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Archived Philly Talk Radio News for the year 2002

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Art Bell's last show is tonight

Art Bell retires (again) tonight after his show.  Art is plagued with back problems to the point he can no longer sit in a chair for 4 hours.  Taking over will be George Noory.  Art will pay a visit to the show from time to time as a fill in host.  His website and all the content will go away after the show to be replaced by

Art's webmaster Keith Rowland will retire along with Art since Premiere Radio owns both the show and has their own Internet department.  As with many of the syndicated shows they provide the local webmaster that started out as the shows grew is not welcome in the corporate environment.  I have never talked with Keith but I have talked with other webmasters of shows provided by Premiere.  This same thing .. this "Creativity Casualty" on the Net, has happened over and over as corporate cookie cutter sites replace those like

Say what you will about Art Bell and the content of his shows and website but they broke new ground for radio and net content.  Covering the paranormal as nobody else could ... at least keeping a straight face ... Art made his mark in late night radio and Keith rode that wave, both in the good years and bad, to new heights.  They will both be missed.

Personally I never cared for most of Art's "power rotation" guests.  The "Life on Mars" and "Remote Viewing" crowd never caught my interest nor did they ever provide any compelling, or accurate, radio content.  I did enjoy those guests that were dear to Art's passions.  Topics on technology, current events, and communications were done very well.  In one of those shows he had on the publisher/editor of Popular Communications.  He limited the time of that show and said near the end of the hour that he could did this more often and longer but that he didn't think he would be allowed to do so.  It was a great show.

Wednesday December 4

Larry Kane leaves TV and goes radio
The rumors of Larry Kane going into talk radio are at this point still that, just rumors.  Larry will be a "Special Contributor" to KYW 1060-AM, the radio sister station to Channel 3.  Michael Smerconish got the same type of gig before his return to WPHT.  Could Larry turn up on WPHT?  Can you say Sunday nights?

Larry Kane has a long background in broadcasting, including radio.  Larry worked at WFUN-AM in Miami where he became known covering the first Beatles tour.  He came to Philadelphia on WFIL in 1966 and later became the lead anchor on Channel 6's Action News.  Larry would be a natural for talk radio, he's respected and connected.  WPHT has had an opening on Sunday nights since Irv Home left last Spring.  Numbers for that slot haven't been the same since.

Infinity Radio (WPHT parent company) Static
Several staffing changes at the top of Infinity Radio came down yesterday.  It was announced in the afternoon that the Senior VP - Bill Figenshu - who oversees a large number of stations, including WPHT, is out.  Replacing him in the eastern radio market area is Kenny O'Keefe.  Two other guys are gone as well, replaced by .. well who cares, it's not affecting this market.  How DOES this affect Philly?  "Fig" as Bill was called took a direct interest in WPHT, to the point of coming to town himself for a time.  You might remember it was he that announced on the air the signing of Sid Mark to the station on 12/15/00.  It was said he had a strong hand in other station moves as well.

Tuesday November 5

Jim Cramer's Radio "Stock" plummets
show to be cancelled

Premiere Radio Networks announces the cancellation of 15 programs and services by the end of this year resulting in the layoff off 100 people Locally this axes Jim Cramer's "Real Money" show on WPHT 1210 AM.

  Lasting little more than a year Cramer is best known for screaming his advice an hour a day on the radio and running The Street website. 

Premiere says his show and others weren't profitable and was dropped as they "continually review and evaluate the relevancy of our products and services to audiences and advertisers in order to remain competitive and profitable," said Kraig Kitchin, president and COO of Premiere.

Premiere is a division of Clear Channel.

Update - November 20 - and Premiere Radio Networks have mutually agreed that Premiere
will no longer distribute "Jim Cramer's Real Money" effective December 31,
2002. We can confidently tell you, our listeners, that "Jim Cramer's
RealMoney" will continue without interruption. Jim plans to continue to
produce his daily program for 2003 and beyond, and our intent is to work
with Premiere Radio in arranging a seamless transition with another
syndication partner. We hope to have these negotiations completed in the
next few weeks.

In Stu's column today

Fredericks to o'night

Steve Fredericks now has permanent possession of WIP's overnight shift, moving Big Daddy Graham to the weekend overnight shift, plus fill-ins.

That, in turn, reduces the hours available to Luci Jones and Paul Jolovitz, although there will still be work for them, station manager Tom Bigby told me exclusively.

Wednesday, October 23

Art Bell to retire from radio at the end of the year

From Radio and Records, submitted by TalkRadioFan

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Art Bell To Leave Radio Show At Year's End
Premiere host suffers from debilitating back pain

Art Bell is expected to announce tonight that for the second time in two years he will exit as the host of Premiere Radio Networks' nationally syndicated late-night talk show Coast-To-Coast. This time, however, his departure —- set for the end of the year —- is due to a chronic back condition that has left him no longer able to sit or stand for the four hours daily required to host his nightly program. George Noory, who has been Bell's regular fill-in for the past year, will take over as host of the show on Jan. 1, 2003.

Art did announce he's leaving but will do fill in work from time to time.  He hopes to work three days a week until the end of the year.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Tom Marr picked up by WOR in New York

New York - October 11, 2002 -- WOR Radio 710AM announced today that veteran radio talk show host Tom Marr  is joining its regular weekday lineup.

Tom Marr will host his show weeknights from 7 until 9 PM, beginning Monday, October 14, 2002. The Tom Marr Show will also be carried on the WOR Radio Network twelve affiliated stations. 

Philadelaphian's remember Tom from being on WWDB daily and then his popular "Saturday Night Shootout" shows. Tom has been with WCBM in Baltimore and before that anchored news and sports on Baltimore's WFBR, and was a member of the Baltimore Oriole's play-by-play team. He also makes frequent appearances as a contributor on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Tom has broadcast his show from many countries abroad and has filled in on WOR for many of their hosts.

Maurice Tunick, Vice President of Programming for WOR commented, "Over the years Tom Marr has filled in for many of the WOR program hosts, so he is no stranger to our audience. His provocative and entertaining style is the perfect continuation of WOR's afternoon drive time superstar lineup of Bill O'Reilly and Bob Grant."

More about WOR 710 AM
Founded in 1922, WOR 710AM is New York's oldest, privately owned and continuously operated radio station. As the top talk radio station in the country, it has continually made history with its award-winning broadcasts and remotes. 
WOR 710AM is a Buckley Radio Station.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Jack Ellery is back
submitted by J.E. on Sep. 14

Former WIP and WWDB talk host, Jack Ellery, returns to the air (9/17) on WCTC, New Jersey. Ellery, whose resume includes WNBC and WNEW in New York, WFLA, Tampa and several network shows including radio Monitor with Joe Garagiola, spent 20 years at WCTC as the morning man. His new show will be from 10AM to 2PM.
"There's a huge number of people up there in Central New Jersey, particularly Middlesex County, where a million folks are crammed in. My potential audience will be almost the size that most Philadelphia stations have," said Jack.

Monday, September 9, 2002

New Philly Sports Station

ESPN Radio on WCHR 920 AM ( started on Tuesday September 7.  They are promoting it as "ESPN 920, Philadelphia's Real Sports Radio".  As of today there is just a single greeting page for their website with a note to come back soon for the launch.  920 Broadcasts out of Trenton and some parts of Philly can't pick up the signal when the sun goes down.  Relevant link =

Wednesday, September 18

Smerconish to simulcast Talk Back Live on WPHT
As alluded to here earlier(9/9) Michael Smerconish gets an expanded role on CNN.  Thursday and Friday he will host Talk Back Live from 3-4 on CNN, WPHT will carry that as well then he continues the radio only portion of his show from Atlanta.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Don and Mike moving

Westwood One may moved Don and Mike (WYSP 94.1-FM) back to their old time slot of 3-7 pm according to various trade sources.  Bumped out of that slot to accommodate syndication and O&A it looks like they are getting their wish of a more lucrative time slot, ad revenue-wise.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

WIP 610-AM changes lineup

Late last week WIP announced a new lineup.  Here is the info and story links.

8/23/02 - Stu Bykofsky -

Excerpt - go to the story for full comments

Mike Missanelli will move from 3-7 p.m., where he shared the mike with Howard Eskin, to 10 a.m.-3 p.m., where he will work with Anthony Gargano.  Eskin will work alone for now says station manager Tom Bigby.

Glen Macnow, gets the 7-11 p.m. shift, filling in for the ailing Steve Fredericks, who's been out since June for two-way heart bypass surgery, followed by some complications.

"I'm disappointed because I really liked working with Anthony, who's terrific and I thought we made a very good team," Macnow said yesterday.

What happens when Fredericks's ready to return?  We'll find out then.

8/25/02 - Michael Klein -

This story includes the quote 
"Bigby says he wanted "front-line" hosts - not fill-ins - for the fall ratings."

Friday, August 23, 2002

Fired from your Shock Jock Gig?
Put on a Happy Face!

An Opie and Anthony parody song
Real Audio File - download the file - 400K

Friday, August 23, 2002

Commodity Futures

Soybeans - Up 4%
Sugar - Up 6%
Winter Wheat - Steady
Opie and Anthoy - Down 100%

I got a big reaction after a short call to Dom Giordano's show last night.  I rarely even have the time to even call any show.  I was surprised at how many people heard it.  I gotta use a different name next time (Nah) I'll sum it up here again since so many asked for it...

Opie and Anthony are nothing more than marketable commodities to Infinity Broadcasting.  The line they crossed did not get pushed back very much, if at all, by their losing their jobs.  There won't be any gnashing of teeth over standards or decency.  This single event doesn't reflect any societal shift in listening habits.  

O&A were able to produce revenue for Infinity.  That is the name of the game.  Infinity/CBS/Viacom is a business.  Those listeners  (and ad revenue) are still out there.  My sources say a search for a suitable replacement began the day after the controversy started.  The worry in New York was over advertising revenue, preserving the O&A show was very low on the list.  The station license wasn't much of a concern either, paying a heft fine would take care of that, it's been done before in radio and the problem goes away.

So O&A are treated just like any other commodity or product like say milk.  The mistake O&A made was to think they were more than just that.  The speed at which they were fired only reflects how fast their personal gallon of milk has gone sour.  There's plenty more gallons out there to replace them.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

WNEW Fired Opie and Anthony today.

O & A, carried locally on WYSP 94.1-FM, was fired in the aftermath of a radio stunt gone wrong.  A regular feature on their show, "Sex for money" has couple having sex in risky location.  A "spotter" goes along to witness the incident.  After this stunt was carried out at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York there was a public outcry.  The FCC, CBS/Infinity, and WNEW received numerous complaint calls.  Initially WNEW suspended them (and the GM and PD) and ran best of shows.  Today on WYSP they were still running 'Best Of' shows.

First story link / Termination story link from today

WNEW (CBS New York) issued this press release today,

Based on recent events, The Opie and Anthony Show has been cancelled, and will be replaced by other programming beginning tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Mike Missanelli cut from WPHL (TV 17)

In the Bucks Courier Times Laura Nachman reported on 8/16 that WPHL (WB17) weekday sports anchor Mike Missanelli's contract won't be renewed in November, partially because WPHL general manager Leslie Glenn is unhappy that Missanelli also works for WIP 610-AM. Glenn wants a new team in place by the fall.

Update: Friday, September 20 by Laura Nachman in the Bucks Courier Times

Change of heart: WPHL wants Missanelli to stay 
Less than a month after WPHL announced that it was not renewing the contract of weekday sports anchor Mike Missanelli, station general manager Leslie Glenn has reconsidered and opened up talks with the WIP talk show host again.

In a telephone conversation this week, Glenn said the main reason she changed her mind was because Missanelli's radio shift was changed from 3-7 p.m. to 10 a.m.-3 p.m., which would give him more time to devote to television. Station insiders say it's because there was a backlash from staff when Glenn wasn't going to keep the Bristol native. Missanelli's contract is set to expire in December. 

"We have been talking to Mike about staying," Glenn said. "The ball is in his court now."

As for remaining at WPHL, Missanelli said, "I'll consider it."

One factor that Missanelli is probably considering is if he wants to continue working for news director Chuck Carter, who began a few months ago. The WIP personality started at WPHL two years ago. 

As for the rest of the WPHL sports department, Glenn said the station has narrowed its weekend sports anchor search down to two finalists. Pennsbury High graduate Blaine Applegate has been filling in since Jenna Wolfe left town back in April.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Opie and Anthony in trouble of radio stunt
Reposted from the main page
This news out of New York on Friday 8/16

O&A (heard here locally on WYSP 94.1 FM in the afternoons) have a shtick on their show, sex for money, where they pay people to have sex in a risky location.  They send along a "spotter" to witness the incident.  All was well until they picked Saint Patrick's Cathedral.


Update on KTC3 - Killer Tomato Contest article in the Daily News (8/16)

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Jack McKinney, broadcaster and writer, dies.  Archive page and obituary

Friday July 26, 2002

Former Philadelphia morning talk show host Phil Valentine is ready to launch syndication.

Currently on WLAC in Nashville 3-6 pm local time Phil will now provide a show from 6-8.  His Nashville show will expand to carry the first hour of his feed.  WREC Memphis will carry the show on its start date of August 5th.  Reported in All Access ... VALENTINE is replacing PREMIERE's DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, whose departure from WREC was previous reported in All Access.  

You'll remember Phil's morning show was #3 12+ in Philly.  Phil has been on the cable news shows over Steve Earl's song, Johnny Walker Blues, recently and his parody of that song was picked up by the FOX channel. 

Monday July 22, 2002

Craig Carton gets a co-host on NJ101.5.  WKWX had already put Craig on afternoons (2-7pm) several weeks ago to replace Scott and Casey who went to Detroit. The station now adds Ray Rossi as his Co-Host.  Ray was formerly on 107, WNWY in New York.

Thursday July 18, 2002

Radio Ratings out today.  The 12+ #s are here

Update of ratings for the Philadelphia market at

KYW stumbles to fourth, PHT bounces back a bit, PEN, MMR, WIP all drop, WHAT gets an ugly book.  

Monday July 15, 2002

From Michael Klein in the Inky ... 
Steve Fredericks of WIP-AM is mending from heart bypass and complications. Doctors have not given him a likely return date. His nighttime shift is being filled by Big Daddy Graham and others. 

Friday July 12, 2002

From Radio and Records ...
The AQH results using the People Meter are drawing grumbles from several corners. For example, News KYW-AM's PPM AQH number in morning drive is one-third lower than its diary figure. Other stations, including Urban WDAS-FM, CHR/Pop WIOQ and Alternative WPLY, had much better diary returns in morning drive than they did via the PPM. Results like these are causing radio group heads to ask Arbitron to take a go-slow approach to the PPM. One of their requests of Arbitron is for another market test in addition to Philadelphia. Arbitron says it's too early to decide whether an additional test is necessary.

My Spin - If the PPM's #'s don't make the conglomerates happy look for it to go away.  The lower figures for the stations above are not surprising.  For example, nobody doubts that KYW pulls in huge numbers but the way diaries are constructed and the way people listen to KYW are in conflict with one another.  If you listen to weather and traffic for five minutes they still get credit for 15, not the stations fault, that's just the way it is.
My Guess - PPM can only help talk radio numbers.

More information on the People Meter is at ...

Thursday July 11, 2002 reports Don and Mike (Infinity, Westwood One), heard locally here on WYSP mid days, are ... "looking for a new radio contract and a new syndication deal. After a recent feud with station-mates and JFK-FM PM drivers "Opie And Anthony," which resulted in several weeks of suspension, D&M told the crowd that they have no plans to stay at their station past August 2003, when their contract expires. And, they said that their employer, Infinity, could sue them if they continue to mention O&A on the firm's airwaves. D&M also confirmed that they're looking around for a new national syndication deal which would include an official website and internet streaming of their show, which Infinity prohibits."(7/9)

Wednesday July 3, 2002

Irv Homer's show on WBCB 1490-AM is expanding to 2 hours, 1-3 pm. Monday to Friday
story link in Stu Bykofsky's column today

Sunday June 23, 2002

Irv Homer ends his Sunday evening show on WPHT 1210-AM (8-10 pm)

Additional source:  Michael Klein in the Inquirer
Irv Homer has given up his Sunday night talk show on WPHT-AM (1210). Homer will continue 1 to 2 p.m. weekdays on Levittown's WBCB-AM (1490). While grateful for the 'PHT shot, Homer said he didn't want to be tied down on Sunday nights

Debra Luray, a long time Homer friend, took this Sunday's shift and wished him a farewell on behalf of WPHT.

Tuesday May 28, 2002

Steve Martorano ...
... is back, this time on WIP 610 AM with Dick Jerardi.  The show runs on Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 8 pm.  One fellow WIP host describes him as ... " his usual curmudgeon-ly self but without such a late-night edge."  Steve has done shifts on WIP before directly after WWDB shut down talk on 96.5-FM and around 14 years ago.

Glenn Beck ...
... airs his show now from Philadelphia ... temporarily out of WPHT studios until his permanent home is ready around 6/19.  Airing on 85 stations as of this month, Glenn will use PHT as the home base affiliate of his Premiere Syndication show.  Over the weekend Glenn's website was running a spoof of the Art Bell website.

Allan David Stein ...
... is the new overnight talk host on NJ 101.5-FM.  Allan has a long history in radio including his own syndicated sports show covering the Yankees and Mets.  Alan will be on weeknights from 11 pm to 4 am.

Thursday May 23, 2002

Glenn Beck (WPHT 1210 AM 9a-12p) finishes broadcasting his show from Tampa today and moves up the coast to Philadelphia.  His show will start broadcasting from the WPHT studios inside the Channel 10 building on City Line Ave. this Tuesday, May 28th.  He will remain there for a few weeks until June 19th when his new studios are completed inside the same Bala Plaza building that houses WPEN.  WPHT first courted Glenn Beck in July of 2001 at the same time Premiere Radio made him an offer to syndicate his show.  It's a homecoming of sorts, his children from his first marriage live in the area now.

Tuesday May 21, 2002

The Spring rating "Trends" are out for April, no real news ... PHT appeared to have bottomed out before Smerconish came back.

Rhea Hughes returned to WIP yesterday - Story

Tuesday May 14, 2002

Article in today's Daily News by Stu Bykofsky on the Rhea Hughes negotiations with WIP regarding her contract and a bit about Smerconish at WPHT.

Monday May 13, 2002

We'll you read it here first last night now it's official.
This in from WPHT...



The Big Talker 1210 AM WPHT is thrilled to welcome back Michael Smerconish this afternoon from 3pm to 6pm.

Michael embodies the pulse and emotion of Philadelphia. He's uniquely dialed in to local issues, politics and personalities in our community. Philadelphia missed hearing Michael on our airwaves and so did we.

All of your favorite hosts are still a part of the radio station. Here is our updated on-air schedule:

Imus in the Morning  6am - 9am
The Glenn Beck Program  9am - 12 Noon
Rush Limbaugh  12 Noon - 3 pm
Michael Smerconish  3pm - 6pm
Jeff Katz  6pm - 7pm
Real Money with Jim Cramer  7pm - 8pm
Dom Giordano  8pm - 10pm
The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly  10pm - Midnight
Rollye James  Midnight - 2am
Art Bell  2am - 6am

Sunday May 12, 2002

WPHT pulled most or all outdoor promos.  Billboard in N.E. Philly is down (early?)  We posted and archived the pictures here's one.

Pick a lineup, any lineup

Here are just three possible permutations for WPHT.
Word out of Infinity in New York is that the chances of Imus being dropped from this lineup went recently from "zero" to "remotely possible."  In 3 to 6 months that could increase to "possible and on the table"  You'll note that Katz is missing in the last column (He'll be kept warm at 1210 on the  weekends).  I'm told another CBS company (Westwood or Infinity) wanted him.  It's all part of the greater negotiations that brought O'Reilly to WPHT.  There was a meeting in New York this past week with all the interested parties.

NowMonday ?Future ?
Imus 6-9Imus 6-9Imus 6-9
Beck 9 - 12Beck 9 - 12Beck 9 - 12
Rush 12 - 3Rush 12 - 3Rush 12 - 3
Smerconish 3-6Smerconish 3-6Smerconish 3-6
Katz 6-8Katz 6-7Dom 6-8
Crammer 8-9Crammer 7-8Crammer 8-9
O'Reilly 9-11Dom 8-10O'Reilly 9-11
Dom 11-1O'Reilly 10-12Rollye 11-2
Rollye 1-3Rollye 12-2Bell 2-6
Bell 3-6Bell 2-6 



Who's party is this anyway?

It's been a wild week at WPHT and the party doesn't stop yet.  Look for more changes come Monday.


In case you haven't had your fill of Smerconish yet...
Smerc will join Sid Mark at 7pm tonight on 1210am
Smerc print article in the Daily News by Byko
Smerc print article in the Inky

Thursday May 9, 2002

As posted here first last night (5/8) Michael Smerconish returns to WPHT this coming Monday ... time slot? 3-6 pm.  Michael plans to focus his time more on a media career now and WPHT is part of that plan.  Michael has been regularly seen on both CNN and FOX in recent months since leaving WPHT last fall.

With the lineup for WPHT changing by the hour here is the latest official release - 

Imus 6-9a
Beck 9-noon
Rush noon-3p
Smerconish 3-6p
Katz 6-8p
Crammer 6-9p
O'Reilly 9-11p
Giordano 11p-1a
Rollye 1-3a
Bell 3-6a

This is what I posted in the Rant and Rave section yesterday
Wednesday evening, May 8th
O'Reilly / Westwood One deny paying stations to carry "Radio Factor" ... O'Reilly jests solution to his ongoing feud with Drudge can be solved by Matt's early death.
Word in New York is that Westwood IS paying stations.
One wonders ... consider this purely hypothetical situation ... Is O'Reilly's current slot (10-12) permanent? ... OR ... Is Westwood and Infinity fighting it out over whether or not WPHT gets PAID to carry the show from 3-5pm?  Sure they are all part of the same big company but each unit's bottom line is important to those in charge.  WPHT might be willing to stick O'Reilly at 10pm until this is resolved.

Michael Klein in the Inky does a nice job summing it all up today
Michael Smerconish, who five months ago walked away from his hot-button radio show after tussling with management at WPHT-AM (1210), said today that he would return to the station Monday.
    Smerconish, 40, said that in signing a deal – believed to be for three years -- he was "reversing my careers." For 10 years, he maintained a Center City law career and did talk radio on the side. "Now I'm making a serious commitment to radio," he said.
Read the rest of the column here.

Wednesday May 8th - *Exclusive*

Michael Smerconish to return to WPHT 1210 AM this coming Monday.

Wednesday May 8, 2002 - *Exclusive*

O'Reilly on at 10 pm Exclusive (also see 5/2)

WPHT will air "The Radio Factor" at the 10 to midnight slot. (See May 2 news below)

Rollye James will start her show at midnight until 2am.  Art Bell will run from 2 until 6, previously the last hour of his show was a repeat of the first (1am) hour.

Tuesday May 7, 2002

The Radio Factor,
biggest rollout of Brokered Talk Radio in history?

In today's Drudge Report the news that Bill O'Reilly's new show "The Radio Factor" due to start on WPHT tomorrow (Wednesday) got on so many stations because the syndicator, Westwood One, is actually paying stations to carry the new show!
Brokered Radio is the practice of a station selling time to an individual or group who in return finds their own sponsors.  This is an common practice for medical, financial and informational shows.


In a dramatic reversal from normal radio practice stations are being paid big bucks to carry Bill O'Reilly's new nationally syndicated talkshow, the DRUDGE REPORT can now disclose.

O'Reilly's radio flagship in New York City, WOR-AM, alone is being paid $300,000, according to sources, just to carry the cable star's radio program, which launches on Wednesday.

Difficulty clearing O'Reilly in the Washington, DC market raised the payout price to $200,000, according to insiders -- a payout that was rejected by all major stations in the region!

Incentives to carry O'Reilly came after syndicator WESTWOODONEINFINITYVIACOM had trouble placing the controversial TV host and best-selling author.

"This is without precedent in the spoken word format of commercial radio," noted a broadcast executive who personally rejected an O'Reilly offer.

But a source close to the O'Reilly's no-spin team explains, "This is simply money for marketing."

Thursday May 2, 2002

From Scott's post on the Forum ... Bill O'Reilly's schedule page shows his show running on WPHT from 10 pm to midnight.  Possible negotiating play between PHT and Rollye?  Schedule subject to change?  Rollye moving from midnight to what time?
Thanks for bringing that to our attention first Scott.  Yet another exclusive.  You read about O'Reilly coming to WPHT first right here on 3/15.

Wednesday April 10, 2002

 New Jersey 101 logo

NJ101.5 is now simulcasting on WFPG 1450 AM out of Atlantic City.  They previously used 97.3 WBSS our of Millville N.J.
(from information via the update form on April 5th, thanks.)


I'm pulling this right off Radio-Info's message board, sue me, I'm sick and to tired retype it ...
Cathy Donnelly now has a WIP job.

Cathy Donnelly worked the same shift before, around the late '80s. She was the last person on WIP with a music show, the rest of the schedule had transitioned to sports talk (with some leftover talk like Larry King overnights). She played music and read sports scores on Saturday mornings. Before that she had been at such stations as WARM-AM and WXTU, and later WMGK and WKXW (Nj101.5-FM), among others.

Wednesday April 3, 2002

WURD 900-AM plans to add Philadelphia oriented information and talk programming.  Currently offering up infomercials, finance and CNN audio this limited reach signal is talking to former WHAT personnel and Frank Rizzo Jr.  More information is in Stu Bykofsky's column.

Also in the same column is the note about Smerconish coughing up $1,258 (the first 6 months dues) for joining AFTRA as a result of his new commentaries running on KYW soon.


WPHT Billboard on I-95 in Northeast Philly

1210 billboard

Monday April 1, 2002

WPHT rolls out new billboards featuring the hook ... "Talk Radio with a Pulse."  I spotted one (northbound) next to the Ashburn Ave. overpass on I-95 just north of the old prison in Northeast Philly on Monday morning.  Got a digital camera?  Think you can take a picture of any others without killing yourself?  Engage this activity at your own risk and send in a photo.  The new advertising is part of the station's plan all along but in my opinion about two months late.  They've done a fine job of driving away the old listeners without seeking new ones with outside promotion.  Corporate penny pinchers have been historically stingy with promotional funds at WPHT.

Mike Rossi rolls out his new website - Philly Sportz (posted 4/2)

Sunday March 31, 2002

As reported on the main page previously (2/25/02) Michael Smerconish will do commentaries on KYW 1060-AM.  This story confirms they will start on or around Friday April 5th.

Friday March 29, 2002

The Radio Business Report confirms the story you read first here below that Bill O'Reilly has cleared Philadelphia and will be carried on WPHT 1210 AM.  The show launches May 8th.

Thursday March 28, 2002

WPHT finally has a website

Wednesday March 27, 2002

wdel logo

Word is that WDEL in Delaware will revamp its lineup after its most recent ratings drop.  Going will be syndicated hosts Dr. Laura (losing yet another top 75 market) and Mitch Albom.  Replacing them might be (I'm hedging my bets here) Bill O'Reilly on a one day tape delay from 9 to noon and Sean Hannity from 3 to 5 pm.  Rush Limbaugh will remain at noon to 3.  This is expected to have impact not only in stations in Wilmington but also Philly stations like WPHT.  Right now PHT actually shows up in the arbitron numbers down there although it doesn't do them much good, you really can't sell the spots and with the signal now in stereo they lost about 10% of the signal reach and that has meant more static for the listeners.

Monday March 25, 2002

WEEU 830-AM Reading PA went to 20,000 daytime watts this past Friday and continues its 6,000 nighttime watts.  WEEU carries, among others, Paul Harvey from 11:45 to noon and Rush Limbaugh from noon to 3 pm.

WABC in New York to pick up Michael Savage

Wednesday March 20, 2002

Two good articles on WPEN reception and the Phillies

Bill Conlin | Bill Fleischman

Friday March 15, 2002

Bill O'Reilly to join WPHT?

bill oreilly

"The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly" show is slated to launch nationally on May 8th.  The show is syndicated by Westwood One, the partner company to Infinity Broadcasting (Westwood is managed by Infinity) and CBS, the owners of WPHT 1210 AM.  Westwood One is, as with all major launches, trying to lock in the top 10 markets, including Philly.  Infinity four major properties locally are WIP 610-AM, WYSP 94.1-FM, KYW 1060-FM, and WPHT 1210-AM.

Right now at FOX where O'Reilly does his show they are building him a radio broadcast studio, thus the delay in the launch date.

The natural choice for O'Reilly is WPHT but what time?  The show is up directly against Rush Limbaugh from noon to 2 p.m. out of WOR in New York but will air tape delayed in many markets especially on those stations that carry Rush already.  Speculation places "The Radio Factor" from 3 to 5 pm.  Westwood and O'Reilly would like the show to run in the afternoon, how successful they are depends on how much "juice" or influence they have.  Running the show from 3-5 would mean that Jeff Katz gets his show cut in half to 5-7.

Why carry O'Reilly?  The reasons are complicated but with the risk of oversimplifying it here is the short story.  Westwood One will place some pressure on WPHT to carry the show in order to clear the top 10 markets ... that is done so when they sell the show to national advertisers they can boast having top 10 clearance.  At the same time PHT will want to protect itself in case the show turns out to be a huge smash.  WPEN is STILL waiting in the wings to go talk.  They might be thinking of making a grab for O'Reilly so in order for PHT to prevent that they could park the show in the afternoon.

If PHT picks up the show then WPEN would will have missed out on its third attempt at a show with some sort of name recognition.  Why the delay in talk at WPEN?  First that assumes they go talk at all but speculation is that Greater Media is more focused on the programming of Mix 95.7-FM.  They will wait for the latest ratings before they go all out at WPEN.  Things could happen in the Spring or as late as the end of the year.  One thing is certain, something will happen.

Of course the idea of O'Reilly going to WPHT is PURE speculation...

... at this point

Update 3/19 - Stu Bykofsky states that he expects O'Reilly to land at PHT in May

Friday March 8, 2002

Word over the ether is that WDEL in Wilmington is about to undergo a major shakeup.  After being trounced in the ratings, the worst showing overall in a decade, sources say that the lineup could be vastly revamped.  Possibilities include dumping Dr. Laura and bringing onboard local talk talent ... changes may come in time for the Spring Ratings Book.

Story on KYW testing digital audio signal here

Thursday March 7, 2002

It's been reported to us by radio listener Mike M. that WNJO, 94.5 FM, is going to add Bob and Tom to its lineup starting March 11.  Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold ( are syndicated and compete, sort of, against Stern in some markets in the morning.  

Wednesday March 6, 2002

Starting on Sunday March 10, WPHT will add
the Moriarity and Giles show from 1 to 3pm.
moriairy and giles

    "48 hours" correspondent Erin Moriarity and Comedienne Nancy Giles come together in what promises to be an Odd Couple approach to current events coverage.
    Moriarty has already received 9 Emmys while at 48 Hours, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Ohio State and is a licensed lawyer. She's married and hails from New York.
    Giles, a stand up comedienne and actress, went to Oberlin College, has done award winning off-Broadway, and even toured with the Second City Comedy Troupe.
    Let's see, one possible conservative [check], one possible liberal [check] ... we can only hope for the inevitable Saturday Night Live "Point / Counterpoint" line ... "Jane you ignorant slut."

In Stu Bykofsky's column 3/5/02 (Staying aLive) he has an unrelated piece on Mendte with this as his footnote ... * On a unrelated note, some Internet chatter poses the idea that Larry and wife Dawn Stensland (anchor of Fox Philadelphia's "Ten O'Clock News") have been approached by WPEN about hosting a radio show. All parties say no such offer has been floated.
You would think that the idea of such a show would be a compliment but things are complicated in the radio / tv world so we'll take them at their word and let it rest ...
even though we know better <wink wink>


Monday March 4, 2002

don and mikeDon and Mike started today at 11am on WYSP 94.1 FM.  Stern usually runs his show till nearly 10:30 when YSP picks up the "best of" tape ... that runs till 11 filling up the gap.  Today they introduced the show, threatened to shoot the person at the Daily News who was responsible for picking the photo of them that ran in that paper, took some positive and negative calls, trashed local rock legend Pierre Robert from MMR, just your usual show.

YSP's stable of talk shows goes up to five now, 3 daily and 2 more on the weekend.  Former Councilman Jimmy Tayoun hosts a show at 8 on Sunday and Gil Bratcher does a public affairs show Sundays at 7.

This is what we posted on Friday July 27th 2001
Rumor Mill ... WYSP to pick up the syndicated talk show of Don and Mike.  This would effectively make YSP a talk station, at least during the days Monday through Friday.
For my next trick I will predict that in 30 days it will be April.  But really, if it makes it to this site usually its not breaking news.  Don and Mike said they were working on Philly for months, I just repeat stuff you might not have heard.  Sometimes the info sent here is a 180 from reality ... or is it?  More on that tomorrow.


From All Access today

jim cramerFORBES magazine is reporting that a new book by a former employee of PREMIERE financial talker JIM CRAMER's CRAMER AND CO. alleges that CRAMER used his CNBC appearances and CNBC anchors to pump stocks that he would then dump for a quick profit. NICHOLAS MAIER's book "TRADING WITH THE ENEMY" names CNBC anchors MARIA BARTIROMO and DAVID FABER as "pawns" used by CRAMER to promote stocks in which he held an interest through his hedge fund.

CRAMER did not comment to FORBES, but CNBC has denied MAIER's accusations in a statement that also says the network has been told by CRAMER that the charges are "completely unfounded" and are from a "disgruntled former employee of his who he dismissed for poor performance." Read FORBES' article here.

From Stu's column 3/04/02
KYW NewsRadio (1060-AM) veteran business reporter/anchor Don Lancer collapsed in the newsroom late last week and was rushed to Jefferson Hospital, then transferred to Paoli Memorial. Tests show it wasn't a heart attack, possibly a problem related to high blood pressure. Don's expected back Wednesday. KYW's other business reporter, Vince Hill, was driven home a couple of weeks earlier after getting dizzy on the job. Turned out to be vertigo. (Too much Enron for these guys?)
You can check out Philly's latest "Trends" ... one month ratings results that normally mean little by themselves.  Generally news and talk are off a bit.  Despite how the above post may be taken YSP, home to Stern and O&A is doing well.
Philadelphia market at

Friday March 1, 2002

Don and Mike come to Philly on WYSP, the new daytime talk station.

There was a post last night on The Wall saying that Don and Mike would start on WYSP this coming Monday.  This move was months in the making.  It was hinted at on The Wall this past summer as a way of placating Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara after Opie and Anthony's new contract was settled on.  Word is that Don and Mike were promised similar support.  WNEW in New York recently picked them up, the same station that O&A are on.  D&M will air middays (but originate the show from DC) after Stern.  That effectively makes WYSP a daytime talk station now ... just like we said they would do last August.

Thursday February 28, 2002

Could a broadcasting marriage between Channel 10 anchor Larry Mendte and his wife, Dawn Stensland of Fox be far away?

Not on TV, no, but maybe on radio, talk radio, WPEN talk radio.

Sources at the Channel 10 building are all in a tizzy over WPEN putting out a feeler on the duo.

While PEN is moving at a snail's pace toward some form of talk programming options are being explored all the time.  With Smerconish out of the picture (see Monday below under talk news) Greater Media would need somebody with an existing high exposure to compensate for what will probably be a low or nearly non-existent promotions budget.  Larry and Dawn would fit that bill.

A quick overnight email tally of selected visitors to this site came back with a thumbs up on the idea.

more news...

Posted on Wed, Feb. 27, 2002 in The Philadelphia Daily News

He's ba-ack

HE'S BA-ACK, but not in the form you might have expected.
That would be Daily News weekly columnist Michael Smerconish, who came to fame hosting - and then walking away from in disputes with management - talk shows on WWDB-FM and then WPHT-AM.

You'll soon get to hear the 39-year-old lawyer on KYW NewsRadio.

No, the station's not going "talk."

They'll be using Mouthy Mike to do daily commentaries, according to Stu's Spies, starting in about a month. (KYW GM Roy Shapiro is out of the city and Smerconish was in court yesterday.)

Verification of the deal might be ascertained from language Smerconish uses in e-mails to fans who ask when he might return to the airwaves.

"Hopefully, you will soon be able to hear me 2, 3 or 4 times a day," he says, using the motto of the radio station.

Whew! Well, that pretty much confirms what I posted below on Monday.  This deal scratches Smerc from going to WPEN ... It would seem so anyway.  Going to KYW will not only keep his voice on the air for a while it might prove to be a stroke of genius in the long term depending on how things play out locally.

Stu calls him "Mouthy Mike" ... huh? I suppose he does need a nickname and to be important enough to have one bestowed upon him by Stu should be good news.

Monday February 25, 2002 8:00 PM

Smerconish to return to the air soon.

Former talk host on WPHT (and WWDB 96.5) Michael Smerconish ( has reportedly signed a deal with KYW News Radio 1060 AM to do commentaries.

Jerry Donahue, a longtime Philadelphia radio producer, and the man behind many of the sports broadcasts in Philadelphia passed away suddenly yesterday (Sunday) of complications after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Jerry was the longtime production director at the old WFIL, and ran the Philadelphia 76ers radio network for WFIL and WIP.

Friday February 15, 2002

WPHT will drop Metro News Service for KYW top
of the hour updates starting on Monday.

Tuesday February 12, 2002

Talk Station (maybe) in the news ...wpen logo
WPEN lets go two, automates overnights

WPEN has let go two jocks, Bill Wright Sr. and Frank Kastner.

Bill Wright Sr. (pictured above)
... held down the 7 to midnight slot and has been at the station since 1986.  Bill started his radio career in 1950 and was WIBG morning host from 1956 to 1967.

Frank Kastner rejoined PEN in 1998.  His career spans over 60 years and includes local credits at WCAU, WFLN, KYW, WIBG, and WPEN (1951-1954 | 1970-1973 | 1998-2002).

The staff change was prompted by the addition of the Phillies games that start at 7 p.m. come spring.  WPEN will run the station with automation equipment overnights.

Monday February 4, 2002

Diamond Furniture Hill ... more that you wanted to know.
Not exactly earth shaking news here but a fair number of people over the past summer debated this on the message board.  Michael Klein for the Inquirer in his Sunday column (2/3/02) answers the questions.

Furniture man Gary Diamond started paying a radio-traffic service several years ago to refer to his garishly painted warehouse - next to I-95 between Allegheny and Girard Avenues - as "the Diamond Furniture Hill." 

KYW-AM (1060) listeners hear "Diamond Furniture Hill" dropped into the stream of backups and gaper delays. Diamond has said he paid "in the six figures" each year for the thousands of mentions.

Well, clutch the steering wheel, Mabel. The Diamond Furniture Hill might be going the way of the Lee Tire Curve.

Diamond's radio contract will run out soon, and he said he was not sure whether it would be renewed. Anticipating this, Diamond has given up the tall billboard on top of the warehouse, as well as the ad space on the warehouse's north wall, both of which greeted southbound drivers. (Diamond, who's not going anywhere, will maintain his painted "Diamond Furniture" signs on the warehouse's west and south walls.)

The "Diamond Furniture Hill" nom de chair may live on in his conventional radio and television commercials.

(Lee Tire Curve? That was the Schuylkill Expressway's big bend at Conshohocken. The nickname was driven by traffic reporters and not by advertising. Since Lee left more than a decade ago, the name "sort of evaporated," says Warren Maurer, head of the Metro/Shadow/SmartRoute traffic service.)
Michael Klein for the Inquirer.

There is also a short paragraph by Michael on the four actors that were part of the Super Bowl feature on the reading of the Declaration of Independence.  It was a most moving and emotional thing to watch.

Friday February 1, 2002

CNN's Talk Back Live has Dom Giordano scheduled for the 3 O'clock show today.  Topics; Heart transplant for prisoner, 401ks, and is a human fetus an unborn child?

Rush announced on his show yesterday that he will pull a sports talk shift on WEVD-1050 ESPN in New York focusing on the Super Bowl.

Viacom Pres Sumner Redstone tells board that Mel Karmazon's contract won't be renewed past Spring 2003.

Tuesday January 29, 2002

WPHT 1210 AM delays startup of KYW top of the hour news minutes by one week till next Monday.

Also changing will be the Network News Feed at the top of the hour ... Fox News will replace the CBS feed.  Fox News Service is a product of Westwood One as is CBS Mews and Metro.

The KYW one minute reports on WPHT will be taped, not live.

Monday January 28, 2002

From Byko today ...
Self-beached talk-show host Michael Smerconish is chuckling over the latest ratings, which showed him leading everyone at WPHT (1210-AM) in the key, 25-54 age group. He's devoting more time to his law practice now, plus his Daily News column and TV shots on the "Today" show, CN8 and, three times this month, on CNN's "Talk Back Live."
Missing from that list of activities is Channel 10 where Michael hasn't been seen for a while.  The 25-54 for Smerc was a 3.0 at 5pm and a 2.7 at 6pm, edging out Rush Limbaugh again.

This past Friday WIP hosted the Wing Bowl at the FU center.  The two people from this website that were there for the entire event said it was a blast.  Decadent sexism, beer, food, hooters, etc.  From the parade of contestants to the Eskin vs. Chicken Tic Tac Toe match up a good time was had by all.

From Stu's column last Thursday...
Among the celebrities lined up to judge the Wingettes at tomorrow morning's WIP Wing Bowl are Sixers GM Billy King, Reformed Playboy Harry Jay Katz and Your Favorite Columnist (my public service knows no bounds). . .Speaking of WIP, overnight host Luci Jones maybe could be a Wingette next year. Monday she goes in to have her boobs enlarged from a 34A to a 34B. It will give her "a more full, perky look," she says.

"People are sick and tired of the PC crowd telling them how they can have a good time," said WIP's Angelo Cataldi. "This is about women as sex objects and fat guys stuffing wings down their throats. It's about all those terrible things the pressure groups hate."

From The Inky this past Saturday, Art Carey ...
   Bob "Mize" Meyer was bleeding from cuts in his brow and hand. But he was a proud and happy man. Moments before, he had circled the floor of the First Union Center, high-fiving his fans.
   He had stepped up. He had done what he had to do. In less than two minutes, he had smashed and burst six full cans of beer against his head.
   The Quakers are right: Everybody has a divine light, a special gift.
   Sometimes, Meyer clobbered his forehead with a single can repeatedly. Then he'd alternate, crushing two cans at once against the sides of his head. When they finally ruptured, they soaked his Donovan McNabb Eagles jersey and sprayed the admiring crowd.
   Crowed Meyer, 36, a computer programmer from Bensalem: "The beer was brewed in St. Louis!" (Make of that what you will, Rams fans.)
   Meyer was one of the featured attractions at Wing Bowl X, which packed the house yesterday, drawing an estimated 23,000. This gift from WIP-AM (610) to Philadelphia has grown from a bizarre and uproarious promotional stunt into a bizarre and uproarious cultural rite.
   Why do we love it so?
   It's part pre-Super Bowl party, part Mummers Parade, part Mardi Gras, part strip show, and, this year especially, part Eagles pep rally.
   It's a celebration of our Dionysian side, harkening back to those golden days of yore when women were babes and men were slobs, and if you think ill of that, the hell with you.
   It's an in-your-face repudiation of political correctness and the dictatorship of virtue, an unabashed and uninhibited taste of what the world would be like if it were run by the rowdy denizens of the 700 level of Duh Vet.
   The centerpiece of the Wing Bowl, of course, is the chicken-wing-eating contest. For the record: Defending champ Bill "El Wingador" Simmons captured the title again by devouring 143 wings, besting such contestants as Quarter Ton, the Lord of the Wings, and Ali Blobba. coverage...
A real Wing ding

 Wing Bowl has its first three-time champion, El Wingador., in conjunction with Sports Radio 610 WIP, brings you video clips from Friday morning's extravaganza!
Wing Bowl stories:

A repeat champ and a wild scene

Politically incorrect, but who cares?

El Wingador: The man behind the wings

Note:  Stu reports that the Wing Bowl costs WIP 100,000 and Program Director Tom Bigby states that the still make money on it.

Tuesday January 22, 2002

WPHT to drop Metro for KYW
Starting on Monday WPHT will drop Metro News in favor of KYW.  Staffers at KYW were handed a memo telling them that they will be providing one minute hourly updates.  The move is reported to be part of branding KYW and has nothing to do with Metro's service or product. WPHT is also canceling Accu-Weather, a KYW brand, for The Weather Channel forecasts.
Huh? ... One minute updates? Isn't that what we can get by flipping to KYW now?  I kinda like what PHT has now.  Two years ago this idea came up and was rejected, reason given was that it would confuse the listeners by having KYW voices on PHT. If they are trying to "brand" KYW will they actually say their call letters on PHT?  Won't that "confuse" listeners?  It's tough enough for stations to get accurate arbition diary entries mentioning the proper calls.  I'm sure there's some logic behind this that escapes me, not a hard thing to do since I don't do this for a living.

Dan Foley, husband of Pat Farnack, died this past week at the age of 52.  His funeral was today.  In the late 70's and early 80's Dan was the Operations Manager at the then WCAU-FM and was for a time was also the voice of TV Guide ads on tv and radio.  Most recently he was a voice over talent for ABC-TV.  Our heartfelt prayers and wishes go out to Pat.

Friday January 18, 2002

Drudge Report ... uhhh, reports: MEDICAL MIRACLE: TALKSHOW KING HEARS SOUND; LIMBAUGH SAID TO REGAIN 80% - well, it's in one ear but heck that must be wonderful, this type of implant normally takes MUCH longer to get to this point hence the miracle reference. (thanks David)

Wednesday January 16, 2002

All Access reports: BILL O'REILLY close to radio deal, WOR-A/NEW YORK may carry proposed show

Monday January 14, 2002

Well, Today is the day that the "new" lineup for WPHT goes into effect.  The particulars are posted below on Jan. 9.  Hinted at a week ago on this page and even before that on "The Wall" the revised lineup was initiated long before that.  Most likely this goes back to late November, certainly by early December.

There will be several groups unhappy with this change, there always is.  Each show involved has its own loyal listeners although The Dr. Laura contingent has pretty much vented themselves out since she was yanked on 9/11.  Time will tell how the changes are reflected in the Arbitrons.  It seems to me that the problem (so many unhappy listeners) is not really because of THIS lineup on THIS station but rather not ENOUGH lineups on ENOUGH talk stations.  But if the existing talk shows were rated 8 instead of 4 there would be more stations jumping into the fray.  There are enough listeners to support maybe one more major station but not much beyond that.  The more talk stations there are the lower the overall market share and the less commercially viable each one will be.  Considering this, the high cost of programming, and the price tag of a major radio signal in this market it is now wonder why there aren't more talk outlets.  Like Gil Gross said to us last summer, cherish what you have ... it may go away.  If everybody that complains gets their way then format of talk in this town pretty much goes away.  Ultimately that little tuning button on your radio will determine the future.  But of course you, the readers, know all this.

Thursday January 10, 2002

Fall Ratings are out.

There are only the 12+ numbers, generally meaningless overall when compared to the prime demographics.'s Philly Ratings
It looks like News and NewsTalk stations were up while Talk stations leveled off or fell slightly. has some good comments about area ratings on their Philly Radio Board.  It's worth noting that a station like WYSP, for example, could be off slightly at 12+ but be up (#1) in key male demos for Opie and Anthony.  That is just one example of how the 12+ does not reflect on the goal of a particular station.

E-mail box...
Why can't I get in WURD at night?  I read about Tortella when I got home but I can't get in 900AM.  Do they have any talk shows we heard of?
WURD, while a 24 hour station, powers down at night to protect a station in Canada.  It's signal is comparable to WPEN during the day with respectable coverage of the area.  It's programming is basically a feed of CNN headline news directly off the TV and brokered/infomercials.  If they wind up carrying any "traditional" type of talk shows we'll list them.

Wednesday January 9, 2002
Updated 6 PM (see below) Exclusive

WPHT happenings ...
Producer meeting today, 7 PM.
Topic: Glenn Beck (
    Word is that PHT will bring on Tampa Talker Glenn Beck for the 9 to noon slot and move Dom Giordano to 7 to 10 pm replacing Phil Hendrie.
    Dom had replaced Dr. Laura on September 11 and Jeff Katz took Dom's old slot 3-5.
    Many talk stations have moved or shelved Dr. Laura since September 11.  In some markets her contribution to ratings and revenue have been less than stellar.  Faced with such a situation Premiere, her syndicator, has given some stations an alternative ... take onboard another Premiere show and you can drop Dr Laura.  In this case Glenn Beck is that show.  He currently broadcasts in the 9-12 slot so there would be no tape delay.
    Contrary to speculation on the forums Tom Marr will not be joining PHT on a daily basis ... personally I hope he continues with his fill in spots.  I love it when the Liberals commit telephonic suicide by calling him up.
    And that's not all ... it never is ... to be continued ...

Update - New lineup starts Monday

Glenn Beck will start at WPHT on Monday January 14, 2002 and will at some point broadcast out of WPHT using their 50k watts at his flagship station for Premiere syndication.  This is part of the deal for WPHT to get out of the Dr. Laura contract.

Also part of that same deal is for the station to carry Jim for a money show Mon. to Thurs. from 7-8pm.  Jim is originally from Philly and is on CNBC, he's also syndicated by Premiere.  Jim was here this past fall speaking at Penn and did his show out of PHT while in town.

Dom Giordano will be on from 8-10om. Monday thru Thursdays and from 1-5pm. Saturday.

Sid Mark is expected to move his Saturday show to 7-10 pm.  His Friday and Sunday show stay the same.

Fran Sorin and Rich and Art will bounce to Saturday mornings.

WPHT has signed on again with Rush Limbaugh.

So as it stands...
Imus - 6-9
Beck - 9-12
Rush - 12-3
Katz - 3-7
Kramer - 7-8 (Spelled with a C, not a K)
Dom - 8-10
Rollye - 10-1
Bell - 1-6
Fridays will continue with Sid Mark evenings at 7.

Tuesday January 8, 2002

Dr. Laura Clarification ... below I posted a comment about Dr. Laura not being on in her original time slot in any of the top ten markets.  She is on during the day in San Francisco and Dallas although tape delayed.  Many stations are talking with Premeire about an alternative to her show.  That is where WPHT comes in and why a change in the lineup could come as early as Thursday.

As mentioned below on January 1st, Laura Tortella returns to the air ... this time on WURD, CNN radio, AM 900 ... she'll do hosting and stations ID spots starting Wednesday 1/9.  She has already been doing the top and bottom of the hour news on WURD for a few weeks now.

Monday January 7, 2002

New lineup for WPHT due this week.

It's been mentioned on "The Wall" this past weekend but it won't play out quite the way it was speculated there.

Saturday January 5, 2002

WCBM AM680 in Baltimore (marked #20) drops Dr. Laura and will power up to 50,000 watts in March.  'CBM, the same station that airs Tom Marr and another former Philly talker Les Kinsolving, also brings onboard Sean Hannity.  With the increase in power it will remain to be seen if their "Skywave" will reach into Philly, I don't see why not ... WPHT here in town reaches from Canada to Florida at night.  Even WLAC in Nashville where Phil Valentine now resides comes in this far east on occasion.  Naturally you'd need some sort of quality radio/antenna.

WCBM's new lineup
6-9 Sean Casey
9-12 Tom Marr
12-3 Gordon Liddy
7-10 Les Kinsolving

Sean Hannity is also on WMAL in D.C. (market #10) and WABC in N.Y. (#1).  Word to me is that his people are actively shopping his show in Philly now, not only to wrap up the mid atlantic area but as part of the standard "Top 10 Markets" advertising package.

Dr. Laura, whose show has been in a tailspin since Sept. 11, is no longer carried in her time slot on any top 10 market station.  She is now suing her syndication company.  While before then she was undeniably popular in her time slot many stations did not reap the benefit in the rest of the dayparts.  He audience here in Philly on both WWDB and WPHT would usually tune in at the start of her show and flip the dial at the end.  Her numbers here in town slid in the past year and at the same time became an increasingly tough sell.  Simply put, the people who tuned her in didn't listen to the rest of the station's programming.  At 500 grand a year for 3 hours mid-days ... well you do the math.

Thursday January 3, 2002

Neil Larrimore, former WWDBer, moves to WHIO in Dayton starting February 4th as Asst. PD.  Good Luck Neil.

Oh they dared laugh at me when I said that Comcast would go after Disney next and Karmizan might leave before 2002 was up.

Original story link from the LA Times

2 Viacom Execs to Split

Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone has been telegraphing for months that Chief Operating Officer Mel Karmazin is not a shoo-in to succeed him. Though loved by Wall Street, Karmazin oversold investors on an advertising rebound this year. Viacom executives say his harsh management style is hurting morale at divisions such as MTV. It is also wearing on Redstone, according to people close to the 78-year-old mogul.

The two executives barely speak to each other, and sources say their conflicting management styles could force a divorce. Redstone opposed Karmazin's recent decision to move UPN out from under Paramount Television execs who started the network. When Karmazin refused to use Viacom funds for a lavish Christmas party for top executives and their spouses, Redstone sprang for the $200,000 affair at Sotheby's himself, eager to reward the troops after a tough year.

Executives close to Redstone, Viacom's controlling shareholder, say if Karmazin begins to feel like a lame duck, he will agree to leave before his contract comes up for renewal in 2003. Some say he'll take Viacom's radio group as a payoff.

Comcast's Target: Disney

Analysts agree that few companies are big enough to take on a behemoth such as Disney, the owner of ABC and ESPN broadcast networks, cartoon characters, theme parks and a movie studio. Even after a 27% plunge in its stock this year--a bigger fall than any rival media giant--Disney's market value is about $43 billion.

But that could be within striking distance for a new AT&T Comcast Corp., which, if the deal is approved, would be the nation's largest cable operator.

Analysts are betting that federal rules that prevent one company from owning TV stations and cable systems in the same city will disappear, permitting AT&T Comcast to acquire a major broadcaster such as Disney.

AT&T and Comcast will spend much of the year in Washington, seeking approval for their $52-billion merger. And the new company has a series of complicated transactions to negotiate to reduce its debt, including a sale of AT&T's partnership with AOL Time Warner.

But investment bankers say that Comcast President Brian Roberts has his sights on programming interests and that Disney, with its mounting debt and plummeting cash flow, could be too weak to fight, especially if tourism and TV advertising, two key revenue generators for the firm, remain soft.

Tuesday January 1, 2002

Listen for the return of Laura Tortella to the Philadelphia airwaves in 2002 ... and she WON'T be doing traffic reports ... stay tuned for more info.  You remember Laura was removed from traffic on WPHT and other stations in a staffing cutback by Metro Networks.  There was a higher than average level of interest from the readers of this site in what happened to her after that.

Sunday December 30, 2001

Michael Smerconish in his role as a columnist for the Daily News has been invited to accompany PA Senator Arlen Specter to Cuba as he meets with Fidel Castro on Wednesday, 1/2/02.