Jim. The guy was borderline illiterate and was only interested in writing about the Sixers, which is fine, but he put zero effort into everything he wrote. Kyle just seems to be going through the motions at this point and isn’t really an interesting or talented writer to start with. There are much better sports blogs out there, but this one will always have the best comment section, even though it’s been lacking lately.

      1. The only thing this site has going for it is the (mostly) unmoderated comment section. If some politically-correct douchebags get to Kyle and make him censor it, or require official logins to post comments, this site is history.


    1. Stay in your lane! Either focus on n1ggers or c unts, and leave something for the rest of us to bitch about.

    1. Maureen, someone with your qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.

  7. Sports radio in Philly better be praying that the sixers draft Alonso ball. Only thing that will save them is his crazy dad

  8. Hey some thoughts

    1. Well Trumpers. It’s happened. For all the horrible and terrible things OrangeFace McDementia has done and has done to others, he’s never jeopardized national security. But it him took not much more than 100 days to do exactly that. Revealing out CLASSIFIED information about god damn ISIS to the motherfucking RUSSIANS!! Are you out of your mind! Can you honestly sit here and say you feel safe and confident with this moron…this ape…this sub human pile of spray tan as President? NO YOU CANNOT. For the sake of humanity and the safety of this country he needs to resign NOW or be impeached. For my own sanity I would welcome Mike Pence — a man who calls his wife, “mother.”

    2. Interesting string of days on CB. Kyle mails in Friday with an AMA — a short one, at that — then keeps that post up over the weekend because it was probably a weekend where he was welcome at mommy and daddy’s shore house. Then he comes back today with nothing particularly original or insightful, but several posts that do hit on relevant topics. Maybe Kyle had a good meeting with his therapist, I don’t know.

    3. Speaking of Jillian Mele. Did she gain weight or something? She looked fat on that Fox News clip and her boobs didn’t like that big. She is going to need to hit the gym and wear more of a push up bra if she wants to make it. She’s pretty enough and can read a prompter, I guess. But she’s in the big leagues now. No more Sarah Baicker’s to sit next to.

    4. So is Eytan Shander a full time co host on the Cuz show? He is there everyday now. And I guess Baldy just pops in whenever he damn well pleases? The show is pretty bad. I feel like Martinez likes making fun of Cuz because he knows the show sucks. Every time he can play a Cuz sound drop and poke fun at him, he does. There’s more to it than just being playful.

    5. The second season of Master of None is a masterpiece thus far. I’m about 6 episodes in. Can’t recommend it enough.

    6. Are the hockey playoffs still going on? If the Preds and Ducks play, but nobody outside of Nashville or Anaheim watches it, does it make a sound?

    7. I don’t have cable and only watch CSN for the games on the app, but they have over 250 games on their air each year. That’s more than enough content to justify the $3 or so a month they charge cable companies per sub to carry them. Investing in original programming or talk show is a waste for them, really. I get having some Eagles related stuff since they don’t have games, but they don’t need anything else, really. It’s all just filler. Here’s an idea. Put on Netflix at 500 instead of Barkann. Or, I don’t know, get off your couch? Fatties.

    8. I support Larry Krasner for DA of Philadelphia and will be voting for him tomorrow.

    1. I thought the Russians were nothing to worry about? Remember Obama mocking Mitt Romney for saying as such?

  9. Why, Eagles, Why did you blow the victory )whydja do it, Birds?) And Why, Eagles, Why, did you do it just for me (and me and me?) You got whacked, you got smacked, you got hacked, you got sacked, so Why, Eagles, Why, did you blow the Victory? (Slower speed) E-A-G-L-E-S–EAGLES! ( A second stanza of famous song, words I made up).

  10. I am about to cut out CSN like I have cut out sports talk. Six weeks ago, I stopped listening to either sports talk stations in Philly. I am much happier now.
    I still DVR Barkann’s CSN show. This, however, may not last much longer. If I see another show with a segment of Barkann and fools throwing ping pong balls at red cups to determine how many spins they get on a NBA draft lottery simulator, I’m done.
    Sorry, I am a sports fan that actually wants news and analysis. If you are not going to give that to me, I won’t be watching or listening.

  11. How much Eagles talk do you need it gets so boring after 24/7 365 days a year if you listen to any other sports station in any other city they talk all sports.Can not listen to the same crap every day.Like football but if you eat the same thing every day you get nauseous.

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