For those looking for a full picture of how Marc Farzetta and his new morning show on 97.5 The Fanatic are performing from a ratings perspective, you’ll have to wait until April.
That’s because Farzetta’s new show began on Oct. 8, one month into Nielsen’s latest quarterly look at sports radio ratings. Farzetta, a longtime WIP talker who also hosts Philly Sports Talk on NBC Sports Philadelphia, replaced Anthony Gargano, who struggled to compete in the mornings.
Still, one thing we can glean from the numbers is Farzetta and former Eagles offensive lineman William “Tra” Thomas still have a ways to go to close the gap with reigning ratings champ Angelo Cataldi, the longtime morning show host on WIP (and Farzetta’s former boss).
Cataldi, who shows no signs of retiring after nearly 30 years on air despite giving up Wing Bowl, finished second in the market among men ages 25 to 54. (all numbers in this story are for men 25 to 54, the most important listening demographic for both radio stations). Cataldi and co-hosts Rhea Hughes and Al Morganti easily defeated Gargano and Farzetta, who combined to finished fifth place in the market (they didn’t beat WMMR’s Preston & Steve, who have dominated morning ratings in Philadelphia for nearly a decade).
WIP finished second overall in the market, three full ratings shares ahead of The Fanatic, which ended the quarter in fifth place. The win is no surprise, considering WIP is home to the popular Eagles game broadcast called by beloved announcers Merrill Reese and Mike Quick. The station also benefits from an exclusive interview each week with Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. But the Eagles lift all boats, and both stations saw their ratings increase compared to the summer book.
The lineup changes at the Fanatic also impacted middays, where Harry Mayes is out and Gargano is in alongside Jason Myrtetus. Despite the shifting lineup, the Fanatic managed to grow its ratings slightly compared to last quarter, finishing in fifth place. But the Fanatic still finished nearly two ratings shares behind WIP’s duo of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie, who finished the quarter in third place.