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Lisa Hillary leaves CSN Washington for Philly

Tuesday night will be Lisa Hillary's final shift at Comcast SportsNet's Bethesda studio. She'll co-host SportsNite, and, if I'm being honest, she might get a bit emotional. And by next week, she'll be anchoring shows for CSN in Philly.

Hillary will be covering the Flyers in Philly, which of course means she'll no longer be covering the Caps. The Ottawa native was CSN's Caps beat reporter for more than three years, covering all three of the Boudreau-era playoff appearances. She'll be replaced on the beat by Jill Sorenson, who previously covered the Caps both for CSN and WRC.

Hillary said she'll be able to do "a little bit more of the beat stuff" in Philly, but it's essentially the same job in a different city. She told me she was torn over the decision for days, before deciding she might as well go for another life experience in another U.S. city.

"As much as I love Washington, I have no ties here, no roots," she said. [But] I can't stop crying every time I talk about it. I worked at TSN, and in local news, and I liked those jobs but I never once shed a tear when I left. Here, everything is good, and I'm leaving. It seems very bizarre, but I know that it's a good opportunity."

Hillary's only experience with Philadelphia came during the 2008 Caps playoff series and a few recent visits -- I don't know anything about the city, other than I better get some tough skin," she said. But during her recent trip, she noticed every TV in every bar tuned to CSN. No offense to Washington, but that just doesn't happen here. We all have had experiences where we've had to ask bartenders to put on the Caps, or the Nats, or whatever. That -- along with all the regular reasons people change jobs -- was part of Hillary's decision-making.

Still, I asked her if it would feel strange to go from covering the ascendant Caps to one of their biggest rivals.

"Everyone's been asking, Why would you want to leave Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals?" she answered. "I've never been a homer in my entire life. This is my job. It's my profession. Obviously I wish the Caps the best and I wish the Flyers the best, but if they lose, I'm still covering the sport I love."

Read more at On Frozen Blog and Broad Street Hockey.

UPDATE: CSN announced the moves on Tuesday, also announcing that Julie Donaldson has joined Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic as a full-time anchor and reporter for SportsNite.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 31, 2010; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Next: Mike Wise's statement


I like Hillary but she did always come off a bit cold. Not surprising though and not surprising she's not a homer--she came in an outsider with no roots or ties and didn't forge any it seems. So off she goes. Nothing wrong with that. Hopefully she'll eventually meet someone who makes her wanna stick around and she'll grow some of her own roots.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | August 31, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: rdpinva | August 31, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JulzDC | August 31, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This is disappointing. The DCarea&Baltimore csn should be able to pay more than the Philly csn, unless it was a corporate decision from the philly-based comcast oligopoly.
Good Luck Lisa in Philly, with those fans, you're gonna need it.

Posted by: Hattrik | August 31, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Lisa Hillary interview:

"you didn't hear that DC"

Good luck in Philly...give 'em hell.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 31, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Really, Philly? What a traitor.

Why not just go work inside a trashcan. Same environment.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 31, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Julie Donaldson is easy on the eyes but hard on the ears. I'm a little surprised they're keeping her around.

Posted by: ChampKind | August 31, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

She better watch out, I hear the rats are bigger in Philly.

Posted by: LouLewis | August 31, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I liked Lisa Hillary. But then again I like all the CSN hotties (and no, I'm not talking about Chick Hernandez). I think Jill Sorenson will be a worthy replacement.

Posted by: trezmartin | August 31, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I heard Hillary acknowledge on WJFK's Parker and Parker that financial considerations were a part of the decision making. I suspect a bigger part than she is making out. I think it is good that she was a real hockey journalist but my criticism of her is the same one I had of El Bashir. They weren't nearly tough enough on management. We need a Dave Fay type to ask Leonsis, McPhee and Boudreau the tough questions, whether they like it or not. There is no one here now willing to do that.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 31, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Jill Sorenson is a garbage choice. She can't pronounce half of the names on the team.

Posted by: ThisGuy | August 31, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Just popped "Julie Donaldson" into Google Images, she's hired!

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | August 31, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The guy on On Frozen Blog went on about how the departure of Lisa Hillary was some grave sign that CSN wasn't committed to covering the Caps, but this interview seems to indicate her going to Philly was just more about trying a new city--one which admittedly has a stronger sports culture than D.C.--than any issue with not getting to cover the Caps enough. I'm sorry to see her go, and think she did a good job. But I'm sure Sorenson will be a fine replacement.

Posted by: TheFingerman | August 31, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

wow interesting comments from Lisa. It sounds like she hates the Caps and didn't enjoy covering them!! it must've been real bad that she would rather live in Philly. oh well... as long as the Caps coverage is still good then it doesn't matter. I think Jill will do a fine job....i actually think Al Koken could take her place too since he knows a lot about hockey but i guess he's just sticking as an analyst along with alan may.

Posted by: rachel216 | September 1, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

She's uber-hot, and often (allegedly) declines to wear underwear, but she won't be missed in terms of reporting skills.

Posted by: kingrob76 | September 1, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

One blond cupcake leaves. So what? There's thousands more where she came from.

Stop by any Conservative's Congressional office. Or just head over to K Street. Blond cupcakes in those parts are as common as Glenn Beck's weekend party-goers.

Posted by: MarkinJC | September 1, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

The remarks made about D.C bars vs Philly bars were spot on. Almost every D.C area bar up until perhaps last year I would walk into, the bartender would throw me the clicker cause they never had anyone request a Caps game. D.C has had the Caps since 1973 & have made little progress becoming a true "hockey town". Yes there's the red rockers that show up when the Caps win, however as recently as 3 years ago, I would see the Caps would play in front of crowds of 6 to 7k on weeknights. Philly for years would sell out the Spectrum for AHL games! A lot of it has to do with the local media as well. The Caps off-season coverage from CSN all the way down to the Post have been abysmal. Everything Skins, Wiz and College fooball and hoops. Until D.C changes the apathetic off-season and sometimes on-season media coverage, we'll never be a hockey town. Good luck to ya Lisa. Go CAPS!!

Posted by: gerse | September 1, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Class act that Hillary...too bad some nitwits here aren't.

Posted by: Rocc00 | September 1, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

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