Pennsylvania Station Refuses To Televise Game on Good Friday

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A television station in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., declined to broadcast a minor league baseball game yesterday because it was being played on Good Friday.

WNEP-TV, which traditionally televises the home opener of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, said it wouldn't air last night's game against Norfolk at Lackawanna County Stadium.

"Good Friday is not an appropriate day for us to do that," C. Lou Kirchen , the station's president and general manager, said on a recent broadcast.

Instead, the station was to air local news, followed by the tabloid show "Inside Edition," an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and then "Primetime," featuring an interview with Tom Cruise .

Good Friday is one of the most solemn days on the Christian calendar, when believers mark the crucifixion of Jesus .

Jeremy Ruby -- general manager of the team, which is a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies -- said he wasn't surprised by WNEP's decision. He noted that he had decided against holding a fireworks show after the game because of the holiday.

"We were getting pressure from the Catholic community, and that's understandable," Ruby said in yesterday's Times Leader.

Bill Genello , a spokesman for the Diocese of Scranton, said Good Friday is "a very solemn day in the life of the church." But he said the diocese cannot prohibit anyone from attending a sporting event on Good Friday.

-- From News Services

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