Those viewers wanting more of Keith Hernandez , Ron Darling and Gary Cohen will have their wish fulfilled this season. Well-embedded moles say SportsNet New York will be adding a new “pre” pregame studio show prominently featuring the three crooners.
The pre-pregame, anchored by Chris Carlin and Bobby Ojeda, will begin at 6 p.m. Kevin Burkhardt will be in his normal roving reporter role. He also is expected to get additional face time on the show.
A new voice likely will be added to the program as well. At 6:30 p.m., “Mets Pre-Game Live” will begin at its usual time.
In order to make room for the new pregame element, “Wheelhouse” will be canceled. Wheelhouse host Brian Custer gets shifted to the primary anchor spot on SportsNite, SNY’s news/info show, where he will be teamed with Gary Apple.
Besides more Hernandez, Darling, Cohen and Burkhardt, the added half-hour pregame is designed to provide the opportunity for more demonstrational and social media segments. Sources said SNY will also feature beat writers from visiting teams on the show.
There is precedent for an expanded pregame. YES has been airing “Yankees Batting Practice Today” since 2006.
While the move to the expanded pregame is significant, so is Custer’s shift to SportsNite, SNY’s signature show. It provides evidence, through his work on “Wheelhouse” and “Jets Postgame Live” his star is on the rise.
The eventual end of “Wheelhouse” leaves SNY with two “debate” shows, “Daily News Live” and “Loudmouths.” Network brainiacs will have to develop another half-hour block of programming to run following the baseball season. Sources said development of a new show is already underway.