No one is happy when they lose a job, but Joe Staszak is flat out angry how his tenure as a sports talker for 97.5 The Fanatic came to an end.
Outside of being laid off in 2016 for six months as part of company-wide cutbacks, Staszak had been a part-time host at The Fanatic since 2013, often tasked with handling the station’s Eagles post-game show.
During Easter weekend, Staszak claims he was removed from the hosting rotation after returning from vacation and never reinserted into the lineup. He was replaced on weekends in part by Hunter Brody, a new host who came from 97.3 ESPN in Atlantic City and has amassed a decent following with his Brodes Media YouTube page.
Staszak told the Inquirer that station management never communicated to him why he was removed from the hosting rotation until late last week, when he sent an angry text to program director Chuck Damico and assistant program director Eric Camille asking when he would be getting more shifts.
“Unfortunately I didn’t stop there and extended my text message by telling both of them how unprofessional and gutless I felt they both are,” Staszak said, noting Damico quickly responded to let him know
Damico told the Inquirer he can’t comment on personnel matters, but said “we wish Joe the very best.”
Despite the sudden end to a part-time gig he loved for nearly a decade, Staszak said he had no regrets about his time at The Fanatic.
“I loved every one of my co-workers since I started there…those guys and the loyal listeners are what I’ll miss the most,” Staszak said. “It was a dream job and I feel very grateful to have been able to last in one place for eight years.”
No Grant Hill on TNT during the Eastern Conference finals
The Eastern Conference finals begin Wednesday night on TNT, featuring the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Atlanta Hawks. It’s unclear who Sixers fans will be rooting for, since all their energy seems to be devoted to hating Ben Simmons.
Calling the games will be longtime NBA broadcaster Marv Albert in his final season courtside, alongside analyst and Hall of Famer Reggie Miller.
Obviously, TNT can only pick so many of its broadcasters for its final NBA series of the season, and sources at the network said the plan was always to pair Albert and Miller in the Eastern Conference finals without a third person on the broadcast, regardless of which teams were playing.
But you won’t hear analyst TNT analyst Grant Hill calling any Eastern Conference finals games for another simple reason — he’s a part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks.
In 2015, Hill was part of a group headed by equity investor Tony Ressler that purchased the Hawks for $850 million. Hill currently holds the title of Vice Chair of the Board, so there was no way TNT could have Hill call any Hawks games during the playoffs.
Despite the staggering amount of money star NBA players are able to amass during their careers, relatively few have gone the ownership route. Hill’s TNT colleague Shaquille O’Neal owns a small stake in the Sacramento Kings, and NBA legend Michael Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
“It would be hard for any one player to purchase a team outright, but if anyone might be able to get into majority ownership at a high level, you have to look to Lebron [James],” Hill told Forbes back in 2018.
Kat O’Brien, a former MLB reporter who covered the Texas Rangers for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the New York Yankees for Newsday, said she was raped by a former MLB All-Star when she was 22 years old. “I choose not to name him because it would only open me up to the possibility of having dirt thrown on my reputation,” O’Brien wrote for the New York Times, “even all these years later and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a former professional athlete wields considerable power.
On Monday, Las Vegas Raiders lineman and West Chester native Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. It’s welcome news that was celebrated widely Monday, though the chyron ESPN chose to go with on SportsCenter drew some chuckles.
Weather is one of the central pillars of local TV news, but it was still surprising and hilarious to see NBC affiliate WHO 13 News in Iowa cut away from Louis Oosthuizen’s par putt on the 17th hole of the U.S. Open with a severe weather alert. Though if I lived there, I’d certainly want to know about a tornado touching down.
There were lots of memes and reactions on social media following the Sixers’ disappointing Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night. But this video featuring unlikely Hawks star Kevin Huerter might be my favorite.
Sixers fans didn’t have any positive words to offer after the team’s Game 7 loss at home to the Hawks on Sunday. One fan told NBC10 that both Doc Rivers and Ben Simmons were bums, which the closed captioning on NBC10 made sure to relay to viewers.