August 12, 2010

Paterno done with 'Nittany Lion Hotline' radio show

In case you missed this, it looks like Joe Paterno is finished with his on-air exploits. From Cory Giger, Altoona Mirror:
He appears to be finished with his Thursday evening call-in radio show, "Nittany Lion Hotline." He wouldn't go so far as to say he won't appear at all, but listeners can count on few if any appearances this season. He talked about how he wants to do "as little as necessary" with those kinds of commitments and mentioned how Thursdays are tough for him and are long days gearing up for the game.
This is kind of tough for a fan. I remember listening to that show every Thursday during the season when I was in school. Blue Band didn't practice on Thursdays, so it was great timing for me. On game mornings, and after I graduated, I'd listen to the replays of it before kickoff.

Joe Paterno, seen here during one of the "TV Quarterbacks" episodes from 30 years ago, has backed out of his final regular broadcast gig, "The Nittany Lion Hotline" radio show.

I don't blame Joe for this. Radio draws a fraction of the audience it once had. This would be a much bigger deal if it had happened 20 or 15 years ago. Still, it's the passing of just one part of the continuing Paterno era. I thought Mike Poorman at put this best into perspective:
In recent years, the Penn State marketing gurus have made a concerted effort to focus more on Penn State football, the Penn State tradition, the Penn State experience. And less on Paterno.

They didn't do it to be mean or out of spite, but Joe The Brand is already known. Penn State football needed the pub, not Joe.

That's why the weekly highlight show has metamorphosed over time.

In 1975, it was called "TV Quarterbacks" and 27 percent of the show was Paterno, with Joe on-screen for 15-and-a-half minutes of the 58-minute show. By 2008, when I broke down an episode of "The Penn State Football Show," Joe was on-screen or had a voice-over for 83 seconds of the 22-minute, 15-second show.

That's Joe for only 6 percent of the show.
This news doesn't change a thing. Joe is still the coach. Penn State will still win football games. But once the former changes, then we can say everything is different.

So, Jay, what are you doing Thursday nights this fall?

We'll have a quick recap of today's Penn State Football media day. So stay tuned...

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1 comment:

  1. This is sad news. Even in the "dark years" I enjoyed listening to Nittany Lion Hotline and you could tell Joe enjoyed talking with the fans way more than talking with the media.