According to Dan Gross at the Philly Daily News, the notoriously sensitive Philadelphia Eagles have successfully banned a local columnist, John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet, from writing about the team. Here’s what Gross wrote earlier this week:
Sources say that the Eagles front office approached Comcast SportsNet and said that the team didn’t want John Gonzalez covering the team in any fashion. Gonzalez, who left the Inquirer for CSNPhilly.com over the summer, hasn’t said a word about the team on the website, or posted about the Eagles on Twitter, where his musings have included football games such as Temple/Penn State coverage.
In speaking with several writers in the Philadelphia market this week, this is apparently how the Eagles do business: If you write/tweet/say something on the radio remotely negative about the Eagles (coach, players, organization), the team will run to your bosses and let it be known they aren’t happy.
The thing is, many of the outlets stick up for their journalists and essentially laugh at the Eagles. Strangely, that wasn’t the case with Comcast, which is where Gonzalez moved earlier this year from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Wonder if he regrets that move now – sources say that the Inquirer repeatedly scoffed at the Eagles’ complaints of his (and other writers) work, but Comcast had no problem acquiescing to the Eagles’ requests. What a terrible precedent. This is something you’d expect out of some rinky dink college football town in Alabama or Mississippi, not one of the five largest media markets in the country.
We reached out to Gonzalez for comment, but he directed us to Comcast flack Maureen Quilter. And since she already told Gross, “Comcast SportsNet and CSNPhilly.com have plenty of Eagles coverage with Ray Didinger and Reuben Frank on the digital side and Derrick Gunn on the TV side . . .. If we need John to write about the Eagles he will,” I didn’t bother waste any time reaching out to her.
CSN Philly’s decision isn’t sitting well with its other writers, though. What happens if the Phillies/Sixers/Flyers are unhappy with a writer and try to pull a similar stunt? Will CSN go to the mat for them, or roll over like they did for the Eagles? Good luck hiring top talent in the future if this is how you do business, Comcast. [Daily News via Crossing Broad]