In my years of ripping Angelo Cataldi on this website, I’ve always tried to credit him as a smart dude who is a very good interviewer. It’s when the shtick is turned off that the old journalist in him starts to shine through again, like a radio version of dissociative identity disorder. There’s the Angelo Cataldi you hear on the radio spewing nonsense, and then the savvy behind-the-scenes guy, just waiting to break character.
Case in point, a recent appearance on The Press Box podcast with Bryan Curtis, who himself is a very good interviewer. Angelo does about 45 minutes here, and with his fake outrage routine placed squarely on the back burner, he sounds like a normal person:
- he admits he’s a Rhode Island outsider
- admits he doesn’t watch the games live (honestly he can’t, because of his schedule.. I think this is sometimes overblown)
- talks about how he had to transition from journalist to entertainer
- mentions that it was time for Wing Bowl to go because of #MeToo and other movements
- suggested that a lot of the things they did in the past wouldn’t fly today
- says cancel culture hovers over everybody in the business
- he was going to leave for Boston but Al Morganti didn’t want to go (this story has been told before)
Near the end, Cataldi was asked about Howard “The King” Eskin and said this:
“Love/hate (relationship). ‘Love’ in that I really respect what he has done for sports talk, especially in Philadelphia. I respect his work ethic and respect his love for sports. I don’t respect that he’s never been a great team player. He’s never looked out for you. More now than before, but, he’s a big talent, a big talent. All of us that are doing talk radio in Philadelphia took something from Howard’s approach to it. He was very provocative and interesting. I think we’re in a pretty good place right now, but the next time I say something he doesn’t like, we will not be in a good place, and he will come after me, I will retaliate, and then we will have two old men fighting like little children.”
Hilarious. Even Angelo thinks Howard is a blowhard. Some of these egos are so big that they simply cannot be contained.
This is a very good interview. It also proves the point I’ve been trying to make on this site for years, that Angelo’s routine is totally fake. He goes into character mode every show and does the loudmouth shtick, which MOST people get, but a lot of people also do not get. Those people make up the lowest common denominator portion of hoagie mouth Eagles fans, mostly. That’s his core listener base.
But Angelo’s show is very successful, and when you listen to interviews like this one, you can see why. He is a smart guy who understands radio and how to program a show and reach an audience. He understood that blend of sports and entertainment long before most people did, and located the content sweet spot, then rode it to ratings dominance for decades. His show is anachronistic these days, but that happens with everything. Not everything ages appropriately, which he more or less insinuates here.
Anyway, it’s a good interview, and you should listen to it.
New pod! Angelo Cataldi is retiring after three decades hosting sports radio in Philadelphia. I visited him to ask how he did it. https://t.co/9WeJQcEuSp
— Bryan Curtis (@bryancurtis) June 23, 2022