RADIO WARS – Some Thoughts on the Changes at 94 WIP

94 WIP didn’t waste any time finding a replacement for Chris Carlin, who is headed back to New York to take over for the retiring Mike Francesa as part of a two-man and one-woman team.

Carlin got on the radio for a few minutes yesterday to confirm his departure, then turned it over to Jon Marks, the evening host who will now do afternoon drive alongside Ike Reese for the foreseeable future. Joe Giglio will take over Marks’ nighttime slot.

I didn’t listen to a lot of Carlin and Reese in that 2 to 6 p.m. slot, but I wouldn’t say I “disliked” the show. It just sort of existed.

Did Carlin’s New York roots bother listeners? I don’t know, but Angelo Cataldi and Jim Gardner aren’t from Philly and they made out okay. Difference is that those guys have been here forever and have their loyal audience, like Mike Missanelli, who was Chris and Ike’s competition at 97.5 the Fanatic. It’s always going to be tough to compete in that time slot, whether it’s Ike, Jon, Carlin, or anybody.

WIP finally had some stability in afternoon drive after going from the Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano lineup, to the Gargano and Rob Ellis lineup, to the Josh Innes and Tony Bruno lineup, to the Innes and Spike Eskin and Hollis Thomas lineup, to the blah blah blah, you get the point.

But ratings are good for WIP. They’re very good. They’re winning every slot in the key demographics (aka men) except for 2 to 6.

That said, I thought they might stick with Marks in evenings, if only for the recency of his hire (February) and the newness of the Sixers post-game show that he had been hosting. Marks was in the early stages of building something through the station’s beefed up Sixers coverage, a strategy that seems to be successful even without holding the team’s broadcast rights. My guess was that the station’s veteran personalities, guys like Jody Mac, Ricky Ricardo, Glen Macnow, and Ray Didinger, might serve as a rotating cast of co-hosts for Ike until the station was ready to make a permanent hire. That wasn’t the case. Apparently Marks was in the plans for some time.

But even though Jon is coming from the evening show, he has experience in every other time slot dating back to his 97.5 days. He produced Missanelli’s show before taking an on-air midday role alongside Sean Brace. That evolved into a morning show gig with Anthony Gargano, who marginalized Marks and dominated the microphone. So Jon is familiar with important time periods, just not at WIP.

As for Giglio, I think Joe is the most underrated host in Philadelphia.

I really do.

Nobody does more prep than he does. He just watches more sports than anybody else. Baseball, football, college, etc., guy is an encyclopedia. His show is very straightforward. No bullshit, none of the “who is the toughest Philly athlete of all time?” crapola, none of that.

And his takes are fresh, too. Joe was one of the first people to really to go to bat for Doug Pederson as a head coach and play caller when everybody else was ripping him:

Joe writes for and also does some radio in New York, so I don’t know if those roles continue. He’s covered a lot of shifts at WIP and usually fills in seamlessly. Joe has worked some shitty and inconsistent hours, so he’s certainly paid his dues. He’s extremely baseball savvy, which makes him a perfect fit for the “Leading Off” Phillies pre-game show, as well as post-game coverage.

That leaves a combination of guys to cover nights and weekends, like Rob Charry, Hollis Thomas, Howard Eskin, Jon Johnson, Andrew Porter, Marc Farzetta, Jolly, Roob, Vince Quinn, and the BGN Radio guys. I think Glen and Ray on weekend mornings is the best show on local radio, so sue me. Rich Zeoli from 3 to 6 is a close second.

But does a Marks/Reese pairing move the needle during afternoon drive? I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody competes with Mikey Miss in that time period, but Mike has seemed a little tired and disinterested lately, so maybe you just wait it out here. Play the attrition game and win the other slots. WIP also has to consider Angelo Cataldi’s eventual retirement.

And all of that should wait anyway, since the Entercom merger seems to FINALLY be taking place. I mean, that news was first announced when I still worked at CBS 3, which was more than a year and a half ago. This week, CBS Radio employees finally received information regarding benefit transition, so it appears we’re getting closer to completion.

I don’t know too much about the new bosses that will be overseeing WIP, WPHT, WOGL, and the rest of the cluster. Are they big on sports? Do they have an eye for talent? Will Spike be green-lighted for hirings and firings, or will that responsibility go to someone else? I don’t know. 94 WIP does the highest “billing” (money making) out of any of those stations, so I’m working under the assumption that the focus will be directed there. It’ll also be interesting to see whether Eyewitness News and WIP continue their relationship since they’ll no longer be “sister stations” under CBS ownership. We weren’t allowed to put 97.5 talent on channel 3 for obvious reasons, but WIP personalities were allowed to go wherever they wanted. I always found that one-way street annoying, if understandable.

As far as The Fanatic, I think they’re doing some positive things over there. Mike is Mike. I think Harry Mayes and Jason Myrtetus are a solid combination on the midday show. I honestly haven’t listened to much of the Cuz lately, so I will abstain on judging Bob Cooney’s addition. I enjoy Devon Givens’ Sixers post-game shows and I think Geoff Mosher does a nice job as well on various time slots.

WIP will have new owners while 97.5 adds a new program director, Eric Johnson, so it’s somewhat of a new beginning for each station.

Also, I know he’s happy in Atlanta and isn’t coming home, but I’d still like to see a John Kincade return. I think he’d really push Mike on afternoon drive.

John has always been ahead of the curve with the idea that Philly sports talk falls back on rudimentary “crutch” topics. He did the Crossing Streams podcast with Kyle last year and elaborated on that:

“What (program directors) want to do is ‘Bill from Roxborough,’ ‘Joe from Fishborough,’ – pound calls and everything. There’s no talent in that. You have to entertain. You have to inform. You have to engage in debate. I don’t take one phone call, ever, in my entire career, where I’m taking a survey: ‘Call up and tell us your favorite Phillies moment!’ I hear this crap all the time and I immediately turn it off. ‘Who is the worst Eagles coach of all time?!’ Really? You got out of bed this morning and you’re taking a paycheck and that’s what you come up with? That’s lazy ass radio. It really is.”

I listened to John’s show when I lived in Atlanta for a few months. It’s good. There’s more.. I don’t know, “purpose” in the way it’s produced and delivered. You don’t get the sense that he walks into the station wearing sweatpants and does five seconds of prep before jumping on the microphone. John’s a pro, one of the fewer “big names” out there with a local connection.

Anyway, it feels like the halcyon days of Josh Innes, Andy Bloom, and Matt Nahigian are long gone.

It’s the dawn of a new RADIO WARS era.



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54 Responses

    1. “But does a Marks/Reese pairing move the needle during afternoon drive?”

      NO!!!. Marks is a significant downgrade from Carlin.

      “Also, I know he’s happy in Atlanta and isn’t coming home, but I’d still like to see a John Kincade return. I think he’d really push Mike on afternoon drive”.

      Kincade would absolutely destroy Missanelli. Remeber when Fatboy Innes started drive he was killing Missanelli but flamed out. Same thing would happen with Kincade but he wouldnt self-destruct.

      WIP needs to get Tony Bruno back on board and let him take over for the tired and outdated Cataldi.

      1. I liked CARLIN and REESE! I actually thought they were great. Better then Mike and Ike. Carlin was funny. He was comfortable going toe to toe with Ike who can be a little bull headed. But Ike has great analysis and unique perspectives. Johnny Marx sucks. Boring, not funny and not insightful analysis. Good luck Carlin, but sucks to loose you.

        1. I agree, I preferred that show to the doofus on 97.5. Carlin, true pro and i liked him. Marks, although probably a super guy, doesn’t do it for me talking about sports…..he’s too programmed, talks for only 20 min at a time, breaks are 7+ min. and he is just too predictable. I know the commercials aren’t necessarily him, but there is ZERO spontaneity or improvisation during his show….Programmed……

  1. Mike watches First Take in the morning, takes what gets the most reaction, and bases his show on it hours later. rinse, repeat.

  2. Mike and Myrtetus had a nice thing going. The new kid Valanciunas or whatever sucks ass. I hate his tone and he adds nothing to the show. Mike needs someone seasoned to play off him, not some 23 year old idiot who says “oh you’re going down on the Flyers huh?” “oh you’re going big on the Sixers huh”…make like a fookin kit kat and gimme a break.

    Cataldi sucks he’s always sucked and Rhea is a damn horse. The only thing that makes you respect Angelo is how bad Rhea and the Flyers guy are, effin awful, when Angelo ain’t around. Oh Yeah, Cuz also makes you respect Angelo because he is really bad with all his hyperbole. The best thing about the cuz is how Myrtetus picks on him.

    Ike Reese blows. Well he doesn’t blow, he is just given too much importance, he needs to be a sidekick on a morning show or afternoon show and talk less.

    Sorry but the most entertaining guy in sports radio was Bruno. Bruno had me tuning into Josh Inness, he made him tolerable.

    Devon Givens does a great job in his role. I actually enjoy Jolowitz and Roob because they’re intelligent and know sports. I hated Rob Ellis because he was a total lamer, these guys have to have SOME personality.

    Here is my rank of guys:

    Mike Miss – been listening to this dude forever and Philly is not a transplant city. You need to have local guys with personality and intelligence, Mike Miss is that. If you don’t like “general knowledge Wednesdays” I invite you to do radio for 20 years and discuss Eagles football for 20 hours a week, you’d get tired of it too, you wodln’t last.

    Bruno – the dude was fun and entertaining. He belongs on a morning show. Him Harry and Baldy was great radio, kept the city energetic.

    Joe Decamera – the guy knows his stuff.

    Harry Mayes – I think Ellis rubbed off on him so he got more boring. He needs Bruno back.

    Devon Givens – only due to the Sixers, he’s one of the few guys along with Mike Miss that is an actual NBA fan.

    Jolly, Roob, Big Daddy – These guys are tolerable because they know their stuff.

    Gargano is tolerable too but a tier below. The rest I just don’t care about. Never really listen to Marks.

    Guys I pretty much shut off because its all hot air: Rhea, Cataldi, Carlin (uninterested), Mosher (full of himself, finds himself more entertaining than he is), Rob Ellis (super boring).

    1. Natalie knows less about sports than MCW. Andrew just rolled out of the womb. Just a horrible combination. Why do they even need Natalie. Andrew can do it. All it is one local sports headline rolled around commercials. They actually pay someone to do that.

    2. Big Daddy knows his stuff. Only if you mean plugs for his upcoming shows. That clown knows nothing about sports and is not funny!!!!!

      1. I know a lot about sports and I can prove it….tonight during Quizzo at Joe’s Crab House! Now…let me talk to YOU about Hanks Root Beer…

  3. His takes are not fresh. Read his articles. He repackages tweets from actual reporters about trade rumors, etc. that we’ve already seen on Twitter. The bench is thin at WIP so he got the call.

  4. If there was only 1 radio station, here’s my ideal lineup, I know you’ve done this before but whatever.

    6 – 10 am: Bruno, Mayes, Keith Jones

    10 – 2 pm: Decamera, Ritchie, Devon Givens

    2 – 6 pm: Missanelli, Myrtetus – with Eskin as a call in

    6 – 10 pm: Gargano, Ike Reese,

    10 – 2 am: Rob Charry, Jody Mac, G. Cobb, Jolly

    2 – 6 am: Big Daddy

    John Marks is a wait and see. Joe Giglio I don’t even know who he is but if he has that annoying raspy voice its mad annoying .

  5. This is the ultimate problem with sports radio in this city. You have hosts spending hours a day talking about a team that doesn’t care about the Eagles. Their rival is the Redskins. But no you get idiot Cuz wetting himself because he gets to call a Cowboy fan out on the radio. You get this fake outrage because someone is a Cowboy fan living in this area. Who the hell cares? I thought Mike was gonna put an end to all this yesterday after hearing him say that we give the Cowboys’ fan base too much space in our heads. But then he spent ALL DAY talking about their fans. It is nauseating and honestly the 2 worst weeks of sports radio every year

      1. Nah, hes definitely got a point. The whole Dallas thing started from an ugly tackle in the 70s. Ever since then it’s been Dallas is our arch nemesis. Time to let it go. Giants or Skins are better rivalries.

          1. Dallas Sucks has very deep roots for long time Birds fans like myself. There is the jealousy of the America’s team. But is is the arrogance of when the Boys were good. They did not even consider the Birds to be a rival focusing primarily on the Skins. I take joy in watching the Boys choke in the playoffs. My two favorite teams are the Birds and whoever is playing the Cowboys. The Skins and the Giants are excellent rivals. I must confess when the Birds are out of it, I can enjoy watching the Giants stick it to the Brady in the Super Bowls.

  6. Has it been confirmed that Kyle was wearing boxers under his gym shorts in those photos? Proving that his penis is even smaller than we all thought.

    1. Every one is tired of you talking about Kyle’s small junk.
      Obviously you have a fixation on his junk.
      Get your act together Zeke!

  7. Speaking of Angelo Cataldi, when is that blabbering idiot finally going to retire? I thought his contract was up at the end of this year? Seriously, he’s been truly unlistenable for over 15 years now. Just a a waste of space with no real understanding of sports. Every now and then, I’ll switch over to his show to see how long I can last. And just like an 18-year old’s first time with a beautiful girl, it’s not very long. For very different reasons of course. haha

    Angelo feeds off superficial emotion and needless, self–induced drama. He should just sit home and watch soap operas all day. He”d enjoy that.

    Al Morganti has literally been stealing money for years. The man can NEVER finish a full sentence and he makes his living on the freakin’ radio.

    Rhea Hughes, while a great update broadcaster (the best in Philly), she brings nothing else to the table, other than to listen to her co-hosts and their offensive offerings.

  8. where can a guy get a Pittsburgh Platter in the big D? Going down for the game and looking for some extra activity

  9. Been seeing a lot of Chapman Ford’s around. Wonder if the Chapman Bros. are back to their old tricks. FuckFest 2017 is this weekend from what I hear.

  10. Great article . Written by a college freshman ?? Glen and ray are the best tandem in radio ? You enjoy macnow sucking rays four skin for four hours? Whatever

  11. The big problem right now for WIP is the Sixers and basketball in general. Apparently Brett Eskin has issued a directive to shove the Sixers down our throats 24/7. The Sixers are not that popular. Not even close. Never have been in all my decades here.

    This is a good basketball town in a generic sense. People play it and many love the game. They are always ready to talk about the sport and can do so intelligently but they are not a majority by any means. You could light the board with basketball talk all day long but those people would be the only ones listening. But Brett Eskin has some weird fetishes and wants to use the station as his own personal vehicle for expressing them and all we hear about is basketball.

    Fire Eskin.

  12. Throwing in the towel. That’s what the station did with the Marks/Reese pairing.

    Kinkaid would be a big acquisition for WIP but it makes too much sense and he doesn’t fit the profile that Bowtie Skinny Pants is looking for: Must sound like a High School kid..have emotional maturity of a 12 year old…know nothing beyond or what they see on Late Night Comedy shows.

    Bring back Rod Luck!!!! One of the few spots talk/TV anchors in Philly who wasn’t a pussy SJW/

  13. Jon Marks is a know nothing that would talk over true experts like Baldy. He is way over his head in this time slot. A warm body thrown into the situation with an opening. Mike Miss will retire soon, but even though he is coasting and going through the motions, WIP has made an embarrassing mistake. Unfortunately they have already experienced an exhaustive list of train wreck in this time slot.

    1. “Jon Marks is a know nothing that would talk over true experts like Baldy. He is way over his head in this time slot”………spot on…..*talking over Baldy while his mouth is stuffed with cheeseburgers warmed up at an Exxon microwave……
      If they ever reboot Adams Family, they gotta cast Chris Carlin as Fester. Never saw dude until now, yikes, face for radio indeed

  14. Cataldi’s entire show format is based off of surveys, contests, and prize giveaways. They always string it along and go rapid fire at the end of the show. Gargano takes a lot of shit on here, and I get it, the guy is from Washington Twp , Paul VI alum… Yet he acts like he’s never crossed the Walt Whitman Bridge, and when breaking down sports, he gets fixated on word tracks ( I believe to make up for his lack of knowledge)…. However, the show and its format is much better than Angelo’s. Just having Baldy and Vai on there alone gives the show more meat and potatoes than the WIP morning show. At least there is some substance to the show, unlike run through the calls and win a prize with the best answer.

    1. With the sexual allegation season in full swing, I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if Cataldi’s name is thrown into the ring at some point

    2. Garagno is good but he sound like a such a tool sometimes I can see why people bash him. I find it funny that all the time slots I listen to are in second place in the RADIO WAR. Except for 2-6 because both shows sucked but I will give Marks a listen.

  15. Dog here checking in,
    Here are the talent tiers:
    Tier 1: Angelo, Mikey Miss
    Tier 2: John Marks, Eytan, Joe D
    Tier 3: Mayes
    Tier 4: Jason M (would me in Tier 3 if he knew anything about sports)
    Tier 5:
    Tier 6: Mosher
    Tier 7:
    Tier 8: Ritchie
    Tier 9: Ike
    Tier 10: Cuz
    Tier 11: Cooney

  16. Pretty disinterested in all philly sports talk hosts right now. I’d rather sit and listen to Ray D. talk sports all day.

  17. Cataldi has been sexually harassing females on his show for years. The way he slobbers over those wingette contestants is stomach turning; it is also creepy how he refers to himself to these girls as “Uncle Angelo”. A real pig! I also can’t stand the way he and Rhea Hughes are always talking over each other and any guest on the show! Thank goodness for Sirius.

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