Is WMMR joking about Conklin?
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
February 25, 2005
With the signing of Y-100's "Preston and Steve" for morning drive on WMMR 93.3-FM, what does this mean for "Philly Guy" Joe Conklin?
"Station management has expressed that they want me to remain part of the organization," said the comic, whose contract runs through April 2006.
"Organization" means Greater Philadelphia Radio Group, which owns WMMR 93.3-FM, WMGK 102.9-FM, WMWX 95.7-FM, and WPEN 950-AM.
Many observers think Conklin will get bought out of his contract, when "Preston and Steve" begin their morning drive show in August, putting a complete end to "The Philly Guys." The show, with Conklin, fellow former WIP personality Mike Missanelli, and Vinnie "The Crumb" began in the spring of 2003. Missanelli was fired in the summer of 2004. Since then, Conklin and Crumb have been basically going it alone.
"There were three different visions for the show," Conklin said. "Management wanted a rock show, I wanted a comedy show, and Mike wanted a talk show and it didn't work."
Though many fans miss Conklin on "The Angelo Cataldi Show," it's unlikely that he'll return to WIP.
If Infinity Broadcasting doesn't replace Howard Stern with another syndicated show when Stern goes to Sirius radio in January 2006, one possibility for Conklin could be WYSP 94.1-FM. For those (like me), who couldn't listen to Conklin, because of the music on WMMR, hopefully, he'll end up on a different type of music or talk station.
Another outlet for the comedian is live shows. This weekend, Conklin will perform his impressions of Pierre Robert, Andy Reid, Don Tollefson, John Chaney (lots more material thanks to this week), Allen Iverson and more at the Knights of Columbus in Springfield, Delaware County, tonight and at the Clarion Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J., Saturday night. Go to http://www.joeconklin.com/ for more details.
While visiting Philadelphia to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," the veteran television star said he's never been happier in his professional or personal life.
Gumbel, 55, the former NBC and CBS morning host who first came to prominence in the early 1980s on NBC Sports, said he is at a great place in his life with his Emmy-winning HBO series and his recent marriage (two years to Hilary Quinlan).
It's evident that on "Real Sports," Gumbel seems more content than during the end of his tenure on "The Today Show" or his entire stint on the "CBS Early Show," but he denied that hosting those insipid "Survivor" reunions was the final straw with CBS.
"Sports Connection with Lou Tilley" will morph into "Out of Bounds with Lou Tilley" on Monday, March 7, on CN8. The show will change from an hour live show, Monday through Thursday, to a taped half-hour show, Monday through Friday.
Vai Sikahema catches up with Smarty Jones, who is "out to stud" on a farm in Lexington, Ky., on the WCAU news tonight.