Angelo Cataldi may have just celebrated his 25th year with SportsRadio 94.1 WIP, but for the first time the ratings champ faces some significant local morning competition.
Former WIP host Anthony Gargano teamed up with Jon Marks this morning for the launch of "Anthony Gargano in the morning," a new morning show for The Fanatic that will air weekdays from 6:00-10:00 a.m.
"The best part of doing a morning show is the ability to be the first to interact with the most passionate fans in the country," said Gargano, who left WIP back in December after a rumored lowball contract offer.
The show, which also featured Maureen Williams doing news updates and the return of Gargano's producer at WIP Jamie Lynch (known to many listeners as "Silent Bro"), replaced the nationally-focused "Mike and Mike" show, which has aired since the station became an ESPN affiliate in 2008. "Mike and Mike" will now air in Philadelphia from 6:00-10:00 a.m. on 610 AM WTEL.
"We are thrilled to have Anthony join 97.5 The Fanatic," said Senior VP Market Manager John Fullam. "He is the perfect lead-off man for Philly sports talk every weekday morning."
Fullam also noted that despite the removal of "Mike and Mike," The Fanatic will retain their ESPN affiliation, allowing popular local contributors such as Sal Paolantonio and Ron Jaworski to continue as analysts.
It might be unusual for such a high-profile show to launch with little promotion, but this entire situation has been unique from the start. Everything from Gargano's sudden and high-profile departure from WIP to his surprise appearances on the Mike Missanelli show led to speculation the popular sports talk host would land at The Fanatic once his contract with WIP was up.
Having someone of Gargano's popularity presented a unique opportunity for The Fanatic to compete with Cataldi, who has enjoyed a monopoly on local sports coverage nearly his entire time in Philadelphia. In fact, Gargano and Marks will be the first local sports competition for Cataldi since Glenn Foley and Michael Bradley co-hosted a morning show for then Sports Radio 950 back in 2007 and early 2008, before the station gained its ESPN affiliation.
No word yet if Gargano's stable of loyal sponsors, which include Primo's Hoagies, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza and Mark's Jewelers, will follow his jump over to The Fanatic.
Officially filling the station's 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. time slot vacated by Marks' move to the morning will be Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander. Mayes has been with the station since 2005 and is one of the few remaining members of then Sports Radio 950, while Shander came to the station back in September after stops at NBC Sports Radio and SiriusXM.
Joe DeCamara rounds-out The Fanatic's new schedule, anchoring the 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. time slot during the week.