On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
March 18, 2005

WPVI sports anchor Scott Palmer is planning to retire in June.

Palmer, 55, has anchored the 5 p.m. sports since he joined the station in 1981. Until recently, he also anchored the news on weekend mornings the last few years.

Palmer and sports director Gary Papa arrived at WPVI in March 1981 when Steve Levy (who also recently announced his retirement) left his position as backup sports anchor to Don Tollefson to do news for WCAU. When Tollefson left Channel 6 a few years later, Papa was promoted to sports director.

There is no word from Channel 6 as to who will take over for Palmer at 5 p.m.

Palmer, who is covering Villanova's NCAA tournament game in Nashville, Tenn., could not be reached for comment.

Palmer and his wife Kathryn have been married for 33 years. They are the parents of a daughter and son in their 20s.

Palmer, along with Marc Howard, Lisa Thomas-Laury and meterologist Dave Roberts did the 5 p.m. news for WPVI for 22 years until Howard departed for Channel 3, and Thomas-Laury had to retire due to medical problems. After Palmer retires in June, Roberts, 69, will be the last member of that team on the air.

Super argument

WPVI sportscasters Papa and Phil Andrews almost came to blows at a station get-together in Jacksonville, Fla., following the Super Bowl, witnesses said.

One station employee downplayed the incident, blaming multiple 18-hour workdays leading up to the Super Bowl for the incident.

Andrews declined comment. Papa could not be reached.

Final thoughts

Though sports is almost an afterthought on the local news these days, one highlight for the local sports crews is the Sunday night sports shows.

On a typical Sunday night, about 300,000 local households watch the sports shows on WTXF, WCAU and KYW that air throughout the year.

Last week, WCAU's "Sports Final" with John Clark and Howard Eskin led with a 6.3 rating/13 share, WTXF's "Sports Sunday" with Don Tollefson and Bill Vargus was next with a 3.5 rating/5 share, and KYW's "Sports Access" with Steve Bucci and Garry Cobb had a 2.1 rating/4 share. Each local rating point equals almost 29,000 households.

WCAU sports director Vai Sikahema and KYW sports director Beasley Reece do the shows during football season. WPVI airs a Sunday night football show during Eagles' season.

Body of work

Eagles star Terrell Owens was named one of the "VH1/Self Magazine 100 Most Wanted Bodies." No. 81 was No. 46 on the list.

Steroid Hearings
Here are some random thoughts from yesterday's Congressional Hearing on Steroids.
New Vocabulary Word - "Leadoff Witness"
Crossovers - Former Phillies pitcher and current Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning and former University of Nebraska football head coach and current Nebraska Representative Tom Osbourne participated in the hearing. 
Thought That Went Through My Mind When Watching Osbourne - "How about your 300 pound offensive linemen who played for you back in the day?"
Good Guys - Curt Schilling and Frank Thomas, who were appointed to a steroids task force
Bad Guys - Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire who took the 5th
Undecided - Sammy Sosa
Best Accessories - Mark McGwire's bifocals, Sammy Sosa's lawyer
Weird Visual - Watching Sammy Sosa's lawyer read a statement that Sosa never used steroids, while Sosa was practically busting out of his suit.
Schill Being Schill - In his opening statement, Curt Schilling managed to mention his four kids, his wife Shonda, ALS, the Red Sox trip to the White House, and his father serving 20-years in the Armed Forces.
Oh, He Actually Does Work for ESPN - "Dream Job" winner David Holmes did an update during a break in the proceedings
Interesting Commercial Placement - After watching hours of testimony, it was interesting to see the lure of "six pack abs," etc with the Bowflex system.
Things we learned from endless scrolls - Orlando Magic Head Coach Johnny Davis was fired, Former Chicago Bear Todd Bell died at the age of 47.