Michael Barkann

Michael Barkann (born April 30, 1960, Jersey City, New Jersey, United States) is an American sports host, anchor and reporter for NBC Sports Philadelphia. He was also the co-host of the "Mike and Ike" show on 94 WIP on weekday mornings from 10-2.[1]

Michael Barkann
BornApril 30, 1960 (age 59)
OccupationSportscaster
Spouse(s)Ellen Barkann (2 children)

Education

Barkann is a graduate of Syracuse University, class of 1982. He graduated with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.[2] Barkann grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey and attended East Brunswick High School, where he was an outstanding long distance runner in spring track & cross country, graduating with the class of 1978.[3][4]

Broadcasting career

Early career

Barkann started his career at NBC News in Washington, D.C. as a desk assistant. From there he went to New Jersey Network in Trenton, working at first off-camera. On February 11, 1983, after the region was hit with a big blizzard, the station asked Barkann to contribute to the telecast, filing a weather report. It was his first time on air. Soon after, Barkann hosted a program called Weather Watch, which led to him doing the weather for the news broadcast. Several years later, Barkann started doing backup sports for the network, at age 26.

A few months later, Barkann moved to KYW-TV in Philadelphia as a sports reporter. Barkann spent five years at KYW-TV but did not have his contract renewed, leading him to a job in Boston, where he became sports director at WLVI-TV. However, five years in, Barkann received "an unbelievable opportunity" and returned to Philadelphia, beginning his current role as host/reporter at Comcast SportsNet, Philadelphia in 1997.[5]

Comcast SportsNet

On October 1, 1997, Barkann brought the network on the air as host of Daily News Live. The success of Barkann's Daily News Live sparked many other SportsNet affiliates to establish similar programs.

Throughout his career, Barkann has hosted Eagles Post Game Live, which currently features former Governor of Pennsylvania and former Mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell, Hall of Famer (Writer's Honor Roll) Ray Didinger, and former Eagle Brian Westbrook. Barkann also hosted Monday Night Live and a program called Spotlight, which are both now off the air. Barkann also hosts the Postgame Live programs for the Phillies, Flyers and Sixers whenever the team is in or near the playoffs.

Notable moments at SportsNet

Barkann was overcome with emotion when hosting a live postgame show the day Harry Kalas died in Washington. Barkann, through tears, called Kalas a "sound of summer" and the "soundtrack of our lives". Barkann said Kalas was a "great, great man", reported that "the voice is silent tonight". Barkann was also highly praised for his job hosting Kalas' memorial service, held at Citizens Bank Park.

Before going on air for Phillies Postgame Live, Barkann, along with former Phillies all-stars Ricky Bottalico and Darren Daulton, watched Game 4 of the 2009 NLCS from their set. When Jimmy Rollins hit a memorable walk-off double to the gap in right-center, Barkann and crew exploded. In footage captured by an idle studio camera and later released to the public, Bottalico can be seen saying "that's winning the game, that's winning the damn game" and Barkann throwing his hands in the air and yelling "this team is incredible, this team is unbelievable!" The video was used as part of the Phillies pregame montage shown on their video board at Citizens Bank Park during the 2010 postseason.

While working for KYW-TV Barkann did a piece called "Birds Eye View" during which Coach Buddy Ryan allowed him to "try out" for the team. Barkann lined up at receiver with Randall Cunningham at QB. Troy West, the DB, lined up against Barkann, who Barkann later recalled "threw me ten feet in the air." When asked about Barkann's performance, Mike Quick said, "I thought he was going to be bad, but that was just sad."[6]

National broadcasting career

Barkann's career has also included many national jobs. Most notably, he served as a field reporter for USA Network's coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships from 1991-2008. In 2009, coverage shifted to ESPN and Barkann was left off the broadcast team.[7]

Since leaving the Open, Barkann has covered the Billie Jean King Cup for HBO Sports. Held at Madison Square Garden and shown nationally on HBO, the event featured a final of Serena Williams against her sister Venus.

Barkann's career has also included reporting for CBS. With CBS he has covered major events, including the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan in 1998, and the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994 as a speed skating reporter covering Dan Jansen, who won a Gold Medal in the 1000m.

In 1992, Barkann was a reporter at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France[8] where he covered the Dan Jansen story.[9] Barkann's career also involved the NCAA he has covered the Final Four and Fiesta Bowl for CBS as well as Big 5 Basketball events and telecasts.

In 2009, Barkann also hosted the finale of Being John Daly for the Golf Channel.

Barkann is also a former XFL commentator. He worked the UPN (now CW) game telecasts.

Notable national broadcasting moments

During Barkann's time at the Open, fans grew accustomed to his off-beat, fun interview style. One of the first stories Barkann did for USA was on a hot dog stand that players had mentioned smelling during their matches. His piece included an interview with the vendor, who insisted if the players came and tried his hot dogs all would be well.

Another famous moment came back in 1992 with Barbra Streisand, who was then rumored to be dating Andre Agassi. Barkann asked Streisand, "what moves you about him on the court," to which she replied, "he's so evolved, more so than his linear years and he plays like a zen master out there." This interview marked the first time Streisand talked publicly about her relationship with Agassi and it made big news at the time.

In 2007, Barkann interviewed Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. Barkann asked the two what the funniest thing they had seen at the Open was, to which Seinfeld replied, "not you."

At the 2008 Open, Barkann asked Novak Djokovic in his on-court post match interview (which was not only broadcast to the television audience, but over the PA system at Arthur Ashe stadium) to do his famous, but never before seen impersonations. Djokovic did his Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal impersonations, becoming an instant sensation on YouTube (getting over one million hits) and in tennis circles. Ironically, Barkann's last interview at the US Open was another attention-getter with Novak talking in front of a sea of angry booing fans about how they were only cheering for Andy Roddick because they thought he had "16 injuries".

Personal life

Barkann resides with his wife Ellen in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Ellen was instrumental in the startup of The Philadelphia Sports Group, which serves as a talent marketing agency for local and national athletes and sports media members.

Barkann read the eulogy at former colleague and MLB catcher John Marzano's funeral and frequently recalls the shortened life of his great friend. He also spoke at Daily News columnist Phil Jasner's funeral, along with Doug Collins.

Barkann was the subject of part of Bill Conlin's speech at his induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.[10]

Michael, along with his wife Ellen Barkann, started the Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation in the beginning of 2013. The foundation seeks to help heal the hearts of families across the Delaware Valley whose hearts have been broken by the sudden illness or sudden loss of life of a loved one. Many notable events include their yearly Golf Outing in May and their Holiday Hearts program, which donated thousands of dollars to five families during the 2013 Christmas season.

Awards

Barkann has won a number of awards which include:

  • Named Pennsylvania's Sportscaster of the Year in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007.
  • Recipient of 1989 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement Sports Reporter
  • Recipient of 1989 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Outstanding Sports Feature
  • Recipient of 1991 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement Sports Reporter
  • Recipient of 2003 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement Host/Talk Program
  • Recipient of 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Outstanding Talk Program
  • 5-time Philadelphia Sports Emmy Award winner
  • 2010 Greater Philadelphia Chapter of ALS annual honoree

References

  1. ^ http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/real-time/Michael-Barkann-out-as-WIP-announces-new-afternoon-show.html
  2. ^ [1] Archived August 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "East Brunswick High School Alumni (East Brunswick, New Jersey): Official Site Provided by the East Brunswick Education Foundation". Ebhsalumni.org. Archived from the original on 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  4. ^ Marks, Jon. "Michael Barkann is Always on the Run", The Jewish Exponent, February 3, 2016. Accessed June 25, 2019. "Since returning to Philly — where he started off with KYW television more than 30 years ago — Barkann has covered the various local pro and college teams. It’s kind of ironic he’d wind up here, though, considering he grew up in the heart of Giants territory in East Brunswick, Middlesex County, N.J.... 'She would always tell me when I was in school, "You should be doing more,"' recalled Barkann, a four-sport athlete at East Brunswick High School, who later ran cross country at Syracuse."
  5. ^ "Interview: Michael Barkann Is the Face of Philly Sports". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  6. ^ "CBS Podcast Player". Philadelphia.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  7. ^ [2] Archived May 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "The 1992 Winter Olympics | Episode guide and videos - Yahoo TV". Tv.yahoo.com. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  9. ^ "NY Times : WINTER OLYMPICS: TV SPORTS; It's Terrible, Terrible! (Unless It's Just Great!)". New York Times. 1994-02-17. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2011-11-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
'net IMPACT

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Brian Westbrook

Brian Collins Westbrook (born September 2, 1979) is a former American football running back who played for nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft after playing college football for Villanova University. Following an eight-year career with the Eagles, in which he earned two Pro Bowl selections in 2004 and 2007, Westbrook signed with the San Francisco 49ers, for whom he played in 2010.

Daily News Live (Comcast SportsNet)

Daily News Live, presented by AT&T, is a live, sports oriented talk show airing weeknights from 5:00PM to 6:00PM ET on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. The show features Michael Barkann joined by a rotating panel of writers from the Philadelphia Daily News and athletes and sports experts from around the country for a roundtable discussion about the top sports stories from both the city and the nation.

On game days, guest interviewers are also brought into the fold, shedding light on the night's big game. The show, though, is not limited to input from the day's panelists, as viewers are free to e-mail the show using the form at the homepage with the possibility of having their e-mail being mentioned or even discussed on the show. Originally, viewers could call in, but that portion of the program was cut by producers.

The show debuted on October 1, 1997 with Michael Barkann, Bill Conlin, Les Bowen, and Jack L. Williams, chairman of Comcast SportsNet.The incredible success of Daily News Live resulted in the development of similar shows in other Comcast SportsNet sister stations. These include Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Chronicle Live on CSN Bay Area, Daily News Live on SportsNet New York, and Washington Post Live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.

Eagles Post Game Live

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East Brunswick High School

East Brunswick High School is a comprehensive public high school serving students in tenth through twelfth grades in East Brunswick Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA, operating as part of East Brunswick Public Schools. The school was recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in the 1990-91 school year. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1965. The school motto is "Excellence with Honor and Integrity."

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,125 students and 167.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.7:1. There were 255 students (12.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 67 (3.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.

Ed Rendell

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Born in New York City to a Jewish family from Russia, Rendell moved to Philadelphia for college, completing his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. He was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978-86. He developed a reputation for being tough on crime, fueling a run for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1986, which Rendell lost in the primary.

Elected Mayor of Philadelphia in 1991, he inherited a $250 million deficit and the lowest credit rating of any major city in the country; as mayor, he balanced Philadelphia's budget and generated a budget surplus while cutting business and wage taxes and dramatically improving services to Philadelphia neighborhoods. The New York Times stated that Philadelphia under Rendell "has made one of the most stunning turnarounds in recent urban history." Nicknamed "America's Mayor" by Al Gore, Rendell served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election.

In 2002, Rendell was elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee and served as the Chairman of the National Governors Association. He was reelected in a landslide in 2006. He left office in 2011 due to term-limits, and released a book, A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great the following year. A Philadelphia Eagles fan, Rendell is also a football analyst on Comcast SportsNet's Eagles Postgame Live, hosted by Michael Barkann.

Rendell currently co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force.

Flyers Postgame Live

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Affiliate channels NBC and NBC Sports broadcast a few Flyers games each season nationally, amongst games of other National Hockey League teams. For those games, local Flyers Postgame Live is not aired. Instead, NBC/NBC Sports provides their own post-game shows. However, during the playoffs, especially in later rounds, Flyers Postgame Live is likely to air on NBCSP regardless of what channel airs the game.

Ike Reese

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Monday Night Live

Monday Night Live is an American sports-oriented television talk show that aired Mondays 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia live from Chickie's and Pete's Cafe in South Philly. The show was hosted by Michael Barkann, who was joined by Hugh Douglas and Ike Reese for a variety of sports-related entertainment and talk. Kathy Romano joined the show in 2008. Live musical entertainment was provided by house band The Quake.

Phillies Post Game Live

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Rick Tocchet

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Sixers Post Game Live

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Tennis on HBO

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