Sportscaster Jade McCarthy moving to NESN
(September 22, 2009) It's an important time in Jade McCarthy's life. The NBC10 sportscaster has a lot going on, and she's pretty excited about it. You might be a little less thrilled.

The happy news: This weekend, McCarthy and her man, Abington native Gordon Stead, are getting married. Be sure to send those crazy kids a nice gift.

The not-so-happy news: McCarthy is leaving NBC10 and, sadly, Philadelphia. The 29-year-old is about to land at Boston's New England Sports Network, where she'll serve as an anchor and specialty program host. McCarthy's contract at NBC10 runs through November, and she won't begin working at NESN until early next year.

Part of McCarthy's duties at NESN will involve discussing the Patriots (or Pahts, in local parlance), which sounds pretty grim to me. Bill Belichick's personality makes Andy Reid seem talkative and cuddly. But McCarthy grew up just outside of Boston in a town called Newton, so the move doubles as a homecoming for her. She's been away from the Hub for about 10 years now - four of which were spent here in Philly.

"It's a little bittersweet. It's a little melancholy," she said. McCarthy took a break from wedding preparations yesterday to confirm that she does indeed have a new job. I felt sort of bad about pestering her so close to the big day. I'm sure every soon-to-be bride dreams of fielding a meddlesome phone call from Page 2 shortly before getting hitched. Something borrowed, something blue, something with a formerly tilted head . . .

"I've really come to love Philly," McCarthy continued. "The city is great. The fans are great. I work in a fantastic department at a wonderful station. I can't say enough great things about the people I work with."

The question now is what happens at NBC10 when McCarthy decamps for New England. Station sources told me that, much like many local TV news outlets across the country, NBC10 is struggling financially and, as a result, might not replace McCarthy. (For all you college kids out there, it's a great time to get into the media. Business is booming, baby.) Instead, it's possible that NBC10 sports director Vai Sikahema and sportscaster John Clark will simply work more shifts. (Attempts to reach Chris Blackman - the station's vice president of news - were unsuccessful.)

There's another, more-frightening possibility here. A station insider speculated that NBC10 might also ask 610 WIP's Howard Eskin to fill in as needed once McCarthy leaves. Eskin is a regular on the station's Sports Final program on Sundays.

Personally, I think that sounds like a bang-up idea - swapping a sweet, talented young woman for a hirsute curmudgeon who loves to insult people by calling them "genius" and "moron." That ought to produce ratings gold right there.

I don't know about you, but I miss Jade already.

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