Best and worst of Philly sports TV and radio
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
January 7, 2004

Highlights of the year in Philadelphia sports television and radio:

Not a typo: Ladies man Don Tollefson got married in November.

Get well soon: WPVI sports director Gary Papa battled prostate cancer last year.

I Don't Feel Great: Even though he's giving 110 percent, Pat Croce's daytime show is a long shot to return next season.

Voices of the past: Old WIP hosts Mike Missanelli, Tony Bruno and Jody McDonald returned to the airwaves.

Best export: Smarty Jones, the darling of the country for a few weeks.

Worst sportscaster: Toni Yates of WPHL, who was forced to do sports because the station is in no hurry to hire a replacement for Geraud Moncure, who was fired last year.

Runner-up: Larry Mendte, who inserts himself into Eagles' stuff on KYW.

Hottest sports owner: Jon Bon Jovi of the Philadelphia Soul.

Feuds: WIP's Jan Gorham vs. Ed Wade; Angelo Cataldi vs. Sal Paolantonio; Howard Eskin vs. Chris Wheeler.

Static guard: The Phillies returned to WPHT 1210-AM from WPEN 950-AM.

My way: This season's Phillies games on Friday night will air on WIP 610-AM, not to conflict with The Frank Sinatra show "Fridays with Frank" on WPHT.

Condolences: Former Phillie and WPVI personality Tug McGraw died of cancer at the beginning of last year. WIP operations manager Neal Newman died suddenly of a heart attack in December.

Milestones: Leslie Gudel of CSN had a baby girl in February; Matt Yallof of CSN became the father of twins over the summer; Gregg Murphy of CN8 became a father for the third time; Steve Fredericks of WIP retired over the summer.

Switching channels: Tom McCarthy joined the Saint Joseph's basketball and Phillies announcing teams; Mike Rodgers moved from CSN to WTXF; John Mozes joined ESPN 920-AM; and Todd MacCulloch joined the Sixers radio team full-time.

T.Overexposed?: Before his season-ending injury, Terrell Owens co-starred with Nicollette Sheridan in the infamous "Monday Night Football" opening, and appeared on "The Late Show" with David Letterman and "The Jimmy Kimmel Show."

Benched: Jim Jackson, Steve Coates, Gary Dornhoefer, Tim Saunders and Brian Propp were unable to do Flyers games due to the NHL lockout.

Trivia winners

John G. Dillon III of Northampton Township and Randy Goldstein of Southampton knew that Neil Funk was Hubie Brown's broadcast partner for Sixers' broadcasts on WPHL in the late 1980s.

Programming notes

WCAU's raucous annual Eagles' playoff special, "Unfinished Business," returns to the Loews hotel at 7 tonight. Vai Sikahema, John Clark and Howard Eskin preside. The special will air every Friday as long as the Eagles win.

Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins will talk up the NFL wild card games on "E.A. Sports NFL Matchup" hosted by Sal Paolantonio Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN.

Horse play

CN8 sports reporter Bruce Casella's "Smarty Jones: The Inside Story" was recognized with a "Media Eclipse Award" from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

The awards will be held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel (or as Kit DeLuca referred to it in "Pretty Woman," as the "Reg-Bev-Wil") in Beverly Hills, Calif., in a couple of weeks.

January 7, 2005 6:56 AM