On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
April 8, 2005
Half of WPVI's sports staff could be gone by June with the impending retirement of Scott Palmer and Phil Andrews' contract up the same month.
Though some industry sources are saying that Palmer is being forced to retire, both Palmer and WPVI are refuting that claim.
In a phone conversation, Palmer said, "I want everyone to know that in no way was I unhappy, or that Channel 6 asked me to retire. With my contract up, I just felt at this point in my life I wanted to start something different."
A WPVI spokesperson also said the retirement was Palmer's idea.
There is also speculation that the youthful looking 55-year-old may join the Phillies organization as a possible successor to announcer Harry Kalas, who is in the second year of a three-year deal with the team (Palmer's folksy voice does seem fitted for baseball).
In a later e-mail, Palmer wrote: "As we talked about earlier, I have no plans but to go out west this summer and see some national parks. I'll fill you in should I decide to go back to work ... whenever and wherever that may be."
In an e-mail, Phillies' official John Brazer wrote that he knew nothing about Palmer joining the team.
Also, observers are wondering about the fate of Andrews, the weekend sports anchor and reporter whose contract expires in June. Some believe that he may be replaced by former Eagle Irving Fryar, who was a correspondent for WPVI during the Eagles' Super Bowl run.
In an e-mail, Andrews wrote that he anticipates another contract offer from his employer of 15-years.
A WPVI spokesperson also denied that there are plans to replace Andrews with Fryar.
WPVI hasn't decided what will happen to the sports slot occupied by Palmer on the 5 p.m. news show. Maybe Fryar will catch that opening, or possibly Andrews will move to the 5 p.m. show and Fryar will do weekends.
WBCB 1490-AM co-owner and the voice of the Eagles, Merrill Reese, has been named Broadcaster of the Year by the Pennsylvania Broadcasters' Association.
The significance of the award is that it isn't just for a sportscaster, but for an all-around broadcaster. The awards ceremony is in Hershey next month.
Macnow gets new deal
WIP 610-AM personality Glen Macnow signed a new three-year contract with the station. Macnow has been with WIP since 1993.
Expect baseball comedy "Fever Pitch" with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore to be the top movie at the box office this weekend. Other sports-oriented films on the way are "The Bad News Bears" with Billy Bob Thornton, "Rebound" with Martin Lawrence and "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.
Some cool-sounding shows are coming to ESPN next week.
"Battle of the Gridiron Stars" uses the old "Superstars" formula with 20 NFL players competing in dodgeball, tug-o-war, rock climbing and more Tuesday at 9 p.m. Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter will participate in the show.
Terrell Owens and a bunch of other NFL players compete in "ESPN Bowling Night" Tuesday at 8 p.m.
ESPN researcher Howie Schwab returns for a second season of the sports trivia game show "Stump the Schwab" weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
If a network ever does "Brady Bunch" trivia, I'll volunteer for "Nachman Knows."