On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
May 6, 2005

When Mike Rodgers was a server at Chili's, he once waited on WPVI sports anchor Scott Palmer.

Today, the former Comcast SportsNet and WTXF-29 sports anchor would like to step into Palmer's shoes when he retires in June.

"As a sports fan who grew up in Philadelphia, I am well aware of what a special station Channel 6 is," Rodgers said. "These opportunities don't come around every day. [Actually once in 24 years, Palmer's tenure at WPVI]. It would be an honor to return to the Philadelphia market.''

Rodgers, a Temple graduate, currently works in Dallas as a sales and marketing specialist for his brother's company, www.3dtour.com. He left Channel 29 in January, because working as a fill-in anchor four days a month wasn't "paying the rent."

Years ago, after their encounter at Chili's, Rodgers, then a broadcasting major at Temple, sent Palmer an audition tape for advice, and Palmer responded with a detailed two-page e-mail critique.

"I have the utmost respect for Scott," said Rodgers, a former baseball player at Temple. "As a baseball fan, I always looked forward to Scott's spring training reports from Clearwater."

Though Channel 6 historically doesn't hire talent that has been on other Philadelphia stations, Rodgers is hopeful "that there is a first time for everything."

Coincidentally, word in sports circles is that Palmer may end up at Rodgers' former station, Comcast SportsNet.

Philly tradition

For the second year in a row, a horse with Philadelphia ties will compete in the Kentucky Derby at 5 p.m. Saturday on NBC. Afleet Alex follows Smarty Jones to Churchill Downs for the 131st annual Run for the Roses. Tom Hammond and Bob Costas will co-host.

Costas won a sports Emmy this week for Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Host. Other winners were Joe Buck (Fox) for Outstanding Sports Personality - Play by Play, Cris Collinsworth (HBO) for Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Analyst and Joe Morgan (ESPN) for Outstanding Sports Personality - Sports Event Analyst.

Smart money says that Costas will be host for next year's "Sunday Night Football" on NBC.

ABC's "Monday Night Football," which will be moving to ESPN next year won for Outstanding Sports Series.

May 6, 2005 6:47 AM