Pittsburgh’s own Steve Mears has gone national.
For the last three seasons, Mears was a member of the Penguins Radio Network team. He served as the host of "Penguins Live" on Pittsburgh Penguins 24/7 Radio and was a contributor to PensTV on the official team website in addition to his work for the Penguins' radio and TV game broadcasts.
|Pittsburgh's own Steve Mears has moved on to the NHL Network |
But in sad news for Penguins fans everywhere, the man affectionately known by his colleagues, friends and fans as ‘Mearsy’ has moved on to a new career opportunity.
Mears is now based out of New York City working for the NHL Network. His main responsibility will be covering the entire league as host of the TV show Cisco NHL Live, which is broadcast from 5-7 p.m. every weekday on the NHL Network. His first show was on Monday.
Though the Murrysville native will dearly miss Pittsburgh and working for the Penguins organization, this was a position Mears just could not pass up.
“It required a lot of thought. It was not an easy decision just because it is so great here,” Mears said, who called the action during Team USA's gold-medal run at the 2013 World Junior Championship for the NHL Network and also covered last year's NHL Playoffs and Final for them.
“Not only is it my hometown, but it’s one of the best organizations in all of sports. It was difficult to say goodbye and ultimately decide, but I thought it was a good move career-wise. It’s going to be fun being there too. I obviously love Pittsburgh the most, but New York is a close second. The whole crew that works there at the NHL Network, E.J. Hradek and all the producers, is just a great group that I’ve gotten to know the last couple years. It's going to be fun.”
A rotating group of media members will take over for Mears on Penguins Live. Rob Rossi of Trib Total Media, Tim Benz of The X Morning Show and Mike Prisuta of WDVE will take turns, while David Todd of ESPN 970 will do Wednesday shows.
The time of Penguins Live will vary depending on who is hosting. Benz, Prisuta and Todd will do the show from 10 a.m. to noon, while Rossi will host from 9-11 a.m. The only time the show will be broadcast from the arena is when Rossi is on and the team is at home – otherwise, it will take place at the Clear Channel studio in Greentree.
In addition, Mears’ spot on the GNC Game Break Report during Penguins home games is now filled by PensTV reporter, 2009 Robert Morris University graduate and Penn Hills resident Justin Downs.
Mears loved working for the Penguins organization, but the chance to be a part of the national hockey media and cover all 30 NHL teams as host of Cisco NHL Live was the most attractive part of the position for him.
“Being in that chair was so appealing just being the huge hockey fan that I am,” Mears explained. “I couldn’t think of a better seat to be in broadcast-wise because everything is going through there. The guests are unbelievable, you’re covering all 30 teams and you’re looking ahead to every game on every night. It kind of acts as a leadup to all of the games across the country that are going to be starting at 7 o’ clock. Really having a lot coming through that studio and that show. A lot of what’s going on in hockey is going to circulate through there. That’s what’s really appealing for someone who just loves the game and loves following all the different storylines across the league.”
Before he left, we asked Mearsy what he’ll miss the most about Pittsburgh (he included the author of this story in his answer – thanks Mearsy, we’ll miss you too!)
“There’s so many things, from family to you and everybody working for the team. They’re such good friends. The team itself has always treated me really, really well. The fans, especially the fans of Penguins Live and Penguins Radio, they were unbelievable. Penguins fans overall are great. The ones that I’ve had a chance to interact with on Penguins Live, it’s just so cool because the reach is ridiculous. We receive emails and tweets from all around the world. From every country you can possibly think of, there are Penguins fans there. It’s a testament to the popularity of the Penguins and the reach of the Internet. To hear from them and be able to interact with them on a daily basis doing the show, I’ll miss doing that. And I’m going to miss just the atmosphere at CONSOL Energy Center and getting to work for a great organization.”