Almost exactly one year after accepting a buyout as Entercom underwent significant rounds of cutbacks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, legendary update anchor John Minko made his return to WFAN on Monday.
With usual update anchor Jerry Recco filling in for Boomer Esiason and sitting alongside Gregg Giannotti in the WFAN morning show co-host chair, Minko was back in studio to fill the void. The idea to offer Minko an opportunity to fill-in came from Gio and was ultimately implemented by the station.
Minko had been with WFAN since July 1987 when he stepped away from full-time update duty last April. Expecting to retire within the year, Minko accepted a buyout from Entercom sooner than anticipated, but the decision likely saved somebody else from being laid off within the company.
“I had the choice to stay,” Minko told me last April. “If I wanted to stay, that would have been fine with them, but on the other hand, I knew I was likely going to be there for less than a year and if I stayed, somebody else would have lost a job.”
With Minko making a surprise return, and Stugotz in talks to sit in as a guest host, maybe Mike Francesa will be the next sports radio icon to shock listeners and join WFAN’s morning show.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.
Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”
Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.
“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”
“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.
After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.
Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.
“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.