Molly Eichel: Comcast SportsNet to debut 'Philly Sports Talk'

PHOTO BY ZACK HILL Gov. Corbett chats with Flyers center Max Talbot on Wednesday.
PHOTO BY ZACK HILL Gov. Corbett chats with Flyers center Max Talbot on Wednesday.
Posted: March 05, 2013

SAY FAREWELL to " Daily News Live."

The sports-talk show will change format on April 8.

"Philly Sports Talk," powered by the Daily News, will have additional, faster-paced segments, occasionally expanding beyond the world of sports to touch on major entertainment news, such as the Oscars. The show will also partner with NBC, bringing in the network's radio and television personalities to discuss the events of the day. Last month Comcast bought out General Electric's 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal.

Some of the show, which has been on air since Comcast SportsNet was born in 1997, will stay the same, such as host Michael Barkann. Daily News sportswriters will continue to make appearances, but the show will no longer be held to the contractual 13 writers per week. Instead, about five writers will appear per week.

"For selfish reasons, I think we all wish it would continue," said Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann. "But at the same time, 15 years is a long run, and I'm shocked it lasted that long, because nothing lasts that long on television."

Hofmann said that he was given no indication of whether his services would be required on "Philly SportsTalk."

The switch from a newspaper-affiliated Comcast sports-talk show is not unique to the Philadelphia area. " Chicago Tribune Live" has already switched to "SportsTalk Live," dropping the Chi-town broadsheet as a title sponsor.

"We have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with CSN," said Daily News Managing Editor Pat McLoone. "There are many people at CSN who I'd like to thank for that over the years and, of course, Michael Barkann, who has been there from Day One. We look forward to continuing that association for years to come on the new show."

Angelic Ukee

"Eyewitness News" morning anchor Ukee Washington cameo'd as the Teen Angel in Cherry Hill High School West's production of "Grease" this weekend. Washington, who was a member of the Philadelphia Boy's Choir in his youth, belted out Teen Angel's signature tune, "Beauty School Dropout" (crooned by Philly's own Frankie Avalon in the film).

Washington was familiar with the music from "Grease," but had never sung the songs before. "I had to learn a lot of the words," Washington said. "They had cue cards. You know I used them."

Fun fact: "Grease" movie director Randal Kleiser went to Radnor High School and used his alma mater as inspiration for the fictional Rydell High School.

Old-fashioned

Bartender Nate Churchill, who slings booze at XIX, at the Hyatt at the Bellevue, took home the judges' favorite award at the Constitution Center's '20s-inspired cocktail contest for his Orange Blossom. Stephen Diaz, of 10 Arts, at the Ritz Carlton, took home the guest-favorite award for his Red Fizz Charleston. Judges included State Rep. Brian Sims, Where magazine publisher Laura Burkhardt, Preston and Steve associate producer Marisa Magnatta and Philly.com's own Maria Papadakis.

OUT AND ABOUT

* Gov. Tom Corbett was at the

Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers' 4-1 win over the Capitals on Wednesday.

* Pennsylvania first lady Susan

Corbett checked out the Philadelphia Flower Show on Saturday. Corbett and her residence house manager , Diann Knapp, toured the Brit-themed show and talked about how they use flowers to gussy up the Governor's Mansion.

* If you ever thought the one

thing missing from Pennsylvania liquor stores were beautiful flower displays, the Flower Show has you covered. Food Network star Sandra Lee, who's kinda the first lady of New York (she and Gov. Andrew Cuomo live together), will sign bottles of Smirnoff Sorbet Light Vodka on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. "Real Housewives of New York" star Ramona Singer will launch Ramona Red Sangiovese Merlot from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, the last day of the Flower Show.

* Philly insiders partied at the opening of "Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection." H.F. "Gerry" and wife Marguerite Lenfest (Lenfest co-owns the company that publishes the Daily News), Suzanne Roberts, U.S. Rep. (and potential Pennsylvania governor) Allyson Schwartz, State Rep. Dwight Evans and others celebrated the opening of the new exhibition, which closes June 9.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

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