With the latest ratings out, as evidenced on philly.com, it appears that the King of Philly Morning Sportstalk is losing a little of that stranglehold grip on his domain. Celebrating his 25th year as the main voice at WIP, Angelo Cataldi appears, incredibly, to have some competition for a.m. listeners.
To make matters more hard to believe, its former station colleague Anthony Gargano causing the commotion.
Far be it from me to understand what makes area audiences latch onto certain shows, but, wow, I would’ve sworn that the Cuz’s South Philly cheese-speak and forced guffaws had finally run their course … right off the airwaves. When the Fanatic picked him up earlier this year after an unceremonious dumping/contract dispute with WIP, I breathed a sigh of relief, believing I had heard the last of him – certain he would fail, especially in a new time slot.
I didn’t exactly bask in the glow of a babbling WIP newbie Josh Innes mocking Gargano, his work ethic and his chances at unseating Ang, but I didn’t mind it, either.
Now, lo and behold, Gargano is actually posing a challenge to Cataldi.
What? No, seriously, he is. While breaking down the numbers may be a science best left to professors at the University of Pennsylvania, the reality is that Gargano, or, rather, his show, has narrowed the gap in the morning. Whereas, Ang and his morning team held a 9.8 share a few months ago to Gargano and Co. pulling in a 4.9, the most recent ratings tell a much different tale, with Ang at 6.8 and the Cuz 6.0.
Aside from being an alternative to Ang, which, frankly, does carry some cachet, Cuz’s show has a couple things going for it:
- When Gargano drops his annoying shtick and sticks to talking sports and offering his own perspective, not just regurgitating what an athlete he drools over just stated, he can be as insightful and entertaining as anyone. Especially when he veers away from the ultra, blinders-wearing pro-Philly slant.
- Like Ang and Innes, who remains the frontrunner in the afternoons, Gargano offers a geek factor that allows him to connect with others like him, especially those who think they’re cool when they’re really geeky. To add a bit with that, the Fanatic has teamed him with Jon Marks (i.e., younger audience draw) and added a female voice … which only extends the geekiness.
It may not speak to me, but in this day and age, it’s smart sportstalk radio business.
L.A. CONFIDENTIAL: Wonder what Dodgers fans are thinking thus far about their Phillies refugee double-play combo. While Chase Utley rejoined forced with Jimmy Rollins late last month on the Left Coast, sending hugs and kisses to those left behind here for what seemed an inordinate amount of time, his new squad went out and got no-hit twice in a span of nine games. With both Utley and Rollins in the lineup.
Apparently, L.A. got the current version of them instead of the dynamic duo circa 2007-2009. Whoops.
TO EXTEND OR NOT: Will never understand fans’ and media member’s rush to reworking Sam Bradford’s contract. The Eagles quarterback, regardless of how good he has looked in limited – ridiculously limited – action this preseason, still has a scary injury history. Spin-doctor it however you like, but that’s reality, and it’s one that will exist during the rest of his career. He is a risk, a major one, and – hello – has yet to throw a single pass that matters for the organization.
Hey, if it wants to pay him now for a future it has no idea about, more power to it. I wouldn’t, though.
- Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org