Channel 6 ZooBalloon deflates

COURTESY OF 6ABC So long, ZooBalloon: The attraction had to be deflated.
COURTESY OF 6ABC So long, ZooBalloon: The attraction had to be deflated.
Posted: February 06, 2014

REST IN PEACE, Channel 6 ZooBalloon.

The once-ubiquitous figure over the Schuylkill Expressway that lived at the Philadelphia Zoo was damaged by the winter weather and had to be deflated yesterday.

"Due to unprecedented weather conditions throughout the winter, including last evening's heavy and wet snowfall, the Channel 6 ZooBalloon has accumulated an estimated 5 to 10 tons of snow, which is equivalent to the weight of five hippos," a statement from 6ABC read. "The tremendous volume of snow has caused irreparable damage, despite efforts to minimize its impact."

Because of today's weather conditions, the manufacturer recommended that the balloon be deflated.

This balloon was actually the second Channel 6 ZooBalloon. The typical life span is about five to seven years.

This was going to be the ZooBalloon's final year, but the station had planned farewell festivities after Labor Day.

The ZooBalloon had been flying high since 2002.

But wait! Could the ZooBalloon ride again?

"We are just embarking on a guest-experience master-planning session," said Amy Shearer, chief marketing officer of the Philadelphia Zoo. "That space and the ZooBalloon will be under consideration in that process. We're reconsidering the overall zoo experience for our guests."

* Sunday-night Action News viewers will be able to catch Sarah Bloomquist co-anchoring with Walter Perez. The move is not permanent, said a 6ABC rep; they're just trying some new things out. "Sarah Bloomquist is an exceptional talent, and we're always looking to expand the scope of her contributions to the Action News product," a rep from 6ABC said. "In the weeks to follow, you can expect to see her on the evening and late news broadcasts, both as a reporter and co-anchor."

Missanelli suspended

97.5 the Fanatic's Mike Missanelli was suspended from the station yesterday after the website Deadspin posted emails in which he referred to an antagonistic listener in homophobic terms.

Yesterday, the Fanatic issued a statement about Missanelli's conduct: "We are aware of the email communications between Mike and one of his listeners. This individual has been harassing Mike by email for several years, which is cause for concern, and we are working with Mike to try to identify this person and stop the abuse. However, that does not excuse Mike's conduct. The content of his emails is unacceptable and does not reflect our values as a company. Mike has been suspended and understands that future similar conduct will not be tolerated."

Missanelli's management company issued a statement in which he apologized for statements, reiterating that the emailer was a serial harasser.

"Inquiries to discover his identity and have the law-enforcement authorities deal with him have not thus far been successful. My response to him was a desperate attempt to get him to cease and desist, or at least discover the motivation for his hatred and obsession toward me. Anyone who knows me or has ever listened to my show knows that I would never cast aspersions on anyone's culture or lifestyle," the statement read.

Jon Marks and Sean Brace filled in for Missanelli. Matt Nahigian, the program director of the Fanatic, said he did not know if they would replace Missanelli for his entire suspension, or how long Missanelli's suspension would last.

Our 'Top Chef' finalist

Don't forget to tune in to "Top Chef" tonight on Bravo, where Philly guy Nicholas Elmi will compete for the championship spot against Nina Compton. Elmi recently opened his own BYOB spot, Laurel, at 1617 E. Passyunk Ave.

Elmi wasn't the only Philly guy on "Top Chef" this season. Jason Cichonski, of Ela (627 S. 3rd St.) and the upcoming Gaslight (120 Market St.), was on earlier in the season.

Although Philly has boasted other contestants, like former Sexy Single Jen Carroll, we also have a previous winner: Kevin Sbraga, the proprietor of his namesake spot (440 S. Broad St.) and the newly opened Fat Ham (3131 Walnut St.).

"Top Chef" airs on Bravo at 10 p.m.

OUT AND ABOUT

* Celeb chef Robert Irvine dined at Davio's (111 S. 17th St.) on Monday night. Irvine sipped on a Ketel One and cranberry cocktail and ordered three bottles of Vajra Albe Barolo for the table, before digging into sampler spring rolls, prosciutto, two-minute calamari and chicken breasts with natural demi-glace.

Congrats, Kang

Former Sexy Single G-N Kang may still be sexy but she's single no more. Kang, who works for the Hamels Foundation and used to co-host "Chio in the Morning" on Wired 96.5, tied the knot in Los Cabos, Mexico, according to her Facebook page.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

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