Comcast SportsNet Announces Web, Broadcast Overhaul

Comcast SportsNet announced this morning the official hirings of Sean McAdam, Tom Curran, Art Martone, Sherrod Blakely and Joe Haggerty as they relaunch their website and partner on-air with NECN to provide broadcast and internet coverage of Boston sports.

CSN’s online presence at CSNNE.com will now feature the following lineup:

  • Veteran MLB reporter Sean McAdam will cover the Red Sox for Comcast SportsNet after 24 years with the Boston Herald and Providence Journal. McAdam is a member of the Baseball Writers of America and a Baseball Hall of Fame voter.
  • Veteran NFL reporter Tom Curran will cover the Patriots after serving with NBCSports.com, the Providence Journal and the MetroWest Daily News.
  • Sherrod Blakely, respected NBA reporter and Detroit Pistons beat writer for several Michigan newspapers and MLive.com, will cover the Celtics.
  • Joe Haggerty will cover the Bruins for Comcast SportsNet after covering the Bruins and Red Sox for WEEI.com, Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times.
  • Art Martone, sports editor at the Providence Journal for the past nine years, will serve as CSNNE.com sports editor.
  • Improper Bostonian sports editor and columnist Rich Levine will share humor and insight as a CSNNE.com columnist and editor.

For the website, Comcast SportsNet has also hired digital media veteran Bill Via as senior director of digital media. Via has been designing and implementing strategic digital campaigns since 1994 and has comprehensive television experience. Via has developed digital media strategies for A&E International, WGBH Boston, Telemundo and KHNL-TV in Honolulu, HI.

NECN sports personalities Mike Giardi and Chris Collins will now also join the Comcast SportsNet news team, alongside Michael Felger and Gary Tanguay, and recent additions Kevin Walsh, Carolyn Manno, Jessica Moran and Jackie Peper.

CSN will debut a new 30-minute program to air three times a night; SportsNet Central. The new show will start on December 3rd, at 6:00pm and will air each night at 6:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.

In total Comcast SportsNet is creating more than 40 new local newsroom reporting and production positions and has constructed a new newsroom, added a new studio set and expanded its production facilities at the network’s Burlington, MA headquarters. Comcast SportsNet is consolidating the sports news operations of NECN into its Burlington facility and will serve as the exclusive source of sports news on NECN and NECN.com beginning on November 2. NECN will air encore presentations of SportsNet Central each day.

Related link:  NECN, SportsNet find way to share strengths (Globe)

  • Jason Coyote

    This is big news all the way around. Great writing hires for the website and good news to see the NECN sports staff get rewarded by joining CSN and getting the extra exposure they deserve.

  • Nate

    What does this mean for Mohegan Sun sports tonight? Will it still be on? If so will Felger and Tanguay still be the primary hosts? I imagine now with Collins and Giardi on board you wont have fill in hosts like Metarparel, Holley, and some of the others that have filled in in the past.

  • Fred West Lynn

    I must be thick, but with all of the “…after covering…” constructions, does that mean McAdam et al are leaving their print jobs, or just adding this as a sideline?

    And, will this gain more airtime for Fred, Steve, LJ, and Butchie? THAT’s what America really wants to know!

    • Bruce

      As far as I know McAdam and the other writers are going to be fulltime.

      • PatsFan

        “Full-time” as in “no longer on WEEI at all”?

        Or “full-time” only as “no longer writing for anyone else, but still appearing on WEEI”?

  • Rick Mc

    I don’t get it. All this movement to the digital side is just cutting up the readership audience into smaller slices. These new slices add no new revenues while more people are providing coverage. I realize that the broadcast sides will subsidize the web sides, but why? What benefit does broadcast get from the website?

    Will the suburban/CT/RI papers stop covering the teams and get their info from CSNNE?

  • Kevin F.

    The one thing I’ve found interesting with Comcast is that they have been able to add/acquire talent who will be working together at Comcast, yet will compete with each other in other mediums. For example, I’m assuming McAdam will still make appearances on WEEI’s Big Show during Baseball season, but will be going head to head with WEEI’s website when writing for CSSNE. Felger works and writes for Comcast, while Mazz does work for Boston.com and appears on NESN opposite Felger’s shows on Comcast. Ordway has a show on Comcast (The NE Patriot Tailgate show), and appears on Comcast New England Sports Tonight although he and Felger go head to head in the radio wars. Curran was on WEEI yesterday, yet will try to gain the edge against WEEI.com when writing for Comcast.

    Interesting dynamic, and I like that Comcast seems to be one of the places where talent from several different and competing companies can come together and contribute…

    • Guntfather of Sports Radio

      Which makes me think WEEI.com won’t make it. They don’t have the capital to compete with Comcast.

    • Jason Coyote

      You’re right Kevin, it’s very interesting. Wonder how long it can last?

      NECN began simulcasting CSN’s NE Sports Tonight at 11:00 and 11:30 last night, a temporary fix until the new SportsNet show premieres in December.

      Nate, I think you’re right about Tanguay & Felger stepping down as the primary hosts of the new show, which would replace NEST. I could see them as part of an anchor rotation similar to how it’s done on SportsCenter.

  • Rick Mc

    Is comcast with VS and its regional networks going to make a push to rival ESPN?

    • http://fangsbites.blogspot.com/ Ken Fang

      If Comcast’s purchase of NBC is approved, then I would think it would aggressively go after ESPN.

      • Jason Coyote

        Are you saying that Comcast would purchase NBC and then ESPN (from Disney)? The potential repercussions of that would be huge, as I assume it would spell the end of the ESPN/ABC partnership. What would happen to NBC Sports, would their staff just get folded into one megajumbo sports juggernaut which would then go head-to-head for broadcast rights with CBS and Fox? Would ABC stop broadcasting sports altogether?

        • Dave F

          When he says “go after”, I think he means compete with, not purchase.

        • Jason

          this is a good move. nesn has not doing so good. im going to stop watching nesn and watching comecast sports net