On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
April 28, 2006
Legendary college football announcer Keith Jackson is retiring from ABC after 39 years at the network.

Though some say the quality of Jackson’s calls slipped the last couple of years, in a statement, Norby Williamson, executive vice president of ESPN ABC Sports said: "We very much wanted Keith to return for what would have been his 40th season. When he expressed to us that he was considering retirement, we repeatedly tried to convince him otherwise, but completely respect his decision."

As it turns out, Jackson’s swan song was the thrilling 2006 Rose Bowl between USC and Texas.

In a statement, Jackson said: "The people at ABC and ESPN did everything they could to get me to come back. But sometimes you know when it is time to hang it up. And I felt it was time. I appreciate their efforts, but I am looking forward to being the shop steward of the international porch sitter’s union this fall."

Of course, Jackson is synonymous with college football, but over his decades at ABC, he also announced 10 Olympics, "Monday Night Baseball," "Monday Night Football," "The Wide World of Sports," and more.

Strike 2 for Missanelli   

It appears that former WIP host Mike Missanelli has lost another job.

According to a station source, NBC10’s "Sports Final" will no longer utilize Missanelli (or anybody) on a regular basis as a commentator and will instead use a variety of people.

Meanwhile, Missanelli’s former mid-day partner, Anthony Gargano, sounded much more relaxed on the air back with his old/new partner Steve Martorano. However, if I were Martorano, I’d check to make sure that seat doesn’t have a trap door. He’s Gargano’s fifth co-host in six years.

Besides his hosting duties on the radio, WIP 610-AM’s Paul Jolovitz is a professional "Master of Ceremonies" for parties, banquets, and corporate events including the annual "Gilda’s Club" banquet for ovarian cancer. To hire him for an event (I’ve seen him, he’s funny), email info@zanemanagement.com.

One of the new voices getting a chance to make an impression on Sports Talk 950-AM, Rob Ellis, is a producer for Comcast SportsNet’s "Daily News Live."

Sixers TV   

Sixer star Chris Webber takes part in "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Sunday at 7 p.m. on ABC. It looks like the Sixers will be in need of another "Extreme Makeover: Home Court Edition" this off-season. "Extreme Makeover" regular Paul DiMeo is a native of Media.

Members of the team also appeared on "Maury" this week. No, it wasn’t for one of Maury’s famous paternity tests. The Sixers did a nice thing. The team invited 11-year-old burn victim Aijahlon Tisdale to a Sixers game, where he sat courtside.

NFL draft coverage   

ESPN will present 17 hours of live coverage of the 2006 NFL Draft from New York’s Radio City Music Hall — from noon-8 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. ESPN2 also will help out.

Laura Nachman can be reached at lauranachman@verizon.net.

April 28, 2006 7:04 AM