“We Tried to Get There” – Harry Mayes on His 97.5 the Fanatic Departure

via Youtube

If you listened to this morning’s Crossing Broadcast featuring Harry Mayes, thanks.

It was good, wasn’t it? I mean, I can say that right since I wasn’t on it? I’m not trying to blow sunshine up anybody’s butt here, I just found it to be interesting and fresh and relatively unfiltered, with Harry explaining his departure from 97.5 the Fanatic and sharing some unique behind-the-scenes information about the station and radio in general.

Definitely listen to it if you have 30 minutes of free time, or if you’re stuck on the Schuylkill Expressway driving home today, or if you’re stuck on I-95 northbound at the construction zone. If you can’t, I thought it would be a good idea to transcribe some of the most relevant quotes and write out pieces of the interview right here in this space.

As far leaving the station, Mayes, a 13 year veteran and the longest tenured host at 97.5, confirmed that he was offered a gig on the morning show but ultimately did not take it because of the money.

“I just wasn’t comfortable with what I was going to be asked to do for the amount of money, and I just said, ‘I can’t do it,’ and that’s why we’re here today,” Mayes explained.

Kyles suggested that Harry would be a good morning show host, to which Mayes agreed, pointing out that he wasn’t against the idea of changing shifts, but noting that it would be a huge lifestyle and schedule change for both he and his wife.

“It came down late last week that (management) was going to be making a change to the midday show, and I didn’t know that our show was going to be touched,” he continued. I thought they were going to do something new with the mornings and I didn’t know that it had to do anything with my show, but they said, ‘we’d like you to go to the mornings’ and be like the update guy and the 2nd voice, 3rd voice, whatever you wanna say, on the morning show. And I was like, ‘okay, let’s talk about it.’ I was interested in that. Who wouldn’t want to be on a morning show?

“When it was presented, the financial situation just was not tenable. These guys that do morning shows, a lot of people don’t understand how hard they work and how early in the morning they get up and how much their schedule is impacted. You’re getting up at 3 a.m., some guys even earlier, and they’re going to bed at seven o’clock at night and their whole life is transformed. My wife’s life would have been transformed, and I was like, you know, ‘I’m gonna need X amount (of dollars) to do that.’ We tried to get there, they would not guarantee that, and so I couldn’t do it. It was like, ‘I need this, I told you this on Thursday and Friday and we got to Monday and it still didn’t happen,’ so we agreed to part ways with no hard feelings. But I would love to be on a morning show. There were certain things that needed to happen for that to take place, and that was not presented.”

Mayes went on to explain that he treated the midday show as a morning show, if that makes sense. If you listened to his shows with Tony Bruno or Rob Ellis or Jason Myrtetus, they were certainly more relaxed and less stiff, a little more lighthearted and “loose” like a Preston and Steve type of vibe. He says he learned a lot during middays and felt like doing a morning show with Bruno would have been successful, maybe even as a competitor for Angelo Cataldi at 94 WIP after 97.5 decided to do away with their national syndication and install a local program instead.

“For some reason it broke down and never happened, but I felt like that would have been a great morning show,” said Mayes of possibly working with Bruno from 6 to 10 a.m. ”

Apparently Harry has worked with more than 40 hosts, by his count, which doesn’t surprise me. He’d been on 97.5 for something like 10 years and came over from 950 AM before the Fanatic even existed, so he’s been around the block.

Mayes also admitted that he was focused on just doing “good radio” and not necessarily good sports radio, suggesting that he wasn’t 100% interested in talking about the same sports topics over and over again.

“We were many times told, ‘let’s get it back to the Eagles,’ and that became a running joke when I was with Rob Ellis,” said Mayes. “We had sound bites that we’d play for that. Like if we ever sort of got off the beaten path for too long, there might have been a phone call made to the producer (from management), saying, you know, ‘what are they doing here? Let’s get back on track.’ They don’t like things getting off the rails. I actually think the show is best when it’s getting off the rails, unless there is a real, serious good topic to discuss. I think that’s when I was at my best, and I think a lot of times I felt maybe hamstrung by that.”

Mayes says this idea of staying on track had been a thing “going back for years.” It was not specific to Program Director Eric Johnson or longtime former PD Matt Nahigian, who left the station last year.

Harry also revealed that he did not particularly enjoy doing shows with a heavy focus on social or political issues (the NFL’s national anthem controversy as an example). Those shows would bring out extremes on both sides of the argument, and sometimes, though rarely, he said he was encouraged to take a side on an issue when that wasn’t really his way of doing radio.

“The 90% Eagles onslaught at times got tiring for us as well,” he added. “We were thinking of ways to sprinkle in other topics or do different things and sort of set ourselves apart. But, working with somebody who you have great chemistry with, you don’t have to go to those lengths. It just sort of happens. That’s what I started to realize when I worked with Tony, when I worked with Rob and Jason, too. We had great chemistry, and that’s what I enjoyed about it, where we could sort of, 10 o’ clock comes around, the light comes on, and we might not have something big and heavy to get into, but ten after ten we’re into a good discussion. That’s what I felt was really good and authentic about the shows I’ve been on.”

What’s next for Mayes?

He’s not sure, but didn’t sound too keen on jumping back into sports radio, at least not right away.

“I’m really not interested in doing just, ‘hey the Eagles need a new cornerback, Jalen Mills sucks, 610-632..’ I’m kind of bored with that, to be honest with you.”

Mayes said he doesn’t expect to have anything lined up anytime soon, noting that we’re in the middle of the NFL season and that most shifts are filled and most contracts are signed. He’ll appear tonight on Tony Bruno’s podcast and you can listen to him with Kyle and Russ below:


30 Responses

  1. Great job by Harry to explain to the public the truth on what happened. He wasn’t forced out and was his choice to leave. However, he shouldn’t be a 3rd voice anymore and did what was best for him and his wife. If he was asked to take a pay cut to join the morning show, that is ridiculous. 97.5 kept Gargano only for his sponsorships, keeps Misanelli because he is a higher rated show and is probably paying Tre a nice figure since he is use to making a nice figure. But they lose a MAJOR talent who dedicated his life to the radio profession and his listeners. He approached every show as if he had nothing to lose and that made him enjoyable and immensely popular with today’s fans.

    1. What planet are you on. Producers on radio shows make next to nothing. These guys take weekend shifts to supplement their income. They might get paid $250 for 4 hours on a Saturday. People have this idea that sports talk hosts make huge money. Mike does, Howard did and Angelo is making over a million but that is the exception. Josh in a interview said he earning about $150,000 plus bonuses. That is to work the 2-6 drivetime shift. He was an experienced host from a top 5 market when he got here. He had issues at other stations but he was still a big name. They started him at 6pm with the promise that eventually he would get the 2-6pm shift. Not only that they were grooming him to at one point become the morning host. That all went by the wayside. My point being is if the talent was paid $150,000 what do you think the producer was paid. A producer’s dream is to become talent. That is why they work for minimal money. After Angelo and Mike retire that is the end of big money for sports show hosts in this town.

      1. And Tre is not getting big money either. He only got the job because Harry turned it down. It was going to be Marc, Bob, Harry and Bro. So Tre is getting what Harry turned down.

  2. Jason is going lose his shit after awhile with cuz’s regular callers and his 4 for 4 nonsense

    1. Well I guess most people are sheep. Who wants to work a “normal” 40 hour a week job when you can do what you love and get paid what the job is worth, whether it less or more than 40 hours a week. Sounds like you are stuck in a boring standard life and schlepping back and forth to a job you hate. Sad.

  3. Frankly I don’t think Anthony should be on at all, hes way to hyper, and you’ll note the station tries real hard to make him a star. Hes does more commercial s than anyone else. Calls into Mike’s show regularly, and I guarantee the new afternoon show will be a ratings failure, finally Eton Shander, or whatever his name is, he was awful as well, and on the air way way to much, WIP has nothing to worry about from a ratings standpoint, that’s truly amazing, because they’re not really good either,

    1. 100% agree. Anthony is a horrible radio host. Not just saying his show is bad, but as a host who keeps everything together and running smoothly, he’s horrendous. His show will go on for an hour with 6 people talking about why Ben is great as a point guard with ZERO callers! What kind of compelling morning show is that!?!?!?!

  4. Maybe he can work for Fox News considering his political views quietly expressed lately. He can wear his MAGA hat.

    1. What’s wrong with that? Country is doing better in 40-50 years. If scumbag Clinton won: we would have higher taxes, less jobs, less security, more illegal immigrants, more corrupt govt, etc.

      Look around. Things are good. Liberals will only fuck it up with their self-righteous hate of America.

  5. I just went down the YouTube rabbit hole watching Tony Bruno Harry Mayes videos. Good stuff.

  6. All these years listening to sports radio, and my favorite show by far was Bruno and Mayes. It’s a shame it was broken up and hasn’t been brought back to life.

    1. However if you live in Mizzorah you can’t listen to Bruno and Mays because you are in the middle of nowhere with no radio. Really, Bruno andMars was your favorite show? Dude, go to the ATM, get some cash, go to the strip club and get sticky. You need to get out more.

  7. Before radio. He made a shitload of money. He was doing it in during the glory years before the government stepped in. These guys go to doctors offices and clinics and convince the doctor to prescribe drugs from their company. The commissions are outrageous. Not only that, Harry would take them to golf outings at some of the finest courses in the country. That’s the way the business works. I believe Harry made so much money that when he left the industry he chose radio as a hobby. This is why he could afford to walk away from a job because they wouldn’t give him a raise to work mornings. First off no one is going to pay for a podcast if he decided to go back with Tony. He’s not going to WIP. They can barely find any shifts for Rob. I guess he can still call Temple games but that doesn’t pay much.

  8. This was the first Crossing Broad podcast I have listened to, and I liked it. I’ll definitely check in again depending on what the topic is. Some constructive feedback:

    1. The listener can tell that Kyle and the other guy are not in the same room. It’s a bit off-putting. Sounds completely different between the two of you (volume, clarity, background noise) and I have to imagine it’s easier for you guys to accidentally talk over one another. I’d seriously reconsider this.
    2. It sounded like you ran out of questions. There were a few silent pauses.
    3. Sound quality was a little lacking. I know you apologized about Harry being on a cell phone, but that didn’t bother me at all. It bothered me more when the sound would suddenly switch to the left speaker, and then switch back. At some point there was also a weird background humming. Also, as I mentioned above, the difference between the two locations you were both at. Kyle sounded fine. The other guy did not.

  9. Yes, Gargano may well be a good guy but he’s just awful as a radio host. Plus, he forces that loud, awkward laugh and pretends to be street when he really isn’t. He and Myrtetus, will fail miserably as we all know. Jason is difficult to listen to also with his vulgar, UNFUNNY, tendencies and Gargano as stated earlier is even less interesting to listen to. Sorry, but they have no chance together. Mayes added humor and with his replacement being Gargano and all his phony nonsense, will not play at all.

  10. You kept Myrtetus? This guy is an ass.
    Cuz is tolerable, but getting less so.
    Bruno and Mayes were appointment sports radio. When their show went off the rails it was entertaining .
    Myrtetus makes Dicamera easier to listen to.
    Only one worse than Myrtetus is Jon Marks!

    1. You know Jason and Jon personally? Pretty strong opinions of these guys for someone who likely just listens to them on the radio while gong to work after being bitch slapped by your cheating woman. I think you are the ass and worse than both of them. By the way, your movie sucked and the only one worse than wahlberg playing you was Obama pretending to be a president. Go back to picking up trash cans. Oh wait, like me your profile is fake. What a tough guy.

  11. Great interview!! So awesome to hear his take on things! I hope he ends up back on the radio ASAP! Nice job

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