The Comcast Network is preparing to launch something new for local television starting on April 6: a sports talk morning show, called Breakfast on Broad. The show is set to have a conversational tone and will include morning news staples like traffic and weather.
Breakfast on Broad is a new foray into original programming for the Comcast Network, rebranded from CN8 in 2009. Currently, the network is best known for hosting games of local sports teams — in place of its sister station, Comcast SportsNet — when the Phillies, Flyers and/or Sixers play at the same time.
The show, which will air from 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays and repeat on Comcast SportsNet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is to be hosted by Rob Ellis, who on Tuesday night announced he was leaving his job as a host on Sportsradio 94WIP. He’ll be joined by Sarah Baicker, currently a Flyers reporter and digital producer at Comcast SportsNet; Jillian Mele, who has been a traffic reporter at NBC10; and former Eagles offensive lineman and Comcast SportsNet contributor Barrett Brooks.
Breakfast on Broad aims to avoid the straight-news feel of SportsNet Central, the current Comcast SportsNet local morning news show, which will continue to air. The intent of the new program is to favor opinion and discussion, sometimes centering on the softer side of local sports, including what athletes are doing off the field, and what they are saying on Twitter.
Brian Monihan, general manager of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, sees the two shows as complements to each other. SportsNet Central is what happened in last night’s game, he said, while Breakfast on Broad is about “why and what others think about it.”
Ellis sees the show as an extension of his previous work at WIP. “It’s like radio on television because of the opinion-driven content,” Ellis said. He noted that he wanted to return to the Comcast SportsNet family after years of producing Daily News Live and that factors including his changing schedule at WIP contributed to his decision to make the change, which he made clear on his final broadcast, saying “I’m not thrilled about some of the things that have gone down [at the station].” Brian Haddad will replace Ellis on WIP until the Phillies return, according to Marc Rayfield, senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio/Philadelphia.
The focus on the off-the-field interests of athletes — Baicker threw out references to an Eagle who hangs out at music venue Union Transfer (such as linebacker Connor Barwin) or a Flyer who likes to go to Old City bars — reflects a change in sports media as a whole.
“People can see players off the field more so than ever [through their social media feeds],” said Brooks, a 12-year NFL veteran who retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. “You now can’t go to a restaurant and not have someone tweet that you were there or take a selfie with you. That’s not something I needed to go through, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.”
The media has followed suit on the way they cover athletes.
“TMZ Sports has broken a number of stories that have really been, I wouldn’t say earth shattering, but have made the traditional sports media sit up and take notice,” said Karen Weaver, associate clinical professor and interim program director of sports management at Drexel University. “The celebritization of our culture is merging sports and entertainment.”
While there are a few original shows on the Comcast Network currently, including one about the Philadelphia Union, Breakfast on Broad is the first major step to return original programming to the Comcast Network.
“At first you have to succeed,” Monihan said about whether this be followed by more original programming on the station. “We feel like we have everything pointed in the right direction. We have a lot more assets than we had before. With Comcast SportsNet, we have access to NBC10, we have more resources and opportunities to do programming that would make sense.”
Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article
Don La Greca: We Didn’t Want Peter Rosenberg On Michael Kay Show
“A little over six years later, La Greca characterizes the addition of Peter Rosenberg as “one of the best things that ever happened to the show” and noted that you will not last long in the media if you stay resistant to change.”
The Michael Kay show will turn 20 years old in July. During the two decades the show has been on the air in New York City, it has had different time slots, a TV simulcast has debuted on YES and Kay and Don La Greca got a new partner.
La Greca was a guest this week on the Sports With Friends podcast, hosted by former BSM scribe Seth Everett. Everett asked La Greca to revisit the decision to add Peter Rosenberg to the show.
Rosenberg was not the first third mic Kay and La Greca ever worked with. He noted that in the past Bonnie Bernstein and Michelle Beadle were each part of the show. In 2015, ESPN New York General Manager Tim McCarthy wanted to bring in a lighter presence to balance the X and O sports talk Kay and La Greca did.
“I was not on board with it,” La Greca admits saying when he was told that the station was going to hire Rosenberg.
Everett said that when the addition was made, he feared that the station was going to begin phasing La Greca out of the afternoon show. While he did not say whether or not he had similar fears, Don La Greca did offer a glimpse into the meeting where the duo was told that Rosenberg was going to be joining them. He said that he loved working for McCarthy, but this particular meeting was a bit contentious.
“We did not agree on this particular thing and neither did Michael. He said ‘We don’t need a third person. We don’t like it’ and Tim said ‘Well, if you don’t like it, there’s the door.’”
A little over six years later, La Greca characterizes the addition of Peter Rosenberg as “one of the best things that ever happened to the show” and noted that you will not last long in the media if you stay resistant to change.
That is particularly true in sports radio. Don La Greca was the first voice ever heard on ESPN New York when the station launched in 2001. He told Everett that the sound of the station now is nothing like it was then. The station, and the format as a whole, has done a complete 180 from its first decade in business. That is why Peter Rosenberg is so important to The Michael Kay Show.
“Sports radio to me has changed and evolved in the last ten years from a medium where you informed people to know your job is to entertain people. Our audience knows as much as we do, because they have access to the information we have.”
Sean Payton Tries On TV Analyst Visor For Dan Patrick
“You’ve got to speak in 15-second sound bytes. You should actually practice this.”
One of the bigger stories in the NFL this week was longtime New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton informing team management that he would not return to coach the team next season.
Payton joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to discuss his coaching exit but during the segment, Patrick also got him to basically audition for a TV analyst job.
“I’m asking you as an analyst, how the hell did the Chiefs (drive the field and force overtime against the Bills this past weekend) in 13 seconds?” Patrick said.
“They did it because defensively, Buffalo played outside technique in a zone coverage, defending the sidelines,” Payton explained. “The problem was Kansas City had timeouts, and you can’t do that when a team has timeouts.”
Patrick liked the answer, but he said he’d have liked Payton to have kept the response to about 15 seconds. Payton went on to break down the crazy ending of the San Francisco 49ers-Dallas Cowboys Wild Card playoff game, and Patrick was a fan of the more concise breakdown.
“I like that,” Patrick said. “You’ve got to speak in 15-second sound bytes. You should actually practice this.”
No word on where Payton will end up for the 2022 season. But surely, he will get calls from either of the networks looking for a coach’s mind to complement a broadcast.
Ian Rapoport Ditches ‘Gresh & Keefe’ for Phone Call on Breaking News
“That’s the first time that’s happened to us all season.”
With the NFL coaching carousel going full speed, news of the next head coach, coordinator or general manager hiring could break at any time.
That means NFL insiders like Ian Rapoport are basically on-call in case a shoe drops and news of a hiring needs to be reported. A perfect example of this happened Thursday while the NFL Network reporter was a guest on WEEI’s Gresh & Keefe.
After talking about the potential head coaching landing spots for Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Rapoport was asked about the possibility of the NFL changing its overtime rules following this past weekend’s divisional round game when his phone went off.
“Plus, at the time, the focus was more on… you know… oh, shoot — I just got a text, I gotta go,” Rapoport said before the call suddenly ended.
Shocked, there was some initial laughter before Andy Gresh responded to what just happened.
“Well now, there goes Ian Rapoport,” he said.
“That’s the first time that’s happened to us all season,” show producer Chris Scheim added.
This wasn’t the first time Rapoport has abruptly ended an interview due to his phone buzzing, and Gresh and Rich Keefe brought up the identical occurrence involving Rapoport and former Washington, D.C. host Chad Dukes.
Dukes notoriously called Rapoport a “son of a bitch” and a “douche” after he twice had to quickly leave a hit being pre-recorded. That led to a brief tiff between the two and Rapoport eventually re-appeared the next day to apologize for jumping so soon and demanded an apology from Dukes for cursing him. Dukes did not apologize for calling him an SOB.
Gresh noted that wasn’t how they were going to handle what had happened, even though it was sudden and left them hanging.
“It happens,” Gresh said. “Now we can at least circle back if we have something at 1:30.”
Turns out the news was the Chicago Bears hiring Matt Eberflus as their next head coach. Gresh and company joked they made Rapoport late to being first to break the news, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted it out a minute before Rapoport could.
They finished talking about what had happened, teased a Boston Bruins segment, and then tossed to commercial. But it was certainly a moment on-air talent doesn’t necessarily plan for or anticipate.
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