According to a station source, WIP 610-AM program director
Tom Bigby has been demoted to assistant program director and
will be replaced by WYSP 94.1-FM operations manager Tim Sabean,
who will take over both stations.
A meeting to introduce Sabean to the WIP staff is scheduled
According to a station source, Infinity marketing manager
Drew Hilles told Bigby on Wednesday afternoon about his
demotion. After word leaked to higher-ups that Bigby was unhappy
with the news, he was told to leave the building yesterday
morning. At this point his status is up in the air.
This is just the latest in many changes at WIP-AM over the
last few weeks. Cecil "Butch" Forster was forced to
retire last month. And many believe that Mike Missanelli and Joe
Conklin both defected to WMMR because they didn't get along with
Bigby, 60, who has been with WIP almost since the inception
of the sports-talk radio format there in 1986, is credited for
making the station a success, but reportedly was an unpopular
figure with the employees there.
According to the station source, "Everyone here had
problems with Bigby."
Hilles, Sabean and Bigby could not be reached for comment.
WIP and WYSP are owned by Infinity Broadcasting, which also
owns WPHT 1210-AM, WOGL 98.1 FM and KYW 1060-AM.
A radio fight is brewing between the morning shows of sports
talk WIP 610-AM and the "Philly Local" show that
premiered Monday on WMMR 93.3-FM.
The WMMR show, featuring WIP ex-patriots Mike Missanelli and
Joe Conklin, took a few shots at their former colleague, Angelo
Cataldi of WIP's morning show, in its first few days on the air.
Conklin did a character called the "Radio Sports Guy"
Also on the inaugural show, Missanelli fielded a call from
Philadelphia mayor John Street, who has refused to appear on
WIP's morning show.
Judging from the first few days on the air, it doesn't seem
as if WIP has anything to worry about from its new competition.
Though Missanelli seemed to say every few minutes it wasn't
"Sports Rock," the disastrous WMMR show of a few years
back that featured Howard Eskin and John DeBella, that's exactly
what "The Philly Local" sounded like.
Conklin did his impressions of Eagles coach Andy Reid and
Flyers general manager Bob Clarke, and the former sports radio
personalities used their connections to get sports figures like
Phillies manager Larry Bowa and WCAU's Vai Sikahema. That was
the best part of the show because the music makes one want to
turn the station immediately.
If I were MMR, I'd ditch the music completely and try to
compete on the strengths of Conklin and Missanelli, which are
impressions, talk and interviews.
If you want to become the next Jim Jackson or Marc Zumoff,
then this item is for you. The second annual "Scholastic
Play by Play Network Sportsbroadcasting Camp" will be held
June 18-20 at Bryn Mawr College for boys and girls, ages 10-18.
Zumoff and Jackson will speak at the camp. Other
"counselors" include WIP 610-AM and WCAU's Howard
Eskin, KYW's Steve Bucci.To register, call 215-546-1608 or go to
In the spotlight
Allen Iverson will be the subject of "SportsCentury"
on ESPN Classic at 8 tonight.
Remember when Phil Collins played in London and Philadelphia
for "Live Aid" in 1985? The ESPN equivalent happens
Sunday when Kenny Mayne will attempt to make live on-air
appearances at the NFL Draft, an NBA playoff game, an NHL
playoff game, and Sunday Night Baseball in Anaheim. This will be
the first time all four professional sports will be broadcast on
the same day on either ESPN or ESPN2. Let's hope Mayne doesn't
Laura Nachman writes about television and radio
sports for the Courier Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.