On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
August 18, 2006
A WIP behind-the-scenes player hopes to step into the spotlight by earning a spot on “American Idol.” Mark Farzetta, 23, an associate producer for WIP morning drive show with Angelo Cataldi and a producer for the afternoon drive show with Howard Eskin was one of thousands who auditioned for “American Idol” at the Meadowlands on Monday.

Due to contractual obligations, Farzetta is not allowed to discuss how he fared, but he could reveal that he sang Frank Sinatra's “Fly Me to the Moon.” (Maybe he's on the wrong radio show — he should be on “Sounds of Sinatra.”)

Performing isn't anything new to the Archbishop Wood graduate, who starred in the high school musicals including a turn as Danny Zuko in “Grease.”

Farzetta, of Doylestown, graduated from Temple University in 2005 and has been part of the morning show for a year. He then added the afternoon show to his duties three months ago.

“Sometimes I feel like the man in the middle,” said Farzetta of working for long-time rivals Cataldi and Eskin. “However, when I approached Angelo about also working for Howard's show, he said "Do whatever you must do to advance yourself in your career.' ”

Even if that means getting up at 2:30 in the morning, working the 5:30- 10 a.m. morning show, then producing the p.m. show from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. “Sleep is a waste of time,” Farzetta joked.

When asked whom he preferred working for — Eskin or Cataldi — Farzetta wisely replied “Not a chance.”

Hopefully, Simon Cowell and the others will give him a chance when “American Idol” begins again in January.

What not to wear

One of the highlights of each Sunday night is watching Phillies announcers Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler in their matching Phillies “party” shirts that look like rejects from the Phillie Phanatic's closet doing a summary of the game. Score it E-2 for the wardrobe department.

Ritchie joining CN8

Former Eagle Jon Ritchie is joining CN8's college football announcing team. CN8 will air 17-games this season beginning with Temple vs. Buffalo on Aug. 31.

Plenty of Buck

Fox is turning into the Joe Buck network as it announced this week that its No. 1 football and baseball announcer will also host the Fox pregame show, replacing James Brown who returned to CBS. To accommodate Buck, the pregame show will take place in the city where Buck is doing the game with Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver. They'll be in Philadelphia on Week 2 when the Eagles host the Giants.

Curt Menefee will host the show while Buck is doing the World Series.

Moving the “Fox Pregame Show” to a different city each week will give it that same “special event” atmosphere of when it traveled to host playoff cities and reminiscent of “Monday Night Football.” Good thinking!

August 18, 2006 6:57 AM