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Talk Radio

  Archived Philly Talk Radio News for the year 2001

Stories on this page

Phillies move from WPHT to WPEN
War of words between Smerconish and WPHT
Michael Smerconish leaves WPHT
New broadcasting website 10/23
Smerconish to Ch. 10, off Ch. 6 10/23
New Talk Station rumor WPEN? 11/15
Compududes show ends 10/11
WPHT hires Jeff Katz 10/9
Rush losing hearing 10/8
News on Rollye's syndication deal and questions about the future of her show 9/21
Radio's reaction to the attack
9/11/2001 - America is at war
Rich Levin's PC Talk show returns
Harry Jay Katz loses his talk show
Killer Tomato contest
Roberta Gale's show ends
Rush to CNN?
Clinton a talk show host?
Susan Bray moving back to Australia-exclusive
Spring ratings
Kent Voss goes to LA, writes for Man Show
various radio columns
Talk streaming, eYada goes dark
Sally Starr lawsuit on again
Art Bell injures back, extends vacation
Art Bell victim of smear campaign
Irv starts on WPHT
Opie and Anthony come to WYSP
WPHT announces Irv Homer for Sundays
Irv Homer available
Irv Homer comes back
WPHT solicits tapes
Rollye James gets married
Rich Levin ends his show on WPHT
DeBella cut from WYSP, rumors of him at PHT
Health and fitness host James Corea dies.

Random comments

God Speed to Rush Limbaugh after undergoing surgery for a Cochlear Implant in an effort to restore his hearing.

Thursday December 20, 2001

Joel Gibbs, formerly on WWDB and WPHT returns to the air each Saturday from 10am to Noon on 1040 AM and 1350 AM.
     Joel says this about the signal and future plans ...
The stations' signals are best heard in NE Philadelphia, Bucks County, the Lehigh Valley, Trenton, Lawrenceville, Princeton, Central NJ, and all through Mercer, Burlington and Huntingdon counties... so, if we're comin' in a little fuzzy where you live... hang in there. The "Everything Entertainment" Radio Network will be expanding to even more stations as the months go by. As for the FM dial... in the coming weeks, I'll be debuting as the official movie/TV correspondent on Classic Hits 94.5 "The Hawk" / WNJO-FM

Monday December 17, 2001

Technical feedback on my comments regarding WPEN's signal
"PEN has a good signal, but not that good. Even if they went 50,000 watts, it would have been directional, much of it flung far easterly, and even at night, it would have been 10kw directional. Real estate issues, and cost, have all to do with it. Not to mention it would have taken 8 towers, and local residents weren't too hot on the idea. They don't have much of a signal to the west at night."
There is always somebody out there reading this site that knows what they are talking about, thanks.

Saturday December 15, 2001

     Tom Marr will again sit in this Sunday evening at 8 for Irv Homer who is under the weather.  As much as we all enjoy Tom and his passionate (albeit informed and entertaining) ravings it's safe to say for everyone here, Get well soon Irv.  It's been on my wish list for a long time that some station would have these two on together once in a while as part of a roundtable.  Sort of a cat fight for talk radio hosts.

     While everyone is enjoying throwing some stones at WPHT lately all is not peaches and cream at the next rumored talker WPEN.  It seems BOTH stations have pissed a lot of people off lately.  
     First, PHT and Smerconish part ways (we are told it's irrevocable but...) and now the Phillies move from a 50K watt clear channel to a station on par with my walkman.  Sure the Phillies are on several stations but the reaction to this move from those far out of state was immediate and harsh.  They feel they got the broadcasting version of the finger.  PHT, which can be heard from the Klondike to the Keys, made many a transplanted Phillies fan happy by beaming the night games.  Even the guys that go fishing off the Jersey shore are pissed.  They now feel as if they don't count and they would be correct.  PHT wasn't "selling" to those far flung areas anyway so you don't count as far as the station was concerned.  As for the Phillies ... your a fan, wake up dude, just pay for the new stadium and shut up.
     Second, some advertisers just figured out the they don't get PEN in well at work.  Being long term PHT sponsors they might have listened to Smerconish on the way home.  Now that they tried to get 950 AM on radios in the office, just to see how the station sounds, they have some questions.  It was talked about as recently as this past winter that PEN would go the full 50K but it appears that they have dropped those plans.  Inquiries by some business people about their signal plans were not responded to.  Yes, Virginia ... 5,000 watts is less than 50,000 watts.  You do the math.
     Third, those hoping (dreaming really) for extensive talk programming on PEN are watching what they say is a recreating of a hybrid WWDB/WPHT with brokered (although interesting mix of) shows on the weekend, music, and now the Phillies.  Will they really bring on any traditional talk shows?  Word is yes but late word is don't look for it in the morning, possible later in the day (weekdays).  They might bring in a issue oriented show in a weekend slot, maybe, talks are ongoing.
     So it seems no matter what these 2 stations do they will make a number of people very unhappy.  Great job to have ain't it?  You got to feel for them.

Coincidentally the radio and reception page has been updated for those seeking answers for reception questions.  The C. Crane Company released an improved version of their C. C. Radio and 2 antennae are currently being tested, one a brand new type called the Justice AM antenna.  More information on the antenna testing will be added over the winter but early feedback on the Justice is positive.

Rumor Mill - Fall of 2001
Posted 10/15 - New Talk Station?
Best guess on this one is WPEN to add more talk programming early next year.

Other Notes - Fall of 2001

Susan Bray returns to Australia on December 16th.  She will be back in touch with us when she sets .. pardon me ... when her husband Ed sets up the PC.

Thanks to Michael Smerconish for 10 years of talk radio, 6 of them at WWDB and the last 4 at WPHT.


Friday December 14th

Phillies move from WPHT to WPEN
As it was alluded to on "The Wall" by some astute listeners (read insiders), Phillies baseball will no longer be broadcast on WPHT 1210 AM.  Starting next season they will begin a three year deal and be broadcast on WPEN 950 AM.  Posts as early as late May of this year speculated that the Phillies would be dumped from WPHT.  Our resident mole, "J.M." reported this past Tuesday (12/11) that he was confident this would happen.  The Phillies now confirm this.  Calls earlier to WPEN were unsuccessful in locating anybody with firm knowledge on this matter.  Maybe WPEN could give the Phillies a call to find out.

Thursday December 13th

The financial show, "Straight Talk With The Money Guys", moves from WPHT to WPEN 950 AM Sunday mornings from 7 to 8 am right before Fred Sherman.

Michael Smerconish's column in today's Daily News
Excerpt ...
    TIME magazine is on the verge of making a big mistake. A blunder that will lead me and others to make a switch to Newsweek for life.
    Their "Man of the Year" selection is imminent and Osama bin Laden is said to be the front runner.
    George W. and Rudy Giuliani are also under consideration. At this moment, detailed biographies are being written for all three in advance of the December 24th publication of the issue. Rudy and W. are both superior selections to bin Laden, and yes, I know the supposed criteria.
    Time claims that the distinction goes to the individual or event that has - for better or worse - had the greatest impact on the news.
    I can't deny that bin Laden changed the world as we knew it. The memory of September 11th is now on the level of the Kennedy Assassination of every living American because we will always remember precisely where we were and what we were doing when the planes hit. He certainly has made a significant "impact on the news", but I still say Time should shaft him on the recognition.
    That's because no matter what the intention, his ugly mug on the cover with Man of the Year underneath will be viewed as an honor by degenerates of his ilk everywhere, and that's the last thing we need.
    Instead, he should be like Voldomort in the Harry Potter series - the one who should not be named because to speak his name gives him power.

Friday November 30th

Dave Hoeffel reporting in the Friday Morning Quarterback radio trade magazine covers the Smerconish vs. Scaglione war of words relating the general information used in Stu's column.  He adds this comment...The lessons to be learned here: If you’re a manager, be VERY careful what you put in writing. E-mail makes it way too easy to broadcast something to the entire universe that you may regret later. And if you’re a talent, document everything, and save it! You never know when it might come in handy. On a personal note, I miss the Michael Smerconish show. This guy’s a unique talk host who has the ability to make you smile even if you disagree with him (which I rarely did). And he engineered some spectacular promotions (not usually associated with Talk stations) that drew huge crowds to various venues for some very good causes. The rumor mill has him turning up elsewhere in the market. I hope so.  Story link (temporary)

Michael has this comment for just Philly Talk Radio Online readers...
I am not going anywhere.  It is a long game and a small town - Michael Smerconish

Thursday November 29th

Based on information developed here by the staff of Philly Talk Radio Online in the last 24 hours we feel confident in moving the notion of WPEN adding part time talk from "rumor" to "very likely".  We were the first in town to post the idea as a rumor back on October 15th (look over to the right hand column and in the news archives).  Now talk, at least on a single show per weekday basis, seems "very likely" and that even more talk programming being added sometime early next year now gains the status of "rumor" ... we may be wrong but I don't think so.

Also first found on this site's message board was how at least one advertiser has pulled ads from WPHT in the aftermath of Smerconish leaving the station.  This is at least the fourth, maybe fifth one to either pull or "significantly reconsider" how much time they buy at the station.  None of them expresses personal dissatisfaction with current on air talent  but instead pointed out the fact that they bought time based on one set of circumstances and are now faced with a completely different set.  "It's nothing personal."  Noted one advertisers adding that the station had some fine people there.  Some may stay with the station but with a new schedule that they say should reflect the new reality.  One was a bit miffed at the way spots were run, some spots get aired at a frequency beyond what was initially agreed on, not a problem if they were freebies but they weren't.

Updated 4 pm
Michael Smerconish has a column every Thursday in the Daily News.  Today it is on Profiling.  Excerpt ...
IF RED DOGS are biting, you protect your fingers when you pet a red dog.
That's the common-sense advice you would give your children. It's the same with police work, particularly at a time when our national security is threatened. It only gets complicated when somebody attaches a label to the practice and calls it "profiling."

Wednesday November 28th

Updated 4 pm
All Access reports the following,
      **O'Reilly near deal with Westwood One for talk show.
     **Matt Drudge reaches 200 stations.
     **A war of words has broken out over MICHAEL SMERCONISH's departure from afternoons at Talk WPHT-A/PHILADELPHIA after WPHT GM SIL SCAGLIONE publicly called SMERCONISH's ratings "mediocre."

This is what happens when you throw more fuel into a high octane piss fight.
As I said at the bottom of the update for 11/27, you really don't want to bring the ratings argument up, by doing so Smerconish was turned from a shameless self promoting litigation attorney / talk show host / former Infinity employee into a ... Victim!  That really takes some doing and a supreme lack of foresight.  The smartest thing Scaglione has said since this started is in this column by Stu Bykofsky today.  It also details what I said above  yesterday .... the amount of the proposed contract offer.

Just as we told you about yesterday, here is the article ...
Smerconish, the 300G-man, asks, 'who's mediocre?'

You can call him dull, you can call him bald, you can call him short, but don't call Michael Smerconish's ratings "mediocre."

That's what his former boss, WPHT (1210-AM) GM Sil Scaglione did the other day, and the feisty lawyer/broadcaster fired back with a printout that proved he had strong ratings, but that wasn't enough.

At my request, he forwarded a written contract offer from Scaglione that would have paid Smerconish $300,000 next year for running his show in the 3-6 p.m. time slot (as opposed to the 5-7 p.m. slot he was in). This slot would be the "best thing for the station as a whole," Scaglione wrote.

Smerconish - you never want to mess with a lawyer - also released an e-mail to Smerconish dated March 30, 2001, in which Scaglione said he wished "to build the station around YOU." The same sweet-talking communique said, "You're THE MAN Mike."

Reached yesterday afternoon, Scaglione said he preferred to "not comment any further on the situation, to leave things as is."(emphasis added)

Meanwhile, a friendly elf in the 'PHT sales department faxed over a sheet of advertising rates effective last month that showed a 60-second commercial read by Smerconish cost $400, more than was asked for any other host. "Who's mediocre?" Smerconish asks.

Stu Bykofsky


Tuesday November 27th

Two more pieces on Smerconish
Michael Klein and Stu Bykofsky, my comments follow

From Michael Klein's Inqlings column in today's Inky
Until now, we've heard the bland "irreconcilable differences" to explain the parting of Michael Smerconish and talk-radio station WPHT-AM (1210) after four years. Smerconish tendered his resignation last week, allowing his contract to expire Dec. 31. The station then made his Wednesday show his last. Yesterday, more details emerged about the rift. The station's general manager, Sil Scaglione, said the differences involved Smerconish's ratings and commitment. "He was unable to sustain the ratings we had hoped for," Scaglione said, adding that Smerconish's show had cracked the top 10 only in the spring 2001 ratings book. "We were proud about that," Scaglione said. "I even hand-delivered the bonus check to his office on Walnut Street." But, Scaglione said, Smerconish's show, 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays, dipped to 15th place in the summer. Smerconish yesterday provided figures showing a steady rise in his ratings among listeners ages 12 and up; in his first ratings period, winter 1998, he had a 1.3 share, or 1.3 percent of the listening audience. In spring 2001, he carried a 5.0. (He did not provide summer numbers.)

What can't be argued is that Smerconish was one of the station's stronger performers.

Scaglione said he had offered Smerconish a different time slot "commensurate with his ratings," and Smerconish "wasn't crazy about it." Scaglione also was not happy with Smerconish's priorities. "He's a lawyer. For him, this [was] a hobby. He's entitled to do what he wants," Scaglione said. "We felt as management that he was not going to be the guy we were going to grow with." Meanwhile, Jeff Katz has doubled his 3 p.m. show, staying on till 7 p.m.

And here is a Byko feature in the Tattle section of the Daily News.

The Big Talker has become The Big Squawker.

As reported Friday, 5-7 p.m. host Michael Smerconish has decided to leave WPHT (1210-AM) on Dec. 31, at the end of his contract.

The reaction of GM Sil Scaglione was "Why wait?" or words to that effect.

Last Friday, Smerconish was told not to report to work at the station called "The Big Talker." Yesterday, Scaglione said he had expanded Jeff Katz's 3-5 p.m. show to 3-7 p.m., giving him Smerconish's hours.

"Michael had been on the air for four years; he had mediocre ratings," said Scaglione, "and had been unable to break through and sustain the success we had hoped for in afternoon drive."

Reached at his law office, Smerconish responded, "If I am mediocre, I wonder what that makes Rush Limbaugh, Doctor Laura and Imus, all of whom I beat substantially in the most recent ratings?"

Scaglione chuckled. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion. That's what makes talk radio great."

During negotiations, Scaglione said he had offered Smerconish a different shift "commensurate with his ratings and priorities."

(Scaglione wouldn't name that shift, but it was 6-8 p.m.)

The remark about priorities referenced Smerconish's law practice. "The radio show is a hobby and not his career," said Scaglione.

"Been a pretty successful hobby, wouldn't you say?" smirked Smerconish, who leveraged his talk-show celebrity into a commentator's role at WCAU-TV (Channel 10) and a weekly column at the People Paper.

Still unknown is where Smerconish goes next. The most likely option is WPEN (950-AM), which has had conversations with Mighty Mike. But nothing will happen at WPEN before next year, and if it does, Smerconish could have a new time slot. *

- Stu Bykofsky

In my own humble opinion I think that there must be a better way for a General Manager to handle such a situation than to bring up the topic of ratings when the subject is your station's best performer and virtually all your source of free, albeit self promotional, publicity.  This topic had a lifespan of maybe one more day, two at the outside.  Now with fresh high octane fuel dumped on it this piss fight goes public.

Tomorrow, how much is mediocre worth?

Monday November 26th

Tidbit from Stu's Column for today ... . . .At WPEN, station manager/program director Dean Tyler has cleaned out his desk, but will continue to linger as a consultant. I hear 10 a.m.-3 p.m. DJ Bob Craig is in line to become program director after Dean's departure.

Update - Monday 12:00 p.m. - As reported here on November 18th, Jeff Katz will be doing the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift on WPHT ... starting today.

Update - Monday 3 p.m. - From Perry Simon at
    WPHT-A/PHILADELPHIA afternoon star MICHAEL SMERCONISH confirmed to ALL ACCESS that he is leaving the station effective DECEMBER 31, with the expiration of his current contract. SMERCONISH, a successful lawyer, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS columnist and commentator for NBC affiliate WCAU-TV, tells ALL ACCESS: "I feel I am leaving on the top of my game," noting his strong ratings and revenue. SMERCONISH told the DAILY NEWS' STU BYKOFSKY that the decision to leave over "irreconcilable differences" is "irrevocable."
    Now, the speculation begins: the long-standing rumor in town has GREATER MEDIA jettisoning Adult Standards on its WPEN-A to go talk. Could SMERCONISH land there, or will another WPHT challenger emerge?

    WABC-A/NEW YORK ran TALK RADIO NETWORK's MICHAEL SAVAGE in place of PREMIERE's ART BELL last week in overnights, and now the NEW YORK POST's JOHN MAINELLI reports that the station is so irritated by BELL's frequent absences that it may make the move permanent.
My notes:  Premiere is currently looking for a sub host for whenever Art is out and on weekends.  Barbara Simpson is on her way out.  Salary, very low 6 figures.

Sunday November 25th

Our friends at have a nice wrap up of the Smerconish story on their website right now.

The article in Philly Magazine on Michael Smerconish is now available online here.

Saturday November 24th

A sneak peek at Sunday's Inky - Michael Klein's Inqlings column,
You may have read Thursday that talk-show host Michael Smerconish had told management at WPHT-AM (1210) that he would not renew his contract, which expires Dec. 31. On Friday, he said he was asked not to do his 5 to 7 p.m. show, so he's effectively gone from radio after 10 years, four of them at WPHT. (Dom Giordano covered Friday's shift.) Why the split? Smerconish would say only that he and management had "irreconcilable differences," but his friends say he does not feel appreciated or sufficiently promoted. As for the down time, he said: "I have a law practice and four kids. I have plenty on my plate." Do not be surprised to hear him next year on WPEN-AM (950), if he and the station come to terms. (WPEN insiders say the station would not totally flip from its "Station of the Stars" format to all talk if Smerconish were hired.)
Posted with permission.
Updated Sunday - Direct link to above is now here

Friday November 23rd

From today's Stu Bykofsky column, more on Michael Smerconish.

Partial Excerpt ... The straw that broke the camel’s back, according to an informed source, is Smerconish’s belief that the station was stingy with its support in defending him against what he believes to be a frivolous defamation lawsuit filed almost a year ago.

Meanwhile, radio is rife with rumors that WPEN (950-AM) is taking a hard, long look at ditching its current nostalgia format and switching to talk.

A WPEN source last month — before Smerconish’s plans were known — told me that some in the sales department were chattering about a flip to talk that they believe is coming next year. Another source reported the installation of a new — necessary for a talk format — engineering booth.

Thursday November 22nd

Here is an article from today's Inky regarding the negotiations between Michael Smerconish and WPHT 1210 AM.  My comments follow.

Talker Smerconish says he's leaving WPHT

Michael Smerconish yesterday confirmed that he had given notice to WPHT-AM (1210), where he hosts one of the town's highest-rated talk shows. He intends to leave when his contract expires Dec. 31. He cited "irreconcilable differences" with station management, adding that money was not an issue. (Station officials could not be reached for comment.) Smerconish, at the Big Talker for more than four years, is paid in the low six figures for his show, which airs 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays. In the spring rating period, his show outdrew those of Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger combined. Smerconish, 39, a Center City lawyer and budding columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, declined to say what his next move would be. Sources say he and WPEN-AM (950) are talking about a morning show.
Original link to the Inky ... Smerconish leaving PHT

What the paper does not mention is that the differences are not related to his in house studio or other often mentioned disputes but like they say, money is not the issue.   Most if not all of the differences are beyond the control of local management, they are more of a corporate nature with details so tedious it makes your hair hurt although that does not make them any less important.  Also as far as Smerconish is concerned for now ... it's over with WPHT.  Sources say this in not a negotiating ploy.  Now look for a scramble now between the sales staff at both stations as they fight over the regular advertisers.  The starting gun on that has already been fired and as of right now PEN is in the lead, and why not ... they pulled the trigger weeks ago.

Also in question is who will be on WPHT tomorrow, Friday, from 5-7 pm?  Right now the station says it has Tom Marr scheduled for 3-5 and Smerconish still on from 5-7 but with this out there will they let him on?

Sunday November 18th

Smerconish's future hazy at WPHT
by Michael Klein in the Inky
The grapevine has Michael Smerconish on his way out at WPHT-AM (1210) after four years of his dinnertime weekday talk show. Fact is, he's out already. Smerconish constructed a studio in his Main Line home, and for the last three weeks has been doing his show by remote, saving the drive to the Big Talker in Bala Cynwyd. (One might say he's phoning it in.) Lightness aside, Smerconish's future at WPHT is looking iffy as his media presence widens. In addition to his Center City law practice, he writes a weekly column in the Daily News and since Sept. 11 does commentary daily on WCAU-TV. Last week, he told a caller to "love [the show] while you can." His WPHT contract, reportedly in the low six figures, runs out Dec. 31, but intimates say money is not an issue. Smerconish, curiously shy, did not return a phone call. WPHT general manager Sil Scaglione said he and Smerconish were "coming down to the homestretch. We're still working on it."

Look for Jeff Katz to go 3 to 7 pm if WPHT and Smerconish do not come to an agreement.

Thursday November 15th

2001 AIR Awards Winners, selected categories, news/talk









Wednesday November 14th

Ratings Trends came out, some highlights for Philly.  Summer includes July/August/September, Fall phase 1 is October.

Station | Spring | Summer 2001 | Fall phase 1
KYW | 6.8 | 7.1 | 8.0
WPHT | 3.6 | 4.0 | 3.7
WIP | 3.2 | 2.8 | 2.4
WHAT | 0.9 | 1.2 | 1.4
KXW  | 0.9 | 0.9 | 1.1

Tuesday November 13th

Opinion Column in the Daily News by Michael Smerconish
Rudy should be running homeland security.
   Watching Rudy, I find myself questioning whether we've fielded the right terror team. My hunch is that we've got the right players, but the lineup needs some fine tuning.
   Rudy Giuliani is the best among us to lead the domestic war against terrorists. He's available. And he should replace Tom Ridge as the head of Homeland Security.
   Rudy's traits and personality characteristics that up until now made us blanch are now in demand.
   We need the kind of guy who in the height of the go-go '80s was willing to march Wall Street brokers out of their offices in handcuffs. He's not the type to allow some turf battle between the FBI and CIA overshadow national security.
   That doesn't mean Ridge comes home to resume the role of governor. He too is needed - to address a growing national crisis with charities.

Previously posted above 11/11/01:

11/11/01 Michael Klein
Barsky BOMBS in Afghanastan
Full Excerpt ... Barsky, morning host on WMMR-FM (93.3), has been in touch with a Philadelphia sailor named Rob, who is the disc jockey for the radio station aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. He credits Barsky with inspiring him to become a DJ. (The sailor's last name and the ship's location have not been released.) In tribute, Rob wrote "From Barsky, WMMR" on some bombs before they were dropped. So now, it's fair to say that Barsky is bombing in Afghanistan.

Government rules restrict TV Choppers - Byko, Daily News 11/11/01
Partial Excerpt ... The FAA grounded them for weeks in the wake of the 9/11 disaster. (They are permitted limited use now, but still are banned from the Bravo Zone, a 20-mile ring around Philadelphia International Airport.)

Friday November 9th

All is a free website but requires a log in name and password.  This week Perry Simon does a "Ten Questions with" Michael Smerconish.

Excerpts with permission (links preserved from original)
#7. Of what are you most proud?
In radio, I am very proud that I left a seemingly stable station and moved to a competitor, in a time slot with zero ratings and zero revenue, and have made it a daypart that gets more than its fair share of attention from both listeners and other media outlets. No doubt the addition of Rush and Laura to our lineup gave me the ability to do this. When George W. Bush called my program (uninvited, but certainly welcome) on the night of the election with Al Gore, with just 2 hours to go in Pennsylvania, I knew we had reached a significant milestone.
10. What's the best advice you ever got? The worst?
Tough to say. I think I am getting a little of both right now with regard to my future.
TEASE:  Right now besides his radio show Smerc does a bit on nbc10 shortly after 4:30. You will get even more of Smerconish in about 2 weeks in another as yet to be announced role. (you, ummm, read it here first) 
Update on Tease ... Smerconish is now doing a weekly column in the Daily News.

Excerpt from the interview with Jim Walsh
3. Everything's been all about the attacks and anthrax since September 11- is it still like that for you now? Have you able to get any other topics going so far- if so what were they, and if not, when do you think the coast will be clear? 
Jim - Most of the show right now deals with post 9/11 events, but I try to at least find a way to make it relatable ("eye-level" as Walt Sabo would say), rather than just saying something like "hey, how 'bout that Taliban?" One recent example was the "fag bomb" (the picture of a bomb on which some pilot had written "hijack this fags."). Rehoboth Beach has a large gay community, so you can imagine there was talk about it. We also got a lot of mileage out of Senator Joe Biden's comments. Joe is one of our senators, though most of the folks downstate hate his guts! Among the non-9/11 topics that have worked: asking where to go for a late-night meal in the Delmarva area; that came out of my experience driving around after ten PM looking for a place to get dinner. When will things get back to "normal"? It's blowing in the wind; I'm just taking it a day at a time.

Monday November 5th

The answer: Erotic Candies

The question: Where is Larua Tortella now?

From Stu Byukofsky's column today:  After 6 1/2 years, the familiar voice of traffic reporter Laura Tortella has been stilled by Shadow Traffic. I hear she fell victim to business consolidation, but reaching someone for comment through their hopeless phone system proved impossible. While the long-time radio pro seeks another gig, Tortella's paying more attention to her sideline - making (gulp) erotic chocolates. For a catalog, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday November 2nd

Clear Channel Starts Radio Subscriptions
On 10/15 Premiere pulled it's free streaming, affecting such shows as Dr. Laura, Phil Hendrie and Art Bell.  The link takes you to an article by streamingmedia.  The fee is $6.95 a month to listen to syndicated talk shows.  Of particular note is the part about why didn't they make an announcement so hosts could promote it on the air.  The reply to that question is not only bogus, it's insulting.  The hosts are as pissed as the listeners.  The era of free Internet listening to syndicated talk radio is coming to an end.  Excperpt ... Despite the potential troubles with the new service, Clear Channel and Premiere are blazing a trail into uncharted territory; no other radio group has attempted such a service. In fact, one of the largest radio groups, Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting, isn't streaming any of its 180 radio stations, claiming there's no way to make money from it.
Those claims are being proven correct, as a slew of streaming companies that targeted terrestrial radio stations have slowly gone out of business.

Tuesday October 30th

Metro traffic reporter John Brown picked as afternoon drive traffic reporter for WPHT.

Tuesday October 23rd

New Broadcasting Website
Most of the radio die-hards, already know this... there is a new partner website for Philadelphia TV and Radio broadcasters and serious enthusiasts.  Philly TV/Radio .com - Run by people knowledgeable and experienced in broadcasting.  While most of the site is still in development it shows great promise.  It has a current news section with timely information.  A recent article is a fine piece on the Philly radio market dropping to #6.  They have chosen this website as its partner for Philly Talk Radio as I wish them luck as they grow and expand.

Press recap Gail Shister Inky 10/15/2001 Michael Smerconish
   It's official. Popular conservative radio talker Michael Smerconish, a de facto Channel 10 commentator for the last month, has officially joined the team.
   Smerconish, 5-to-7-p.m. host on WPHT-AM (1210), will provide commentary at least twice weekly during the 4 p.m. news with Larry Mendte and Renee Chenault-Fattah.
   CBS-owned WPHT operates out of the same building as NBC-owned Channel 10. "Ten feet separates our respective studios," Smerconish says. "We all use the same men's room." (Got that, Renee?)
   Competitively, Smerconish has had a few run-ins with Channel 10 news boss Steve Schwaid. "Some days I'm on Steve's hit parade, some days on his blacklist. . . . It's kind of natural."
   Schwaid first asked Smerconish onto WCAU Sept. 12 to comment on the previous day's terrorist attacks. He's been on every weekday since then, doing a live five-minute sit-down with Mendte and Chenault-Fattah.
   Though his 'CAU appointment was announced Friday, Smerconish says he knew things had changed several weeks ago, when Mendte introduced him as an "NBC10 commentator" instead of "talk-show host."
   "I had no forewarning," says Smerconish, 39, a well-known Philly attorney. "As I sat there, I thought it was funny. I guess that represented some type of change."
   Indeed. Shortly thereafter, WPVI told him he would be dropped from its Inside Story, Marc Howard's lively Sunday public-affairs show on which Smerconish had appeared regularly for two years. His finale was Oct. 7.
   CBS Radio, however, does not prohibit employees from working for a non-CBS TV station, a CBS rep says.
   As for Smerconish's full-time TV aspirations, he says don't bet on it. "I'm no anchorperson," he says. "I don't have the hairline."

Fundraiser at Geno's steaks recap
From Michael Klein's Inklings Column (no URL, this was forwarded to me by Tammy, Surfbabe spy*, who was there)
Happiest guy in South Philadelphia has to be Joe Vento, who owns Geno's Steaks at Ninth Street and Passyunk Avenue. He's happy because he's giving away money - all sales from 76 hours of business - to the Twin Towers Fund and the American Red Cross. The fund-raiser - spearheaded by talk-show host Michael Smerconish and cheerleader Pat Croce - had been scheduled to end at 2 p.m. today, but Vento has come down with a bigger case of largesse. "I'm going to keep going till I hit $100,000," he said yesterday. He also is receiving donations from customers that would push the total higher. He says his suppliers, such as Ellis Coffee (Surf's personal fav, downing 2 mugs right now), Quaker Valley Meats, Amoroso bread, Gaupp Meats, Carbonator Rental Service and Pepsi, kicked in some products.
Philly Talk Radio Online's reporterette on the scene, Dee, gave the event high marks.  The hosts and staff she met were gracious and warm.

Monday October 22nd

From 10/18, Stu's column, Major Mix up for Valerie Knight at 95.7

Monday October 15th

New talk station coming?
Advertisers, sales staff and talk talent in meetings ... primary topic? ... new talk station.  Who? ahhh, despite denials the prime suspect is Greater Media.  They own WPEN 950 AM and "Mix" 95.7 FM.

Jay and Hilarie's show ends on KLIF, Dallas/Fort Worth.
Former Nj101.5, WPHT, WWDB, lets see did I miss any?, talkers, Jay Sorenson and Hilarie Barsky are again actively shopping their show around after Jeff Hilary (again a former WWDBer) replaced them with Darrell Ankarlo.  Darrell also was on in Philly, WFIL.  Little known fact, Neil Larrimore, former WWDBer was his producer.  Darrell moves from KTRS/St. Louis.
My Spin:  Naturally we will see some posts like, "See I told you they suck."  I see it differently.  Just about ALL of these talkers go from station to station.  I don't understand how they stand it but look at several here locally.  Jeff Katz, Rollye, Ziegler, and even say Rush ... all were on several stations.  Some places they did very well and others not so well.  Such is the nature of the industry.

Thursday, October 11th

The Compudues Show with Peter Cook and Scott Manning that aired Tuesday nights from 10 to 11 pm aired it's last show on October 9th. Other responsibilities (personal life, day job, family, the usual reality reasons) preclude enough free time to continue the show.  The website and it's user forum will continue.

Congratulations to Rich Levin of PC Talk and his wife on the birth of their new baby daughter, Ariel Rebecca, born on October 5th.  The baby is extraordinarily cute, taking after the mother.

Joe Conklin and Big Daddy Graham will be appearing as Oscar and Felix in THE ODD COUPLE at the JCC Klein Branch Theater in Northeast Philly. Dates and contact info at Big Daddy's site.

All reports that Beasley (owners of the late talker WWDB) is revising it's third quarter projections downward.  Gee, go figure.  They blame commercial free programming in the wake of the September 11 attack.

All reports ... The NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD rules that METRO NETWORKS/PHILADELPHIA must rehire two former staffers with close to four years of back pay plus interest, reports M STREET DAILY.
The JANUARY 1998 case arose from the dismissal of RANDY BROCK and MARY COLLEEN, which the pair claimed was due to AFTRA union organizing activities. In addition to reinstatement and back pay, the NLRB ordered METRO to post a statement about the case in the workplace ad to revise its policy about dismissing employees for union activities. The case started before METRO was acquired by WESTWOOD ONE.

Tuesday, October 9th

WPHT 1210 AM hires Jeff Katz for the 3 to 5 pm slot.  Katz, a former Philadelphian, has been working mornings at KXNT AM for the past two years.  Katz has been filling in for Dom Giordano since just after the attack on September 11th.  Dom has been on the air during Dr. Laura's timeslot, 9 to noon.  He will continue there 'till further notice.  A decision has not been made on the ultimate future of Dr. Laura. (more info on Jeff, stories from the Net, are on the Katz archive page)


The World according to Surf
Pearls of wisdom from the webmaster
Monday, October 8th, 2001

Feedback on Rush 
Apparently there are a lot of people that flip over after Rush to O&A on YSP.  I don't really understand the carry over but I got a slew of emails expressing a negative reaction by Rush listeners to O&A's comments on Rush going deaf. I can only conclude that these loyal Rush fans for some reason are trying out O&A at 3pm, the "why" of that is another story.  My previous feedback did not indicate that was this was the case.  Their reaction to O&A's comments were not pretty, in fact it was downright ugly.

No matter what you think of Rush, for a man in his position to go deaf is sad indeed. It's only a matter of time now before he retires. If this country was not at war I think he would hang it up when the Arbitron book stops around Christmas.  Some will welcome his exit but his success indicates many more will miss his show.

I don't think people outside radio can understand how radio broadcasting gets into the very core of a person. Not having worked in radio I sure don't. I see friends and professionals that I have become close to live eat and breathe the profession. It's kind of like garlic coming out the pores. You can't pay me enough money to put up with the crap that radio people are subjected to but thank God somebody is willing to do it and keep us entertained and informed.

Now we have Rush, a man at the top, highly paid and widely acclaimed, losing his hearing. He may not NEED the money, he may not NEED the recognition, but it is in his blood, and it is still sad.

Monday October 8th

Rush Limbaugh nearly totally deaf.

In a stunning announcement to his listeners today Rush said that he is completely deaf in his left ear and is "days away" from losing his remaining hearing in his right ear.  Rush first found he had a problem last May and has consulted with the top doctors and hospitals as the condition deteriorated all summer.  As he nears total deafness Rush faces the decision on whether to continue his show or retire. (details and audio from Rush

Monday September 24th

Rollye James ends show with Radio America,
show on WPHT to end soon?
Check for any updates.

From Rollye's website

SEPTEMBER 24, 2001... If you haven't already heard, Mediatrix (my company) has given notice to Radio America that it does not wish to renew the agreement between us for satelllite distribution of my program . WHY would you do that?, I can hear you asking (in decibles varying with the amount of appreciation you have for this program). Here's the deal, plane and simple:

When WPHT asked me to start doing a show in May of last year, I really wasn't ready to launch myself nationally. (I've long envisioned doing a nighttime national talk show-- back as far as 1988, I made plans to eventually offer a program which would relate to people regardless of locale and circumstance on a truly one-on-one level. Doing the show would be no problem (I immodestly have claimed.) Marketing it, however, would be a daunting task. There are two elements involved-- one is being cleared on sufficient stations to make an impact nationally. The other is selling advertising time (the only source of income for such a show). Selling is dependent on clearing (as is on air success, to a great degree). My edict had always been, 'if you don't know how you're going to clear the stations, don't do the show'. No matter how good it may be, without fully addressing clearance-- and what it takes to accomplish it, a show will not succeed. And so I waited. And waited. And then WPHT called.

My initial response was to say no. I knew in no uncertain terms that I had not properly addressed the clearance issue. However , throwing away a 50,000 non-directional watt station in a top 5 market owned by CBS-- the kind of affiliate ANY show would kill to have, simply didn't make sense. And so it was, I debuted the show-- eating every word I ever said, and having no idea whatsoever how I'd clear stations.

Along the way I have used two satellite providers-- each supportive, but both not skilled at the task of garnering viable affiliates-- and neither in a position to put any real resources into the task. I have also had the help of some wonderful friends. But a call here and there is hardly the kind of effort needed to clear major market affiliates. And so it was that in addition to everything else (and I mean everything else-- I'm host, producer, engineer, webmaster, streaming service, administration, compliance, bookkeeping, sales and more), I was also in charge of... clearance. I knew from the start this was a fatal situation, but each time I vowed to stop the program, encouragement would come in one form or another. My current ratings in Philadelphia, for instance-- highest numbers on the station in virtually ever demo-- were proof that I was on the right track. But again, doing the program was never the question.

And so it is, that a year and a half later, I'm conceding what I knew from the beginning-- without a real clearance and sales effort, I'm only boosting my already intact ego while draining my less than healthy wallet. I told someone last week that working hard and working smart were not synonymous. In my case it's as if my destination was Los Angeles but I insisted on driving south. Nothing I'm now doing will get me to where I want to be going... which brings me back to the opening of this story-- I've given notice to Radio America...

The show's not ending immediately. I want to make sure that WPHT and affiliates like Huntsville and Wheeling are not left in the lurch at the beginning of the Fall ratings book. But needless to say, there's enough going on to keep everyone talking, regardless of my presence. I'll work out the parting details with them and keep you posted here.

As for 'What's Next?', I've got a few things in the works-- a few of which could have me talking to even more of you, and a few that would have me doing something else entirely. Everything from more national talk radio to a return to writing or a first time move to something different in tv or perhaps devoting more time to Jon's (my husband) business ( Alchemy Pictures Syndicate) is on the table. The only thing I can't consider is retirement, though the thought is quite appealing...

I appreciate every one of you, your loyalty, support and lavish praise. Hopefully we'll continue to get together on the air for a long time to come. But even if not, don't bemoan my exit yet. Afterall, I'm not even gone. Talk to you tonight.


All Access reports ... GIL GROSS in for mornings at KLAC-A/LOS ANGELES

Wednesday September 19th

Moved graphics and war related downloads to a separate page.

Stu's column on the flap about Philly Cops wearing flags as aired on the Dom Giordano Show Tuesday.

NOTE:  Today's "news" is uploaded a day late (on Thursday) due to the Net congestion caused by the Minda.exe virus.

Monday September 17th

A week of talk scheduling changes continue with Dr. Laura still sidelined for Dom Giordano taking the 9-12 slot at WPHT and making a rare appearance from 3-5 is former Philly talker Tom Marr

Austin Dutton, WPEN money guy on Saturdays, is a former Iron Worker from New York City who still has friends in the Union and relatives in the Fire Dept.  He went up to NYC to help clear rubble and will be on CN8 tonight at 8 talking about the market and more.

Afghanistan is already in the stone age!
Here is a good piece from about the population of that country and how they live.  Carpet bombing the country is not the answer ... it would be like nuking Germany to dust in WW2 in order to save the Jews.  You would only kill the very people that need help the most.  The Taliban is not a country.  Also I had THIS commentary on how the Taliband persecute women archived here for some time, read that as well.

Ann Ivory fills in for Rick Jensen on WDEL- 1130 AM this Thursday, September 20th from 8 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Ann lives ... uh .... lived 2 blocks from the WTC, you can hear her tell her own story on the air.

This morning I provided a story on the air to WMEL in Florida about a company in Boca Raton that issued a memo prohibiting its employees from placing flags on their desk.  They say via email that they were flooded with calls.  Later the company issued a statement revising its flag policy after strong public reaction.  The story ran previously in The Palm Beach Post, newsmax and today on Foxnews.  Now they are actually providing flags!  NEW STORY:  Deed restricted communities in Florida are prohibiting residents from flying flags!  Gov. Bush reacted strongly to that.  Will these idiots never stop?

Friday September 14th

Many new visitors coming to this site for the first time are looking for this  --  Gordon Sinclair's speech, The Americans.  After the evil attack on our country this past 9-11 traffic to this website has increased to nearly 30,000 new visits on Thursday alone.  I take no joy at all in that since they only came as a result of a horrible tragedy.  People are searching for a commentary written in 1973 by a Canadian and now this site is linked on many sites across the Net.  I had no idea when I first posted it in 93-94 and moved in here in 98 that it would be both stirring and comforting to so many people.  Just today I got a copy of the audio and since the original server link we had has become overwhelmed we now post a mirror audio link.

Wednesday September 12th
  Thoughts on the attack | The radio response Tuesday | Web Links

On the attack...
Well, we've suffered through the biggest attack against U.S. territory EVER ... Including Pearl Harbor.  If this isn't a reason to launch a devastating  and ongoing retaliation against multiple targets then NOTHING is.  Our military exists to secure the country.  We have the carriers, the planes, the missiles ... it's time we use them ... and not some whimpy-assed limited "measured response" but in a crushing blow.  If this president does not have the will to do so then the count in Florida proves the wrong man got the job and the plane hit the wrong building in D.C.  If our politicians do not have the will to support it and the leadership to rally the populace then they should take the first Greyhound back home because this is war, not checkers.  We have been violated in a unprecedented way and the only response is the complete and utter destruction of the enemy.  They already hate us, now let them, or the survivors FEAR us.

Some may argue, even articulately and with merit, on our past failed foreign policy and the complex geo-political details.  Personally I don't care about that.  Something very precious was taken away from my family yesterday, my children will grow in a far different world.  The will have to be taught a lesson here that I was not prepared to teach them at such a young age.  More innocence is lost.  Not only am I outraged at the attack as a citizen I am outraged as a parent.  The how and the why of this insane attack does not concern me.  We all support the largest military (at least what is left of it after Clinton) on the planet and I damn well expect them to defend us.  I know many in the military and they are chomping at the bit to attack.  If the generals can't get the job done they should stand aside for those that can and go join the scouts.  I am confident they are willing however and we as a country should let them do what is needed and stand behind them.  It's time to shout down those that would rather give up our liberties for security.  Those two are NOT mutually exclusive.  We CAN have freedom AND security ... we just have to have the will to fight for it.  I am not willing to give up neither liberty nor security ... I wish those that think that is a good idea would get on the first flight for Afghanistan and go hump a camel with Ben Laden.

How Radio Reacted...
Tuesday was the day every station wanted to be a NewsTalk station.  Most every one carried some form of local or network news feed.  Locally FM music station WYSP carried the feed of it's sister station, All News KYW, a good move.  Nobody wanted music anyway.  Other FMers carried various network radio feeds or what sounded like direct TV audio.  It happened across the country as well in most all markets.  I doubt that has every happened before.  WPHT put Dom Giordano on ... in his idea of Nirvana, extended duty.  He came on mid-morning and worked till 4 when Michael Smerconish took over, starting his show an hour early.  Then Irv Homer came in at 7pm.  Today Dom was in again for Dr. Laura and PHT ran talk the rest of the day.  Katz, a Vegas talk radio host, came on at 3 in place of Dom's shift.  Katz does the show from his station in Vegas but throws in enough local references to make it sound local.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
The United States is at war...

We have a close friend who flies for American Airlines and the son in law of another works at the Pentagon.  You can imagine what the families are going through waiting for any word.  Unimaginable is what the families of those who worked in the World Trade Center Towers are going through.  The United States went to war today.  As usual we didn't start it ... I only hope we have the resolve to pay the high price that will be required to end it.
Update: Fortunately both men turned up ok.  The Pilot had his New York bound plane grounded en route and the son in law was on the opposite side of where the Pentagon was hit.  Two families shaken but fine, now helping others less fortunate.

Monday September 10th

Starting Monday 9/24 Jim Walsh will take over afternoons at WGMD-FM Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Jim most recently worked at WDEL Wilmington as news anchor and fill-in host. Jim replaces Sean Rima, who is relocating to Colorado. WGMD is a full-service oriented FM Talk station that serves the lower part of the DelMarVa peninsula.

Thursday September 6th

Update 9/6 10:52 AM - As expected Stu's column states that Rich Levin's PC Talk Show will air on WPEN, Sundays at 3.  Stu's column

From Rich Levin:  "BTW Stu doesn't mention it but the biggest news is we're now Webcasting.  The first few shows will be a delayed broadcast. We hope to have live streaming and our national 800 call-in # operating in about 3 weeks.  Weekly free archives, a paid members section, and a series of 4 live seminar/shows are also in the works."

Wednesday September 5th

Rich Levin's PC Talk back on the air soon

Tomorrow, Thursday, Stu Bykofsky will mention in his column his scoop on where Rich Levin's PC Talk show will land. It will run Sundays. You have to read the rest (station and time slot) in the Daily News or online... Index of Stu's columns It should be up in the list around mid morning. Sorry to leave out all the details but it IS Stu's story first. Good Luck Rich.

Harry Jay Katz loses his talk show  --  Story in the Daily News (Link broken)


From the Rumor Mill
Salem Communications either buying another station in Philly to turn into one of their conservative talkers... or maybe flipping WFIL or WZZD?

Saturday September 1st

Friday Aug. 31, 2001; 1238 p.m. EDT

Conservative talk radio megastar Rush Limbaugh says he's leaning "70/30" towards accepting an offer from CNN to return to TV "if certain things came about."

In an interview with Bob Costas on St. Louis, Mo.'s KMOX-TV after his regular radio broadcast Thursday, Limbaugh said negotiations with CNN are ongoing.

"The prospect of going back to TV is something that has presented itself to me over the years since I left my own TV show in 1996.... I have to tell you, I'm starting to get the itch to maybe try it again because it looks like fun."...

To read the rest of this article, go here

Rush wants to be back on the TV so bad he can taste it. His first attempt suffered because he could not get it on the air in a good time slot except for a few markets. He was in numerous cites but was relegated to the early AM in most of the major markets. CNN is desperate to improve ratings. MSNBC and FOXnews have cleaned their clock.  hmmm... I wonder why FOX hasn't tried to snare him? Maybe they are also talking to him. Rush would view going on CNN as a moral victory, vanquishing the enemy, slaying the dragon, and al those apt metaphors.

Bill Clinton, talk show host?

Source: Drudge Report

The usually reliable M STREET trade fax [partially owned by radio giant CLEAR CHANNEL] reported on Tuesday that a major radio syndicator is wooing former President Bill Clinton for a daily radio show.

The radio syndication deal would be for a "daily short-form show. Not a long-form show, which proved so deadly for would-be radio stars like former NY governor Mario Cuomo," reports M STREET.

"Word is that the syndicator is quietly sounding out key affiliates about clearing a daily Clinton show."

The trade did not name the syndicator or the progress of the Clinton talks.

Saturday August 25th

Story in the Daily News covering the Killer Tomato Contest held at the Arroyo Grill this past Thursday. 
THE ROARING Harley Davidson cut suddenly through the crowd that was waiting to throw overripe tomatoes at a picture of murderer Ira Einhorn.

Within minutes, the bloodthirsty group was assaulting not one killer, but two, side by side.

On the left was Einhorn, the prime target at yesterday's second annual "Killer Tomato Contest" staged in Manayunk by talk-show host Michael Smerconish of WPHT (1210-AM).

On the right was a target for convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, mounted on a truck that trailed the Harley onto the parking lot at Arroyo Grille.

On the left was Mary Maddux of Massachusetts, sister of Einhorn's victim, Holly Maddux.

On the right, Pat Faulkner of Ridley Park, brother of Daniel Faulkner, whom Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing.

"This event is all about victims' rights," said Smerconish. He was apparently surprised during his live broadcast by the arrival of the Abu-Jamal target and presentation of a $1,000 check from the Ancient Order of Hibernians to the Daniel Faulkner Education Fund.

Some of the hundreds of people in the crowd warmed up for the main event by tossing tomatoes at Abu-Jamal's likeness.

Still looking through back issues of the Inky for their coverage.... still looking...

Monday August 20th

From -- NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN says CNN-LIMBAUGH deal would be "scariest media merger yet"

From Stu Bykofsky -- Mary Mason still showed up for work Friday after a suffering a neck injury in an auto accident Thursday.

Philly Phase One arbitrends out at 5 today, link to the RR ratings is on the ratings page

Wednesday August 15th

8/21 Comedy night and 8/23 Tomato Toss at Ira Einhorn

This coming Monday is the 11th annual Stu Bykofsky's Candidates Comedy Night.  An update is in Stu's column.  One noteworthy addition to the lineup is Terry Houck, candidate for D.A. in Bucks County.  The Bucks D.A. race should be interesting as it heats up.  Incumbent Dianne Gibbons won't be there,  one issue this year is her stand against the death penalty, a stance downplayed by her office while she was at the Motorcycle Rally for the Faulkner Fund recently.

You can have at Terry Houck this Saturday morning when he's on with Austin Dutton on WPEN in the 8 o'clock hour.  (Austin seems to regularly divert from his money show to have on such guests as Lynn Abarham, Rich Levin and Terry Houck)

Philadelphia's own D.A. race will be represented at the Comedy night as Lynn Abraham is in the lineup along with her challengers... umm... two other guys who should just pull out now.  I had a conversation with Lynn during the National Night Out event in Lower Merion last week.  She thought my idea of her using her influence to bring Ira Einhorn to Michael Smerconish's Tomato Toss on the 23rd at the Arroyo Grill was certifiably nuts but she was polite as she dismissed the idea and thanks Lynn for not calling over the badges to haul me away.  I still think Ira tied up to that billboard would be a hoot.  The Arroyo Grill has some good eats so go early or plan on staying after for some chow.


Speaking of Rich Levin, his new book on Window Millennium is out and available at

Rumor?  CNN to put Rush Limbaugh on?  Hey, it could only help.

Thursday August 9th

Beasley Broadcasting, owners of the late heritage talker WWDB 96.5 FM (now 80's music) and WXTU (country) and WWDB AM 860 (finance) announce a consolidated net revenue increase of 11.6% to $30.2 million from $27.1 million in the same period of 2000 Story

The Spin:  Hey were doing GREAT! see what another 80s station can do?

Reality check:  They still LOST 4.1 million bucks (compared to a gain of 1 mill this time last year) and the results do not includ the former WWDB-FM (now WPTP)

People Moves ... WILM editor Andy Flick and WDEL anchor Cheryl Castro make the move to CNN Atlanta. Flick is already there. Cheryl leaves later this month.

Monday August 6th

Thinking of becoming an intern for Gary Condit?  Believe it or not his website STILL lists a job opening! ... right here

Caller Etiquette Survey update...
  I set the caller survey page so it will be easier for me to keep it updated.  I don't expect much in the way of new content in the future but those that submitted over the last several months should not have had to wait until now to see their thoughts posted.  Click the button to read the new content.

Sunday August 5th

Here is a link to the last 6:33 of Roberta Gale's last show on WSBG and WLJK this past Friday night.  Audio compiled by "Lavpass" (Real Audio file)

Friday August 3rd

All Access reports simply... Evening talker ROBERTA GALE and NASSAU BROADCASTING part ways.  GALE's final show on Hot AC WJLK (THE POINT 94.3)/ASBURY PARK is tonight (8/3).  You'll remember that Roberta used to air weeknights on NJ 101.5-FM out of Trenton before syndicating her show with Nassau.  Nassau encountered its own problems after that and never did get her show beyond a few of its local stations in this area.

Court rules that radio must pay online fees - a report filed on 8/2/01
What this means to you... This fight originates with music streaming but talk streaming is caught up in it.  After going offline most streams will stay that way until broadcaster can come to an agreement with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).  Streamers of talk radio would have to make, or could be liable for, back payments to 1998.  At issue here for talk streaming is bumper music and commercials.  Previously a station could stream on the Net the same spot ads that went out over the air.  Now they may have to pay extra fees to those whose voices are in the ads.

Record labels would now be able to demand new fees to radio stations that simulcast their programming on the Net.

What is amazing here is that it's the music stations that are exposing the audience to new artists and CDs, now they will have to pay extra if the go through the trouble of doing that on the Net.  Here is a quote from the above article...
"Broadcasters, record companies and consumers have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship whereby airplay on radio stations benefits all parties, along with generating enormous revenues for the record labels," Edward Pritts, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, said in a statement. "We're disappointed that this unique relationship will be disrupted by the court ruling."

New fees to the record companies would be "unfair and unreasonable," Pritts added, noting that the NAB is "reviewing its options."

Bottom line?  You, the average listener, gets screwed again.

Posted Saturday:  Art Bell's syndicated show hits the 500 station mark this week.  During his retirement last year his show lost some stations, most notably WABC in New York.  Now the unofficial count is at 512.  Twelve stations plan to come onboard but have not yet finalized the agreement.

Wednesday August 1st

There is a streaming Philly Talk Radio Show scheduled for ... thanks to those that logged in and participated.

Monday July 30th

Website housekeeping update:  Some of the on site Real Audio files have not yet been moved.  I am aware that several links are broken.  All of the off site Real Audio will be moved later this week.  The old parody of the WWDB website has been recovered and reposted in the radiospoof section along with the April 1st, 2000 spoof of DB for sale on ebay.  Ratings are now broken up into archived pages by year going back to 1998.

In Sunday's Inky, part one of a series - Prescription abuses turn a new drug bad  Topical OxyContin story.

Friday July 27th

Rumor Mill ... WYSP to pick up the syndicated talk show of Don and Mike.  This would effectively make YSP a talk station, at least during the days Monday through Friday. mentioned in the Tech Life section of the Inky.  Reid Kanaley does a weekly feature on top web picks and Smerconish, among others, comes up big in the search engines for this week's theme, Ira Einhorn.

Great Quote about Pat Croce ... The single greatest service Croce gave to fans was his air of treating us all as if we were his partners, and not the powerless herd we really are. He was a regular guy. Yes, a shrewd multimillionaire regular guy . . . but I would rather have an owner who rappels from the rafters to show his gratitude for our money than one who sits in his suite expecting our money while repelled by the notion of gratitude. rest of  Op-Ed article in today's Inky.

Thursday July 26th

Philly Talk Radio Online announces Free Email.  Both full feature POP3 email accounts and/or free forwarding are available.  POP3 email works with any standard email program such as Outlook Express, Outlook or Eudora, this is not a web based email account.  Free forwarding accounts are great if you want people to be able to contact you without posting your private email account.  All accounts are fully user configurable, meaning you pick your own name and password and are lock solid private and secure.  More member services will be back online soon, stay tuned.

Rollye James hits the 50 station syndication mark.

Wednesday July 25th

All Access reports that former WWDB sports reporter Larry "Smokey" Gifford was promoted by the Fox Sports radio Network to the position of Sports Director.

Tuesday July 24th

Talk Radio Thwarts Tennessee Income Tax

Monday July 23rd

This website is moving to a new host this week.  We outgrew the old host yet again and decided that better service was needed along with a doubling of space to accommodate all the new content slated to be added this year.  This week some of the audio, forms, features and hidden member folders will be unavailable until the move is complete.

Susan Bray has asked me to thank her listeners and the entire Philly Talk Radio Online family for their good wishes.

Friday July 20th

Exclusive from Susan Bray to Philly Talk Radio Online
Former WWDB talker Susan Bray will move back to where she grew up in Australia.

After being away from Australia for 32 years, I have decided to go home. My husband Ed too is enthusiastic about the move to my hometown, Mudgee, a pretty village of 8,500 people, 31/2 hours drive from Sydney. Mudgee is a very popular tourist attraction, surrounded by mountains with beautiful scenery and 32 wineries. We are buying a house on 10 acres, overlooking a cattle property so the views from the verandah are very peaceful of cattle grazing under huge gum trees. The weather is so much more gentle too, with the winter temperature today 60 degrees. We look on this move as a great adventure as well as a way to help my family. As many of you know, my sister Jane has MS and with my mum getting more frail she needs me close by. I feel it is time to be there when family calls.

It was almost as if it was meant to be. First WWDB went out of the talk business, then our little dog died, most of our koi fish died in the awful winter, so the reasons for staying here got fewer. So when my family asked us to move back, we first visited, then made the decision. Many of our friends are upset, but this move in December doesn't mean we can't stay in touch. We hope many of you will come and visit us particularly as we plan to run part of the house as a bed and breakfast, a very "in" thing to do among country people.

Many of you will wonder whether I will get back into radio, particularly when you hear that my first radio station 2MG is a few hundred yards away. It would be an amazing thing to complete the circle, but like most radio properties they run a lot of syndicated programming, so I am not counting on it. I may get some work in Sydney, but to tell you the truth, I feel less and less like doing it. I have had 32 years in front of a microphone and enjoyed my career immensely. Now it seems the talk market for local hosts has all but dried up, which is a shame. Before long every radio and TV station and every town in every country will all look and sound the same. Generic charming differences, no reason to travel. The McDonalds blanketing the world. Treasure the local programming you have left on WPHT and hope the Viacoms of the world don't replace it with cheaper canned stuff from LA or New York.

Susan Bray

7/22 - Press article in Sunday's Inky by Michael Klein regarding Susan Bray.

Tuesday July 17th

Wally Kennedy, former WCAU talker and current host of "Philly After Midnight" has, according to Stu Bykofsky, "After almost four years of winning its time slot... be rewarded by Channel 6 with a cancellation.  The last live show... is Aug. 10.

Monday July 16th

A special Interview with Gil Gross
Read his comments on the loss of WWDB, what they were really hired to do and what became of it plus his thoughts on the state of radio today and in the future.

Thursday July 12th

From Byko's column today ... Talented former WWDB-FM talker Kent Voss, beached after the station switched from talk to '80s rock, has grabbed a job as a writer for Comedy Central's "The Man Show," Sundays at 10 p.m. He'll soon be driving from his just-sold Gulph Mills home to his new job on the Left Coast. In the Ford Expedition will be wife Carole, sons Drake, 3, and Casey, 1, plus the family's two dogs and eight cats. Yikes! That is an expedition . . .Former 'DB Newsie Brad Segall just landed a part-time job at KYW NewsRadio.

Wednesday July 11th

Inside Radio claims to have an exclusive report stating that Infinity is pulling all Premiere shows.  In order to get the details you have to pay first ... um yeah right, I'll wait, there's probably nothing to it.  I can't imagine them pulling half of PHT's programming.  Best guess is that some suits got into a snitfight with Inside Radio fueling the fire.  Nothing will come of it.

Coming soon, a special interview.  Excerpt...
The company (Beasley) hadn't a clue as to how to run a talk station and if they cared at all about Philly they would have sold it.  They would bring in talk Program Directors, from Casale to Mark Williams to Jeff Hillery, and just ignore them.  With Alice, Jammin', Mix or whatever it is today, 80's music was the last thing that the market needed.  As for WWDB being a heritage station, it was like having someone come in from out of town, buy the Liberty Bell and melt it down for scrap ... or something that rhymes with scrap!

A special Interview with Gil Gross
Read his comments on the loss of WWDB, what they were really hired to do and what became of it plus his thoughts on the state of radio today and in the future.

Tuesday July 10th

Art Bell injures back and might be off the air indefinitely.  Last week while on a vacation that was extended due to the email smear campaign reported on below Art walked out onto his porch and while bending over to put something down he injured his back.  He has had back problems since a fall working at stringing cable wire years ago.  While he wants to return as soon as possible it might be some time ... it depends on the results of an MRI today.  Regular listeners will be notified on the air by whoever is filling in about details of his return.

Industry report:  TSL for radio is down.  The total "Time Spent Listening" to radio as logged by ratings diaries has declined.  This is not good.

Online talk streaming service eYada goes dark.  Here is a story by Silicon Alley.  Excerpt ... 
"We have run out of money. We just couldn't sell enough advertising to cover our expenses even though our audience has almost tripled," a company spokesperson lamented today.

Live programming would end on Monday evening and all eYada's 70 employees would be laid off. It is not immediately clear what would happen with the company's assets, which includes mostly talk show archives and streaming media technology.

Last March, eYada, headquartered in New York, scored a whopping $25 million in funding from a group of investors led by Chase Capital Partners. Other investors included Time Warner, Boston Millennia Partners, Chase Capital Entertainment Partners and Credit Suisse First Boston.

The original plan was to create a network of Web-based talk shows and grab a significant -- and trackable - audience. By February this year, eYada had created 140 hours of live programming weekly.

Saturday July 7th

An interesting background article from 1999 in "Reason" magazine on the state of radio.  (Thanks Jim)

Radio Waves
The FCC may change the way it licenses stations. But even if it does nothing, radio will never be the same.  By Jesse Walker

American radio is very capitalist, in the crude sense of the word: The industry is a busy bazaar, rife with deal making, speculation, and scrappy hustlers trying to get rich quick. It is also very socialist, in the crude sense of the word: It has long relied on the government to protect its biggest players, shore up their profits, and ensure that the competition doesn't get too unruly.  Full story here...

Thursday July 5th

All reports that The lawsuit by Sally Starr against WKXW NJ101.5-FM (Press Communications) and former afternoon co-host Jeff Deminski is back on again after being reinstated by an appeals court.  Deminski, who used to host as part of the Deminski and Doyle team, now works in Detroit.  The suit was originally brought because Deminski jokingly called Sally a "lesbian cowgirl."  The lower court dismissed it by the appeals court ruled that some people "still look upon homosexuality with disfavor ... at the very least, a false accusation of homosexuality is reasonably susceptible to a defamation meaning."

Monday July 2nd

Art Bell leaves show again as death threats are made against  his family.

New developments related to the story below are posted on  Art is expected to return to the air again at the end of this week.

Sunday July 1st

Excerpt from the Drudge report  rest of the story is there (thanks to Jim Walsh and John from Albuquerque)


Art Bell has been falsely labeled a 'Filipino basher' after a phony e-mail message signed 'Art Bell' makes its way around the digital world and finally into print, reproduced in a leading Philippine newspaper.

"ENTERTAINMENT US TALK RADIO HOST INSULTS FILIPINOS ON INTERNET" headlines the July 1 edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

"In the article, 'Filipinos . . . make me puke,' Bell lambastes Filipinos," the paper reports.

... Slight problem ... it's a hoax ...

The e-mail purporting to be Bell's thoughts and words -- is a hoax!

...the phony Bell message has been posted repeatedly on USENET newsgroups ...

One posting has been traced to the Library computer lab at the University of California in San Diego. "This vicious writing is so obviously a fraud ...

Tuesday June 21st

Stu Bykofsky reports in his column today... . . .Rich Levin and the "PC Talk" Posse could be close to a deal with another radio station. Since departing WPHT a few weeks back, Levin's been making the radio rounds and might have a new deal with a new station by July,

Clear Channel Communications has put 250 Internet radio stations
that contain talk, sports, and news content back online, now with
targeted, Web-specific ads. Online broadcasters came under fire
earlier this year from unions for television and radio performers,
which demanded additional compensation for advertisements placed
online. Clear Channel instead removed the stations from the Web and
has chosen streaming media company Hiwire to replace offline ads
with ones created only for the Internet. Webcasters remain at odds
with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which
argues that Webcasters must pay a fee to record labels each time a
song is played. Despite the RIAA court case, Clear Channel intends
to have music-oriented stations back online in July. (Los Angeles
Times, 18 June 2001)

Sunday June 10th

Irv Homer starts on WPHT tonight at 8 pm.

Thursday June 7th

Opie and Anthony bring their talk show to Philadelphia

Story in the Inky by Michael Klein
Excerpt ...
In a radio shake-up with national overtones, WYSP-FM (94.1) this afternoon brings in the raunchy talk duo Opie & Anthony for the 3-to-7 p.m. time slot.

Couzin Ed's music show moves from afternoon drive to middays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The odd man out will be hometown radio icon John DeBella, who yesterday left the station.

WYSP, which also airs Howard Stern from 6 to 10 a.m., is dipping more deeply into the lucrative format of testosterone-heavy syndicated talk radio.

WYSP and the O&A and Stern shows are owned by Infinity Broadcasting.

O&A - Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia - originates at WNEW-FM in New York, where the show is top among young male listeners, who count on an unabashedly politically incorrect blue streak.
Read the rest of the story in the Inky ...

In today's Daily News Stu Bykofsky reports on Irv Homer going to WPHT and touches on the John DeBella angle with regard to WYSP above ... Full Excerpt ...
. . .There's no question that WPHT-AM is on the prowl for fresh talent, such as taking a hard look at WYSP-FM's John DeBella, as I reported. The station GM admits he's advertising for talk-show hosts and says he prefers local talent . . .With that being the case, I can't say I'm surprised that WPHT just signed Irv Homer to host a show 8-10 p.m. Sundays, starting this week. He will continue his daily one hour on WBCB-AM). The man is everywhere!


Wednesday June 6th

WPHT announced today that they have picked up Irv Homer for the 8 to 10 pm slot on Sundays.

This from WPHT...

Evil Irv To Debut on The Big Talker 1210 AM, WPHT

On Sunday Night 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Philadelphia, PA – June 5, 2001— The Big Talker 1210 AM gets even Bigger with the addition of The Evil One!  Legendary Talk Radio Host Irv Homer has a new home in Philadelphia.  The Big Talker brings Homer back to Philadelphia Sunday nights live on 1210 AM, WPHT from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Irv Homer has been a Philadelphia Talk Radio staple for over 30 years.  Known for his often controversial and big opinions, Homer left the air last November when WWDB-FM changed its format from talk to music.

The Big Talker 1210 AM, WPHT is Philadelphia’s fastest growing radio station and the home of Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Michael Smerconish, Dom Giordano, Rollye James, Sid Mark with Frank Sinatra and The Philadelphia Phillies.

Monday June 4th

I wonder if the cause was to Free Mumia there would have been more coverage yesterday.  3, 6 and 10 were there yes but I went to read the Inky, the Bucks Courier (The Daily News I get at later) I couldn't find a word.  Kudos to all those that pulled off a great rally and fundraiser.  This was the largest gathering of Metal I have ever seen.  The speeches were touching and inspiring.  What a sharp contrast to the misinformed filth that supports that convicted cop killer.
Maureen Faulkner closed the Motorcycle rally with this quote.
"Justice cannot be achieved until those who are not injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are." -- King Solomon

A brief story by KYW 3 on the Motorcycle Run Yesterday

Irv Homer starts today from 1 to 2 pm on a live Net feed is available for his show. Here is a 5:45 audio clip of the Irv Homer show from today.
(Thanks Earl)
Intro, spot, Larry Kane, caller, outro, station id.

Sunday June 3rd

Today is the big motorcycle rally.  Relevant links from Daniel ... 

Join Us for the 3rd Annual Daniel Faulkner Memorial
Motorcycle RunSunday, June 3rd, 2001

Press Release

And mark this one as reason #281 why there is a special place in Hell for BBG... (Owners of the former talk station WWDB)
Who won best the Associated Press Best Newscast in Pennsylvania?

Thursday May 31st

From Stu Bykofsky's column today
Is John DeBella headed to WPHT?
Excerpt ... He's met with Sil Scaglione, who runs "big talker" WPHT/1210-AM and who praises DeBella as "a great entertainer." The DJ currently holds down the (post-Howard Stern) time slot, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on WYSP,... click for more...

Strictly RUMOR regarding WPHT - "...Surf, They are looking at 3, maybe 4 hours to open up during the week, maybe not now but eventually.  And what's up with Imus? is he sick, dead, "Weekend with Bernie" deal or what?  Pneumonia is the official reason he's off the air this week.  I was talking with one of his affiliates in another city and they said the only thing worse than having Imus in the Morning on is having Imus in the morning on without Imus in the morning."  Huh?

Wednesday May 30th

Full text from Stu's column today on Rich Levin echoes what is below... Rich Levin's popular "PC Talk" show - that had been heard Sundays 8-10 p.m. on WPHT/1210-AM - has fled, with the host citing "creative differences" that "took the fun out of it for me". . . Stu also mentions the fact that Channel 6 got rid of its magnetic weather board in response to the Channel 10 competition.  I don't care what technology they are using the wind ALWAYS blows straight at you when you are standing in front of an open grill.

Monday / Tuesday May 29th

Rollye Cornell (James) has video of her wedding posted on her site at  You can click on the picture at the top right to get to her picture page.  Then read the story of both the picture and the wedding.  And a big shout out to her new screener, David, a long time talk fan.  More on that and her new Satellite deal is on the main page.

Monday May 28th

When Evil Irv goes back on the air on WBCB his show will hit the road 2 days a week.  Mondays he'll be at Glanzman Subaru in Jenkintown and Wednesdays at the Cherry Hill Wellness Center.  Erica, webmaster for WBCB will have a more extensive online section for Irv Homer soon at

Friday May 25

Exclusive to Philly Talk Radio --- Rich Levin ends his show on WPHT as of today.  Recently the longest running show, at 4 1/2 years, ends over "creative differences" this week.  Rich Levin's very popular, and profitable, PC Talk came onboard WPHT under former program director Diane Kridland.  In an exclusive first interview with this website Rich Levin simply said that, "They took the fun out of it for me."  His BBS and website are still running full steam at and if any other station is interested in running his show they can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  In these days of brokered shows his was becoming increasingly unique in that his show was a regular program, not paid for by Rich.  His sponsors were many and loyal.  His  shows were a unique combination of his views and information mixed in with those of his "PC Posse" (c) team.  At a Show Event this past January at Jem Electronics it was a standing room only crowd.  Regular listeners signed up to his mailing list can look forward to more information as well as news about a possible upcoming Web related outlet for his show.  Rich is looking into new technology to bring his show to his core audience.  An enterprising station would do well, audience wise and financially, to look into his show.

The February / March / April rating trends came in with little or no movement in numbers.

Thursday May 24th

Great News today ... Stu Bykofsky confirms in his column today rumors that were sent to me via email.  It turns out that they (the email rumors) must have simply guessed right that Rollye James eloped and got married this week.  I wish I could share the email exchange with Stu previous to his exclusive release of this story, he has a wicked sense of humor about him.  You may remember that Stu broke the news first in his column of 1/9/01 about Rollye's engagement.

Wednesday May 23rd

Clark Deleon has a piece in the Digital City Philadelphia on The Inquirer editorial on reparations this past Sunday.  Here is the link to the full column and here is an excerpt...

What was truly remarkable about the editorials that filled the page on both Sunday and Monday is that it took the Inky two days to get to the point. In a total of ten columns of print devoted to the advocacy of reparations, the Inquirer editorial board spent an inordinate amount of time underlining the message "it ain't about the money" before getting to the money.

It wasn't until well into Monday's editorial that the newspaper put dollar signs in front of its generosity, and even then the dollar figure was dropped almost off-handedly between two dashes in the middle of a sentence: " -- say $500 billion spread over a decade -- ".

Way to go Inky.  That's how to stem the tide of subscription cancellations.  I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that the Courier Times is coming to my doorstep for free now.  I'm a big supporter of the print media but these guys are clueless.

Tuesday May 22nd

Irv Homer back on the air June 4th

This was in my email box well before the Daily News went to press but since the deadline must be much earlier than that the only just thing to do is credit this to Stu Bykofsky.  Here is the excerpt from his column today...

Irv Homer returns

As I (Stu) predicted, the irascible Irv Homer has found a berth in radio.

Starting June 4, he'll host a daily, 1-2 p.m. radio show on WBCB/1490-AM. The station doesn't have great power but is heard in Bucks County, parts of Northeast Philly and Mercer and Burlington counties in Joisey.

"It's better than standing on street corners and shouting at people," Irv playfully growls.

"When I heard he was available, I thought he would be ideal for the station," says WBCB VP/GM Merrill Reese.

It's a reunion, because Reese (who went on to fame as "the Voice of the Eagles") first met Evil Irv when both worked at WWDB in 1977.

Reese is co-owner of the station with Pasquale "Pat" Deon, who's the chairman of the board of SEPTA. (Don't count on WBCB being broadcast onto SEPTA buses and trains.)

I'm pretty sure that Wynn Moore also wound up on WBCB some years ago.

Monday May 21st

News from the trades says that WPHT is looking for tapes from prospective talk radio hosts... yes with an S, plural.  Speculation from sources close to PHT say that the plural emphasis is to boost interest.  I'm not even going to ask since it's ridiculous to think that they would tell me if a major replacement will be made.  They did add a gardening show on Saturdays.  That leaves the 180 days that Phil Hendrie is on plus the Saturday evening unfilled slots.  The hope among some that Imus will go is, in my humble opinion, not going to happen.  I doubt the GM and PD at PHT has the juice to replace somebody that had Mel's personal phone number.

Here is an interesting article sent to me about a radio message board.  The Chicago Sun times carried this story.

Tuesday May 15th

OPPORTUNITY WANTED: Veteran talk show host with gravelly voice, fiery temper, fury at the IRS, and fractured syntax seeks a new outlet for his caustic and creative talents. Contact “Evil Irv.”  Read the rest in Stu's column from yesterday...
Excerpt...“I’m a free agent,” he says, adding, “If they want me, fine. If they don’t want me, fine.”

Monday April 23rd

Winter  ratings are in for the Philly Market

a sampling...

station  |  Fall | Winter
#1 KWY | 6.2 | 6.8
#6 WYSP | 4.8 | 4.3
#7 WPEN | 4.1 | 4.1
#8 WPHT | 2.9 | 4.0
#10 WIP | 3.5 | 3.0
#13 WPTP | 2.2 | 2.2 - formerly WWDB
#17 WHAT | 0.8 | 1.3
#18 WKXW | 1.1 | 1.0 - NJ101 (Philly is not their target market)

Tuesday April 17th

Primarily as a source of amusement the Imus in the morning show, based out of WFAN in New York, adds AOL Instant Messaging to its show.  "Instant feedback so the listener can immediately say Imus sucks.", according to producer Bernard.  AOL's IM allows text messages to be sent to the show and read on a monitor inside the studio.  The handle is IMUSWFAN.

Monday April 9th

Article on the Op-Ed page in the Inky
McVeigh's execution a time to celebrate?
Below is an excerpt of the closing minutes of the March 30 Michael A. Smerconish talk show on WPHT (AM 1210). Smerconish had thought aloud about holding a party on May 16, the day Timothy McVeigh is scheduled to be executed for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, in which 168 people were killed, including 19 children. One caller said celebrating McVeigh's death would offend the survivors of the victims of the bombing. Smerconish then dedicated the last minutes of his program to this issue. Neither WPHT nor Michael Smerconish have any plans to throw such a party.

Imus renews his contract with Viacom.  Starting this January 2002 The Imus in the morning show will start a new five year contract that expires January 2007.

Sturdy Beggar commentary in Saturday's Inky.  Money in the political mix.

How to get the spy plane crew back from China.  Simple, They want an apology... send Bill Clinton over to to just that.  This way the Chinese get what they want and our government doesn't have to do it.  What the hell are the Chinese going to do?  Say that Clinton is Lying?  Oh Please.

Racial Profiling may be a bad thing in Jersey but I sure wish they could hold some "profiling" classed for the Park Police at Independance Mall here in Philly.  When that wacko took some shots at the Liberty Bell the rangers should have been instantly able to pick that guy out as a threat... I mean did you actually SEE him?  If you look up nutcase or phsyco in the encyclopedia you see his picture.  What a wacko.

Thursday April 5th

You've seen the messages between Neil Larrimore and some of his buddies on the message board.  Maybe Stu's mention of him today will help him land somewhere.

Getting The Point

Neil Larrimore, best known for winning $250,000 on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," must be glad he has that cushion to fall back on. He was just let go as assistant program director at The Point, the former WWDB.

This is not talk radio related but the same people minding the store at WPHT also keep an eye on things at WOGL.  Stu (again, yeah go figure) prints this Sunday night change at the oldies station.
"Street Corner Sunday" dumped.

Monday April 2nd

Stu first wrote about this last Thursday (Is Talmadge courting the Mumidiots?) and now continues writing about the flap today (Talmadge with Mumia?) over the DA race here in Philly and comments made about the Mumia case.  The last two lines are too good to miss.

Saturday March 31st

Dr. Laura's TV show gets the ax.  The story in today's INKY  Paramount announced the final episode has been taped although it may run here in town through the fall.

Friday March 30th

Story about the people meter ratings gathering device in today's Inky.

Good story, well written, hits all the relevant points including the concerns about transient broadcasts.  Good job of explaining how the signal goes out.   However, one of these things in the heads of a typical radio geek would explode.  Those people tend to fly through stations, not to mention the DXing they do.


Related Links Graphic | Tracking Radio Listening

By Alfred Lubrano

A clandestine cadre of 300 people have been walking around Wilmington, toting devices developed with Defense Department technology that are capable of picking up secret signals zipping through the air.

Their mission is not to serve the national interest. It's to help radio stations in this area figure out who's listening to Howard Stern, Smashmouth and the Car Guys.

The gadget each carries is the personal people meter, now being used for the first time in Delaware, and scheduled to be tested later this year in Philadelphia.

It looks like a beeper, weighs about 2.5 ounces and uses electronic technology originally developed for submarine warfare. Because it can quickly and with perfect accuracy measure what a radio listener or a television viewer is tuned in to, it could change forever the way radio and television ratings are gathered.  Continued at the link above.

Tuesday March 27th

Phase Two ratings trends came out yesterday on rronline.  Top 2 plus talkers listed here.  Remember the 12+ numbers are widely pissed upon as being irrelevant to a stations target demos and overall financial heatlh.  Still, since the details are understandably confidential, this is the only thing to go on.

Station | Fall 2000 | Winter Phase 1 | Winter Phase 2
B101  | 6.6 | 7.0 | 7.1
KYW  | 6.2 | 6.5 | 6.9
WPEN | 4.1 | 4.1 | 4.3
WYSP | 4.8 | 4.3 | 4.2 (Carries Stern)
WPHT | 2.9 | 2.9 | 3.5
WIP   | 3.5 | 3.6 | 3.2
WPTP | 2.2 | 1.9 | 1.9 (formerly WWDB)
WHAT | 0.8 | 0.7 | 1.0
WKXW | 1.1 | 0.9 | 1.0

Monday March 26th

Stu Bykofsky reports today that ...  "WPEN "medical advocate" Charles Inlander will hang up his stethoscope on Sunday, April 1. (No fooling.) His noon-1 p.m. time slot will be used to expand Jay Lamont's 10 a.m.-noon "All About Real Estate Show" until 1 p.m."

Friday March 23rd

This opinion piece on the state of radio is circulating around the Net.  You can read it here in the comments folder.  I repost it here not to be critical of the mega owners but to keep with the theme of this site and pointing out what people who pursue radio face today.

Published in the March 2001 issue of the Silicon Alley Reporter
Farewell to Radio by Robert W. McChesney

Monday March 19th

Art Carey has an piece on the death of Jim Corea in today's Inky - Thanks Scott.

Sunday March 18th
Space Station Mir coming down | Radio Reception Feedback

The Space Station Mir is due to de-orbit about 4 days from now.  Visit for the latest.  One really neat link I'm adding to the Weather Page here (I have to put it somewhere, we're astro buffs too) is this link - J-Track 3d - It will load a Java window showing 500 satellites, highlighting the Mir.  There is a select pull down option with zoom and 3D rotation, pretty nifty.

Radio Reception Report update.  Nick Lemonakis from Baltimore chimes in with the latest feedback letter on this topic.  This report has changed from a quick feature into a long term project as listeners demand more information than I thought the target reader of this website wanted.  One of the neat stories sent to me is that of a LAN administrator finding out he could place a C.Crane radio at a window, run several lengths of mic cord from Radio Shack from the radio to his PC mic input and pump 1210 anywhere he wanted on the Network.  Inventive but a technical violation of company policy so he remains anonymous. He has no worry, his boss requested it.  I didn't understand the details but it sounds like what we did here with commonly available gaming chatware several months ago.

Friday March 16th

Michael Smerconish is back in his regular time slot today, replacing the scheduled fill in, Roberta Gale, even though his trial continues through next week.  Reactions and feedback will come later.

From Stu Bykofsky's column of 3/15/2001...
Heart attack killed Corea
     It was a heart attack that killed Dr. Jim Corea last weekend.
     The family's reluctance to release the cause of death led to speculation among some of Corea's fans that ranged from stroke to suicide. Corea's longtime producer and family friend Tom MacDonald told me the family didn't want to draw any comparisons between Corea and Jim Fixx, the runner who also died early of a heart attack. Corea was 63. Fixx was 52 when he died in 1984.
     "They didn't want to hear, 'Oh, why should you live a healthy life when this guy died after being one of the healthiest guys around,' " explained McDonald, a WPEN and WPHT newsman.
     "This was a man who everyone thought was going to live forever."
     Corea had chest pains last Saturday morning, McDonald said, but he refused to go the hospital until he had arranged for someone to cover his health and fitness radio show, which was going to debut on WPEN that afternoon.
     Corea's family contacted McDonald, who promised to get the show on the air. (He did, and has been asked by the station to keep filling in.)
     I knew Dr. Jim some and reported on him regularly. With his brio, booming voice and gym shorts, he was one of Philly's Great Characters.

And another article in the Daily News about one of my pet peeves, the slimeball Doctor from Bucks County.  Is this Doctor Deadly?

Wednesday March 14th

Today on WPHT 1210 AM you can hear Debra Luray filling in for Michael Smerconish with some other guy... um ... some elected council guy... whatever

On Thursday and Friday you can hear, at the same time slot, Roberta Gale.

Like what you hear? email the station at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday March 8th

Howard Eskin of WIP steps in it again.  You might remember a while back when he sent flowers to that fan?  Boy that got ugly.  Nothing like that this time but he is still fixated on women, in this case their breasts.  I'll let Stu explain it better in his column today... Excerpt - ... Howard Eskin got a cease-and-desist call from an NBC-10 exec he would not identify (let's say it was news director Steve Schwaid) about comments Eskin had made on WIP's air about the, um, assets of Comcast's Lynn Doyle and NBC-10's Sharon Reed...

Wednesday March 7th

Talkers Magazine lists its "Heavy 100" for 2001.  They list them alphabetically and here are some of them that are heard locally or heard here in the past.  Thanks to Jim Templeton for the note on this.

Link to Talkers graphic -

Art Bell, Bob Dornan, Matt Drudge, Mike Gallagher, Jim Gearhart, Rollye James, Phil Hendrie, Sean Hannity, Les Kinsolving, Dom Imus, Kim Komando, Tom Leykis, Tom Marr, Motley Fool, G. Gordon LIddy, Michael Medved, Oliver North, Rush Limbaugh, Mike and the Mad Dog, Dr. Laura, Ed Tyll, Paul W. Smith, Howard Stern.

Word on the street is that Jim Corea had a mild heart attack last Wednesday.  True to Corea fashion on the day he passed he even argued with the EMT's that came to take him to the hospital.

Tuesday March 6th

WPEN may air a Corea Tribute show this weekend.  His former show will move from Saturday to Sunday, 1 to 3 pm.

Funeral arrangements for Jim will be Thursday.  A public viewing will be held from 9 to noon at Schetter Funeral Home located at 304 West Rt. 70 in Cherry Hill.  Burial services will be private.  Jim's family has asked that any contributions be sent to the American Heart Association at 600 South White Horse Pike in Audubon, New Jersey 08106.

'PEN, Jelinecks to move from Sunday to Saturday in the 1 to 3 slot.

Monday March 5th - part 2

Changes coming to WPHT

  1. Matt Drudge will air on Sunday nights from 10 pm to midnight. - Anybody that gets on the Net heard of Matt Drudge who has run the Drudge Report since 1995.  He made his mark during the Lewsinsky scandal.

  2. PC Talk with Rich Levin moves from the afternoon to the 8 to 10 pm slot Sunday night.

  3. Steve Freidman AKA "Mr. Movie" moves from Sunday nights to Saturdays  from 10 pm to 1 am.

Monday March 5th

I was simply amazed at the outpouring of emotion of the death of Dr. Corea.  Both my email and The Wall contained many heartfelt messages of sympathy for the family and the loss they and the rest of the Delaware Valley have experienced.  Dr. Corea certainly was larger than life with a attitude to match.  Rarely do you see such a combination of drive, dedication, smarts and ability rolled into one.  A close comparison would be Pat Croce.  Few reach that level.

With the impending storm it was easy to miss coverage of Dr. Jim's death.  Rest assured that they did cover it, even if in passing.  KYW picked up on the story Sunday and the TV stations ran it Sunday night.  On WPHT Paul Perillo talked with Tom MacDonald on the air about Dr. Jim for a while in the afternoon.  Today the Inky ran this story and I expect there will be more soon.

Inquirer story on Jim Corea's death this past Saturday.

Sunday March 4th

Dr. James A. Corea died yesterday at 63.

Just before his return to the air on WPEN Dr. Corea fell ill and was taken to Kennedy Hospital in Cherry Hill were he later died.  His show "The Doctor is In" was to be aired from 1 to 4 pm on Saturday March 3rd.  At a station related event staffers of WPEN learned of the situation and then later on learned of his passing.  Long a fixture of WWDB, Dr. Corea preached his health and fitness regime to a multitude of fans over the years.  This past November he was let go with the rest of the staff when DB flipped to music.


Saturday March 3rd

Bensalem doctor held, accused of illegally supplying narcotics

By Alicia A. Caldwell

Richard Paolino, 57, a longtime Bensalem physician, was jailed under $8 million bond yesterday on charges that he practiced medicine illegally, freely writing thousands of prescriptions for powerful painkillers such as OxyContin, much of it resold at huge profits on the streets of Philadelphia

Wednesday February 28th

One girl, two TV stations, a clash over an interview

By Michael Klein

With supremacy in the 11 p.m. local news ratings at stake this week, it has come to this: Top contenders WPVI-TV (Channel 6) and WCAU-TV (Channel 10) battling over an interview with a 16-year-old - inside the hallways of Channel 10.

Channel 6 won its exclusive, though that may not be enough to keep the perennial leader in first place at 11 p.m. With February sweeps ending tonight, as of yesterday Channel 10 had an average nightly rating of 12.6, compared with an 11.8 rating for Channel 6. (A rating point equals 27,034 homes.)

Here is what happened Monday night, as station insiders related yesterday: Channel 6 had been promised an exclusive television interview with a Neshaminy High School student accused of videotaping sex acts at her high school. But first, the 16-year-old, accompanied by her mother and lawyer, promised to tell her story on Michael Smerconish's radio talk show on WPHT-AM (1210).

Read the rest of the article online here...

Tuesday February 27th

WNJO (94.5 FM) takes Roberta Gale off its lineup.  Formerly of WKXW - NJ101.5, Roberta was the only talk on NJO's oldies lineup.  She is still on in the stroudsberg area and down the shore on wjlk 94.3.

Ratings Trends

In the constant fight between B101 and All news KYW... B101 stays on top trending up to 7.0 from its fall book of 6.6.  KYW is close behind trending up to 6.5 from its own fall numbers of 6.2.  Now to talk... WYSP, home of Stern here in Philly trends down from 4.8 to 4.3.  WPEN, formerly "All standards" now "Mostly Standards" with specialty talk smattered on the weekends stays the same at 4.1, none of that reflects any recent changes.  WIP trends up from 3.5 to 3.6.  WPHT stays the same at 2.9.  Last, and certainly least, is WPTP, formerly WWDB... they trend down from 2.9 to 1.9,  half of what it was a year ago.

Friday February 23rd

This link sent in by Steve the sports nut.  Ever hear the post game show after basketball on PHT?  Some think it gets in the way of other programming. Others are dismayed for another reason.
Excerpted from yesterday's Daily News sports section... by Kevin Mulligan - The city's most critical radio show is not on WIP (not much to attack these days). It's "Wildcat Call-in" after Villanova basketball games on WPHT (1210-AM), expertly hosted by Ryan Fannon and Whitey Rigsby. A small, vocal group of anti-Steve Lappas callers reached a new low, trashing the Wildcats' coach for Saturday's bad, ESPN-televised loss to Miami. Rigsby called the behavior of a group of students "abysmal" and "embarrassing," and later urged them on-air not to attend any more games if they can't cheer for the 'Cats. The postgame show has deteriorated into a bash-Lappas exercise by anonymous voices. Which begged the question: Why have such a show? Vince Nicastro, Villanova's AD, said that while he dislikes what the show has become, 'Nova is contractually obligated to sponsors for the 1-hour program for the rest of the season.

Wednesday February 21st

Grace Blazer promoted to WPHT Program Director

Grace, employed at WPHT since 1996, has been interim PD this past few months since Tom Bigby was out for heart surgery.  She has been tasked from many duties over the years including Hosting the on-air Public Affairs show, Senior Producer, Executive Producer.  Good Luck Grace.

In today's Daily News they confirm what you read here
2 shows dropped by WWDB land at WPEN by Al Hunter Jr.
Excerpt ... Jim Corea, the health and fitness guru, and Frank and Mary Jelinek, who travel and eat at restaurants around the world, will join WPEN's weekend lineup starting next month.
Corea's new show, "The Doctor's In," will air Saturdays, 1-4 p.m., beginning March 3. The Jelineks' show, "Dining Around with Frank and Mary," will air Sundays, 1-3 p.m., beginning March 4.
Stu Bykofsky contributed the the above, is there anyplace he doesn't poke around?

Saturday February 17th

Today as an addition to our radio testing feature we add one in an occasional series on AM radio reception by "Bucky Sparks", "Saving the AM band, one listener at a time."©.  Bucky works on the technical end of broadcast radio and is well known in local radio circles.  These reports are geared to the rest of us, the non-radio geeks.  Other websites are delve deeply into the arcane technical issues.  I am not that bright, hence the theme, radio reception for dummies.

From All Access Thursday,
"Sil Scaglione officially joins 1210 WPHT-AM and WOGL as Vice President and General Manager."  News of this first hit the trades about a month ago and 1/20/00 here as well as by Stu Bykofsky and Chris Coleman.

Tuesday February 13th

Press release from Free Reign Press:
Dom Giordano Signs Book Deal
Teacher-turned radio host to write about parenting and education

Free Reign Press is proud to announce that it has just reached an agreement to publish the first book by Dom Giordano, teacher-turned talk-radio host. Giordano is heard each weekday from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM on 1210 AM WPHT in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware.

In his fifteen-year career as a radio talk show host, Dom has earned a reputation for honesty and integrity, and doesn't shy away from controversy in search of answers that make sense. A vocal critic of bureaucracy and ineffective policies in education, Dom will bring his years of experience and unique humor and energy to the topic of parenting and education. Dom's as yet untitled book will offer anecdotes, analysis, and practical solutions to some of the most pressing and prevalent challenges facing parents and educators today. The book will blend Dom's "in the trenches" teaching career, his own experience as a parent, and his talk radio background, where he has interviewed some of the leading experts in education, child psychology, social services, and parenting.

WPHT has more than 500,000 weekly listeners and is the fastest growing radio station in the Philadelphia region. Other personalities on WPHT include Don Imus, Dr. Laura, and Rush Limbaugh. Dom's book, a trade paperback, is scheduled for the fall of 2001. Dom Giordano's loyal following, unique expertise and engaging common sense are sure to make his book one of the most talked about releases of the fall.

Free Reign Press is a Langhorne, PA-based publishing company owned and operated by Drexel University professor Scott Stein.

Monday February 12th

Jerry Long had this commentary in yesterday's Inky.
Exit the Clintons. Enter Ashcroft, Torricelli, Weldon and the Bush Brothers in a new wave of arrogance.
Excerpt ...Great presidential exits. Let's see . . . there's Dwight Eisenhower warning about the growing danger from the military-industrial complex. Or, there's Bill and Hillary Clinton acting as if they were entitled to choose all three doors on Let's Make A Deal any day.

The last time the White House experienced this level of grabbing and fleeing, it was being burned by the British.

Even a departing Richard Nixon, when he gave his famous farewell wave prior to boarding the presidential helicopter, was not seen to have a soup tureen in each hand.

Friday February 9th

Video clip from the PC Talk get together on January 20th hosted by Rick Levin (  at Jem Electronics on Oxford Ave. in Northeast Philly.  This one is a QuickTime movie, to stream it wait for the control panel to show, then the download to start, then click play as it's downloading.  It helps if you have DSL or Cable, if not let it download while you eat dinner then hit the play button.  The "Vidiot" (his real nickname) did a great job splicing it all together.

Tuesday February 6th

In Stu's column today in the Daily News he reports how WPEN may be shaping up its weekends... 
Excerpt ... WPEN/950-AM, still mostly nostalgia music, is hammering together a talk-show menu for the weekends. While it's not a done deal yet, Saturdays soon will look like this:...

Monday February 5th

Art Bell - - returns to the air tonight (Tuesday morning) at 1am after about a year hiatus.  Locally you can hear his first hour repeated from 5am to 6am on WPHT 1210 AM.
9:00 am -- Correction, This just in from RAS...
Just a note on your Art Bell news. Coast to Coast goes back to being five hours tonight when Art returns. So the 5am to 6am hour will not be a replay of the first hour but a live 5th hour. Thanks. Keep up the great work.

Stu Bykofsky reports today this... Rick Feinblatt, regional VP/GM of Greater Philadelphia Radio Group (WMMR, WMGK, WPEN and Jammin' Gold), has been named vice president radio of 14-station Greater Media, the parent company. He won't be leaving Philly. .(Jammin Gold stirred up some talk, also reported in Stu's column a little over a week ago, about a format flip that turned out just a money promotion, again ... yawn ... also correctly predicted by Stu ... <grin>)

Congrats to George Brusstar who heads to WILM (1450 AM) in Delaware for morning news reporting.  George is one of those lovable radio geek deities instrumental in shaping the thinking of this website.  WILM streams over the Net.

Wednesday January 31st

In Stu's column today there is this interesting tidbit about KYW contract negotiations... Excerpt...At KYW NewsRadio, AFTRA staffers voted 36-1 to reject the company's "final" wage offer, which had a 5 percent wage hike over four years, retroactive to October 1999, when the contract expired. (Everyone's wondering who that one "yes" vote belongs to.) Morale has never been lower, say Stu's Spies, who acknowledge a strike remains the last resort.

Tuesday January 30th

Thanks Dee for this link on phony callers
Excerpt... A controversial new service is providing professional callers for radio stations that feel ordinary phone-in listeners are not lively enough. 
Stations that use the professional callers rarely identify them as ringers - which is apparently part of the appeal of "Callers On Demand," one of several programming services offered by Manhattan-based United Stations, a syndication company partly owned by TV veteran Dick Clark.

"Our army of ‘live' callers are standing by to jumpstart your morning show," reads a pitch on the company's website ( "Let's face it, most mornings, if the callers suck, you're out of luck. Why risk it?"

Callers On Demand, which is targeted mainly to music-station DJs who take calls and do "phone bits" - but also available to all-talk stations - provides improvisational comedians and impersonators who "talk about hot topics, bring phone scams to life and generally act like real people.

Monday January 29th
New Feature - "Radio Trinity" | More on Jay and Hilarie | More Ted Watley

Brand New Feature posted today is a collection of thoughts on what I call the "Holy Trinity of Radio" ... The relationship between Listeners, Station and Sponsors.

 Jay and Hilarie start their new gig on Talkradio KLIF 570 in Dallas / Forth Worth today from 5am to 9am Texas time.  Rumor has it that Hilarie made it through the initial round of the new Survivor show but took a pass for 2 reasons, this new show and that they don't have fresh ground coffee in the Outback.

Colorful radio personality back in court  (From the Inky today)
Jury selection begins today for Ted Watley, accused of illegal gun possession. The case also involves a $1.25 million check. 

Friday January 26th
WIP "Wing Bowl" | Radio Testing part one is up

WIP 610-AM event
The champion: "El Wingador"
All material, text and graphics, from
Link below leads to story.

   El Wingador turned in a prodigious 30 minutes of chicken wing-eating this morning to garner his second Wing Bowl crown before a packed house at the First Union Center. Check out our video coverage of the contest and opening ceremonies. Brought to you by 610 Sportsradio WIP and

Part One of our radio testing is posted.

Thursday January 25th
Bit O' Barsky | Mary Patel and WIP? | Ted Watley

From Stu's column today in the Daily News comes word that MMR's Barsky singed a new mulityear deal and this tidbit regarding WIP... .It's just at the barest beginning of chat, but City Paper political columnist Mary Frangipanni Patel has talked to CBS director of sports marketing Duane Lucas about doing some political reports for WIP's Morning Show. (What? And have less time for talking about breasts and thongs?) Anyway, the blondiful and well-informed Patel has turned over some tapes for Lucas to pass to Morning Ringleader Angelo Cataldi.

Stu also posted a totally tasteless bit of satire at the bottom of his column, for shame Stu.

Forgot to post this link from last Sunday's Inky.  Michael Klein wrote a piece about Ted Watley WNJC-AM 1360.  Seems the Feds knocked on his door, took his Bentley and he faces gun charges, geesh!

More from the caller etiquette survey

Don't lose the Jersey accent- it's got personality! - these two in retaliation to the suggestion to lose the Jersey accent.

Lose the bad Fulufya accent!

No more Howard! I think enough hosts have courted (quite patiently too, I might add) his insane desire to be on the radio. I swear, if they don't get rid of him now, I think we should begin to petition the advertisers. How about - when Howard reads this he will be so happy.

2 minutes is 2 minutes - and your point is?

Monday January 22nd
WPEN Saturday line-up | topical info on streaming usage

Expected line-up on Saturdays on WPEN 950-AM soon is,
6-7 Car Show, possibly the same guys from DB
7-8 Vic Tadesco - money show
8-9 Austin Dutton - money show
Mid day music stays
2-4 Dr. Corea, IF he chooses PEN
4-6 The Jelenicks - Food and Dinning

Because of all the interest in streaming as it relates to talk radio locally I have included the link to this press release on audio streaming.  (it originally came from today's issue of RAIN)
RealPlayer maintains lead over Windows Media Player and Quicktime in the streaming-media player category - (link to full report)

    Media Metrix, the pioneer and leader in Internet and Digital Media measurement worldwide, today reports that media players now are installed on 99 percent of U.S. home PCs, enabling these computers to deliver both online and offline digital-audio and video to consumers. Streaming-media players, the subset of media players that enable real-time access of digital-audio and video over the Internet, also are now installed on 99 percent of U.S. home PCs. In November 2000, 47 percent of U.S. home computer users (both PC and Mac) used a media player, while 40 percent used a streaming-media player.
    "As a result of aggressive bundling campaigns, media players and streaming media players are now installed on nearly every home PC in the United States, but growth of consumers' usage of them is flattening," said Steve Coffey, Executive Vice President, Media Metrix. "To close the gap between what people can do and what they actually do, the industry must continue to develop content and better delivery systems that encourage users to take advantage of the digital and audio capabilities they have."
    In the streaming-media category, RealNetworks' RealPlayer maintains the largest share of users. In November 2000, 28 percent of all U.S. home computer users used RealPlayer, 22 percent used Windows Media Player (versions 6 and 7) and four percent used Quicktime (version 4). In contrast, 22 percent of these same users used RealPlayer in January 2000, 17 percent used Windows Media Player (versions 6 and 7) and three percent used Quicktime (version 4).

Saturday January 20th
Rich Levin remote and Jem Electronics | Jay and Hilarie's new gig | WPHT gets a new GM

Rich Levin had an appearance at Jem Electronics today that despite the weather was very well attended.  The REAL hit however was his wife's cookies.  I've heard about these from others and they are as good as people say.  I know something about this area so it's no small praise when I say they are among the best I have ever eaten.  I had the bag of cookies that I took home removed from my possession so I can't list all the varieties here.  Suffice it to say that Ellen should market them.

Besides the cookies... oh yeah, Rich and his "PC Posse" were there.  At one point during a run of prize giveaways Rich asked how many MAC users were in the room.  Only the Posse, all of them, raised their hands.  Real hardcore geeks... reaching the level of minor deity status in the level of knowledge they possess.  They and the listeners that showed up represent the heart and soul of the PC / Mac world.  Rich had a boatload of things he was clearing out of his vast testing labs.  On top of that several companies donated some software... Microsoft of course along with Symatec, Filemaker, Macromedia, Intel and more.  Delaware Valley College and NetCarrier, two of his on-air sponsors, were there handing out stuff as well.

One lady drove all the way up from Delaware with a copy of Rich's book to get signed, she dropped her and her son's name in the hat and walked off happily with some software, "WOW, this was sure worth the drive up." she said.  One father cheated a bit I think by putting his really cute kid on his shoulders to see over the crowd and upon catching Rich's eye won just about all the kids software.  What a softie that Levin is.  That and much more should be on video and posted to the Net... they have a guy Rich nicknamed the "Vidiot" who taped most of it.  I guess you could get a worse nickname.


Jay and Hilarie, formerly of WWDB, start a new gig in Dallas on 570 KLIF-AM on January 29.  Time slot is 5-9 (6-10 in Philly)... streaming available on the Net.  For more info

WPHT gets a new GM.  Ed Figenshue steps down and is replaced by... let me botch up this spelling now... Sil (Slyvio) Scaglione?  Hey that's as close as I can get it.  However it's spelled he's in now as GM for WOGL as well, a real South Philly Italian kid.  Word has it some outside promotion for PHT will be forthcoming


Room for two at the Four Seasons in Washington D.C.
Candlelight dinner for two, including wine and tip
Moving expenses for mistress
Child support for love child per month
One box of Trojan condoms?
The Rainbow Coalition credit card, use it when your hormones are completely out of control.

Thursday January 18th

Five non-music shows to be added to WPEN on Saturdays soon.  The midday music stays.

Monday January 15th

Excerpt from Stu's column today (Ok I really copied and pasted the entire relevant text but it's a short one and since I always credit Stu I don't think he'll slap me for this) WPHT/1210-AM Big Talker Michael Smerconish often displays affection for football powerhouse Central Bucks West. Understandable, as he's a proud alum. Less well known is that Mike's dad, Walt, is the PA announcer at CB West's games. He taught at CB West (and other district schools) for many years prior to his retirement.  I've met Michael's dad, nice guy, a wee bit more quiet than Smerc. ;-)

And as long as I'm putting print links up here's another bit of "unique" commentary from Jerry Long printed in yesterday's Inky Op-Ed page.  Excerpt... Bill Clinton used lies the way Van Gogh used yellow, to intensify and transcend reality. He had a talent for misdirection that rivaled Slydini's. And, like all great artists, he constantly worked to redefine the boundaries of his art.  No it's not an anti-Clinton bit, I just picked out the part that *I* liked.  Slydini?  Jesus Christ Jerry, aren't you aiming a bit high?

Thursday January 11th

Finally an answer to the question, "Does WIP have a website?  sure they do, now... BUT you "out of towners" STILL don't get streaming.
WIP 610 AM
On our message board here there has been some lively debate about topics such as the 2 minute rule that applies to WPHT and WIP.  You can read some posts by Program Director Tom Bigby who is credited / blamed for that rule.  You will find more revealing info on this site about topics like this than in other, more "normal", outlets.  To its credit WIP's website put up a FAQ page that officially addresses the 2 minute rule and the policy on Net streaming.  The answers are generic and safe... but still very refreshing to find on a station website.  We try to go beyond that a bit on this website to give more detail.  Sometimes we succeed and sometimes it just makes things more confusing.  Either way we try.  And if after all that you still hate the station then for God's sake find the courage to turn the dial.

Tuesday January 9th

From Stu's column in the Daily News 1/9 ... Rollye James engaged to marry. (A story reported first by Stu Bykofsky) Excerpt... Selecting Philly as a national base for her syndicated late-night broadcasts was not that big a decision for Rollye James, not compared to the one she made over the holidays.
She said "yes" when Jon Cornell, president of locally based Avitar Pictures, asked her to marry him.

Monday January 8th

Jason Meyer, formerly of WWDB, starts today in Madison WI on WTDY 1670 AM.  No streaming was listed on their site today but the station says it is in the works.

Word is that WPEN will open up its Saturday schedule to money and health shows.  Dr. Jim Corea to do an afternoon show.

Friday January 5th

On a tip from Art Bell (just a guess on my part, the 2 have shared info before) Matt Drudge posted on his website news that Art Bell returns to his overnight "Coast to Coast AM" on February 5th.  Mike Siegel who replaced Art is out as of then while weekend subs Barbara Simpson and Ian Punnet remain.  Mike Siegel was not on the air last night due to a reported delay in travel.  He returns tonight.

This report on The Drudge Report comes a full day before Premiere Radio Networks planned to announce the deal.  Negotiations were in the works for some time and concluded not a moment too soon for the affiliates that carried the show.  Suffering from plumeting ratings, listener complaints and station defections in the past year the show was destined for the scrap heap.  Premiere never had any follow up plans for the show after Art left other than trying to book the recent standard fare of Doom and Gloomers and Monument on Mars filler and then try to hawk tapes of it all.  What really bugged Premiere was the local affiliates reaction after Art left.  It was not pretty.  It remains to be seen if Art can recapture the engergy of his early days with the show or corporate meddling will resume.

More info including a link to the press release is at

From the message board - As reported in today's NY Daily News ex 'DB morning news person Pat Farnack starts an afternoon co-anchor job at WCBS-AM (880) taking the place of Deborah Rodriguez who is leaving to spend more time with her two children.

This week marks the beginning of this website's fourth year.  It all started in the summer/fall of 1997 as a private gathering place for like minded talk nuts.  It went public in January 1998 after the firing of Phil Valentine.  Growing steadily after that things sort of grew out of control.  Thanks to all of those that helped along the way.