Sports journalism a labor of love for Gargano

While WIP 610-AM continues to audition possible replacements for the mid-day slot, the one constant for listeners is three-year mid-day veteran Anthony Gargano.

"Ant," is the latest print journalist to successfully make the transition to radio, joining hosts Angelo Cataldi, Al Morganti, Glen Macnow and his former partner, Mike Missanelli.

Before the South Philly native began at WIP, he worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Post and The Associated Press in Chicago.

"I never had aspirations to be a talk show host," said Gargano, 35, a contributor to Philadelphia magazine who is also working on a Philadelphia sports book with former WIP partner Macnow. "I love to write. That is my passion."

Gargano recently returned from a business trip to Las Vegas, where he was working with a production company to get his screenplay produced.

However, Gargano was quick to add that he enjoys his job.

"I like people," he said. "It's great to be able to talk to people every day."

As his listeners know, Gargano grew up within blocks of Veterans Stadium.

"The Vet was like our playground," he said. "We would hang out there in the summer. My mother took me to games all the time. She caught a foul ball for me."

Gargano wrote a loving tribute to the Vet for Philadelphia magazine this year.

Growing up, "Ant" wanted to be like his idol, Oscar Madison, of the television show "The Odd Couple."

"I couldn't think of a better job than getting paid to go to sporting events," Gargano said.

Though listeners associate Gargano solely with South Philadelphia, his family moved to South Jersey when he was in his teens, and Gargano graduated from Pope Paul VI High School. He attended Temple University, leaving a few credits shy of a journalism degree.

Now that he is back in his hometown, Gargano is thrilled that his family, including his parents, older sister and grandmother, can listen to the show.

Gargano can be heard on WIP 610-AM weekdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. His show is broadcast on Thursdays from the McDonald's on Street Road in Bensalem.

Father's Day gift

A possible Father's Day gift is WIP host Big Daddy Graham's book, "Last Call: Remembering My Father."

Graham ( will be doing book signings at the Barnes and Noble in Deptford, N.J., tomorrow and in Plymouth Meeting from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.


Here's where CN8's expansion into New England hurt "Lou Tilley's Sports Connection."

On Monday, the big story of the night was Larry Brown's signing with the Detroit Pistons. However, because the show has to placate a New England audience, it spent most of the time talking about the strike zone in baseball. Philadelphia sports fans wanted to hear Larry stuff that night, not a generic topic.

Ukee on the move?

With it official that Larry Mendte will anchor early evening newscasts for KYW, that will fuel speculation that current noon and 5 p.m. anchor Ukee Washington could return to sports.

If I were running KYW, I'd keep Ukee on news. He did his time in sports and has proven he can do news.

Where have you gone, Rod Luck?

Laura Nachman covers television and radio sports for the Courier Times. She can be reached at

June 6, 2003 8:04 AM