Angelo Cataldi has often flirted with retirement during his 31-year run as the host of 94.1 WIP’s popular morning show. But is he finally ready to walk away from the microphone?
On WIP’s morning show Friday, Cataldi teased an upcoming announcement about his future with the station.
“I will have an announcement on my future no later than mid-October,” Cataldi said.
“You’re scheduling an announcement? That’s news to us,” joked Rhea Hughes, Cataldi’s longtime cohost.
Cataldi said he’s made a decision about his future with the station, but is waiting to meet with WIP’s new program director, Rod Lakin, who begins Monday. Lakin, most recently the program director for Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, is replacing Spike Eskin, who left in July to run WFAN in New York.
“I’m going to sit down with him and plan what day to announce my announcement. It will be within the first two weeks he’s here,” Cataldi said. “One of the reasons I want to do it then is so nobody thinks my announcement has anything to do with who the new guy is.”
Cataldi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It’s no surprise WIP would like to keep Cataldi, Hughes, and Al Morganti together in the morning. The show remains a ratings juggernaut, and deals with the Eagles and Phillies have provided Cataldi with exclusive interviews with the team’s head coaches and front office. The show has also kept things fresh with rotating cohosts, including former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., former Sixers general manager Billy King, and Flyers announcer and former player Keith Jones.
Cataldi, 70, has flirted with retirement several times in recent years. He signed a multiyear contract extension in 2019, but told The Inquirer he would have already retired if former colleague Marc Farzetta hadn’t left to launch a competing show on 97.5
“I think it’s safe to say I would have retired by now if he had stayed,” Cataldi said in 2019. “Whether or not he would have gotten the opportunity, it wasn’t my say. But I kind of groomed him for 13 years. So when he left, it was like, ‘That plan isn’t going to work.’”
Farzetta’s show on 97.5 The Fanatic was canceled in 2020, and he now hosts an online morning show. John Kincade, who has hosted The Fanatic’s morning show since January, finished third in the market behind Cataldi in the spring ratings book, and could be a big winner if Cataldi ultimately decides to retire.
Who would be Cataldi’s replacement? It’s unclear. The station has a roster of talent, and Cataldi had some thoughts about who might ultimately replace him.
“Our midday guys [Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie] are highly capable of moving to the morning. Our afternoon guys [Jon Marks and Ike Reese], if they want really lousy hours, could definitely do the job, too,” Cataldi told The Inquirer in 2019. “Joe Giglio is a regular on my show. He’s really got down the whole provocateur thing. He’s great at that. I’ve been working with Jon Johnson as a replacement when I’m not there because I really like the way he does things. I think he has great potential.”