Just wanted to thank all of the well wishers, long time fans and new listeners to my new venture back where my sports talk career exploded at 94 WIP in Philly 24 years ago. Working with Josh Innes is going to be fun and exciting as he brings the energy, passion and the will to win. I've been fortunate in my 40+ years of broadcasting by first: starting my way up by working with pros I respected, and then passing along my help and guidance to the young, motivated people along the way. Our new show airs 1 to 6pm eastern and can be streamed at radio.com and tuneinradio.com, just search for 94.1WIP. When my previous employer lured me back to Philly with false promises, I walked away from several national and morning drive west coast radio opportunities with the hope of finishing my career in my hometown, around my mom, family and friends. No one was more shocked as the years passed and I remained on a 2-hour show - albeit fun - in a non prime-time slot. Many accused me of being "incapable" of doing a longer show, which laughably couldn't be farther from the truth. As that chapter ended - and those who merely speculate without any facts - I pursued my podcast and other gracious job offers out west and elsewhere, but, my goal always remained to be here. 7 months without a salary, health insurance and misinformation about my departure was something I didn't expect, but the outpouring of support for my abilities and past successes kept me positive and hopeful.
My career has always been based on working for and with people and companies who want to win and treat me with respect and dignity. If you don't want me on your team, I will go somewhere else and do my best to win or beat you if I'm on a competing station. That is my newest and probably last challenge in an amazing ride of a career where every goal set has been achieved. WIP is one of 3 sports stations in America anyone in the industry can identify and locate. When I left in 1996 after 5 great years on the legendary morning show with Angelo and Al, I went to work full time at ESPN radio and never left "on bad terms". The program director told me to leave and I accepted the ESPN offer, promising I would never work for him again. I stuck to my promise in his later attempts to hire me in different cities. Integrity and promises matter to me. My relationship with Angelo, Al, Rhea and the few others still at WIP has always been solid and I'm glad to be back on THE iconic sports station in this city.
Most of us are not used to drastic change, thus the reaction to Josh Innes has obviously been mixed because he is unusual in a city which has seen very little "entertaining" sports talk radio. In an age of internet access and Twitter, the radio, newspaper and tv business has evolved where talking head "experts" who boast about knowing more than the listener or talking down to people who have different informed viewpoints is enough to win the ratings game. That kind of radio is rampant and not what I, or Josh do.
Some of the detractors have resorted to lame narratives like: "He's not a Philly guy!" He's not one of US. "He's a shock jock" "He's doesn't know or talk sports". Total nonsense! Josh has been in radio since age 14 and has worked his way up from the crappiest of jobs to doing fake radio shows in his basement to get better (sort of what I did as a young punk growing up in South Philly) Don't know many 28 year olds who have done minor league hockey and baseball play by play to become better at broadcasting and sports, do you?
I promised to do some homework tonight and give the uninformed a list of some of the most successful media people in Philly radio and TV HISTORY to debunk the "myth" about "not local enough" So here are the ones I looked up from my memories of some of the names you probably know in this area.
TV - Channel 6 icons Larry Kane & Jim Gardner - NY. Dick Clark - Mt Vernon, NY. Channel 6 weatherman Jim O Brien - Galveston, Texas
Radio - Every number one rated WFIL "Boss Jock" from the 1960's to early 70's. NOT from Philly.
Don Cannon - Yonkers, NY. John DeBella - Queens, NY. Pierre Robert - SF. Georgie Woods - Boynton Beach, Fla. Jocko Henderson - Baltimore. Preston Elliott - Columbia, Tenn. Steve Morrison - NY. Angelo Cataldi - Providence, RI. Al Morganti - Boston. Glen Macnow - Buffalo. Sal Paloantonio - Long Island Catch my drift yet?
I'm not here to sell you on anything because I believe we will give Philly fans something they haven't heard in a long, long time: Entertaining sports talk radio where fun is what we have, and I have learned - at all levels - that fun is why people who come to radio for an escape from reality while getting the solid information and interviews truly deserve.
So thanks for reading. You have my promise that Josh and I will work hard to rebuild the afternoon show, giving 94WIP it's ONLY 24-hour, local and dominant sports powerhouse with the best lineup anywhere in America.