Flyers announcer keeps busy
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
February 18, 2005

Flyers television announcer Jim Jackson must stick with "Plan B" because the NHL season is over.

In an e-mail, Jackson wrote that without Flyers games to announce, he'll continue weekend shifts on WIP 610-AM (goodbye, Steve Coates and Gary Dornhoefer (gulp) hello Luci Jones and Paul Jolovitz) and voice-over work. Jackson will do some reporting for CN8 from spring training sites in Florida until he begins his first season as an announcer for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in April.

Jackson has made appearances at area bookstores promoting his book about the 1973-74 Flyers, "Walking Together Forever: the Broad Street Bullies Then and Now."

Trivia question: Everyone remembers Gene Hart. Who was the other Flyers announcer during the 1973-74 season. The answer appears at the bottom of the column.

Vai not going bye-bye

WCAU sports director Vai Sikahema won't leave Philadelphia to become the athletic director at his alma mater, Brigham Young University.

"I was interviewed in a conference call by the search committee because I was unable to leave due to February sweeps," Sikahema wrote in an e-mail. "Tuesday, I got a courtesy call that I am officially not the new AD. No surprise. I told them I didn't want it.''

Jody's new job

Jody McDonald has a new gig. The former WIP 610-AM personality will co-host an NBA show with TNT analyst Kenny Smith on Sirius Satellite radio Tuesday. The working title, "Full Court Press," will air noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

In a phone conversation, McDonald said he'll be commuting to the Sirius studios in Manhattan. The show will go through the end of the NBA season in June, then McDonald said he may do a summer baseball show.

McDonald, who has subbed on WIP the last few months since his contract wasn't renewed at WFAN 660-AM in New York, said his Sirius deal won't prevent him from appearing on WIP or the Eagles pregame show on WYSP 94.1-AM that he has done the last few years.

Weekend warriors

Philadelphia's Bernard Hopkins will defend his middleweight championship for the 20th time when he fights Howard Eastman at 9:45 p.m. Saturday on HBO.

The Daytona 500 airs on Fox at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Philadelphia Soul play the New Orleans VooDoo at 1 p.m. Sunday on NBC.

Allen Iverson represents the Sixers in the NBA All-Star Game at 8 p.m. Sunday on TNT. Former Sixer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley just renewed his deal with TNT for three years. As part of the deal, Barkley will get to appear on CNN and HBO sports shows.

Odds and ends

Courier Times sports columnist Mike Sielski will co-host "Philly Sports Live" on ESPN Radio 920-AM with Tripp Rogers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. ... Producer/ reporter Sean Murphy is leaving Comcast SportsNet to join the fledgling UPN-57 morning news, in March. Murphy, a Temple University graduate, won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy award this year. ... Season 2 "Dream Job" finalist Brian Startare of Glassboro, N.J., is doing sports updates on the weekend for WIP 610-AM. ... Season 1 "Dream Job" finalist Nick Stevens, who was more of a comedian than a sportscaster, was one of those sarcastic commentators on VH1's "40 Most Awesomely Bad Love Songs." In case you were wondering, Lionel Richie's "Truly" was No. 1 on the list.

Trivia answer

Don Earle announced Flyers games in the early 1970s.

February 18, 2005 7:28 AM