Molly Eichel with an interesting story today about how childish the so-called radio wars have become. She says that, on Friday, WIP operations manager Andy Bloom became unglued during a remote broadcast from Chickie’s and Pete’s Play 2 – which is adjacent but attached to the main restaurant – when, at around 3:30 p.m., Jon Marks from 97.5 showed up to take part in a MetroPCS $1,000 giveaway promotion for Greater Media, which owns 97.5 The Fanatic, WMMR, 102.9 and other stations. It was at that point that Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis were told that they had to return to the studio mid-show.
The rivalry between WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic is quite storied. The hullabaloo did not start until Marks showed up about 3:30 p.m., according to sources. At that point, Chickie’s & Pete’s reps tried to get the promotion moved from the VIP area to the back of the space to appease WIP bigwigs, but Greater Media refused. WIP packed up and went back to the station, forcing someone from WIP to get on the air until Ellis and Gargano could make it back to Old City.
Ah yes, everyone acting like grown adults I see.
I’m told that Eichel’s account is very accurate, and that Gargano and Ellis moving back to the studio likely had nothing to do with line issues. Bloom was unhappy that Marks, who was in a completely separate part of the restaurant (VIP area behind hostess stand at Chickie’s), was allowed to exist in the same space as WIP talent and their live broadcast. There were Greater Media promotional items on the tables in the VIP area, and Matt Cord was working the event until 4, when he had to leave for the Sixers game. Marks was up next. At one point, Chickie’s representatives tried to move Marks’ promotional pictures to the back of the restaurant to appease WIP. Greater Media didn’t move, however, and that’s when Gargano and Ellis were told to take their show back to the studio.
The Philly sports community – from teams to media to advertisers – is extremely incestuous, probably more than you realize or than I can accurately explain in a single blog post. Big advertisers, like Chickie’s and Pete’s, work with just about everyone connected to Philly sports (full disclosure: they advertised with me last year as well). If you’re WIP, or 97.5, you can’t freak the fuck out when someone from the other team happens to be in the same building at the same time. In many cases, talent from one station sits next to talent from another station on a TV show that airs on separately-owned TV station– situations in which all parties may have the same corporate partners and advertisers. The Greater Media-CBS-NBC trifecta, if you will. That said, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are people from both sides who positively detest people from the other side and are eager to trash-talk without prompting. It’s like high school, if only high school took place in a major media market filled with egos. The competition is understandable, but also pretty hilarious and highly entertaining. And it might soon turn ugly:
Brotherly love, baby!