Eytan Shander isn’t a native of Philadelphia.
But he is the voice of the city he considers home.
Shander, who has been on the radio for 10 years, including stints at 94.1 WIP and ESPN Radio, is back with 97.5 The Fanatic doing weekend shows. He’s been back for a few weeks now and he’s happy to be in the town where he came into his own as a sports talk host.
“I’m on the air in six hours and I’m already headed in,” Shander said. “I’ll just go and hang out at the studio and watch Mike (Missanelli’s show).
“I was on last week and before my show, I was getting the butterflies in the stomach. I was getting nervous, I was starting to sweat and my mind was going so fast, thinking about everything I was going to talk about. I love doing sports talk, but doing it here is something I’ve always enjoyed.”
Shander considers himself a Philly guy in some ways because, despite being from New York, he has always been an Eagles fan.
“I grew up in a Mets house,” Shander said. “But my uncle was a huge Eagles fan. He was from South Philly, and I remember him coming to get me on Saturday nights and we’d watch the Eagles.
“When I got older, late middle school or high school, my mom would always try and get me tickets to preseason games. I was a kid, I didn’t know, and you’d see the stars playing a half or a quarter, so I would get excited. And even after they came out, I didn’t know, I was cheering the uniform. I’ve always been an Eagles fan. I have a picture from my Bar Mitzvah wearing an Eagles hat. That’s concrete proof.”
Being an Eagles fan is one thing, but Shander has now had ties to the Philly area, on and off, since 2004, shortly after he graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. He previously earned a philosophy degree from Gettysburg College.
“I think it was either (Missanelli) or Anthony Gargano who told me that I’ll never be a tier 1 guy because I’m not from here, and I’ll never have stories about growing up in King of Prussia or riding the El,” Shander said. “But I’m a tier 2 guy because I am now here, I’ve thrown myself into the city, I love it here and I’m an Eagles fan.”
Shander’s rise in the eyes (and ears) of Philly fans is easy to explain.
But his path to getting behind the microphone wasn’t your typical story.
After getting out of school with a philosophy degree, Shander worked in various jobs, including working on movies for Hallmark’s entertainment brand. Then he wound up in Washington, D.C.
There, he was behind a microphone, but he wasn’t taking callers. He was spitting rhymes.
“I was a rapper,” Shander said. “I released an album, I did some touring. I wasn’t Eminem or anything, but I had fun.
“Where I lived, that wasn’t a great place. I wouldn’t allow my mom or family to come visit me. If I did, she wouldn’t have let me stay there. I’m talking rats. It was disgusting.”
Upon getting out of the rap game, Shander got a job in a warehouse, and he decided to enroll in the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
He knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“When I was at the warehouse, we all had days where we could pick what we wanted on the radio,” Shander said. “One guy wanted rap, one guy wanted classic rock. When it was my day, we’d listen to sports talk.
“I knew I loved that, so I went to the school and told them I didn’t want to learn anything but what it takes to be a sports talk show host. I didn’t want to learn video editing, although now the two have been combined, but I just wanted to be a talk show host.”
Shander got an internship with a station in Atlantic City. There, he would spend hours at the station, then when his shift would end, he’d head to his home in Philly, but would make a pit stop to take in ballgames.
“My internship would be four or five hours some days,” he said. “So I’d do that, then I’d go to the Phillies game or the Flyers or Sixers. That would give me something to talk about the next day. It gave me credibility.”
Later, he got a job at WIP. There, he started out as a producer. Then he would do some announcing. Finally, he became an on-air personality.
“That was what I wanted, I loved being on the air in Philly,” Shander said. “I learned so much while being there. I was very lucky to have a lot of people take interest and help me.”
There is a long list of people who saw the radio rookie trying to find his way.
Among those who he credits for helping him: Big Daddy Graham, Al Morganti, Glen Macnow, Jason Myrtetus and program directors Ed Palentino and Andy Bloom.
And two of the voices who gave him the best advice are Angelo Cataldi and Michael Smerconish.
“I’ll never forget, twice I was too aggressive with callers and both of them told me to relax,” Shander said. “Once, Michael Smerconish was listening to me while he was driving into work, and I ripped into somebody and he told me to be myself and that I didn’t have to (yell) at every caller.
“Then Angelo was listening to me coming in one day. I was doing a show about worst things and a guy called up and said I was the worst radio host. I buried him back. So Angelo gets in and said, ‘what are you doing? When you get something like that, agree with them. Make fun of yourself. You don’t have to be serious. Tell them the program director is going to take you off during the next break. Have fun!’
“Both of these guys were great for giving me raw feedback. They were great and all of those guys went out of their way to help me.”
For the rest of the article visit the Burlington County Times where it was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research
“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”
Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.
This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.
“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”
Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.
Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job
“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.
“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel“ during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.
“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.
Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’
“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.
“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”
“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”
When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.
“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.
The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.
Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”
Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”
Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.