NBC Sports Philly press release:
NBC Sports Philadelphia announced today that Michael Barkann, the venerable day-one voice of the network, has been elevated to primary host of all pre and postgame shows.
As the network seeks to further cultivate its relationship with Authentic Fans, Barkann will focus on anchoring Sixers, Phillies and Flyers programming, in addition to his Eagles responsibilities.
Throughout the nearly 21 years of the network, Barkann’s duties have included hosting “Philly Sports Talk” (formerly Daily News Live), specials – including championship parades, and of course, “Eagles Pregame Live” and “Eagles Postgame Live.”
“Michael has changed the way Philadelphia sports fans watch and interact with their teams, making Eagles Postgame Live a must watch for all Eagles fans,” said NBC Sports Philadelphia President Brian Monihan. “We are thrilled that he is bringing his same level of passion and knowledge to our highly-rated Flyers, Phillies and Sixers pre and postgame programs.”
“It has been my honor to bring “Daily News Live/Philly Sports Talk” onto the air 20 plus years ago, and help it grow to become a daily staple of Philadelphia sports,” said Barkann. “I now have the opportunity to bring fans closer to the games they love by hosting the pre and postgame programs. I am excited for, and appreciate this opportunity.”
Catch a special tribute to Michael Barkann on “Philly Sports Talk” on Thursday, April 26.
The network also announced today that Amy Fadool and Marc Farzetta will be the permanent co-hosts of “Philly Sports Talk.” The duo began hosting the show on Fridays earlier this year. Fadool has been a fixture on NBC Sports Philadelphia since 2009, as a host, anchor and reporter. Farzetta, a long time behind-the-scenes member of the NBC Sports family, is best known for his role on WIP’s “Angelo Cataldi & The Morning Team” show.
“Philly Sports Talk” airs Monday through Fridays from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia. The network’s pre and postgame shows air prior to, and immediately after all Flyers, Phillies and Sixers games airing on NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Philadelphia+, and all Eagles games.
Allow me to read between the lines here. This is totally my own conjecture. Elevated to primary host of post-game shows (he frequently already hosted)… with Amy Fadool and Marc Farzetta succeeding him on the show he pioneered. I don’t know many people who want to work more nights and weekends on the back-end of their careers. Regardless, Fadool and Farzetta should breathe some new life into Philly Sports Talk, which sorely needs it. Originally a 90-minute show, Daily News Live has been cut to 60 minutes in recent years and re-branded with the more generic, NBC-approved moniker. Whereas the show used to be a place to catch up on all the goings on in Philly sports and prepare for the night ahead, it lacks a certain… relevance… in 2018. But switching things up can’t hurt.
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 25, 2018
Post-game shows are where it’s at on regional sports networks. Some have already done away with news-type shows like PST and Sportsnite or whatever it’s called now. Post-game, though, where you can breakdown games while they’re still #fresh and air live press conferences, still has some value, so moving Barkann here full-time makes sense– he’s good at it and is somehow always awake at 12 a.m.
It’s also worth noting that NBC Sports Philly recently began simulcasting Mike Missanelli’s radio show from 2-5, even though it runs until 6. It seems to me that an easy way to cut costs and probably not suffer much of a ratings dropoff would be to just extend it you 6, doing away with PST completely. But, you know, I’m not here to make that decision.
Anyway, for now the show will be in the capable hands of Amy Fadool and Marc Farzetta, while Postgame Live gets a more steady, consistent dose of Barkann.