INQUIRER columnist, former Daily News contributor and radio host Michael Smerconish will join CNN for a new weekly show that will air Saturday mornings. His target to start is the middle of next month.
Smerconish will continue to host his Sirius XM show and write his weekly Inquirer piece.
Smerconish told me he didn't know what the show would look like yet so he couldn't give further details.
"I know I'll be hosting the program, it'll be topical, it'll be current-event driven and I'll deliver a short commentary at the end of it," he said. "Beyond that, I can't paint the picture."
In addition to his weekly show, Smerconish will provide commentary throughout the week for CNN. He noted the Ted Turner-founded network was the first to give him a national television gig, even before MSNBC, who used Smerconish in a similar contributor capacity and as a fill-in host on "Hardball" for fellow Philly guy Chris Matthews. (Smerconish said that Matthews didn't give him any advice about his new hosting position. He joked, "I think he wants me to be successful but not too successful.")
Smerconish sees CNN as the perfect ideological home for his brand of commentary.
"What I do on my radio program and what the networks do are not one and the same. My program is not ideologically driven. What I do on radio is what CNN is doing on television so it seems like the right fit," he said.
Smerconish formerly hosted a show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, but left in March. He was replaced by Dick Morris.
Smerconish promised me that even though he'd be broadcasting in New York, he won't be leaving town any time soon. "I'm doing this interview from track 4B at Suburban Station waiting for the Paoli local, so I think I'm here to stay," he said.
Mike Missanelli returned to 97.5 The Fanatic yesterday, ending his weeklong suspension after emails, uncovered by the website Deadspin, showed him responding to an emailer in homophobic terms.
"My God, that was a really long weekend. It feels like I haven't been on the air since last week," Missanelli began.
Missanelli got to tell his side of the story, saying that the still-anonymous emailer, who moved from Atlantic City to Las Vegas during their multiyear exchange, had sent thousands of threatening emails to him over his five years as a drive-time host, including the use of racial epithets, threats against Missanelli's daughter and calling an ex-girlfriend a whore.
Missanelli said he would no longer engage in fan interaction on Twitter or via his personal email.
OUT AND ABOUT
* Nicole Richie, the reality star-turned-designer (and daughter of Lionel Richie), stopped by Wayne's Paramour (139 E. Lancaster Ave.) for a bite while in town for a QVC gig. A tipster also told me he saw her later in Ardmore's Suburban Square.
Sexy Single finds wedding Joi
Former Sexy Single and Miss Pennsylvania USA 2011 Amber-Joi Watkins is single no more, after boyfriend Tommy Domalski popped the question this weekend. Domalski designed the ring himself, inspired by the rock Jay Z gave Beyonce. Good call! Penn grad Watkins said she's Beyonce's biggest fan.
The lineup for the 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will be simulcast live on Feb. 19 at Main Street Music (4444 Main St.) in Manayunk, the only place in Pa. to catch the live announcement. Party starts at 7:30 p.m. and is hosted by Taran Killam of "Saturday Night Live" and Hannibal Buress, who stars on Comedy Central's "Broad City" with Radnor's own Abbi Jacobson.