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February 17, 2023

Angelo Cataldi bids Philly farewell on final SportsRadio 94WIP broadcast

After 33 years at the helm of the morning show, the boisterous host gave thanks and no apologies

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Angelo Cataldi Retires Philly Provided Image/Angelo Cataldi

Angelo Cataldi, 94WIP's longtime morning show host, delivered his last show Friday after 33 years in Philly sports talk radio.

Angelo Cataldi's storied run at SportsRadio 94WIP came to an end Friday as the morning team reminisced and reflected on 33 years of unfiltered Philly sports talk.

Cataldi, 71, has been a master of rabble-rousing agitation unlike any other media personality to come through the region. But on Friday, he took a page from the book of the many notable figures he's roasted over the years.

"I mocked every athlete who said this when they retired, and I'm going to close by saying it myself," Cataldi told listeners during the final moments of his show. "It's time for me to go, Philadelphia. I need to spend more time with my family."

If you missed Cataldi's last broadcast, you can hear the full show below. Most of his comments offering thanks for his time in Philadelphia — and for the colleagues who have supported him — can be found in the final hour.

Some of Cataldi's most iconic escapades have put him in the crosshairs of significant athletes over the years. He and then-Mayor Ed Rendell organized the notorious "Dirty 30" fan group that booed the Eagles' selection of Donovan McNabb instead of Ricky Williams at the 1999 NFL Draft. Cataldi also mercilessly needled and ridiculed former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

"I feel now, as I look back, that I was kind of a jerk, alright?" Cataldi said Friday. "I was obnoxious to a lot of people because I was so committed to do the best show we could. Some took it well. Some didn't. I'm not apologizing, but I am acknowledging that I should have been nicer about that."

Cataldi's ruthlessness toward the teams he covered was admittedly by design. Despite SportsRadio 94WIP's partnerships with the Eagles and Phillies, which gave Cataldi regular interviews with team personnel, the focus never wavered from delivering an entertaining show.

"The players, the owners, the managers, the coaches, they were never integral to the success of WIP," Cataldi said. "How they felt about us never mattered. All that mattered was you. If you liked what you were hearing, you would keep listening. We would stay in business. We would grow in audience. The only people that mattered were the people listening and calling in to our show."

Even former Eagles head coach Andy Reid, who often drew the ire of Cataldi, congratulated the radio host on his retirement after his Kansas City Chiefs beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. 

Cataldi thanked dozens of people who helped sustain the morning show's success over the years, from producers and interns to callers, co-hosts and contributors like Joe Conklin. He called Rhea Hughes "the backbone" of the show, adding that she increasingly filled in gaps as his own energy level faded toward the end of his run.

"Since even before the pandemic, I relied on Rhea Hughes to hide my skills that were diminishing, my memory which is faltering and my fatigue which got to the point where I could not possibly do five of these (shows) a week," Cataldi said.

Cataldi also praised Al Morganti for introducing him to the radio world when he left the newspaper business in the late 1980s. Morganti was the mastermind behind the Wing Bowl, which had a 26-year run, and even dissuaded Cataldi from pursuing an enticing job offer in Boston in the late 1990s.

"Every important decision we had to make about this show over the past three decades, usually it was Al's decision," Cataldi said.

Morganti became emotional when talking about his love for Philadelphia during Friday's show. 

Beginning Monday, the new WIP morning show will be taken over by Jon Ritchie and Joe DeCamara. Hughes will remain on the broadcast with them, along with Joe Weachter, Devan Kaney, Joe Conklin and James Seltzer. Morganti will move to a weekend time slot and also will produce a Flyers podcast for WIP.

The new midday show will be led by former Eagle Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio.

In retirement, Cataldi plans to write a memoir. He's also currently part of "The TV Show" podcast, in which he reviews television series with Hughes and comedian Jay Black.

Below are Cataldi's final remarks on the air at SportsRadio 94WIP.