On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
July 21, 2006

With the National Constitution Center hosting a panel discussion about women in sports media on Tuesday, I thought it would be a good time to take a closer look at the leading ladies of Philly sports.

Leslie Gudel, Comcast SportsNet: It’s great that a female has one of the high profile roles at the all-sports channel as the co-host of “SportsNite” since CSN’s launch in 1997. Her voice sometimes is a little grating, but for the most part, she’s just great.

Dei Lynam, Comcast SportsNet: Though some may accuse Lynam of getting her position because of her father (Jimmy, former head coach of the Sixers), nobody can deny that she knows her basketball. She is one of the few females to do play-by-play for a professional sports team (The Washington Mystics of the WNBA). One thing that bugs me about Lynam is she enunciates her words too much.

Rhea Hughes, WIP 610-AM: Hughes has the biggest audience and influence of the group. She rose from a producer’s role to one of the stars of the morning show. Unfortunately, she damages her credibility by participating in chicken wing-eating contests, beauty pageants, and other station nonsense.

Jade McCarthy, NBC10 : McCarthy, 25, is a pleasant surprise. Though she only worked in a couple of markets before Philadelphia, she seems like a seasoned veteran who is equally skilled in the field and on the desk. Station insiders feel she has the talent to be the next big thing.

Jamie Apody, 6ABC: On the other hand, Apody is a mild disappointment. As the first female sportscaster for the top-rated station in town, she should be better. She needs to stop mentioning how she’s in the media in most packages.

In general, Philadelphia still has a way to go. There never has been a female television sports director or a woman in one of the city’s broadcast booths. Comcast is a little more progressive than the broadcast stations. Gudel and Lynam have been with the network since its launch in 1997. NBC10 and 6ABC hired McCarthy and Apody, respectively, last year.

On the radio side, WIP needs more female sports talkers besides Hughes and part-timer Luci Jones. Sports Talk 950 needs a female voice, period. CBS3 has yet to hire a female sportscaster and Fox29 utilizes news anchor Dawn Stensland in the clichéd female role of doing Eagles’ human interest stories during the football season.

“Breaking Barriers: Women in Sports Media” will take place from 6:30-8 p.m.

Channel flipping …   

Former “Monday Night Football” sideline reporter Lisa Guerrero is part of “The World Series of Pop Culture” airing on VH1 Thursdays at 10 p.m.

“The Michael Lewis Show” will air live on ESPN 920 Monday nights from 8-9 p.m. at the new Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar in Bordentown, N.J. His Eagles’ defensive backfield mate, Brian Dawkins, has been a player-reporter on Fox29 for several years.

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

July 21, 2006 7:18 AM