How do you replace Ray Didinger on the 94 WIP weekend show?
Trick question, you can’t, but sources tell Crossing Broad that management is considering two separate co-hosts to fill the gap created by Ray’s recent retirement.
Longtime Glen Macnow partner Jody McDonald is being targeted for the Sunday shift and The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Sielski is in line to co-host on Saturdays. Nothing has been finalized yet, but we’re told that this thing is approaching the finish line and that an announcement could come by the end of the week.
For what it’s worth, Macnow has gone on the record on the weekend show sharing an appreciation for how Rod Lakin and WIP management have involved him in the replacement search. Several names were up for consideration but this is a difficult time slot to fill, because folks working Monday to Friday can’t just add Saturday and Sunday to their gig list. They’d be working seven days a week. That’s reportedly why one primary target turned the gig down.
Regardless, if the Jody/Mike combo becomes official, this approach will give the listener something old and something new at the same time. You really can’t go wrong with the Mac and Mac reunion, which we’ve heard numerous times over the years, but never on any kind of permanent basis. And in the case of Sielski, he’s an experienced columnist who can talk about all of the local teams, though he’s also a little younger than your average WIP vet and could possibly bridge that demographic gap between classic radio listener and Twitter type.
In both cases, you’ve got guys who fit the show mold. There’s continuity in approach. One of the things people really respected about Macnow and Didinger was the straightforward sports talk model, sans bullshit hot takes and faux-contrarianism. You won’t get that from Jody or Mike, and while there really is no replacing the institutional knowledge Didinger brought to the table, you’ve got decades of experience and knowledge in a two-man as well.
Funny enough, both guys pretty much check the box for the suggestions we put out there in a recent column titled Who Replaces Ray Didinger on 94 WIP? –
Here are three thoughts on a possible direction for Rod Lakin and David Yadgaroff:
- call upon Jody McDonald for a “Mac and Mac” reunion
- Glen Macnow goes solo
- keep the old school vibe with a former Inquirer writer or part time WIP guy
These weren’t exactly wild suggestions. They were actually the obvious choices, but sometimes obvious makes the most sense, right? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I think the majority of WIP weekend listeners will be happy with the Jody/Sielski combo if they can get this thing to the finish line.
One final thought – kudos to everybody involved with Ray’s recent send off. Fantastic radio. Really well done. That was a proper send off and the people involved in putting that together deserve a lot of credit.