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Talk Radio

Archived Philly Talk Radio News January to June 1999

Monday June 21st

The CompuDudes ® were voted the #1 computer call in show in the United States by the National Computer Press Association & The Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Chicago.

John McNutly (food and wine - formely on WPHT) follows a legal show on Saturday's and is on from 1 to 3 pm.

"Everything Entertainment" hosted by Joel Gibbs will debut on 860 AM WWDB on Saturdays from 3PM to 5PM starting June 26th. It will also be on NewsTalk 96.5 FM WWDB every 4th Sunday following Sid Mark as a rotating feature.

Former WWDB morning man Phil Valentine wins big picking up Best Talk Show Host in the world in the prestigious New York Festivals International Radio Competition.

BIG controversy about this and I finally found the infamous "Temple Pedophilia Study" on a website in Denmark of all places!
An Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Based on Nonclinical Samples

Tuesday May 11th

Jim Casale is out at WWDB. Recently hired weekend asst. PD Mark Williams get tapped as interim PD.
(Footnote: on Wednesday (5/12) one print media wag actually used the word "exclusively" in reference to coverage of this... oh please!)

In a related story...

Help Wanted
RADIO - WWDB-AM-FM seeking Hosts for weekend specialty programming. Broadcast experience is not necessary. Applicants should be well versed in the specific area their show will deal in, possess out-going personality & a sense of humor. An inquisitive nature is a plus. Send tape & resume to: Mark Williams, WWDB, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 E.O.E.

Friday May 7th

Rumors, rumors and more rumors

Is WWDB now looking for a NEW Program Director? Rumor has it that Casale is out after a nasty scene.

Is CBS still eyeing DB's talent pool? Rumor has it that CBS via WPHT was and still may be interested in skimming talent from DB. The fly in the ointment is that both Rush and Dr. Laura just resigned with DB for another year. Prior to this it was no secret that if PHT was able to pick them up AND some additional underutilized DB talent then PHT could make a serious comeback. This plan is now in doubt. Upcoming meetings in New York will map out the future of PHT.

Who bought 640 AM? A Jersey based station capable of pumping out 50,000 watts of power is rumored to have been recently purchased. Who would NEED such a signal and who would be interested? A signal swap for AM860?

(Monday May 8th)Footnote: Just after I posted this I was asked for all the gory details. Now you know that in order to protect my sources I wait until media outlets print their own version. This from the Daily News,
Here's a brainstorming session that turned into a plain storm. That's what happened late afternoon Thursday at 96.5-FM when the cops were called.
Program director Jim Casale was meeting with programming guru Randy Kabrich, plus some other staffers when things went from merely vocal to heated. Kabrich reportedly tried to move the session from the conference room into an exec office - without Casale. When Casale tried to crash, Kabrich reportedly threw a body block on Casale to keep him out. Casale then dialed 911, which brought Lower Merion cops racing to the scene. No arrests and no discharges - at least not yet.
I think this event demonstrates just how heated radio management can be. What a tough business. The Daily News article left out some relevant details like why Kabrich was brought in by the Beasley's. Is WWDB tiring of Casale's plodding pace? No matter who wins this months power play look for even more programming changes. Just over a week ago a 3 page memo went out detailing upcoming weekend changes.

Monday April 26th

Million Moron March
This past weekend thousands gathered here in Philly to press for a retrial of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. It was distressing to some that the event even took place. I on the other hand am glad it did. Here's why,
The turnout was estimated at anywhere between 3,000 and 10,000 people. To only find that number of people ignorant of the facts and stupid enough to show up for the march is Good News! I would have thought there were FAR more idiots out there. My faith in human nature is boosted not diminished.

Faulkner Fundraiser
What a classy bunch of people at the event hosted by PHT talker Mike Smerconish. Huge turnout. My favorite part was when the gentleman who won the door prize, an exquisite bracelet donated by our favorite jeweler Rich, turned around and gave it to Danny Faulkner's widow Maureen.

For some background visit http://www.danielfaulkner.com/

Winter Ratings -
KYW holds onto the #1 spot (again) leaping from a 6.4 to a 7.8
WWDB-FM is in #8 nudging from 4.4 to 4.6 (this is the last book before the switch to All News in the morning)
WIP suprises everybody with a #11 by launching from a 2.9 to a 3.5
WHAT-AM is at #19 - 0.8 to 1.6 (though nobody ever mentions them here
KXW-FM (1.3 to 1.1) ties with PHT for #21 (1.0 to 1.1)
WWDB-AM follows them all at #25 with a steady 0.6

Backlash continues over Stern fans calling media outlets in the aftermath of the massacre in Littleton, Colorado. Stern didn't help things by playing some of the calls over the air. Even some of Howard's regulars emailed me in disgust. Another story is at http://www.radiodigest.com/news/1999/nat_042399_fox_stern1.htm

AM860 goes off the air to upgrade it's transmitter this week. Regualr programming is expected to return Wed/Thurs morning.

Saturday April 23rd

The commentary and facts as I uncovered them regarding certain rumors surrounding the shootings at Columbine High School certainly got a reaction. So much so that responding to email on the matter became too time consuming. I put the commentary and some background information here...
Just how reliable is information on the Net and how did media bias and laziness affect reporting?

Monday April 19th

The friendly folks at The Inky and the Daily News plan to keep the pressure on Franny Rizzo (now on from 7-10pm) to take time off druing his run for Council re-election. As related here last February, candidates for City Council made it known that they were unhappy with Bambino Jr. getting all that free airtime. Beasley Broadcasting countered with an offer of free spots and appearances. Not good enough for some. As a result look for Rizzo to leave DB for the duration of the campain, May 18th until the elections in November. Oh, there is some silly FCC rules that require equal time for all candidates and my guess is that DB sees THAT is a ratings black hole.

Friday April 16th

You have spoken...

I compiled some reactions to WWDB's new ALL NEWS morning show and here they are in no particular order
1 - Gil and Pat sound great (no problem at all with the public's acceptance of them as far as my e-mail goes)
2 - Most people would give DB a try over or along with KYW.
3 - As far as I can tell the average time spent listening between 5-9 is going from between 1.5 to 2.5 hours to maybe 15-25 minutes. Visitors to this site tend to keep the radio tuned in longer that normal.
4 - The VAST majority are RIGHT PISSED OFF that Dom no longer has a regular show to tune into. This is a comment put into almost every single email. Many are night people, many are parents getting the kids off the school. How they complain is worth noting. While not happy campers the tone and eloquence are to be commended. I am glad to spend time exchanging e-mail with these people, they are a cut above average.
5 - Most complain about AM860's signal. When told that the piece of crap radio they own is the likely culprit virtually none of them will shell out the bucks to get a better radio, "Tell DB to get a better signal!" or "Put the News and syndication on AM" are the 2 most oft included comments.

that's YOUR 2 cents... that's what this site is for.

Thursday April 1st

Dom Giordano, the ultimate Team Player, moves to the position of "Investigative Reporter" as of Friday. No April Fools Joke here. After a fantastic 10+ year run of weekends then overnights (building up a Big fan base) THEN taking the morning drive after DB self destructed, pulling THAT out of the flames, NOW stepping aside (without gunplay) for the new All-News 5-9 show. If that doesn't qualify you as a Team Player I don't know what does. The opinion I get via email (and plenty of them by the way!) is mixed as to whether this is "fair" or not....

Friday March 26th

Heard on WWDB today - Is President Clinton a Sociopath? by Sarah Thompson, M.D. This is a fascinating article, Dr. Thompson makes it clear that she is NOT diagnosing Clinton in absentia and the conclusions are her opinions only but well worth the read.

Sunday March 21st

This just in... Two old NJ 101.5 guys making news again.... John & Ken are blowing off KFI afternoons and their syndicated show to take KABC mornings! Drew Hayes (their new KABC PD) thinks that they'll mitigate the Disney Radio Curse, over whelm the ghost of George Green and knock the dust offa that old antique once known as one of America's untouchable #1 radio stations.

Real Audio Player update - With Intel's help and Real Time Network software and connections Premiere Network started streaming audio and video with Art Bell and now adds Rush Limbaugh. The G2 update is around 2 or 3 megs and should install seamlessly but be careful of the screen prompts. I've heard that after the upgrade some people have experianced a problem where the PC tries to dial up when booted up. I have no clue as to why nor have I yet upgraded to G2. I have a soft spot for Premiere, in the past when I've contacted them for copyright approvals they got back to me fast.

Friday March 12th

Weighing in on WWDB - Well now that most of what DB has planned is now public (thus keeping my sources out of trouble) I wanted to relate here what's going on. To Recap - WWDB is planning to focus its' FM side on more news in the morning and most likely throughout the rest of the day as well. You don't hire that many people for just a 5-9 am news block! (Gil Gross, Pat Farnack, Hilarie Barsky, Melanie Armstrong, Paulette Isom, Brad Segal, Jenny Robinson, Kirk Dorn, Dennis Begley, et al)

DB has taken over enough real estate in their building for the news dept. to relocate all the refugees in Kosovo. WWDB will be to KYW what MSNBC is to CNN, somewhat more cutting edge. Stories will be covered in much more depth. At least this is what the elves tell me. Those damn elves, however, have been known to drink! Sometime in April everyone will find out for sure.

KYW on the other hand must be in sheer panic. Having seen the writing on the wall when the Beasleys hired Jim Casale it is reported that Roy Shapiro did indeed meet with DB to suggest a simulcast of KYW (shoot me). Casale is known as a wunderkind of the talk/news format. His is genuinely pleasant to talk to over the phone and his former coworkers speak kindly of him. (not an easy trick for a PD!) KYW will indeed lose some listeners to this experiment. How many, time will tell. In a crowded radio dial DB must do something to stand out and this looks like the boldest move in years. Many compare it to the ill fated attempt by the late WCAU (1210am) when they trained their guns on KYW. This time around there are several major differences. Casale is taking his grand old time getting his ducks all lined up and despite the late "urging" by a new GM, Casale is putting the pieces together well.

DB will remain the major talk station in the market. Their bread and butter will not get "toasted". Sinatra will stay and so will the dreaded infomercials (Personally I don't even mind the info's - they mostly run early Sat and Sun and I know how to use a tuning knob the other times).

Mr Movie - Steve Friedman starts a Mon. - Fri. movie show on Suburban Cable's TSM channel from 7:30 to 8:00 pm.

For the fouth year in a row WFAN (where Imus does his show) takes top spot for total ad billing with $55.1 million.

3/15/99

Mark Williams is reported to be coming to WWDB soon is some capacity.

Eric Johnson is the new PD over at NJ 101.5. Eric is formerly from WIP and 104.1/Allentown.

Stupid quote of the month
3/6/99 - Al Gore: "I took the initiative in creating the Internet"
full story - http://www.wired.com/news/news/politics/story/18390.html

3/9/99

WWDB reportedly hires Pat Farnack and Veteran talker Gil Gross for its' own Morning News block slated to begin in early April. (You may remember Gil did a fill in stint at DB about 2 months ago) Hilarie Barsky (fromerly of PHT and NJ101.5 now with Metro) has been taken on as a reporter. Amy Kaplan (Formerly of the Steve and Amy show on PHT) joins KYW as reporter.

Ultra right Conspiracy link ? - ShadowGov.com

2/22

Michael Smerconish's newly redesigned website at http://www.mastalk.com/ is ready as of this past Friday - The Justice for Daniel Faulkner Fundraiser page (Friday, April 23, 1999, at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad Street, in Center City. Cocktails are at 6 pm, dinner at 7pm.)

Rick and Art, the home repair guys on WPHT have FINALLY got their own website posted. http://listen.to/rickandart

Another Embarrassment For Dr. Laura

Mike Gallagher, who filled in for Rollye a few weeks ago.
He's going network...and WILM in Wilmington is picking him up.

Monday February 15th - Kirk Dorn (formely of KYW) has reportedly been hired by WWDB as News Director. Dorn was considered along with another out of state candidate. In a related rumor KYW is said to have tried to simulcast their morning news on DB. (huh?) Four different people sent me that one, it was reported in "Inside Radio"

Monday February 1st

John Ziegler takes over 1-5am slot at WWDB.

Friday January 29th

Philly radio veteran Dennis Begley hired as WWDB's new GM.

Monday January 25th

Voss World  (now offline)..A full scale listener page based on that self described "dullard" Kent Voss built by listeners debuts.