Retired NHL center Bill Clement is now retired from broadcasting, too.
The 70-year-old former Flyer called it quits last week after several decades of television and radio for ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and other media outlets. In recent years, he had done color commentary and postgame studio analysis for the local broadcasts.
Clement appeared this past Sunday on Glen Macnow and Ray Didinger’s excellent radio broadcast, and was asked two questions about his decision to retire.
Macnow: “We heard the other day that you’ve decided – after all these years – that you’ve decided to hang up the mic and stop broadcasting. Why the decision?”
Clement: (long exhale) “I think turning 70 in December had something to do with it. And wanting, once COVID-19 hits the road, or the vaccine comes out, to spend so much time traveling with my wife. I love traveling for vacation but I’ve grown tired of traveling for business. I’ve traveled extensively for hockey business and other business since 1985. It seemed like the right time. I love broadcasting and still do. If somebody could airlift me into the seat, without having to have me park at an airport, get on a plane, connect someplace, get an Uber, and check into a hotel, everything that accompanies it – that all seems like heavy lifting to me now. I will always love the broadcasting part, and the people, obviously, but it’s just time.”
Macnow: “I just want to clarify one thing – because there have been a lot of cut backs in the industry and a lot of cut backs at NBC Sports Philadelphia – this was your call?”
Clement: “It was my call. I hadn’t spoken with anybody at NBC Sports. They hadn’t gotten in touch with me to ask me if I wanted to come back, and that got to be two or three days ago. So I thought that silence might mean more than I think it does. But one way or the other, it wasn’t (about) not being contacted, or NBC Sports’ silence, I pretty well was sure after last season. I just wanted to sleep on it for a couple of months. I was going to retire one way or another. It certainly had nothing to do with a negotiation or money or anything.”
That part in bold is Clement taking the high road while dropping a hint.
Crossing Broad sources say most talent phone calls and emails are completely ignored by NBC Sports Philadelphia, and that goes well beyond Bill Clement. Over the years, many on-air folks, working on a seasonal or per-game basis, had no idea if they were even going to be included in local broadcasts. They didn’t know if they were needed and couldn’t get a definitive answer from NBCSP, or even a response.
Specific to this Flyers season, most folks had no idea Katie Emmer was leaving the station, nor did they know that Taryn Hatcher and Scott Hartnell were moving to the desk until we broke the news on January 5th, eight days before the season opener.
Colby Cohen, for instance, apparently only learned of his status last Thursday:
Found out today I unfortunately won’t be back this season on NBC but I am grateful for the passion and spirited interactions with you all over the past few seasons. The fans are what makes this such a great hockey city. Hope to see a big 🏆 for the boys this year! #Flyers
— Colby Cohen (@ColbyCohen36) January 8, 2021
The duty of informing talent about their usage, or lack thereof, falls on Vice President and Executive Producer of Live Events, Shawn Oleksiak, along with VP of Content and VP of Programming, Michelle Murray.