Philly Sports Talk, the show formerly known as Daily News Live, is no more.
It’s been a longtime coming, and the show was effectively dead once NBC took over its branding, but the reasons seem mostly unrelated to any prior decisions.
Here’s the press release:
The Mike Missanelli Show is getting an expanded time slot on NBC Sports Philadelphia, starting on Monday, March 4th. The popular radio show will now simulcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia from 2 until 6 p.m. weekdays, effective Monday, March 4. Philly Sports Talk, which runs from 5-6 p.m. on weekdays, will air its last program on Friday, March 1.
“We’re pleased to extend The Mike Missanelli Show on NBC Sports Philadelphia, and it’s been a welcome addition to our line-up since joining last year,” said NBC Sports Philadelphia President Brian Monihan. “We remain committed to developing engaging content across multiple platforms, including NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com, the MyTeams App and across social media.”
Added Monihan on Philly Sports Talk’s historic run: “Daily News Live was the first show that launched on then Comcast SportsNet in 1997, and it changed the way Philly sports fans discussed their hometown sports. Not many shows can survive for 21 plus years, but as consumer habits have evolved, now is the right time to move in a new direction. We thank everyone who has been a part of Daily News Live and Philly Sports Talk over the years– the talent, the crew and the countless guests and contributors.”
Daily News Live was an essential, model show for regional sports TV. I was one of the people watching when accused pederast Bill Conlin asked Michael Barkann if he realized he’d be the answer to a trivia question – what was the first live voice on Comcast SportsNet? – during the show’s debut in 1997. The 90-minute(!) roundtable was the perfect after-work or after-school fare for sports TV. It was a gathering spot to talk about the games ahead and proved a reliable platform for many sports-related press tours. It caught you up on the news that was and the games that were yet to be. It was casual and free-flowing and worked despite its loose structure. Michael Barkann can inject manufactured energy into a bag of gently worn clothes, so a rotating cast of zany and unkempt sportswriters was easy work.
But this was a time before the web commanded our attention all day long. The show had become less relevant literally every day since the iPhone hit the market. It was cut to an hour at some point, turned into the very heavily NBC branded Philly Sports Talk, and has since ejected Barkann and his blue glasses in favor of Philly soup du jour Marc Farzetta, who is better on the radio than TV. Around a year ago, NBC tried to make the show younger with Farzetta and Amy Fadool by aping [insert hip ESPN show with Michelle Beadle] and having a quirky set. The problem is, nothing NBC does will ever be afforded the creative freedom to be truly hip. Everything they do on a local level is too corporate, too safe to appeal to a younger demo.
Replacing what was left of the brand with Missanelli’s show, which I’m guessing is a substantially cheaper solution that will get comparable if not better ratings, was likely a no-brainer. The show no longer had a place, regardless of any individual decisions along the way.
But it had quite the run, and we should pour one out for the brand.