Sports Radio News
Thank You, Angelo Cataldi
“I know what a legend looks and sounds like, and it was just as clear in 2006 as it is now in 2023.”
__________________Joe Weachter, WIP Producer and Angelo’s Producer For 33 Years: I’ve worked with Angelo for 33 years. It has been a blessing to work on building sports talk radio in Philadelphia with him. As a show we gave the sports fans a voice and changed how teams treated those who support them. Angelo has always been the fan’s biggest advocate. He will truly be missed on the airwaves in Philadelphia. He has helped me become one of the best producers in sports radio. Thank you, Angelo and I hope you have a restful and rewarding retirement. Al Morganti, WIP Host and Angelo’s On-Air Partner For 31 Years: There is a cliche in sports that champions are built when no one is watching. What I have learned from working with Angelo Cataldi is that great radio is created when no one is listening. Cataldi has never been “off” and his great radio program has always had a foundation of the work he put in off the air. Nobody worked harder is was more prepared for EVERY show. Rhea Hughes, WIP Host and Angelo’s On-Air Partner for 25 Years: Angelo has meant a lot to me – basically my entire career. When I joined the Morning Show 25 years ago, it wasn’t like there were a lot of women in the business like there are today. Which I love BTW! He allowed me to grow the role from an update anchor to a full-on co-host. I am immensely grateful to him for that. Angelo has set the table for sports talk in this city for every day for the past 32 years. He’s incredibly hard working and equally as demanding. I always tell an example of what I do as the guest booker on the show. I could get the president, prime minister and the Queen all on one show, and the minute that show ends, he’d say ‘what do you have for me tomorrow?’ It didn’t matter what I did the day before. You had to keep delivering every single day. That’s a standard he insisted on himself first, and everyone around him. That’s why he’s been so successful. And I will miss him (Although not the phone calls I occasionally missed because I might be in the shower or whatever. Only to listen to his voicemail – Where are you? We have a SHOW TO DO! We are going to continue our TV podcast that we do every week so I will still get to chat with him for that! David Field, CEO, Audacy: Angelo is truly a living legend who has deeply engaged and bonded with generations of Philadelphia sports fans over his long, extraordinary career. His great versatility and talent have enabled him to excel at everything from probing interviews to deep insights to witty entertainment to the passionate embodiment of the intense Philadelphia fan base. It has been a great privilege having him on the Audacy team and we wish him all the best on the next chapters in his journey. David Yadgaroff, SVP/Market Manager, Audacy Philadelphia: What a historical run it’s been for Angelo! With over 30 years setting the day’s agenda for the country’s most passionate sports fans, Angelo has had an immeasurable impact on our entire region. We can’t thank him enough for his years of commitment, dedication and service to his listeners, our advertising partners and all things 94WIP. Before my current role, I really only knew Angelo as a listener but since 2015, I’ve had the pleasure of working with him and seeing it all firsthand. I feel lucky and honored to have had these past eight years. Joe Conklin, Philadelphia Comedian and Longtime Contributor to Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team: Wow, the legend is leaving! It’ll be weird without him. Not just for me and other coworkers but for the entire city. Angelo set the sports agenda in Philly EVERY DAY for more than 30 years. You don’t take that away and not feel something. Angelo is articulate, decisive and courageous –all qualities that make a great leader. But his best quality is his vulnerability. That’s what made him successful: his willingness to play the fool, to be the butt of the joke. And he did it brilliantly. Very few people can pull that off successfully. Congrats on a wonderful run! Cheers! Joe DeCamara, New WIP Morning Show Host: I’m in awe of what Angelo has accomplished. He transcends the usual standard for radio greatness due to extreme longevity and enormous ratings, but also because he was a pioneer within sports talk radio in Philadelphia and within America. Angelo is on the Mount Rushmore of the most important sports radio figures ever. I’ve thought a lot about Angelo’s success since he announced his retirement, and my sense is there are five main reasons why he succeeded so spectacularly. First is his total dedication to his craft, which is particularly impressive given the challenging early morning hours following games at night. He was always prepared, focused and full of energy. Second is Angelo’s deep understanding of his audience. He gets Philly, and knows how to play the hits topic-wise. Third is his extreme intelligence. I don’t think he likes to portray himself as having a superior mind, but the reality is he does have incredible intellect, and that helped him navigate through so much. Fourth is the enormous entertainment value he delivered. He’s a remarkably creative performer. He leaned on wit, rabble-rousing, self-deprecation and a host of other methodologies to entertain listeners. Fifth is his confidence. Only a confident person who knows he’s good at his job could do it like Angelo did. My hat’s off to Angelo on a magnificent career. I wish him nothing but the very best for happiness in retirement, and I feel a great sense of gratitude that he paved the way for the rest of us. Jon Ritchie, New WIP Morning Show Host: Angelo Cataldi is an institution. I’m thrilled and grateful for this opportunity to continue in the tradition of a true pioneer. We will work hard to uphold what Angelo created— the WIP Morning Show’s emotional connection with the greatest sports city on the planet. Ike Reese, WIP Afternoon Host & Former Eagles Linebacker: Angelo’s obviously at the top, along with guys like Howard Eskin. I think he’s provided a great example of what hard work is and what being dedicated to something involves. He’s had the ability to listen to callers and identify with their feelings and understand that their passion can sometimes be misunderstood and misconstrued by outsiders. But if you’re here and you get to know them, there’s no way that you can’t feel how they do. I didn’t know what sports radio was as far as an entertainment vehicle before I came to Philadelphia. I still remember as a player, listening to Angelo on the way into work, yell about my head coaches or my teammates, and sometimes even me. It was the most hysterical thing I thought I’d ever heard. I’ve been a fan of it ever since. So for me, even though I wasn’t born and raised in Philadelphia, being here for 20-plus years and being introduced to it by him, I don’t think I would have ever turned myself on to sports talk radio if it wasn’t for Angelo Cataldi. Rod Lakin, WIP Program Director: For three decades Angelo Cataldi dedicated himself to creating a new standard in morning drive for sports talk in the city of Philadelphia. Angelo’s legacy is one of honesty, no matter how hard the truths or uncomfortable the fallout. His incomparable focus and dedication to his craft were inspirational to watch firsthand and instructional for any host that aspires to follow in his footsteps. Angelo made his life his art, and left an indelible impact on WIP and the city of Philadelphia, for which we are forever grateful. Howard Eskin, WIP Host and Eagles Sideline Reporter: It’s hard to capsulize 30 plus years in a few short comments but obviously working that many years in this business is almost impossible, especially at one place. Angelo and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but I can’t help but congratulate him on all of his success at SportsRadio WIP. Mike Missanelli, BetRivers Host and Former WIP & 97.5 The Fanatic Host: For me, Angelo Cataldi is the gold standard for Philly sports radio. He paved the way for all of us to take the chance on converting from print journalism, and we all followed his lead. I don’t think anybody will ever realize how difficult it is to have such a successful morning radio show for those many years. Angelo pulled it off, which is a testament to his dedication and perseverance. He respected and cultivated the craft and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. For me, the true measure of his impact is this: sports talk radio in Philly may go on, but without Angelo Catatdi, it’ll never quite be the same. Craig Carton, WFAN Afternoon Host & Former WIP Host: When I first got to Philadelphia in the spring of 1993, I was told that I had to listen to the Morning Show which was about a year old at the time. I remember turning on the radio and hearing someone who seemed to be putting on a fake, forced, cartoonish voice that clearly was not from Philly. As I settled into my roles as night time and weekend host and Eagles beat reporter, I came to listen more intently and recognize that Angelo was uniquely special in how he planned out and drove a radio show. He commanded your attention. You cared what he had to say. I strived to be great at hosting a show and I picked up invaluable tools from listening and studying his art form. The number one thing that I have taken away from his 30 year career is the art of crafting a unique take on any subject that absolutely nobody else in the world will have and delivering it in an unwavering manner. The second and equally important aspect of his daily performances was to create a bond with the listeners to the point that they truly care about you and what you do in your daily life. I almost returned to the Philly airwaves a few years ago to compete against Angelo, Al and Rhea, and truth be told, the idea of beating him into retirement was a challenge I really relished because to quote Ric Flair “To be the man, you gotta beat the man”. Angelo had a career that stands out more than the far majority do in any major market and I respect his longevity and commitment to excellence, and wish him the very best in the next stage of his life. Spike Eskin, WFAN Program Director/Audacy Sports Format Captain & Former WIP Program Director/Host: While I don’t think it would be an effective strategy to try to be another Angelo Cataldi (there will only be one), there are so many things I learned about sports radio from working with Angelo. Things that I pass on to hosts now, and I will continue to as long as I do this job. Things like his ability to use everything in his orbit as a way to push the show forward, his uncanny ability to put people around him in roles they understand and can succeed in, and his complete and total commitment to what the fan thinks and feels. As well, in my nearly ten years at WIP, I never saw a day where Angelo didn’t absolutely bring it and expect the same from everyone else around him. There is almost no example in our industry of someone graciously going out on top, while endorsing their successor, but here is Angelo in 2023 doing all of those things. Still crushing his competition in the ratings, doing a great show, wrapping it up with the Eagles in the Super Bowl against Andy Reid, all while setting the stage for Joe and Jon. What a career, and what a finish. John Kincade, 97.5 The Fanatic Host: I interned for Angelo, was a caller on his radio show, and did my first air-shift at WIP. All because of his kindness. He believed in my talents, and supported and motivated me. I feel extremely fortunate to have seen the rise of Angelo’s career from the ground up, and believe me, I copied as much as could. I took advice from Angelo, and Tony ( Bruno), while creating my own path. Seeing a guy build something from nothing, like Angelo did, was like getting a Doctorate in sports radio from one of the masters. Angelo revolutionized an industry in Philadelphia because he took what was normal sports radio and made it appealing by making it more of a talk show with less X’s & O’s, and a greater focus on generating visceral reactions through personality-type radio. I think that’s something we’ll thank him for for a long time. He knows how much I respect and love him and unlike Tom Brady, I hope he stays retired. Glen Macnow, WIP Host: I got my job at WIP in 1993 because Angelo Cataldi vouched for me. Like everyone else I owe him a debt not just for that, but for being the cornerstone of the station for more than three decades. Angelo stayed at the top because of an amazing work ethic. His preparation is unequaled, and he never, ever cruises through a show; never shortchanges his audience. He’s a terrific interviewer, which stems for being a terrific listener. And he’s unafraid to ask the tough questions. I think Angelo’s legacy is that he entertained hundreds of thousands of Delaware Valley residents over the years, and will retire having molded a Philadelphia institution that will remain successful as he spends his next decade puttering around the house or screaming at his TV or doing whatever else he wants in retirement. As someone who rode his coattails for 29 years, I say thank you. Joe Giglio, WIP Midday Host: The first time I met Angelo Cataldi was quite memorable. At that time, he would join the overnight host (I was doing an overnight show Sunday into Monday following the AFC/NFC Championship games in January 2014 AKA Richard Sherman’s rant about Michael Crabtree) for a one-segment crossover into his show at 6:00 AM. As we came back from a break, he said “Who are you?” in the kind of tone that both freaked me out and yet somehow disarmed me. After our segment, he welcomed me to the station and reminded me that no one was above criticism in Philadelphia. As the years progressed, Angelo used me on his show in a variety of roles, ranging from filling in on updates to a weekly guest. His legacy in the industry and to WIP is unmatched, and made me feel like an asset to the station from the day I arrived. Enjoy retirement, Angelo! You deserve it. Dan Mason, Former CBS Radio CEO: Angelo managed to be the centerpiece surrounding sports controversy in Philadelphia. I got to know every sports team’s general manager all sparked by complaint calls about Angelo! I absolutely loved the guy! Congrats on an incredible career. Marc Rayfield, Former CBS Radio Philadelphia General Manager: Angelo is a once in a generation radio personality. Long before the format became one of the industry’s most popular, he understood the delicate balance between sports and entertainment. But what made him truly special was his ability to make his listeners part of his show. Along with his co-hosts, he played off of them and they played off of him…expertly. His show prep was second to none, and he demanded excellence and commitment out of all those around him, including me. While it wasn’t always easy, he made me a better broadcaster and a better general manager. Given the ever changing audio landscape, he will be very difficult to replace. Andy Bloom, Former WIP Program Director: I was fortunate to have a front-row seat for eight years as Operations Manager of WIP, Philadelphia, where Angelo Cataldi conducted a clinic on how to do local morning radio. I burned up internet thesauruses trying to find an adjective to describe Angelo’s greatness. He is remarkable, spectacular, elite, prodigious, incomparable, stupendous, legendary, dominant, first-rate eminent, preeminent, and more, but no single word captures his essence. If Angelo were a Major League Baseball player, he’d have played his long career with a single team, and would be a member of the exclusive “600 HR, 3,000 hits, 2,000 RBI Club,” joining only Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Pujols.” What people don’t know about Angelo is that he’s fiercely loyal. He was ready to walk away last year. He agreed to do one more year to support his cast. One was Marketing Director Cindy Webster, a 30-year CBS/Entercom veteran laid off during the Covid cuts. One of Angelo’s conditions was bringing her back to work exclusively with the morning show during his final year. Cindy is leaving now too. After the Eagles Super Bowl XVII Super Bowl loss, Andy Reid, who was on the receiving end of many Catalidi barbs over 14 seasons, gets a side order of schadenfreude with his championship. He won’t say it, but he’ll be thinking his well-worn phrase “times yours” to Angelo, and he’ll have plenty of it in retirement to replay Sunday’s game. Philadelphia doesn’t have “sports teams.” The franchises are family members. Angelo was every family’s loud uncle who dominated the discussion at Sunday dinner, except he was there every morning for 33 years. There will be a huge void with “Uncle” Angelo missing from the table. Tom Lee, Former WIP Program Director: Angelo is truly one of the all time greats, One of the first things he told me when I arrived in Philadelphia is “Don’t ever call me after 8pm, but you can always reach me, any morning, after 3:30, because that’s when my day starts”. His work ethic, passion for his craft and the uncanny ability to blend humor with unique insight and opinions are why he belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Sports Radio personalities. Congratulations on a legendary career! Now you can turn off the alarm clock and enjoy sleeping in! Marc Farzetta, Host of The Farzy Show and Former WIP Morning Show Staff Member For 13 Years: Angelo made the sports talk format in Philadelphia the success that it is today. For 33 years he held coaches, players and front office executives accountable in a way that identified with the city’s fanbase. All the while, entertaining Philly by even knowing how to appeal to the non-sports fan listening with fun, off-sports topics or promotions. He did this from the beginning, when he had to carry the weight of WIP’s fate. Most hosts just have to worry about the success of their show when they start, Angelo had to worry about the success of his show, the station and the format in Philadelphia. All three have taken off because of him. Sal Paolantonio, ESPN National Correspondent: Without Angelo, I’m probably not on ESPN for 28 years. The first story I wrote on the Eagles beat for the Inquirer was Mayor Rendell writing to Norman Braman to keep Reggie White and Braman telling him to pound sand. Angelo put me on WIP that morning and then for 10 years. He had the launch code for my career. I always tell everyone I know, and I travel all over the country, Angelo Cataldi is the best sports talk radio host of all time. Anywhere. His career will never be duplicated. By anyone. Ever. Michael Barkann, NBC Sports Philadelphia Host & Former WIP Midday Host: When I returned to Philadelphia from Boston, Angelo had been a star for years on WIP. I was returning as a host on Comcast SportsNet (now NBC Sports Philadelphia) and there were bound to be on-air bumps in the founding of a new regional sports network. It would have been easy for Angelo (or anyone at that point) to take well placed shots at the goofy guy who was the host starting it all up at CSN. Instead he was tremendously supportive. Nurturing, almost. He was a significant reason we had the start we did and enjoy the popularity we still maintain. As a former WIP host whose show aired immediately following Angelo’s each day, I saw how much work he put into his show. You think Ray Didinger has a legal pad? Angelo had a legal pad filled with each and every idea he had for that day’s Morning Show. He accounted for each minute of the program. He is truly a maestro of the airwaves. Also, there is no better interviewer than Angelo. No one. You know he was a finalist for a 1987 Pulitzer Prize in specialized reporting while covering the Eagles for the Philadelphia Inquirer? That’s how good his reporting and his writing is. Brilliance, passion, energy and humor. Ange has it all. Years and years from now Philadelphia sports fans will be saying “Yeah that guy’s pretty good but he’s no Angelo Cataldi.” Anthony Gargano, 97.5 The Fanatic Midday Host, Former WIP Host: I studied Angelo Cataldi’s voice long before I ever heard him speak. He was a brilliant writer and journalist, and I read him religiously in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I wanted to be just like him. He was serious and thought-provoking and had an elegant way of stringing words together. And while the written word will always be my first love, I can honestly say I admire him even more as a talk show host. It’s not for the obvious. Yes, he was a pioneer in sports talk radio and he paved the way for newspaper people like myself to make the leap into the medium and carve out a better living for our families. Amazingly, this Rhode Islander with his cursed New England patois, in the most provincial town in America, became every bit a part of the landscape in Philadelphia as our cobblestones, strong and study, unique and classic. Angelo tapped into the core fan like no other. He understood what made them tick. What — and who! — they hated and loved. What drove them to being a fan, which is the essence of sports talk radio. And while sports talk can work on a national level, it will always be for the local fan, the ones steeped in passion. The ones with roots. And that has been Angelo this whole time. He’s never changed, despite his success. He’s never altered the voice of his show. He’s kept it pure, always putting the fan first — even over himself. The character he carved out for himself was entirely unique, and you could see it somewhere inside him, especially during his self-deprecating moments. He was funny and poignant. He also had a wonderful knack for creating characters and worked perfectly with his co-hosts, the beloved Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes, integrating their contribution with the timing of a great comedian and storyteller. Perhaps what I loved most about his show was interview style. He could be serious and honest and navigate his subject with great deft. It’s when he channeled his former journalist self and that’s probably what I coveted from him during my own career. We are all a product of our influences, of the ones who made impact on our own voices. I was lucky to have Angelo Cataldi as a peer and an elder in the profession. When I left to work at a different station, I still admired him from afar. Always the GOAT, I will miss him dearly. Eric Johnson, MIX 99.5 PD/Host & Former WIP Assistant Program Director and 97.5 The Fanatic Program Director: My relationship with Angelo has had 3 distinct eras. That of a coworker, a listener, and as a competitor. As a coworker I was the APD at WIP in the 90’s and witnessed a work ethic and commitment to excellence like very few others I have worked with. I learned so much from him just watching (and listening) to him work. He has the ability to make everything compelling and larger than life. He knew that for anything to come out of the radio “in color”, there had to be just the right amount of exaggeration. What a master he is at that skill! In the 2000’s I was a listener. I had a very long commute and listened to a lot of radio, but Monday mornings were must listen times to Angelo (Especially after an Eagles loss!). Yes, you wanted to hear the fans’ reaction, but Angelo’s opinion was that of the collective vibe of the city. It’s been said that the one who has superior knowledge of their listener, wins! Few hosts knew their listeners better. In the late 2010’s he was a brick wall competitor! Congrats Angelo on your decades of success, and all the best to you in your retirement! Chris Carlin, ESPN Radio Afternoon Host, Former WIP Afternoon Host: Watching Angelo orchestrate the show every morning is a masterclass in how to entertain an audience. I’ve never seen a host who truly represents the sports fans of a city better. He takes very seriously his responsibility in being a conduit for those fans in expressing how they’re feeling, good or bad. He’s fearless in delivering the truth, and asking questions. On a personal note, going into Philly as an outsider, especially being from New York, was definitely intimidating. He welcomed me, and helped me connect with the city by giving me his stamp of approval from day one. He’s the best. We will miss him on the airwaves. Jody MacDonald, WIP/CBS Sports Radio Host: To say he’s been on top of the mountain would be a gross understatement. What I’ve been most impressed with about Angelo is he has been better about reading the room — knowing his audience — than maybe anyone I’ve ever seen. He knows exactly what Philadelphia sports fans are thinking, he plays into it as well as anyone I’ve ever seen, and he’s got a grasp on what his audience is thinking and looking for on a day-in, day-out basis. His unique ability to go from kingmaker — as the man, as the guy, the lead dog in Philadelphia — to also being self-deprecating. He can give himself a hard time when he does — infrequently — get something wrong. He goes back and forth between those two different personas almost seamlessly. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone do it, and he’s been doing it for 30 years. Replacing Angelo Cataldi is no easy task. Brian ‘Sludge’ Haddad, Q101 Morning Host, Former WIP Host/Creative Director: I remember when I got to WIP in 2012 people were saying that Angelo was probably winding down into retirement soon. When I saw him in action I saw nothing to indicate that. He was a machine at the top of his game and full of passion for the show, the city of Philadelphia, and WIP. It took another 11 years to now retire, and he’s still at the top of his game! I was doing late nights and I remember hanging out after my show to do production and he’d show up at 3am. First guy in the building for his show still after decades in the game. I learned so much just being around him. He is the voice of Philadelphia. The most compelling opening monologue at 6am every damn morning. Retiring? I’ll believe it when I see it. Josh Innes, Former WIP Afternoon & Evening Host: I first met Angelo in 2014. I was the new night guy at WIP and my boss wanted me to do a spot on Angelo’s show to introduce myself to the Philly audience. When I got to the station that morning I learned my introduction to Philly would include a speed eating contest between Al Morganti’s dog and myself. I’d never met this man, yet I buried my face in a dog bowl and attempted to gobble down scrapple for the sole purpose of entertaining him and his audience. For the record, the dog kicked my ass. That bit may sound dumb, but it was entertaining. I admire Angelo because his top priority every morning is to be entertaining. That should be the goal of everyone who cracks the mic. The problem with many hosts is they take themselves too seriously and want to be the smartest guy in the room. That’s not Angelo. He will gladly be the butt of the joke if that’s what’s required to make the show special. On a personal level, I appreciate that Angelo has always been kind to me and willing to share any wisdom he may have to impart. You don’t get that from many in the biz. You really don’t get it from many in Philly where the majority of the hosts are thin skinned. Sports radio will never see a run like this one again. Congrats, Angelo. You are one of a kind. Matt Nahigian, 95.7 The Game Program Director & Former 97.5 The Fanatic Program Director: Why would I say anything nice about a guy that kicked my ass the entire time I was in Philly? LOL! In all seriousness, Angelo paved the way for so many not only in the city of Philadelphia, but across the country. When you think of Philly Radio, you think of Angelo, but let’s take it a step further. When you think of PHILLY, you think of Angelo Cataldi. Andrea Kremer, HBO Real Sports: Most major markets have one personality that defines the radio landscape, and there’s no doubt that Angelo is it in Philly. And it’s worth referring to Angelo as iconic just to make him blush! I’ve admired and valued his hard work, preparation and informed opinions. He’s certainly never been bereft of them! On a personal note, he has always been so supportive of me and my work, the hometown girl done good. For that I am truly grateful. He will be sorely missed. I’m not sure if his sendoff is best with a triumphant Eagles’ Super Bowl victory or a loss so he can get in his last, ahem, critique of them! Jayson Stark, The Athletic: Am I allowed to say it’s all my fault? OK, I’m mostly kidding, but back in the ‘80s, I was at The Inquirer. They were looking for an Eagles writer. I knew Angelo from my time in Rhode Island. So I recommended him, and they actually hired him. Little did either of us know at the time we were changing the history of sports radio in Philadelphia. Angelo was an amazing writer and reporter. But he’s a true radio genius. He’s brilliant. He’s prepared. He obviously doesn’t lack for opinions. But I think the biggest reason it works is because he listens – to his co-hosts and his guests – and he’s never afraid to laugh at himself. It’s been an honor to listen to him all these years. He’s a legend … and it’s all my fault. (Not really!) Ross Tucker, Audacy Sports NFL Analyst: Unless you are from the Philadelphia area, it is kind of hard to explain to people how ingrained WIP is to the fabric of the city in general and Angelo Cataldi in particular. Sports talk radio is a huge deal in Philly and Angelo has been the undisputed king for over 30 years which means multiple generations of families have listened to him together over the years which is really wild. I have no idea what I said or did on one of my first appearances on his show that caused him to be such a big fan of mine but ever since he has been a huge advocate for me at WIP which I think has helped me get not only more opportunities at the station but also working for the Eagles, public speaking, etc., and for that I am eternally grateful. As a kid from the area, it is truly an honor to be on with him every week and I am really going to miss it. It never feels like work when I’m talking Eagles on WIP and especially so when I am talking with Angelo. Mark Chernoff, Former WFAN Program Director and Audacy Sports Format Captain: I’ve always admired and respected Angelo and how successful he’s been over the years. He is a host who connects with his listeners as well as all his cast (in particular Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes who have been with him through the years). How he was able to grow “Wing Bowl” into the major event it became (organically) was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. We gave thought to creating a Wing Bowl in New York but realized we wouldn’t be able to do what Angelo did in Philly. He has worked with great Program Directors including Tom Bigby, Andy Bloom, Tom Lee, Spike Eskin and for the past year or so Rod Lakin. Give credit to Angelo and those PD’s that his success has only gotten bigger over the years. Philly is a tough town but Angelo has “owned” it for the past 30 years. Joe Fortenbaugh, ESPN: What’s interesting is that my favorite Angelo Cataldi memory should probably involve sports, but it doesn’t. In the summer of 2009 I was driving from Allentown to Ocean City, New Jersey on a Monday for work. I had the morning show on the entire drive. It was the Monday after “The Hangover” came out and I remember it vividly because they couldn’t stop talking about how funny it was. Most sports talk program directors would try to put the kibosh on that topic ASAP, but this went on for what must have been an hour and it was fantastic. Keep in mind, the Phillies had just won the World Series and were about to win the National League for the second year in a row. I hadn’t even seen the movie yet, but Angelo’s surprise as to how funny it was hooked me. That’s how the greats do it. The topic doesn’t matter. In “Top Gun: Maverick” they say, “it’s not the plane, it’s the pilot.” Well, the same can be said for Angelo. It’s not the topic, it’s the host.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Ike Reese: I’ve Lived Joe DeCamara’s Sports Fantasies For 30 Years
“You were the one cheering for me. You realize that, right?”
Earlier this week, during the Ask Me Anything segment the new 94 WIP morning show of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie were asked who would win a triple tag-team wrestling match between DeCamara/Ritchie, Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio, and Jon Marks and Ike Reese.
In response, DeCamara said it was clear the morning show would win, and called Ike Reese a liability.
“Jon Ritchie? Starter. Hugh Douglas? Starter. Ike? Special teams guy,” DeCamara said. “I’m not trying to be rude. I love Ike, I’m just saying. He was a little light. A great backup, but the thing about being a backup is that you’re always a backup.”
DeCamara later said “I’m like Howard Cosell. I call it like it is.”
During the station’s afternoon show, Reese fired back by saying what DeCamara’s sports fantasies have consisted of — like a bit earlier this week where he took part in a free-throw shooting contest against former St. Joseph’s star Jameer Nelson — has been Reese’s professional life while the morning host was too “unathletic and frankly uncool” to achieve.
“You get to be on WIP now and get to shoot free throws with Jameer Nelson and other Big 5 athletes. You get to go down to fantasy camp and be around former Phillies players. Joe, your fantasy life is the life I’ve lived for the last 30-plus years. You were the one cheering for me. You realize that, right?
“Whether I was out there playing a backup role on third down or special teams, you were cheering for me. Remember that, Joe. This platform has finally allowed you to live the life you’ve dreamed of when I’ve been doing this 30-plus years. Not to mention, I retired and now I’m doing what you love, doing better than you.”
DeCamara and Ritchie played the audio of Reese’s comments Thursday morning. Co-host Rhea Hughes jokingly called DeCamara’s comments “disrespectful”.
“I’ll say this,” DeCamara said. “I was prepared to give Ike a standing ovation. The last two seconds? I don’t know.”
Sports Radio News
Hans Olsen Joins BYU Radio Crew
“I’m beyond thrilled to now work with Greg, Mitch and Jason to bring my passion for the game to the BYU fans I played for years ago.”
Hans Olsen spent five years in Provo as a member of the BYU football team. He started on the defensive line for his final two seasons and as a senior was named second team all Mountain West. Now, the Cougars are moving into the Big 12 and Olsen is coming along for the ride.
The school announced on Thursday that he will be the new radio analyst. He replaces Riley Nelson, who resigned in January and will work with Greg Wrubell, who has been the voice of the Cougars since 2001.
Calling games runs in the Olsen family. Hans is the nephew of Merlin Olsen, who worked as an analyst for CBS and NBC after a Hall of Fame NFL career.
“I’ve always loved what my Uncle Merlin did in the booth, and I had a dream to see what it was like,” Olsen said. “I’m grateful to Brian Estridge and Bowl Season Radio for giving me the chance to pursue that dream, and I’m beyond thrilled to now work with Greg, Mitch, and Jason to bring my passion for the game to the BYU fans I played for years ago.”
Sports fans in Salt Lake City know Hans Olsen well. He is the co-host of Hans & Scotty G on KSL Sports Zone 97.5. He and Scott Garrard have worked together since 2014.
Sports Radio News
Lou Merloni: Sports Talk Radio Was Grinding On Me
“You wake up every day and search for that negative topic and it wears on you and turns you extremely negative.”
Late last year, WEEI afternoon co-host Lou Merloni announced he was leaving Merloni, Fauria, and Mego as part of a larger shakeup of the Boston sports radio station to work as a game analyst for the Boston Red Sox on both WEEI and NESN.
In an interview with The Athletic, Merloni discussed his exit from the program and admitted after a decade and a half, sports radio had become increasingly difficult. But being a game analyst had always been of interest to him.
“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” Merloni said. “I’ve done games before and that was my happy place. I liked doing sports talk, but after a while, it was 15 years, it started grinding on you more than I wanted it to.”
Merloni — who spent nine seasons in the big leagues with the Red Sox, Padres, Indians, and Angels — added that the negativity of sports radio grew to be an issue for him.
“You wake up every day and search for that negative topic and it wears on you and turns you extremely negative,” he said. “It’s not manufactured, it’s just, that’s your job. If you just talk about nothing but how great the Bruins are, nobody would ever call in. So it’s ‘Why isn’t (David) Pastrnak signed yet?’
“So those are things that get people interacting with sports radio and those are the discussions you have. But you also want to keep it somewhat positive and balanced, it’s just different. There’s always that search for that sort of angle. And that grinds on you, it really does. It turns you into something you’re not, maybe.”
The soon-to-be 52-year-old said joining the NESN booth came at a great time for him.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the TV booth, I just didn’t know when the right time was, so sometimes things work out for a reason,”