In other Tony Luke news: Within the next few weeks, the first of 60 Tony Luke's cheesesteak shops will open in, of all places, Bahrain. The tie: Rastelli Foods, the South Jersey food-service giant that has a partnership with Tony Luke, enjoys a major presence in the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking of sandwiches . . .
Friday brought a run on chicken Italiano sandwiches at the Shank's Pier 40 stand at Columbus Boulevard and Christian Street in South Philly - announced Thursday as the top choice of WIP talker Glen Macnow's
"Hot Sandwich Safari." He and his panel scouted the region's hot sandwiches (but no cheesesteaks, burgers, or hot dogs). Macnow's own choice was the classic Nick's roast beef sandwich, but his judges and listeners overruled him. Also in the tops were the Schmitter from McNally's, Carlino's roast pork, Pastaficio's meatball sandwich, and pastrami from Herschel's East Side Deli. "I am going out with my wife for a low-calorie dinner - maybe a salad," the radio host quipped Friday afternoon. He sampled 42 sandwiches over two months.
Comic-Con International, drawing a who's-who of the comic-book world to San Diego this weekend, will hear Sunday from Warminster's Al Wiesner, creator of the Shaloman series. He's in great company as a special guest alongside such pulp giants as Stan Lee and Brian Michael Bendis. Wiesner, about to turn 80, was a hairdresser in his mid-50s when he started drawing the Jewish superhero (rally cry, "Oi-Vay!"), and now has 42 issues. His readership covers many faiths. "I get fan mail from everywhere," he says. "One of my best was from a man from Seattle who's a Mormon. You don't have to be Jewish to understand it."
Who's tops in morning radio? According to June's Arbitron ratings, WMMR's Preston & Steve
led the two main age groups, 18-34 and 25-54.
The biggest recent success story in the mornings is Tarsha "Jonesy" Jones, who started on Power 99 (WUSL, 98.9) last September and launched the show from 10th place to third among those 18 to 34.
The second-biggest hit: Elvis Duran, whose syndicated show on Q102 started slowly two years ago. It was second among 18-to-34s and was the No. 1 show among women in that age bracket.
At Wired 96.5, Chio finished fourth. His show, which just jettisoned sidekick G-N Kang, was second among listeners 18-34 a year ago. In its target of women ages 18-34, the show was third in June, trailing the surging Duran and Preston & Steve.
Preston & Steve had a lock on the 18-to-34-male demographic: a 24.4 share, basically a quarter of the guy audience. Also worth noting was the rise of Danny Bonaduce on WYSP (94.1). Among men 18-34, his audience share in June was a 3.6, double that of the previous June.
WB17 news alumna Margie Smith
has returned to the Philly media fold as a reporter/anchor on KYW-AM (1060). After her TV career, Smith lived in the Caribbean, sailed to Europe, and was diagnosed with and beat cancer. She's also teaching at Temple University.
Former Fox29 sports guy Bill Vargus recently spent time in L.A. pitching his idea for a TV show about boxing. Vargus is also working on a documentary about Philly boxers.
The TLC show Fabulous Cakes
visited Chestnut Hill's Bredenbeck's Bakery and Night Kitchen Bakery, as well as Robert Bennett
of Classic Cake in Cherry Hill and Washington Township. Set the DVR for 10 p.m. Monday.
Flying Monkey Patisserie of Reading Terminal Market fame will appear on the Food Network's Kid in a Candy Store at 8:30 p.m. Monday. Topic: brownies.
The Eagles' Winston Justice is a regular at this summer's Dream Camp at Girard College, and he's motivating the 160 campers, ages 5 to 16, with promises of Eagles tickets and fancy meals. The camp teaches such things as art and music production, and there's an eye toward nutrition. Justice recently began eating more healthfully. Chef Marc Vetri, through his foundation, has created the daily menu. MilkBoy Communications is filming the camp for a documentary.
Hotter than July
If you're thinking about hitting the Christmas in July promotion this weekend in Chestnut Hill, try again next weekend. Organizers postponed it because of the excessive heat in the forecast.
Contact columnist Michael Klein at email@example.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.