On The Air
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
September 22, 2006

A little more than two years ago, Brian Startare, then a collections manager in the health care industry, was walking through Times Square in New York City and saw a notice for the ESPN reality series “Dream Job.”

Startare, a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan and Rowan University broadcasting graduate, signed up to audition for the chance to be an ESPN sports anchor. A few months later he was a finalist on the show, and today he is a television commentator for real, an analyst for the 7 p.m. on “Out of Bounds” on CN8.

“Two years ago, I was making a good living, but I wasn't happy in my job,” said Startare, who is also a host on WIP 610-AM.

After beating out thousands of others for a spot on “Dream Job,” Startare decided to change careers at the age of 33 and go for his dream job in sports broadcasting.

After appearing as a guest on the WIP morning show, Startare received encouragement from host Angelo Cataldi.

“I owe everything to Angelo,” he said. “He got me an interview with WIP and believed in me from the beginning.”

Startare also credits his wife of eight years, Andrea, for supporting his dream after “Dream Job” ended.

“The night I was eliminated from "Dream Job,' Andrea told me she was pregnant,” Startare said. “We had to make a decision to either continue with my broadcasting career or to stay with my job. She told me to go for it.”

Since then, Startare has steadily worked his way up the Philly broadcasting ladder. He hosts a new Saturday morning football show from 7-10 and at least three other shifts a week on WIP. He will add hosting duties for the Flyers' broadcasts on WIP this season. He also works as the public address announcer for Saint Joseph's basketball as well as in-arena host for the Philadelphia Soul.

“Find out what you like to do and get paid for it,” said Startare, quoting Dolly Parton.

Ratings bust

Things are going from bad to worse for “Sports Talk 950-AM” which came in dead last in the Arbitron ratings for listeners 12-and-older released Tuesday. WPEN averaged a 0.4 share, ranking it 28th out of 28 stations listed, losing half of its audience from last year.

What must be distressing to the station is that the ratings went down after the addition of its morning team in August.

“It's still a work in progress especially since they hired a new program director [Gregg Henson] and have a new live morning show [Gregg Henson and Glenn Foley],” Bob Burke, vice president of radio trade publication “Friday Morning Quarterback” wrote in an e-mail.

“610 WIP [which placed 18th in the latest ratings for listeners 12-and-older] is a very strong live and local brand in the market. While I could agree there might be a need for hardcore driven sports, the last thing a Philly fan wants to hear the morning after a tough loss is some national host talking about something outside the market. There's not enough audience, and that's not the pulse of the Philly sports fan.

“In order for WPEN to be successful they will have to stay committed and work that much harder. Jody Mac is a great talent, but they need more. At this point hiring [former WIP host] Mike Missanelli could at the very least generate a buzz, which there hasn't been a lot of to this point.”

Channel flipping

WBCB 1490-AM's Vince Reed is celebrating his 40th year broadcasting high school games. ... The Flyers celebrate their 40th year this season. The broadcasters that first season (1967-68) were Stu Nahan (play-by-play) and Gene Hart (color). ... Former CN8 sports anchor Lou Tilley was spotted doing updates on SportsNet New York last weekend. ... Mid-Atlantic Emmy winners were Beasley Reece of CBS3 (Anchor-Sports) and Jim Jackson of the Flyers (Sports Analyst-Play by Play).

September 22, 2006 6:51 AM