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Angelo Cataldi: I Prep More Than Ever Because It’s Hard To Be Great At 71

“I’ve done this a long time, but I still have a sense of trepidation. I still think about it and go ‘maybe tomorrow is the day I fall flat on my face.’”

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Angelo Cataldi has a little less than six months left before he walks away from WIP. The Philadelphia sports radio legend was a guest on The Press Box this week, The Ringer’s podcast focused on the media.

Host Bryan Curtis asked Cataldi how he is doing with the end in sight and what he thinks he will feel on his last day on air.

“A sense of closure,” Cataldi answered. “I’m hoping to receive that in the next six months. A sense of relief. And to some extent, a sense of accomplishment. I’ve done this a long time, but I still have a sense of trepidation. I still think about it and go ‘maybe tomorrow is the day I fall flat on my face.’”

That last part is why he says he knows it is time to say goodbye. Angelo explained that it’s harder to be great at 71. He preps more than he ever did before to ensure he doesn’t forget an important name or thought in the moment.

He also spendt part of the podcast looking back on his highlights and struggles. Curtis asked Cataldi how he would characterize his relationship with fellow Philadelphia sports talk icon Howard Eskin.

Cataldi said that Howard deserves all of the respect he gets, but they have a classic love/hate relationship.

“‘Love’ in that I really respect what he has done for sports talk, especially in Philadelphia. I respect his work ethic and respect his love for sports. I don’t respect that he’s never been a great team player. He’s never looked out for you. More now than before, but, he’s a big talent, a big talent. 

“All of us that are doing talk radio in Philadelphia took something from Howard’s approach to it. He was very provocative and interesting. I think we’re in a pretty good place right now, but the next time I say something he doesn’t like, we will not be in a good place, and he will come after me, I will retaliate, and then we will have two old men fighting like little children.”

Cataldi also talked about the demise of the famous WIP Wing Bowl. In its 26-year run, the event went from being contested in a hotel ballroom for a cheap hibachi to competitors entering a sold-out Spectrum Center to compete for $75,000 worth of prizes.

It was an event Angelo Cataldi described as full-on debauchery.

“It was the closest thing as you would get to a public orgy. It was bad. By the end, it had gotten completely out of control and it was time to end it, especially given #MeToo and all that’s going on now. We got out at the right time. It would not be acceptable, what was going on in those buildings. But it was a hell of a radio promotion for a long time.”

One interesting moment in the podcast came when Curtis asks Cataldi about his accent. The Providence, RI native said that he wishes he was better at hiding it, but it is about as good now as it is going to be.

He has been on the air in Philadelphia for 33 years, but because of his voice, he knows there are some listeners that will always think of him as an outsider.

“People knew I wasn’t one of them, so when they wanted to hate me, it was easier to hate me.”

Outsider or not, Cataldi is feeling the love from the audience right now. He says the most rewarding thing that has happened since announcing his impending retirement is that strangers are more likely to stop him on the street to tell him how much they have enjoyed his show.

“They reinforce in you that what you did had some value,” he said. “If you’re doing that and they’re paying you well, what more are you gonna ask for? It was a good deal.”

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Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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Jonas Knox: Adrian Wojnarowski’s NBA Draft Reporting Was Desperate Ratings Ploy

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

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Thursday’s NBA Draft is a moment the guys waiting to hear their names called had been waiting for since the day they picked up a basketball. While his draft came decades ago in the NFL, LaVar Arrington could relate to what they were feeling.

“It’s a dream recognized,” he said on Friday’s episode of FOX Sports Radio’s 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe. “You work so hard for so long. So, when you’re sitting there waiting for them to call your name, it’s a surreal moment.”

His partner, Jonas Knox, wasn’t in such a nostalgic or celebratory mood. He had a problem with the information leading up to draft night and just how much the narrative that Auburn’s Jabari Smith would be taken by the Orlando Magic with the first pick was pushed before all the sudden, it wasn’t.

“What a bunch of crap that we are being fed by Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN, the Orlando Magic,” he said. “Whoever’s feeding it is full of crap.”

Wojnarowski tweeted an hour before the Draft that Jabari Smith was still the favorite to be taken, but he was hearing that the Magic weren’t ruling out Duke’s Paolo Banchero. 

When the first pick was announced, it was Paolo Banchero that heard his name called, not Smith. 

“One of three things happened,” Knox said. “Either ESPN is so desperate for ratings and for people to give a crap about the NBA Draft and their sport that they waited until the final hour to pump up some interest, realizing we’ve got a problem here based on some ratings and some reports on some ratings in the NBA Finals, so they waited until an hour before and had Woj drop a ‘Woj Bomb’ that it could not be Jabari Smith, that it could be Banchero who’s gonna go number one overall. It’s either that or Woj is in some kind of cahoots with the Orlando Magic.”

That is a powerful accusation. Knox finds it hard to believe the information got to ESPN’s renowned NBA Insider so late in the process.

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

He didn’t rule out that someone was trying to make money behind the scenes. As late as Thursday afternoon, the Duke Forward was still in plus territory to be the top pick on many sportsbooks’ odds boards. The odds had gone as high as +1600 last week.

“I call BS. I think it’s all shenanigans and I think somebody needs to get called out for it,” Knox concluded. “That pisses me off, man.”

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