Susannah Collins, CSN Comcast Chicago: We Hardly Knew You

As the Chicago sports world now knows, Susannah Collins, Sportscaster for Chicago CSN Comcast, was fired last night, apparently, due to her “slip up” on a post-game broadcast of the Blackhawks’ win over the Wild Tuesday night.

Susannah reported that the Blackhawks, with the most wins in this years’ hockey season, had a "tremendous amount of sex" during the regular season. She immediately corrected herself, saying “success.”

However, as we all know how social media goes these days, the video went viral in every possible media market.  She corrected herself immediately on the air, saying "success" and professionally continued her reporting. She took the “heat” exceptionally well following her slip-up.  Note Paul Banks’ full story

 Can sexism be involved here? Is the word “sex”  a mistake, somehow “the word” that is forbidden these days?”  Haven’t Chuck Garfien, Pat Boyle, David Kaplan, Chris Boden, Mark Shanowski, Luke Stukemeyer, or team Broadcasters Ken Harrelson, Bill Melton, and others made gaffes on the air, then laughingly corrected themselves?

And as Bank’s story tells us, Comcast digs in to Susanah’s “past work on various media,” which they had previously known about, and yet eventually hired her anyway.

I have watched her grow on the network. I have seen her engaging personality emerge, especially with the “fan on the street in “Gas Money,” and as a host on the daily broadcast "Sports Net Central" shows.  Her interviews with players have been professional, and have shown knowledge of the game and sport, especially after Blackhawks' games.

Susannah brought youth, exuberance, and a freshness to a job that any viewer would look forward to. Her grace, charm, and excitement came through in her on- air appearances.

Personally, I look forward to seeing women write about, analyze, and  broadcast Chicago sports.  Melissa Isaacson.  Tracy Myers. Sarah Kustok. Gail Fischer. And then Susannah. Their knowledge of sports is something a woman, as I, appreciate, since I had few women role models as a little girl growing up on the south side.

However, The Old boys’ Club continues to rule, no doubt. And I’ve seen how women can be still be treated in a man’s sports world.  It’s tough.  It’s hard.  You’re put on the sidelines or in the broadcast booth and expected to perform to perfection.  You make one mistake, can even correct yourself immediately, and you’re gone. Period.

Tony Kornheiser, co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” was suspended for just 2 weeks when he criticized Hannah Storm, ESPN sports award-winning analyst, as a woman in her 40’s, for wearing a skirt above her knees. He called described her ON AIR, as looking like  she was “wrapped in a sausage casing.”

Tony, you’re nothing to look at frankly.  There are plenty of men your age, including my husband, who are much more appealing to look at. But do I judge you by your looks?  Are you fired for such verbal gaffes as that?

No such thing, of course. Men will be men.  The double-standard rules, as usual. CSN Chicago Comcast, shame on you. And Shame on Rocky Wirtz, Blackhawks President and major owner,  if he had anything to do with this.

Susannah, we’ll miss you.  And "we hardly knew ye."


Leave a comment