Cataldi: 'My career in radio is a complete fluke'
Though players, coaches, and owners may come and go, one constant on the Philly sports scene for the past 13 years has been popular WIP 610-AM morning man Angelo Cataldi.
The outspoken host is back for another season on Comcast SportsNet's "The Angelo Cataldi Show," formerly known as "Angelo Live," "Angelo and Company," and "Angelo and Irving," Mondays at 7 p.m.
"They'll let me keep doing it until they run out of names," he said with a laugh.
Mondays are late nights for Cataldi, 51, who normally goes to bed at 7 p.m. to wake up at 3 a.m. to prepare for his daily 5:30-10 a.m. show.
"I am completely out of sync with the rest of the world," he said, "but my wife likes getting me out of her life by 7 p.m."
Asked if his huge paycheck, reportedly in the $1-million range, makes it easier to get up, Cataldi quipped, "Does it ever!"
The top prognosticators never could have predicted that Cataldi, who graduated from the prestigious Columbia School of Journalism ("where nobody laughs"), would become the "clown prince" of sports radio.
Working at The Philadelphia Inquirer, "where joking and laughing was discouraged," Cataldi was an investigative sports reporter and beat reporter for the Flyers and Eagles.
When WIP became a sports radio station, Cataldi, as well as many print journalists made the leap to radio. "After my first day on the air, (station general manager) Tom Bigby pulled me into his office and said, 'You are not a journalist anymore. You are here to entertain,' " Cataldi said. From that day on, the "new" Angelo was born.
He has no problem skewering players, coaches, colleagues and his own bosses. "I don't care what people think," Cataldi said. "I've been threatened, yelled at, everything. I never wanted to be an athlete or wanted to be friends with an athlete. I never liked most athletes."
Cataldi admits that his sudden fame and fortune led to the end of his 24-year marriage to his first wife, Linda. "I changed," he said. "I went from being an introvert to an extrovert, and the radio guy and real guy became the same." Cataldi has been married to his second wife, Gail, for 21/2 years.
Cataldi said he hasn't considered making a full-time leap to television. "No, God took care of that 51 years ago," joked Cataldi, who said ESPN has asked him to do different projects.
"What I like about radio is that my bosses don't have to like me. I don't like them even a little bit. As long as I get good ratings, I'll be fine."
The morning show, which also features Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes and Joe Conklin, consistently ranks in the top three among the WIP target demographic of males 25-54.
"My career in radio is a complete fluke," Cataldi said. "I have a terrible voice. I never thought this could be a real job. I've been given an unbelievable opportunity."
The Eagles picked up where they left off last year by dominating in the ratings. Their opener on WTXF scored a 21 rating/44 share. Each rating point equals 28,010 households. It's not just Philadelphia that loves football. NFL games were the top-ranked shows in 22 markets.
Mr. Rodgers returns
Mike Rodgers, a Huntingdon Valley native and Temple graduate, is the newest anchor on Comcast SportsNet, replacing Scott Hanson, who went to CSN in the Washington, D.C., area. Rodgers, a former baseball player at Temple, previously worked in Dallas, Texas.
Laura Nachman covers television and radio sports for the Courier Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
September 13, 2002