Rob Ellis hosted WIP’s 6 p.m. shift on Monday night.
That’s the remaining time slot to fill in 2023, with the daypart shuffle resulting in Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie moving to mornings, then Joe Giglio taking the midday slot alongside Hugh Douglas. It’s a series of internal promotions that left only P.M. drive with Jon Marks and Ike Reese intact.
In the short term, we’re told that WIP is just going to rotate evening hosts and go with a committee approach until they figure out what they’d like to do. The focus for the last half-year had been re-configuring the weekday lineup ahead of Angelo Cataldi’s retirement, so management decided to leave 6 p.m. on the back burner. With a decision yet to be made on how to proceed, some thoughts on what they could do:
give the time slot back to Rob
Rob Ellis used to work the 6 p.m. shift on a full-time basis before Andy Bloom brought in Josh Innes, which pushed Rob temporarily to afternoons. When Innes was fast-tracked for P.M. drive, Rob got bumped again, departed entirely, and found himself doing middays at 97.5 the Fanatic.
Ellis is veteran guy and strong with baseball, so if you’re looking to hit that Phillies audience in a year where the team is coming off a World Series appearance, then Rob would make a lot of sense.
let Jody talk baseball
Jody McDonald currently does the Sunday afternoon show with Glen Macnow and fills various nighttime shifts for WIP. He’s got the Birds 365 show with JAKIB Media and has been involved with 94.1 for a few decades now. If Brand Manager Rod Lakin wanted to go with a respected and experienced voice for the 6 p.m. shift, Jody would be a good choice. He’s a veteran baseball guy and can talk Phillies as well as anyone at the station.
another move for Jon Johnson?
Jon made the switch to overnights a few months ago, but that doesn’t preclude him from being a candidate for this shift. He’s done quite a bit for the station over the years, filling in for Angelo, going to Sixers games, and covering a variety of time slots, so if Jon is looking to move again, 6 p.m. shouldn’t be out of the equation for him.
Jack Fritz and/or a bridge hour
Fritz currently produces the Marks and Reese Show from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and is obsessed with baseball to the point where it might be unhealthy.
One of the things about the MLB/WIP schedule is that there are a lot of weekday games beginning at 6:40 p.m. this season, so they could simply extend Marks and Reese 40 minutes off the back end, or use Fritz to bridge that 40-minute gap with the Leading Off show instead. Then, you have someone like Jody, Rob, Jon, Rickie Ricardo, Tom Kelly, Jolly, Sean Bell, or Bill Matz host the postgame shift and carry the station to 2 a.m. or whenever they want to start the “overnight” shift.
There are options here. They don’t have to do it the same way they’ve been doing it for the last few years. And with the Phillies generating a lot of excitement coming off the World Series run, WIP is in prime position to really capitalize, so it would seem as though the strategy of taking their time is a smart one. They’ve got more than a month until the Phillies’ regular season begins in Texas.