Welcome, my minions. The time is upon us. The RADIO WARS have slowed. The broadcast purge is damn near complete. And podcasts have been ripped from the hands of their founders and turned over to the Radio.com overlords.
The committee has convened in peace time and decided to issue its inaugural Philly Sports Media Power Rankings, a top 10 list of who’s who in the incestuous Philly sports media ecosphere. Expectedly, there is some overlap between the categories, as mergers and partnerships have pretty much everyone in Philly cashing at least one check from the same two companies, or The Athletic.
For the purposes of these lists, CrossingBroad.com members will not be eligible. But please know that the maestro considers his men and women – warriors, all of them – to be among the best in their respective categories, mostly because we’re not unionized.
The TV rankings proved difficult. Consolidation, the decreasing importance of local news, and the fact that NBC 10 decided to just outsource its sports coverage to its sports RSN brother, made putting together this list more challenging that one thought.
Regardless, the committee convened last Thursday in Slack and decided to weigh up-and-comers and those shaping the industry in their own way more heavily than straight news presenters. The list, in some cases followed by anonymous comments from the committee:
10) Derrick Gunn
The king of the bro-hug. We like Derrick more (a lot more) for his work on Postgame Live! than we do Quick Slants, which the staff finds distasteful. But Gunner, the former host of Gunn On One, has been doing his thing for years and cultivates genuine relationships with Philly’s sports royalty (the Eagles).
Commenter 1: “Eagles postgame viewers like him.”
Commenter 2: “Eagles post game viewers like Coors Lite and meth too.”
9) Serena Winters
Ostensibly replacing both Molly Sullivan and Jessica Camerato, Winters has ably slid into the role of sideline reporter on Sixers broadcasts, and handles the online and social duties thrown her way as part of more traditional NBC Sports Philly roles. A quasi-state reporter, she does a solid job of balancing her allegiances, and she is becoming a face of the most entertaining show in town, the Sixers.
8) 6 ABC Sports Team
Assemble! Honestly, we couldn’t pick one of Jeff Skversky, Jamie Apody or Ducis Rodgers, but felt the most powerful local news broadcast in the country deserved to be on the list. They all do a good job, even if we could do without Skversky’s Emoji Tweets. 🙈
7) Ricky Bottalico
There are times where Ricky Bo is more of the show than the game that precedes him. His screeds are predictable and old school, but his appearances on Postgame Live! are the first time since the earlier days of Eagles PGL where we actually look forward to the reaction that follows. The Eagles’ version of the show has slowly eroded to the point of unwatchability over the years, the committee agrees.
“People love him. I’m told ratings when Ricky Bo are far superior to Ben Davis.”
“He’s the Id of the Phillies fan.”
6) Corey Seidman
The left brain to Bottalico’s caveman ID, Seidman is genuinely insightful and has improved greatly in his on-air delivery. He’s in our Phillies top 3 triumvirate of coverage, along with Jack Fritz and our own Bob Wankel.
5) Michael Barkann
Perhaps the first upset here, Barkann has fallen from his perch. Still, he’s the OG at NBC Sports Philly and belongs on any list of power rankings. He is an excellent facilitator. But his Q rating seemed to dip after his stint at WIP, which he was fired from due to low ratings. The committee was not kind to him:
“Big fish in a small pond.”
“Now a carnival barker.”
“Fake yelling at players after a loss.”
“OH! There’s Vaitai! Couldn’t protect the qb, huh?!””
4) Mike Missanelli
There was VEHEMENT disagreement in the committee for including a radio guy on the TV list. But the maestro has overruled them all. Mike commands four-straight hours on NBC Sports Philly and his show replaced the Daily News Live hour. Call it cost-cutting, call it easy content, whatever– simulcast radio shows are a thing and drive the profiles of notorious national personalities. He belongs on the list. And the show itself is done rather well, with some actual production value for TV. Camera is a little close on Mike, though.
3) Ray Didinger
R. Diddy won our Philly Sports Media Field of 64 years ago and forwarded me an email through a female family member to thank me I think because he doesn’t know how to use a computer. That’s part of his charm. His sincerity and kindness alone are reasons why he stands out. His football knowledge just adds to it.
2) Amy Fadool
Amy may be up this high due to attrition. She has survived rounds of staff cuts at NBC Sports Philly, and the committee agreed that she knows her stuff better than she is able to display on TV– this comes from both direct and third-party observation. Her decision to unfollow me on Twitter due do a spat involving an interview with Chip Kelly about Nelson Agholor four years ago had no bearing on her placement.
1) John Clark
Clark is such a no-brainer here. He is the face of NBC Sports coverage, on both the cable network and the broadcast channel. He works his ass off. He’s everywhere and probably doesn’t need to be. But what stands out is his social media game. Somehow, a TV guy has the best local sports social media account in the city. He’s the chosen one. He also gives fist pounds every time you see him which ALWAYS throws me off.
Tomorrow, the radio.