Apparently, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the “legendary” band The Grateful Dead. (What, you didn’t know?) And to commemorate this sacred occasion, Philadelphia radio station WXPN is offering 24 hours of the Grateful Dead. They’re calling it the Day of the Dead. (Creative!) And they even have a hashtag: #XPNDeadDay. All of which has us ready to puke. Read more »
This week on Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewed fellow Philadelphian Bradley Cooper about American Sniper and his work in The Elephant Man, which is playing now on Broadway in New York.
The first part of the nearly hourlong chat delves into the much-reported controversy surrounding Sniper, in which Cooper plays a sharp-shooting Navy SEAL sniper during the war in Iraq. Liberals say the film doesn’t do enough to emphasize that that troops should never have been in Iraq in the first place, and that it glorifies a mission gone wrong. Conservatives—like Sarah Palin—say hogwash.
Just when you thought Philadelphia’s annual pageant of the grotesque couldn’t get any weirder comes this news: Former world pro wrestling champion Mick Foley will compete at this year’s Wing Bowl.
Foley — who also wrestled as Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love — was best known in wrestling for his battles with The Rock over the WWF Championship, as well as losing two-thirds of his right ear in a match in 1994. He also wrestled in Extreme Championship Wrestling, a popular Philadelphia-based promotion in the 1990s.
This morning on WIP, Foley said he’s no celebrity stunt contestant: He’s in it to win. “I believe, as they say, on any given Sunday in the game of football,” Foley said on the station. “On Wing Bowl, it’s on — on any given day I believe I could stand my ground with the best in the world … I already have a doctor on hand ready to give me the Heimlich maneuver if needed.”
If you’ve been missing Philly radio personality Casey Reed’s voice on the radio since she retired from 96.5 last March, we’ve got some good news: Starting this week she is stepping in as the official host of Q102‘s Afternoon Drive.
The Philly native, Temple grad and outspoken LGBT rights advocate got her start in local radio a decade ago, interning for Q102‘s Chio in the Morning and eventually becoming host of Midday on 96.5, a position she held for nine years. Since her resignation from that post, she hosted New York City’s 95.5, but now she’s back in Philly where she belongs. “Philly’s my hometown, she says. “So to be able to play great music and talk to listeners here every day on their crazy drive home, it’s one of the most amazing outcomes of my career so far.”
Reed was also named Q102 music director, a job that will have her overseeing music content and working with other departments to “enhance the overall sound of the station.”
You can hear her on Afternoon Drive weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m. on Q102.
It’s a tiny 4,000-watt station based in Wildwood Crest. But if you’ve happened to catch WEZW 93.1 recently, you probably remember it: Since October 17th, it has been playing Christmas music.
Gary Fisher, the owner of station parent company Equity Communications, explains that one of his stations shifted to Christmas music earlier and earlier each year, and it got a good response from listeners each time. They eventually settled on the third Friday in October as the time to make the switch.
“That creates the right combination of controversy, head-scratching and, ultimately, lots of affinity and partisanship,” Fisher says. “And a great deal of affinity to the music.”
Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the Phillies have extended their contract with CBS Radio through the 2015 season. A three-year-contract, signed in 2012, was to expire at the end of this season.
Terms of the extension were not disclosed. Officials on both sides said the extra year will give them a chance to negotiate the next long-term contract.
Read more »
A Philadelphia radio legend, Don Cannon, has passed away.
Cannon was known as “The Dean of Philadelphia Radio.” He was a voice on morning radio in Philadelphia from 1969 until he retired in 2004. The “Cannon in the Morning” show started on WIBG and has been heard on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, WSNI and WOGL.
Don Cannon could also be seen as host of “Inside Golf” Saturday nights on the Comcast Sports Network.
You may remember that in the original Rocky movie, when the morning alarm clock goes off for Rocky’s run, it is Cannon’s voice on the radio:
The latest episode of Philly-produced radio talk show Fresh Air finds host Terry Gross chatting with legendary gay advocate George Takei. It’s a good listen. The Star Trek alum delves into his reasons for not coming out until he was 68 years old, his years in a Japanese internment camp, and how he transitioned into becoming one of our most outspoken celebrity champions for gay rights. A blip about his coming out:
Smerconish was once seen as a rising star in conservative radio; George W. Bush even called in to Smerconish’s show on election night in 2000. But as Bush’s popularity plummeted in his second term and right-wing talk radio lurched rightward in the mid-2000s, Smerconish’s more-nuanced takes fell a bit out of favor. He says he was pressured to get more right-wing — but wanted to continue to be a conservative moderate. Smerconish also, notably, says refused to take ads for gold-selling businesses, a recent staple of conservative radio.
Now he’s on satellite radio, and says he has “put [his] livelihood on the line” to show that moderate punditry does have an audience and … why am I bothering to recap these things, let’s talk about his pillows:
“I’m the referendum, aren’t I?” he says on the patio of his spacious home in swanky Villanova, Pa., his arm draped across a pillow bearing the outline of his signature bald head.
Do you think the Smerconish bald head logo was originally created by doing a silhouette cutout using a flashlight and his shadow? I hope so.