As it's becoming less likely that Joe Conklin will return to
WIP 610-AM, the question becomes who will replace the comedian?
"We will never be able to find one person to replace Joe
Conklin, so we're in the process of forming a repertory company
of talented and funny people to fill the void," host Angelo
Cataldi said. "Big Daddy Graham is definitely going to be
part of the mix. So is Keith Jones. We plan to add others in the
Graham, whose status at the station was reduced to part-time
when Steve Fredericks returned from medical leave a couple of
months ago, would be the logical choice to take over because he
has been a stand-up comedian for years. Meanwhile, although
Conklin continues to deny that he has signed with WMMR
(93.3-FM), many believe that he'll start there on March 3.
Also, it sounds as if Cataldi is getting sick of the Conklin
situation, according to a recent posting by Cataldi on
"During the Feb. 11 show, I faced the indignity of a
caller telling me, on the air, that our show has become 'unlistenable'
since Joe Conklin left," Cataldi said. "Give me a
break, please. I did this show for three years before Joe was
hired. I had to conspire with him, against management's wishes,
to get him onto our show, first as a part-timer and then as a
full-timer. No one has to tell me how great a talent he is.
"But to make a comment like that - and I've gotten a few
e-mails along those lines, too - is both unfair and
irresponsible. In the past week alone, we have had as guests
Larry Brown, Joe Banner, national comic Michael Winslow,
Katarina Witt and a dozen other city officials, sports figures
and media types. If these shows aren't good enough, we're all in
"I have tried everything in my power to get Joe
re-signed. It is not going to happen. If one side wanted it and
one side didn't, I might be able to do something. But this is a
mutual decision. Joe doesn't want to work at WIP anymore, and
the bosses would prefer that he leave.
"In the past year of our show, Joe has been responsible
for around 10 minutes of airtime out of the 270 minutes we fill
each day. They were 10 great minutes, I agree. But they
represented a tiny percentage of the content on our show.
"As of now, I'm out of the business of explaining the
Joe Conklin situation. There's nothing more I can say. In radio,
people change jobs. It's their right. We will keep doing this
show for as long as there are enough people out there to listen.
And if there aren't enough listeners, I might resume my writing
Sunday night's snow storm meant big ratings for a couple of
the Sunday night sports shows. WCAU's "Sports Final,"
which began at midnight, got its highest ratings in history with
a 7.7 rating/17 share. WTXF's "Sports Sunday," which
aired at 10:40 p.m. had an 8.7 rating/12 share, following a
record 14.9 rating/20 share for the "Ten O'clock
News." Each rating point equals 28,305 homes.
Laura Nachman covers television and radio sports for
Calkins Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.