Dan Gross: Rival praises Joey Vento

Posted: August 25, 2011

"WE WERE business competitors but we were friends," Pat's King of Steaks owner Frank Olivieri Jr. said of Joey Vento yesterday.

Vento, the philanthropic owner of Geno's Steaks, died Tuesday at 71.

"He was the hardest working guy in cheesesteaks. He has a fabulous store over there," Olivieri said, blaming the media for the perception of an intense rivalry between the catty-cornered shops.

Olivieri acknowledged that there was a more fierce competition when his father owned Pat's.

Meanwhile, funeral information for Vento has been released.

A funeral mass will be held at Noon Saturday at the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul with a viewing beginning there at 9 a.m.

CNN's Bryn Mawr connection

With the stock-market's volatility and increased fears about the economy, at least one person is getting more work: CNN's Ali Velshi. The Bryn Mawr resident hosts "American Morning" and a weekend show called "Your Money" on the cable-news network and has been handling more broadcasts talking finance.

Velshi was raised in Toronto but several years ago married Main Line hedge-fund manager Lori Wachs, a Wharton grad, and now lives in Bryn Mawr but also keeps places in New York and Atlanta to be closer to work.

"Government has to provide stimulus to create jobs. Tax cuts, infrastructure projects like natural gas. Something that retrains Americans into skilled jobs," he said, as to how to fix the economy, and then laughed that Jon Stewart had recently called him a socialist for sharing those views on "The Daily Show."

WYSP rock finale

As 94 WYSP gets ready to sign-off as a rock station, with its Sept. 6 switch to SportsRadio 94WIP (a simulcast of 610 WIP), the station is bringing back hosts Mark "King of Dirt" DiDia and "Mean" Ed Green for a reunion of their Metal Shop show, from 8 to midnight Saturday. Green promises a show full of your favorite hair-metal hits of the '80s.

In other WYSP news, Dave Hause, of the Loved Ones, is among in-studio guests Sunday on Spike's last Loud and Local show, starting at 9 p.m.

Drexel's Emmy nom

Drexel University's student-produced sitcom "Off Campus" is among the nominees for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy. The show, by students at the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, is supervised by Andrew Susskind, veteran television executive and former president of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's production company Imagine Entertainment. The project is funded by the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies. You can watch the first episode of "Off Campus" online at tinyurl.com/offcampusshow. It stars Kat Catanakis, Jamie Kerezsi, Chris Ready, Tom Saporito and Jay Robin


Charitably minded

Stylist Marc Voci and his organization Style Me Hired will host a makeover event Sept. 26 at the Omni Hotel. In conjunction with the Career Wardrobe, they will offer free makeovers and styling to 100 unemployed women who are looking for work. Women who are out of work and out-of-style may apply online at stylemehired.com by Aug. 31.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit www.philly.com/DanGross.

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