EYEWITNESS NEWS anchor Susan Barnett is leaving CBS 3 and the CW Philly. Barnett has been at CBS since 2006, anchoring the evening newscasts since 2008. She anchored the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. broadcasts on CBS, and the 10 p.m. broadcast at the CW Philly, along with co-anchor Chris May. Her contract expired in March.
"I have decided to not renew my contract with the stations at this time. I am incredibly thankful for having been a part of the CBS Philly family, but I feel that this is the right decision at this time," Barnett said in a statement yesterday.
Was money the culprit for her departure? Sources tell me that CBS bigwigs wanted to substantially cut Barnett's pay, and she wasn't having any of it.
CBS 3 reps said they do not comment on contracts.
"I spent a lot of time with CBS and we considered the options," said Justin Wineburgh, Barnett's attorney at Cozen O'Connor, refusing to confirm contract rumors. "Susan has made a very, very difficult decision not to renew her contract with the CBS family."
Barnett had been noticeably missing from the evening broadcasts as of late, tweeting recently that she had pneumonia. (Barnett, by the way, was legitimately sick, coming down with something after she returned from covering the appointment of Pope Francis.)
Sources relayed to me that the anchor was a total sweetheart. "She always handled herself with a lot of grace," a source told me.
Chris May posted a statement to Facebook about his departed co-anchor, writing, "Susan Barnett is the first person I met in Philadelphia. We've been partners for five years - and best friends. . . . Suffice it to say, I'll miss working with my friend. But I am excited about our future."
Barnett is a local, having grown up in Levittown. She is married to dermatologist and surgeon Greg Persichetti. They have two sons, Blase and Steele, and a daughter, Cruise.
Matt DeLucia, a La Salle University alumnus, is coming home to roost. He's the newest hire at NBC 10, returning to Philly from the Fox affiliate in Las Vegas, where he has called home since 2009. DeLucia was a reporter and fill-in anchor.
DeLucia grew up in Cherry Hill and is a graduate of Camden Catholic High School. He began his broadcasting career while still in college, working as a reporter and segment producer at the New Jersey Network. He'll start in June as a reporter.
* R&B singer Glenn Lewis shot the video for his new single "Can't Say Love," the first single from his Ruffhouse Records debut, "Moment of Truth," this weekend at Center City's Alfa Restaurant, Rittenhouse Square and at 18th and JFK Boulevard. The Canadian crooner, with a big Philly fan base, also made sure to stop by Philadelphia Hair Co. for a haircut.
* Philly rapper Cassidy, probably best known for his R. Kelly collaboration "Hotel," releases his first collaboration with Pastor Jomo K. Johnson today through GGIS Publishing. Gospel singer Jahana Jones guests on the album, which discusses Cassidy's religious conversion, his near-death experience after a 2006 car accident and his beef with fellow Philly rapper Meek Mill, whom he challenged to a rap battle last year. "He doesn't have anything personal against Meek Mill. It's like two sports teams going up against each other. He sees it more as a competition, not personal," Johnson, who publicly decried Mill's hit "Amen," told me. "I wouldn't do it like that, but that's the way he does it." Learn more at
Legendary Flyers goalie Bernie Parent joins "Saturday Night Live" alum/celeb auctioneer Joe Piscopo for Bethesda Project's 16th annual Gala & Auction at 6 tonight at the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park. Items at this year's auction include a helicopter ride over Philadelphia, a sightseeing boat tour with Parent, accessories by Movado and David Yurman, a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay and more. Proceeds benefit the Bethesda Project, which helps serve more than 2,000 homeless and formerly homeless men and women each year.
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