On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
February 24, 2006

There has been lots of chatter this week about the future of the Phillies broadcast team.

With the addition of announcer Scott Franzke, the announcement that former 6ABC sportscaster Scott Palmer will join the team full-time as director of media and public affairs, and the knowledge that Harry Kalas, who turns 70 on March 26, is going into the final year of his contract with the team, there could be some big changes.

Some of the chatter has focused on reports that the Phillies may put former BFFs (Best Friends Forever) Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler together for more innings this season.

Most of the fans' adoration seems to be placed on Kalas, who began broadcasting for the Phillies in 1971. Wheeler started working for the team the same year and has been broadcasting since 1977.

To put it in "Brady Bunch" terms, Kalas is the "Marcia" and Wheeler is the "Jan," always in Harry's shadow.

Here is an informal poll to get your opinion about the Phillies' situation. E-mail your responses to me, and we'll print the answers next week:

1. Do you think Harry Kalas should retire when his contract expires at the end of this season?

2. Who should replace Harry Kalas when he eventually retires?

3. Would you like Scott Palmer to become part of the broadcast team?

4. Who is your favorite Phillies announcer?

5. Who is your least favorite Phillies announcer?

6. After learning that Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler have personal issues, can you sense tension between them in the broadcast booth?

7. Is there anyone you would have preferred to get the job instead of Scott Franzke?

Where's the spirit?

Apparently, Philadelphia doesn't have the Olympic spirit.

Through Feb. 21, Philly ranked 38th out of the top 50 television markets with a 12.4 rating/19 share. Each local rating point equals about 29,000 households.

The marquee event of the Winter Olympics, the Ladies' Skating Long Program took place Thursday night. Here's my short list about the short program from Wednesday.

Made for TV: Of course, Sasha Cohen performed at 11:20 p.m.

Misnomer: The "Short Program" dragged on for almost two hours

Best product placement: Cohen's iPod

Love that Olympic spirit: Kimmie Meissner's frown after Sasha's performance; Russian skater Irina Slutskaya not sticking around to watch Cohen.

Two-way players: Commentator Scott Hamilton and Cohen's coach, John Nicks, are part of Fox's "Skating with Celebrities."

Wardrobe malfunction: Irina Slutskaya's pants. They reminded me of the Flyers uniforms in the early '80s.

Best comeback: Commentator Dick Button.

February 24, 2006 5:40 AM