On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
July 14, 2006

Former Eagles Ron Jaworski and Eric Allen are part of ESPN's starting lineup of “Monday Night Football” coverage this season.

Jaworski will travel to the host city each week as an analyst for “NFL Primetime” every Monday from 6- 7 p.m. Stuart Scott hosts, and Mike Ditka will be the other analyst.

Allen, along with Trey Wingo, Merril Hoge, Sean Salisbury and Mark Schlereth, will take part in “Monday Night Kickoff” from 3-5 p.m.

The ESPN “Monday Night Football” coverage will run from 3 p.m. to (gulp) 1 a.m. each Monday. This season the games start a half hour earlier, at 8:30 p.m. The new MNF announcing team is Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann, and Tony Kornheiser.

Trivia question

What was the name of the short-lived Jason Alexander sitcom loosely based on Kornheiser's life? (Answer appears at the bottom of the column.)

Uncertain future

With the news that the CN8 news is going away in August, the future of CN8 sports reporter and anchor Bruce Casella is up in the air.

Casella quietly has been part of the Philadelphia sports scene for more than 20 years, with stops at Prism, Channel 10, and Channel 3. He also is nationally recognized as an expert in horse racing. If Comcast ever wanted to start a 24-hour horse racing channel, Casella would be perfect.

Decisions, decisions

Industry observers are wondering if the upcoming newscasts at 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. on Fox29 will use new talent or the existing talent at the station.

It's unlikely that the 11 a.m. show will use a sportscaster. None of the Philadelphia early news shows or the noon news shows use a sports anchor. (Even the 4 p.m. news on NBC10 doesn't have sports). Maybe they'll make 10 p.m. sports anchor Don Tollefson work (gasp) two shows if they give him the 5 p.m. spot. Or maybe weekday reporter Bill Vargus could anchor that show.

Breaking barriers

The National Constitution Center presents Breaking Barriers: Women in Sports Media on Tuesday, July 25, from 6:30-8 p.m. with Bonnie Bernstein, who recently joined ABC and ESPN; Leslie Gudel of Comcast SportsNet; former Courier Times sports writer Dana Pennett O'Neil of the Philadelphia Daily News; and Marie Hardin, associate director of research in the Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University.

One other person who should be on the panel is WIP 610-AM personality Rhea Hughes, who has been an integral part of the morning show for years.

Horsing around

Philadelphia-based handicapper Lenny Stevens is returning to the radio. His new show debuts on Sports Talk 950 on Friday, Sept. 8, from midnight to 1 a.m. Stevens formerly did his show on WIP 610-AM.

Trivia answer

Jason Alexander played sportscaster Tony Kleinman in “Listen Up” on CBS in 2004.

July 14, 2006 7:39 AM