Wednesday, August 31, 2005

WIP vs. WPEN: Competitive sports talk?

Tony Bruno vs. Angelo Cataldi.

Jody McDonald vs. Howard Eskin.

Jim Rome vs. Cuz and Mike

WIP 610 (and its stable of former Inquirer sports writers) has had its way in the market for a long time. Will that change with last week's announcement that Greater Media Inc. will convert WPEN (950-AM) from oldies to sports talk on Oct. 3?

WPEN is bringing back Philly boys Tony Bruno and Jody McDonald. Bruno will go head-to-head against Angelo Cataldi and his morning team, and Jody Mac will take on Howard Eskin in the afternoon drive (3 p.m.- 7 p.m.)

WPEN also announced last week that it will air Jim Rome's nationally syndicated show from noon to 3 p.m.

McDonald most recently was at WFAN in New York and just launched a satellite radio show from noon to 3 p.m. on Sirius.

Here is the lastest release from WPEN, which came out today at 5 p.m.

Philadelphia, PA: Greater Media Philadelphia is pleased to announce legendary sports personality Tony Bruno has been recruited to do mornings at the new Sports Talk 950. He will officially take over the radio airwaves weekday mornings from 9am - 12noon beginning on October 3rd, 2005.

Bruno has been called "possibly the best sports talk show host in America" by the Los Angeles Times. His career started at the age of 17 at WIFI in Philadelphia and a year later was working at the legendary pop station WFIL. Thirty-five years later, he has achieved what most sports broadcasters can only dream about.

Tony launched Sports Radio WIP as well as two networks - the ESPN Radio Network in 1992 from Bristol, Connecticut and eight years later launched FOX Sports Radio in Los Angeles.

"We are thrilled Tony has decided to join our team. He is the perfect player to kick off weekday mornings on Sports Talk 950. I cannot think of a better choice than Tony to give Philly sports fans the latest news and views they want to know about," said Station Manager Bob Deblois.

The new interview-based, sports/talk oriented format will provide listeners with a new choice to hear the very best sports variety; facts,
information and talk in Philadelphia.

"Wow! Philadelphia is my hometown, and it'll be great for my family, friends and supporters to get to hear how the local kid made good with the kind of sports talk they're not used to getting. I live and breathe Philly sports and am proud all the hard work has led this to finally becoming a reality, "said Bruno.

He added, "I'm back on Philly radio and on a legendary station like 950 WPEN. I know this much, no one knows how the fans think, tick and breathe better than me. It's the best sports town in America and now I get the chance to show them how great sports talk radio really sounds."

WPEN is owned and operated by Greater Media Philadelphia, a subsidiary of Greater Media, Inc., the parent company of 19 AM and FM radio stations in the Boston, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. It also owns a modern printing plant and a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey as well as several telecommunications towers located throughout the United States.

For more information, please contact Heidi Raphael, Director of
Corporate Communications at 248-591-6864 or

There is another choice now. Will you listen?

Bullish on Billy

It was about a month ago that closer Billy Wagner gave the Phillies a deadline of August 31 to re-sign him or else he would become a free agent.

Today is August 31 and he is still unsigned. To complicate matters for the Phillies, Wagner is doing what he does second-best ... talk. Of course, what he does best is close games.

Wagner addressed the drooling New York media yesterday and this is what came out in today's New York Post.

Under the headline, "Wagner: I'd play here", Billy said he would consider playing for the Mets based on the improvement they have made under manager Willie Randolph and general manager Omar Minaya.

"Looking at how Mr. Randolph and how their organization has brought in a lot of talent and they're very competitive, it's a very competitive division, they're only going to get better," Wagner said. "As a player, when you play for a great city like Philadelphia or New York and you win there, you're always the golden child. That's just the way it is. Every player wants to be remembered, and to get remembered in a place like Philadelphia or New York it's not a one-year deal."

Where does that leave the Phillies? Wagner said his agent and the front office are still negotiating.

Does that mean it will happen today? Is the deadline a deadline or just a guideline?

One thing is for certain, Wagner will be turning up the heat and it won't be on his fastball.

No relief

When I handicapped the Phillies-Mets series yesterday, I focused on the starting pitching and did not give Robinson Tejeda the benefit of the doubt. Well, he did his job and it was the bullpen that failed.

Ryan Madson and Ugueth Urbina, so strong this season in allowing the Phils to get to Billy Wagner, failed last night.

The losing streak has reached three in a row and tonight Pedro Martinez will be on the hill for the Mets. Unbeatable? No. Beatable? Not likely.

Last night's game was the Phillies' best chance. With Martinez and lefty Tom Glavine up next, the Phillies offense is sure to struggle.