Solving Philadelphia’s Sports Talk Radio Problem

The Meat Locker

If you’re under the age of 50 and above the age of 15, it’s obvious that Philadelphia has a sports talk radio problem. This city is big enough for two separate stations to fill nearly 24-hours of original content every single day, so why do listeners have to restrain themselves from putting a boot through their radio after listening for an average of two minutes?

The answer isn’t an easy one, but I’d like to propose a potential four-step solution that I think will help improve sports talk radio in Philadelphia.

Step 1: Fill a room sky high in both the 97.5 Fanatic and 94 WIP studios with wheels of mozzarella, arms of salami, slabs of mortadella, Rocky Blu-rays, back issues of Playboy from 1984 and knock-off Chinese made Eagles jerseys.

Hang a sign from the door marked “Free.”

Step 2: Wait until room is filled. When at capacity, crack open door and throw in smoke bomb.

Step 3: Amidst confusion, send in army of interns with large burlap sacks. Stuff hosts into said sacks with notices of termination. Tag each host with tracking device to collect valuable data on the mating habits of the morbidly obese. Hire a forklift if interns alone cannot successfully remove hosts from their respective stations. Be prepared to widen doorways throughout each building. Unceremoniously dump fired, confused hosts in alleyway. Congratulate self on job well done.

Step 4: Hire new hosts.

Sure, it may seem harsh, but the unoriginality of the medium is so deeply entrenched in both stations that they need to be completely uprooted. They have such an incestuous relationship that it’s not a matter of “if” a fired host will find another job at the rival station, but only a matter of “when.” Rob Ellis. Anthony Gargano. Jon Marks. Tony Bruno. Mike Missanelli. All failed or otherwise flamed out at their respective stations…all found homes at the rival station.

Did Rob Ellis, the human equivalent of a deep coma, need TWO chances at TWO sports talk stations to put listeners to sleep? Did he really need a daily morning television show? I assure you his failures were NOT due to people being unable to see his weak-chinned face.

If someone’s tired schtick wasn’t getting ratings at WIP, it will CERTAINLY do better at The Fanatic! Anthony Gargano’s “cuz” act had worn out its welcome… uh, everywhere, so of course The Fanatic jumped at the opportunity to hire him to anchor its flagship morning show! At least they gave him a unique slant this time around with Brian Baldinger and human dynamo Maureen Crowley Williams. WHAT FRESH-FACED TALENT! The most interesting thing about Baldinger is his gnarled finger. Has anyone cared what he’s had to say in the past, oh, let’s make it a conservative 25 years? No. No they haven’t. But they’ll reinvent the morning show they will, one recycled bit after another. LET’S GO TO THE MEATLOCKER AND TALK TO FREDDIE MITCHELL FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME, WHAT A CRAZY MEATBALL! OH MAMA MIA.

(Just a side note for a moment, can each station please have a moratorium on booking Freddie Mitchell? He played four seasons, very poorly I might add, and he hasn’t stepped foot on a football field since 2004. Do we need to hear him complain about Donovan McNabb again? We do not. You were garbage, Freddie. It wasn’t McNabb’s fault that you washed out of the NFL. I do not need to hear another unsubstantiated story about how everyone on the team hated McNabb…which was probably true, but god damnit I don’t need to hear you tell it AD NAUSEAM.)

Wing Bowl was fun like 20 years ago, right? Tits, wings, huge slobs eating themselves into an early grave as greasy Angelo Cataldi cackles in the background and their soon-to-be widows beg them to stop, disappointed Wingette fathers…it’s a Philadelphia tradition! So what does The Fanatic do? Creates Fantasy Fest, an annual event that gives 35 mouthbreathers from Kensington the excuse to begin drinking at noon and ogle the one unlucky stripper from Delilah’s who is NOT getting paid enough to be there.

This caller to The Fanatic last weekend perfectly encapsulated the Fantasy Fest experience:

I didn’t make that up. That was a real call. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed anything more that has been aired on The Fanatic.

The one host in the past decade who attempted to do anything different was Josh Innes, and he was ran out of town in his husky boy jeans faster than Pete Rose running to an alleged underage sex party.

Innes dared to step away from the tried and true Philadelphia sports talk formula of cliched topics and “hilarious” daily polls. You know the ones…. “Call in, we’re taking your top Philly guys who ever played linebacker for the Eagles…Jeremiah Trotter is up there for me, I tell ya. Call in, 610-632….”

For every one host or producer willing to try something different, there are 25 Jason Myrtetuses in the background rehashing and pushing the same old garbage. “How about a fake caller? He could call in when things are slow, really rile Mike up! Just make him black, don’t worry about it, we’ll call him Dwayne. He’ll be outrageous and say really stereotypical things that I think a black person would actually say if I knew any in real life. THINK OF THE RATINGS!”

In the words of the immortal Digital Underground, “It’s just the same old song.”

Here’s what one of the stations could actually do if they want to break the cycle: You know the person on your staff who is behind the scenes that has pitched an idea for a show that seems “out there” or “too different” from what you’re used to hearing on-air? Promote them to on-air. My god, do us all a favor. I beg of you.

Take a chance, get a different opinion on-air for a change. Do you really need to hear Mike Missanelli or Angelo Cataldi breathing heavily into a microphone every day and taking the contrarian view on EVERY SINGLE TOPIC because it “creates content?” Get a new voice on your airwaves, get someone who is going to take a chance, who will do something we haven’t heard a million times already, and who won’t publish terrible polls on Twitter. Spare us, please.

Or, better yet, listeners should just stop listening. Go ahead and put that foot through your radio and don’t replace it. Read the Coggin Toboggan and Crossing Broad instead. Fuck it. There are a ton of writers here now. Everyone here can mash their hands onto their keyboards and come up with semi-coherent sentences, I guarantee you that. WHAT AN ENDORSEMENT!

All angry emails and letter bombs from WIP and Fanatic hosts/producers should be addressed to Kyle Scott at Crossing Broad. He’s the one who allows this nonsense to be published on his site. [Editor’s note: Shaggy defense.]

Like what you saw? Did you only dry-heave once or twice reading this piece of garbage? Then follow me on Twitter @Coggintoboggan.

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82 Responses

    1. Sick of Jeff from Camden, Chris from Williamstown and brotha Scott from Barrington calling both stations all day everyday says:

      I agree wholeheartedly.

      1. Innes was at his best when he was making fun of the meat locker or Mikey Miss or all the other things this article outlines as legitimate complaints with the current radio hosts in this city. Love him or hate him, he got people to listen and his show was entertaining. There’s definitely an opportunity out there for another “outsider” to come in and shake up the drive time ratings again. I’d listen.

        1. Innes would have been fine if he didn’t have a restaurant host with a good last name as his program director, or if he himself had an ear for what sounds good on radio. I mean, these people actually let Hollis Thomas talk into a microphone for an entire year and were confused that their ratings immediately plummeted. He also needs the strong pimp hand in his bosses despite his constantly whining about those kind of directors. Someone who isn’t a complete autistic prick needs to crack him across his corpulent back when he goes off the rails on a joke.

  1. Gargano is a fat disgusting f-ck. Step 1 – toss his ass out like the garbage he is just like his boy haircut having, untalented girlfriend. And then follow that up by tossing out Mikey Miss with his second level white guilt ass. Then change formats to country music so that the market isn’t overstated with know nothing bozos.

  2. Well this was a dumpster fire of an article. Clear objective here: Let’s bash all the radio stations to promote Crossing Broadcast.. Maybe Kyle should have stayed as the only contributor to the site.

  3. Fantastic article…seriously. I know people on this site poop all over articles but this is a great choice.
    The issue with addressing this topic is you’ll get mongoloids who cry out, “He’s from the suburbs how dare he criticize OUR station,” or “He’s only lived her for 7 years…it’s not long enough to have a voice.”
    You are right but I guess the radio executives like people with a “safe” shtick.

  4. I’m saying this sincerely, this is the worst written piece of garbage I’ve come across on this site. Down right putrid. This guy is neither funny nor insightful. Great hire, man!

  5. I was with you until your Josh Innes love. That dude is a fat slob. He didn’t know anything about sports, wasn’t funny and was doing a two decade old Howard Stern impression. He fucking sent flowers (i.e. a funeral) to Mike Miss after beating him in the ratings 20 years after Stern held a funeral for DaBella after beating him in the ratings. He was a piece of shit and I hope he’s floating somewhere in Houston now.

    Also this story went on too long. You are trying to be like Magary. Give it a rest.

  6. I like the idea you guys all have. Maybe not seem so millennialish by complaining about the guys who made it long before your time and are winding down to pass the torch to new media. I happen to like both sides of the spectrum and I’m 38. I might like you all more if you find your own original content not blast the past present and your future

  7. Because the crossing broad podcast is sooooo much better.
    Give me a great. This is site cooked.

  8. Josh Innes was HORRIBLE! I tune in to hear hosts that are knowledgeable about sports break down sports. I think Baldinger is great to break down games and he knows talent because he eats sleeps and shits NFL. And, as boring as Rob Ellis was, he at least was extremely knowledgeable with everything he broke down. I don’t want people like Josh Innes being all wacky and self deprecating all over himself to try and win my ratings. If I wanted said things, I would tune to Howard Stern, or Preston and Steve. Josh Innes was nothing but a troll, and his condescending spit in the philly sports fan face was mindless radio. Sports talk is not nearly as bad as you guys make it out to be. I agree that certain polls and topics are tired at that point, but too be honest there has been not much to work with over the last 5 years! Philly sports have been atrocious really since the Phillies stopped making the postseason in 2011. I was typically a WIP guy until they shifted hosts and jumped ship to the Fanatic. Now I switch back and forth. Some hosts are great, some are awful, but I have that option of changing the channel if I so desire.

    1. Exactly…it feels tired, and some of it is, because our teams have sucked since the Phils collapse. Once the teams are competitive and fun to watch again the content creates itself.

    2. Disagree, I stopped listening years ago because they are tired, boring and lack insight. And by they I mean ALL of them.

  9. That was great, keep em coming! literally cant stand the sports talk radio scene in this city anymore, stopped listening 3 months back and havnt looked back

  10. Overall, fair to entertaining points. But you lose ALL credibility by suggesting Innes was the gold standard for fixing sports talk radio in this town.

    You complain about Cataldi taking contrarian views to create fake content/debate, but that was literally all that Innes did. His game plan for every show was, “What kind of over-the-top asshole thing can I say today to get these lemmings riled up?”

    He wasn’t some new-age next gen sports talk radio host, he was the awful Frankenstein’s monster evolution of Cataldi-ism combined with Howard Stern shock jock wannabe-ism. Philly may be sick of the Angelos and Mikey Misses of the local radio scene, but we definitely won’t take to phony fake fan fools like Innes. More Innes-like assholes is a sure way to drive the nail in the coffin of Philly sports talk.

  11. “Rob Ellis is the human equivalent of a deep coma”

    You and I are gonna get along just fine here. Thank you for giving my brain a massive erection.

    Greatest post in Crossing Broad history and it’s not even close

  12. First off I don’t enjoy wing bowl at all ,never have, but if the writer doesn’t understand it’s a radio stations dream maybe he shouldn’t be writing this article. The event is a huge revenue grab and gets the station national attention.
    I agree switching hosts station to station doesn’t make much sense..the difference is wip got decammera who was beating them and Bruno who they realized 975 made a mistake on and he won a time slot wip couldn’t sniff in years.. 975 however couldn’t wait to hand mornings and mid days to cuz and Ellis who never beat them.. why hire guys you were beating handily in the ratings?
    Baldinger w harry and tony was fun when he would be a guest. I agree w ant not listenable.
    If you wanted something new wip gave you chris C but I’m not exactly thrilled w that. What is perplexing is that Ike Reese had drive time.. lost… had mid days.. lost.. so what do they do? They give Ike drive time again.. that move is a total head scratcher.
    I am fully aware Beasley is cheap, and I think a format change(country) will happen the second missenellis contract expires. If they wanted to really compete w wip I think the move was to bring bruno and younis back pair them w harry mayes give them the morning.. u give Anthony mid days til his contract expires. Read the comments see how innes and bruno won drive time. People would go ape shit for harry and tony to be reunited.
    However the article was how to fix sports radio in philly. You can’t because radio is a dying medium and the stations don’t want to pay quality big name hosts any longer.. 975 ratings will continue to decline except afternoon drive.. 975 will have a format change.. then wip will prob wait for certain contracts to expire then bring missenellis to drive time. Many hosts will disappear from the air waves because the stations will no longer need to share. I also do not believe for a second that Angelo will retire( not a fan but respect his ratings longevity)

    1. I agree about Angelo. At some point his wife will have to drive him and Wheel him up to the studio and he would still kill Gargano in the ratings.

    2. What then exactly happens to the Sixers and Flyers radio broadcast. Now that the basketball team is getting good it would be easy to find another station to air the games.
      The same goes for the hockey team if they have turned the corner.

  13. But the article is basically just a collection of every Radio Wars comment section. seems like an odd choice to pay a guy to copy and paste old comments.

    1. Sick burns! Jason Myrtetus took the rest of the day off after reading this! He was really upset! Great work, Coggin Toboggan!

  14. I kinda agree with your assessment of Innes. Sometimes he was unbearable to listen to…He wasn’t as knowledgable sport-wise as most other sport-radio hosts, he wasn’t a “local guy”…But his show was the ONLY original show on either sport radio station since…since I don’t even know. You never knew where each afternoon was going to spiral into. Sometimes it was thrilling radio. Other times, it was so bad I had to turn it off. WIP just could never find him an adequate cohost once Bruno left….And Innes also shot himself in the foot multiple times

  15. This is a great post. Gargano is always angry, who wants to listen to that shit in the morning. He’s better in the afternoons. Caltaldi has to give prizes away everyday to attract listeners to listen to the same callers over and over. Levi and Shirley need to be limited to once a week or something. The afternoon WIP show is the most unlistenable show I have ever heard.

    1. you forgot to mention Kenny from the dirty thirty, like I need to hear his opinion on everything because he is the true “voice of the fan”…..gimme a break

  16. Please put all of coggin’s posts behind the exclusive subscriber paywall so that I’ll never have to read them.

  17. Geez this post was the worst part of my day, ch.
    I ah think my jokes are better , ch.
    I once was asked to hold a camera for someone, ch.

  18. This article actually surprised me. Reason being is that crossing broad would seemingly bash innes while he was here, and even post skewed (actually incorrect) articles of “combined” ratings against innes and for 97.5 . I remember it feeling extremely and questionably biased towards 97.5 at the time.

    Now, I’m not a huge Josh fan and I do swap between both 97.5 and 94.1, but what I liked about Josh was exactly what this article describes and what we need… Something different. The ratings showed this, and it wasn’t particular to Josh. Too bad crossing broad did embrace it at the time a little more and are now angry about the outcome .

  19. The real issue is that loser Shander. Absolute idiot and punk. Every show he is on is dead air time. SHANDER needs to go…

  20. Mike Miss calls you a “sewer dweller” over the weekend, so you respond by paying some schmuck to write this garbage, lol. You two deserve each other.

  21. this is basically just a rip at the fanatic, which i don’t mind. They are really circling the drain. Sports talk radio in this town isn’t going to change, and honestly, I’d love to see anyone build or host 24 hours of sports talk with four teams that have been unwatchable for many, many years. That said, you guys are pretty much doing everything that you claim to hate about sports talk….you claim that both stations do the exact same thing and repeat the exact same content and style, yet, how many times have you written about talk radio? You have the exact same story line every time and don’t have anything original anymore. Maybe you guys should take a look in the mirror about your own content instead of throwing so much shade to try and boost your own site.

  22. You mentioned Donovan, and it was in a pretty positive way and it almost seemed like you were defending him. If you want to get anywhere on a Philly sports site, you have to say”McPuke” or “worm-burner” or any other number of stupid narratives to fire up the moronic 4 for 4 crowd.

  23. Im 32 for frame of reference. Mikey Miss is good. Not great but good. He’s articulate and engages with callers in a “common man” sort of way. Can he be pretentious and wrong at times? Absolutely. But he is a million times better than anyone else on air besides maybe Harry Mayes. Bring back Jon & Sean!!!

  24. People are so damn picky when it comes to radio and TV personalities. Who do you like then? For every answer there will be 5-10 guys who say your guy sucks.

  25. Put Jonny Marks up against Misanelli that would be a great move. Anytime Sal Pal comes on I immediately switch stations.

  26. Haven’t listened to sports talk radio for YEARS with a minor exception of Macnow and Didinger every once in a while. That is if I can wait for the 10-12 min commercial breaks to end (I know “commercial radio” but come on). Started with turning off Cataldi and his crew and gradually grew to the rest. Don’t miss it a bit. Still puzzles me how and why Ike Reese still holds a job when all his prior co-hosts were (deservedly) axed. Only way to revive sports talk is to tear it all down and hire fresh voices who have no history with the area as either reporters or former Eagles players.

  27. Much like 97.5 and 94.1, Crossing Broad used to be enjoyable. Kyle used to consistently deliver interesting tidbits about the local and national sports realm, but now he just seems to be obsessed with ripping apart every person that actually has a media credential. Seriously, this site has gone waaaaay downhill.

  28. The morning show has been unlistenable and boring the last 2 weeks. It’s almost as bad as that 700 Level Show.

  29. I enjoy the morning show but they need to get rid of the callers. Hating on Baldy? Come on now.

  30. Can someone tell Shander that Tinder is for college freshman trying to lose their virginity and not for 40 year old wannabe white rappers? Every time it gets brought up I just feel bad for the guy. All the hosts are clearly mocking him and he thinks they’re encouraging him.

  31. This is completely off topic but you must be related to Dr. Mantis Toboggan, MD? Best doctor in Philadelphia

  32. Please, please, please, do not hold up Josh Innes as a host with a fresh take on Phlly sports. His fresh take was to overtly try to piss people off, hiis listeners, his co-hosts, his bosses. He’s an idiot. I would keep Baldinger and Didinger and throw every other host over the side. Those two have actual knowledge of the sport of football, speak clearly, and aren’t arrogant assholes. You do not re-invent sports talk radio by making the on-air talent even more unlikable (Innes) than the hosts who are currently on-air putting us to sleep and insulting our intelligence and just plain insulting us.

    1. Oh my God!! I’m so sick of this!!! I can’t believe this shit!! This is so infuriating and I am fed up and infuriated! I need a drink, LOL.

      Now that we got my infuriatedness out of the way…

      The Innes thing is absurd, it’s been said already…the guy was trying to turn sports talk into a morning zoo show and that isn’t going to work, ever. The Cuz is way past his expired date. People want guys who are professionals on the air. That’s why Didinger is beloved. Knock Macnow all you want, but the guy does his job and does is professionally, same with Ellis, he was boring but at least he brought some knowledge and insight to the table. Jon Ritchie may be boring at times, but a total pro on the air.
      What needs to happen is to get the clowns off the air and stick with the professionals and spend time taking calls then letting people marinade on hold for 40 minutes while 2 guys talk about nonsense and do interviews with every idiot journalist who is going to give a bunch of generic made up uninformed answers. Stop letting the same annoying idiots on the air day in and day out. This isn’t hard.

  33. Isn’t also just as possible that sports radio sucks lately and is unlistenable because sports in this town sucks lately and there’s just nothing to talk about.

  34. Millennials,Millennials,Millennials! Bitch,Moan,Complain….All you do, change America! Nothing wrong with change and yes, the Sports Talk in Philly is a little blah sometimes. There should only be one station for starters, Gargano isn’t fake by saying Cuz, that’s how he talks. Wing Bowl is huge! Sells out and has gotten bigger each year with even more national exposure. It’s ours! It was made as a joke 20 years ago because The Eagles didn’t win a Super Bowl and only got there once at the time, twice now. It was meant to be our SB. Sadly we still don’t have one. Anyway, most younger people don’t even listen to terrestrial radio let alone Sports Talk. So, naturally it won’t get huge ratings. Ratings today are not what they were 10 years ago. Adds ADDS pay their salaries not viewers although they kinda go together, I get it. Solution…one station, best hosts from both all go to the one, don’t make or break over huge ratings, won’t ever get them. Way to find the best hosts is by voting. The popular, most listened to are chosen along with one knowledgeable guy, if he is not chosen, i.e..Ray Diddinger . Then keep a couple as fill ins. All others bye. Go to podcasting.

  35. If you must have a token neeegro to meet your quota try putting one on that can SPEAK ENGLISH ! Ike Reese is a nightmare “I says DAT DONT BE NO GOOT” and Mr. StutterMumble he he he he he He h h h h h h hold l l l l l is T T T T T T T T T T T T T home m m m m m. As he he he he today is the anniversary of sidewalks !

    FUCK – REESE & THOMAS and throw in that piece of DOGSHIT Rob LIBTARD Charry who is a disgrace to his race !

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