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“Daily News Live” Has Been Fully Killed Off

Kyle Scott - February 25, 2019

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.

NBC Sports Rolls Out New “MyTeams” App

Kevin Kinkead - October 16, 2018

I’m not a cord-cutter, but I hope to be in the near future.

We’re still hooked up to FIOS up here in Fishtown, so if I’m not watching the Sixers or Flyers or Phillies on TV, the routine has been to log in to NBC Sports Philadelphia via our cable provider and stream the games on my laptop. Then my wife watches Below Deck or The Real Housewives or whatever is on Bravo.

It’s been possible to stream games on the NBC Sports app since 2014, and a new service also allows you to stream local non-game footage from out of market locations.

Now NBC Sports is running out another app for Philly fans.

Writes Rob Tornoe at Philly.com:

Dubbed the MYTeams app, NBC Sports’ new mobile and tablet app wraps up coverage from NBC’s 11 regional sports networks, including NBC Sports Philadelphia, into an interface that focuses on team verticals. There’s not even a home screen — just a slider at the bottom that lets fans scan for live video, highlights, and stories across all the teams they decide to follow.

“There’s a difference between how we cover sports in Philadelphia, especially as it relates to the voice and tone of our coverage versus NBC Sports,” David Preschlack, president of NBC Sports Regional Networks, said. “I mean, we’re communicating to Philly fans in a really different way that Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison are on Sunday night, so there’s a different value to viewers.”

Fans will still need a cable subscription to view live game coverage, and the app is only available on smartphones and tablets, meaning viewers will still use the NBC Sports app to stream games on their television. Still, Preschlack said, the app is the largest non-game investment in the regional sports network’s history. The network hopes the app will counter a narrative in Philadelphia that NBC Sports is cutting back.

My first thought is that I’d rather have fewer apps than more apps. I remember when Facebook rolled out their messenger app, which was totally separate from the main app and took up a lot of space on your device. That was sort of a head-scratcher. In that regard, I’d prefer NBC just roll these two apps together.

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Taryn Hatcher Signs Off “Hawaii Now” Before Making Cross Continent Journey Into Your Hearts

Kyle Scott - July 12, 2018

New NBC Sports Philly roving reporter Taryn Hatcher signed off her Hawaiian TV station last night (or today, I’m bad at timezones). She’ll be headed back home to Philly.

Caution: There’s a lot of Hawaii in this video:

Also, can we talk about this blockhead and his clap at 1:10?

+262 Taryn doesn’t make it back here and winds up in this guy’s freezer cut into 1,000 slices, each arranged in a way so as to position her as she was in his favorite outtake:

Hot flash no more, my little peanut butter cup. Hot flash no more.

Oh well, this is Taryn Hatcher. Can’t wait to meet her. If we get to meet her.

Michael Barkann Is Moving Off of Philly Sports Talk To Do Pre and Post Game Shows Exclusively

Kyle Scott - April 25, 2018

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.

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.

Marshall Harris Is Out at NBC Sports Philly

Kyle Scott - March 23, 2018

The ultimate utility man, Marshall Harris, who has been with NBC Sports Philly for 10 years, is OUT at the network, according to Jeff Blumenthal of the Philly Business Journal.

We heard last night there was another change at the network. Harris hasn’t tweeted about it and still lists the company in his handle, but it sounds like his contract was not renewed.

It’s hard to really extrapolate any takeaway from this since Harris is just the latest well-known personality to leave the network, but it seems somewhat surprising given his ability to fill just about any on-air role– anchor, host, reporter and so on. It seemed like he did a little bit of everything.

There’s a weird shift going on in mainstream Philly sports media, with each of the established players trying in their own way to embrace a shift to new media. WIP features its stable of loosely-connected podcasters and gives them traditional airtime. 97.5 has been a bit more organic in its shift, using Natalie Egenolf as sort of the face of its online presence. And CSN has been trying to loosen up its vibe with a shift toward #debate, relaxed-fit attire, and Michael Barkann’s blue glasses, while beefing up its streaming capabilities and offerings.

Philly.com has become largely irrelevant.

The problem, in some cases, is that traditional outlets are trying to graft online content formats onto mainstream platforms, or vice versa. The very nature of what makes a good podcast is stripped away when it’s put into traditional radio frameworks where it must adhere to all the business interests and sponsor-first segments.

Similarly, taking a bunch of folks who are really good at reading a teleprompter and putting them in informal settings has varied results.

The formats and incentives of new media and old media often don’t align and produce misshapen products when blended.

Regardless, it’s a touch unclear why NBC Sports Philly would let go of Harris, unless it’s strictly cost-cutting (we’re hearing Michael Barkann has been re-upped, and he ain’t cheap). He was, if nothing else, one of their younger (hipper?) personalities who seemed comfortable in most settings. He certainly wasn’t bringing deep, next-level analysis, but he also wasn’t wholly awkward the way some folks are.

All of that being said, John Clark has more or less become the face of the network, covering the big games, landing the best assignments, and having a truly stellar social feed (sometimes I get pissed how quickly he gets stuff up on social media). He’s like the unicorn who can do TV and master social media at the same time. Also, he’s not a source for me on anything, so I’m not kissing his ass– I just think he’s really good.

Anyway, Harris is gone as CSN continues to trim some fat and shift toward a multi-platform approach.

The Mike Missanelli Show Will Now Air Live on NBC Sports Philly

Kyle Scott - December 20, 2017

NBC Sports Philly press release:

NBC Sports Philadelphia and the Beasley Media Group announced a partnership which will bring The Fanatic’s popular afternoon show hosted by Mike Missanelli to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s air beginning in 2018.  The announcement was made by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brian Monihan and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia’s Vice President and Market Manager Joe Bell.

The “Mike Missanelli Show” will air NBC Sports Philadelphia weekdays from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. “Philly Sports Talk” will air at its regularly scheduled time at 5 p.m.

I… kind of like this. No reason to not put on live programming during time otherwise reserved for tape delay or whatever else they put on between 2-5. This model has worked in other markets, and nationally, and putting one of the city’s top two sports talk radio hosts on TV, in his natural habitat, just makes sense. Whether you like Mike or hate him, this is a partnership that is too obvious to attempt to criticize.

Of course, I’m looking forward to Missanelli leading into Barkann, whom he once called a “marginally talented circus barker who couldn’t exist without a teleprompter” in response to Barkann criticizing him over his Victor Cruz Tweet. We don’t believe Mike will be working with a prompter.

Here’s The Flyers-Capitals First Round Playoff Schedule

Jim Adair - April 11, 2016

The NHL has announced the schedule for the first round series between the Flyers and Capitals. All currently scheduled games will air on NBC Sports Network, except game 2, which will air on CNBC. Games 3, 4, and 6 (if necessary) will be in Philadelphia. Check the whole schedule below:

Game 1

  • @ Washington on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. on NBCSN, CSN Philly

Game 2

  • @ Washington on Saturday, April 16th at 7 p.m. on CNBC, CSN Philly

Game 3

  • @ Philadelphia on Monday, April 18th at 7 p.m. on NBCSN, CSN Philly

Game 4

  • @ Philadelphia on Wednesday, April 20th at 7 p.m. on NBCSN, CSN Philly

Game 5*

  • @ Washington on Friday, April 22nd. Time and network TBD, CSN Philly

Game 6*

  • @ Philadelphia on Sunday, April 24th. Time and network TBD

Game 7*

  • @ Washington on Wednesday, April 27th. Time and network TBD, CSN Philly

 

*if necessary

UPDATE: CSN Philly will air all games, except Game 6.

CSN is Gobbling Up the NBC 10 Sports Team

Kyle Scott - November 19, 2013

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A bit of interesting – if unsurprising – news from last night: The Comcast monster, which owns NBC, has decided to eat its young and gobble up the NBC 10 sports team. Starting in January, CSN will produce NBC 10 sports segments.

What does that mean for John Clark, who is one of the leading local sports personalities? Bob Fernandez of Philly.com has the details:

NBC10’s sports reporter is John Clark, a Wallingford native who joined the station in 2001 as weekend sports anchor. He will move over to the 24-hour Comcast SportsNet and remain the face of NBC10 sports, station president Eric Lerner said Monday.

NBC10 anchor and sports director Vai Sikahema will cover news and major sports stories for NBC10, officials said.

Two NBC10 sports producers will transfer into news jobs and a third employee in the sports area will be let go, Lerner said.

The NBC10 sports report will remain in the same place in the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. That report will now be reported and produced by Comcast SportsNet. NBC10 officials believe that SportsNet programming will be more distinctive than what the station produces presently.

Again, not a surprise. In this day and age, local news sports segments are mostly nothing more than highlights and 12-hour-old headlines. Little value is added to the sports biosphere in a three-minute segment between weather and What The Tech?! That’s not a knock on the producers and personalities responsible for them, but rather, it’s just a causality of the format. CSN producing those segments isn’t going to change much (although the backdrop may now be bluer).

To me, this is a sign that mainstream media is finally understanding that most mainstream sports news is a commodity. There’s no need for two dozen reporters to all obtain the same quotes, same soundbites and same images, especially when some of those people are all part of the same media mega conglomerate hell-bent on world domination. If CSN is already employing people to do the sports thing, why should its sister, NBC 10, do the same?

There was already some partnership between CSN and the NBC 10 news team by way of weather updates, though I’m convinced those were solely to treat SportsNite viewers to 30 seconds of Sheena Parveen (nothing is worse than the soul-crushing blow when, say, Neil Hartman throws it over to NBC 10 for weather and you’re met with Hurricane Schwartz instead of Sheena– it’s deflating).

On John Clark: It’s no surprise that he’s going to CSN. As a solid host and good point man, he’s the perfect heir to Michael Barkann (my opinion). His hosting of the Great Sports Debate (full disclosure: I sit next to him for three minutes every week on that show) has pushed him further beyond the limits of just local news, and, to his credit, he actually goes to games and practices and often beats beat writers to news and updates. He should be part of CSN.