Best of Philly 2005: Media, Sports & Power

Anchors, athletes, important people — here’s who’s really got game

Business Leader: Advanta’s Dennis Alter These days, it’s enough for a business leader not to get caught taking hookers on the company plane to be instantly inducted into the Business Ethics Hall of Fame. So just by keeping his nose clean, Alter is ahead of the curve. Nevertheless, his decision to become bankroller-in-chief of the Dalí exhibit at the Art Museum is exactly the sort of role a business and civic leader should (and once did) play in the cultural life of the city. Why is he the only one putting his money where his mouth is?

Blog: Philebrity The suffocatingly insular world of Center City hipster and media types didn’t exactly need a home base, but this new digest, honchoed by alt-weekly writer Joey Sweeney, provides an essential guide to one of Philadelphia’s few vibrant scenes. Philebrity gleefully savages some of the easiest targets around, including the poor taste of local party planners, khaki-wearing young professionals, and the magazine you hold in your hands.

Sports Radio Personality: Ray Didinger
Serious Eagles fans know the best time to tune into WIP is Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when Didinger and partner Glen Macnow spend five hours intelligently discussing football (even in the middle of June). Macnow’s fine, but Didinger and his encylopedic knowledge of football — he spent nearly 30 years as an Eagles beat writer and columnist and is currently senior producer at NFL Films — are the real joys.

Sign that even City Council is starting to get it: Passing business-tax reduction and anti-pay-to-play bills
Only about two decades late, but hey, it’s a start.

Sign that Mayor Street still doesn’t get it: His veto of the business-tax reduction bill
The Mayor said the city couldn’t afford it, despite the fact it would have cost just $60,000 in the first year and about $22 million over the next five years, and would have helped soften the city’s image as a place hostile to business. Pathetic.

Sign that human beings are odd, deeply flawed creatures: The Can-You-See-Me-Now? People This is our official name for Phillies fans who sit behind home plate, in full view of the TV cameras, and feel the need to call friends on their cell phones and wave to them while they’re talking. Hey, Chuck, I’m on TV. Can you see me? Yes, we see you. You’re annoying. Knock it off.

Morning News Show: 6 ABC Local TV news often makes a Kennedy-family bachelor party seem dignified, but at least Channel 6’s morning show doesn’t make you feel like you need to take another shower after watching. Credit goes in part to new arrival Tamala Edwards, a former Time reporter and ABC News White House correspondent. She can play up the latest diet fad or grisly murder with the best of them, but she somehow imbues the show with an odd level of, yes, dignity.

Most Improved Newscast: CBS 3’s Eyewitness News
And not just because they’re our official “broadcast partner.” (Trust us, we stab people we work with in the back all the time.) They’ve put together a team of anchors and reporters (led by Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane) who have injected energy and personality back into what had become a dreadful broadcast. No wonder they’re making the local news ratings into a horse race again.

News Anchor on the Rise: Rick Williams, 6 ABC He made the move from mornings to late afternoon this year, and we keep wondering if he’s eventually headed for Jim Gardner’s chair. Williams is not only a solid journalist; he has a sly sense of humor that makes it clear something is going on inside his head.