On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
February 3, 2006

To Philadelphia viewers, the build-up to this year's Super Bowl between Pittsburgh and Seattle is a tad less exciting than last year's game between the Eagles and New England.

No Eagles pep band, no reporters donning team jerseys, no construction worker-turned tight ends and no Peagle (hybrid NBC Peacock and an Eagle).

Once again, we'll try to muster enthusiasm for Super Bowl staples such as "The Star Spangled Banner," crazy commercials, wrinkled rockers performing at halftime and, last but not least, the game.

Super Bowl XL could be the final NFL game for ABC, which did not renew its contract with the league. The announcing team of Al Michaels and John Madden, who worked together the last four years, will be broken up when Madden joins "NBC Sunday Night Football," and Michaels joins ESPN's "Monday Night Football." However, there are already rumblings that Michaels might reunite with Madden on NBC.

Though the other networks are signed up with the league for the next few years, this week's announcement that the NFL Network will broadcast some games next season makes one wonder if the league eventually will air all of its games on its own network.

ABC will televise a 3-hour (three hours is for wimps) pregame show with Chris Berman, Michael Irvin, Tom Jackson and Steve Young. The aforementioned Madden and Michaels will announce the game with sideline reporters Suzy Kolber (of Dresher) and Michele Tafoya.

"Grey's Anatomy," which fittingly is set in Seattle, gets the "McDreamy" post-Super Bowl slot on ABC at 10 p.m. Sunday.

WPHT batting 1.000

This season, all of the Phillies games will air on WPHT 1210-AM. Last year, sister station WIP aired Friday night games, so that they wouldn't pre-empt WPHT's "Fridays with Frank." Last month "Frank" was cut to an hour on Fridays to accommodate "The Jay Severin Show," which airs from 7-10 weeknights.

Job Squad

Comcast SportsNet host Michael Barkann hosted Senior Bowl coverage on the NFL Network last week.  Fox NFL pregame host Terry Bradshaw plays Matthew McConaughey's father in the upcoming movie "Failure to Launch."  Former WIP talk show host Steve Martorano is working in the marketing department of Electric Factory Concerts.  The Phillies say they have narrowed their search to 12 candidates to replace broadcaster Tom McCarthy, who is going to the Mets this season. A decision is expected in a couple of weeks.

February 3, 2006 7:37 AM