Eskin leads WIP pack on Iverson investigation

The most informative program on the station has been Howard Eskin's afternoon drive slot.

Since WIP 610-AM turned into WAI radio after the Allen Iverson story broke last week, the most informative program on the station has been Howard Eskin's afternoon drive slot, when listeners have been able to depend on Eskin to continuously come up with scoops. (Co-host Mike Missanelli is on vacation this week.)

So how did Eskin come up with exclusives such as getting a hold of the police report?

"Being a reporter is in my blood," the Channel 10 sports anchor and veteran radio host said. "I've been in the market so long that I have a lot of people that I can go to for information."

As opposed to some of the other shows on the station, which have kept their "guy talk" in the mix, Eskin's shows have been 99 percent about Iverson.

"The difference between my show and some of the others is that I had more information," Eskin said.

But some people have wanted to "shoot the messenger." Many angry callers brought up Eskin's past problems, have questioned his tactics, and accused him of racism and jealousy.

"It's part of the job," Eskin said. "People make it personal."

Even with the attacks, Eskin said he is glad to be doing radio four hours a day to talk compared to the few minutes he spends on TV. "Radio is always better in these situations," he said.

With the intense level of interest in this story, it is good to have WIP around to hear about the case at any point of the day. Eskin has been the go-to guy for the station, living up to his reputation as a hard-working reporter who delivers.

In a related note, WIP probably wishes the incident didn't happen during a vacation week. Many of its regular hosts have been away, including Rhea Hughes, Glen Macnow and Missanelli. Regular evening host Steve Fredericks continues to recuperate from heart surgery.

On the local television stations, Iverson has been either the top story or in the top news block every night this week. Comcast SportsNet and CN8's regular shows such as "SportsNite" and "The Sports Connection with Lou Tilley" have been able to devote plenty of time to the story.

"The Sports Connection with Lou Tilley" has used most of its nightly one-hour shows to analyze the events. CN8's other daily talk show, "It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle," also had Iverson as the subject for two nights.

For many viewers returning to the area after the holiday, the Sunday night sports shows were the first chance to get information about the Iverson story. Eskin was the only sports anchor to have new information on Channel 10's "Sports Final." "Sports Extra" on Channel 17 joked about it with the Iverson bobble-head doll. But shame on Fox's "Sports Sunday" which didn't mention it.

Though this is THE story here, it took the national media until Wednesday to finally send camera crews to Philadelphia.


There was plenty of star power at the 10th annual "ESPY Awards" Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Because this was a show rewarding athletes who've already won championships, there wasn't much drama about the winners.

However, there were plenty of sports stars such as Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Kobe Bryant, Sarah Hughes, Tom Brady and Serena Williams. Tiger Woods was named best male athlete, and Venus Williams best female athlete. The Los Angeles Lakers were named the best team, and Game 7 of the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees was best game of the year.

There was too much of host Samuel L. Jackson, who was in too many skits about himself, lifting movie spoofs from the "MTV Movie Awards."


Comcast SportsNet will air one-on-one interviews with Phillies manager Larry Bowa every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on "SportsNite."


Laura Nachman covers television and radio sports for the Courier Times. Write to her in care of the Courier Times, 8400 Route 13, Levittown, PA 19057, fax 215-949-4177 or e-mail bradyresident@aol.com.



July 12, 2002