Radio wars: WIP not happy about 97.5 The Fanatic on its turf

Posted: January 27, 2014

ON FRIDAY, SportsRadio WIP's Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis left their broadcast spot at Chickie's & Pete's due to "technical difficulties," forcing the relatively new partners to head back to their Old City studio.

But I heard it wasn't technical difficulties at all.

Multiple sources confirmed to me that operations manager Andy Bloom was not happy when he found out that personalities from rival media conglomerate Greater Media, including WMMR's Matt Cord and, more interestingly, 97.5 The Fanatic's Jon Marks, were at the noted South Philly eatery's main bar area doing promotional appearances for a $1,000 MetroPCS giveaway. Gargano and Ellis broadcast from Play2, a separate area of the restaurant.

Greater Media also owns BEN-FM and 102.9 WMGK in the Philadelphia market. WIP is owned by CBS Radio.

The rivalry between WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic is quite storied. The hullabaloo did not start until Marks showed up about 3:30 p.m., according to sources. At that point, Chickie's & Pete's reps tried to get the promotion moved from the VIP area to the back of the space to appease WIP bigwigs, but Greater Media refused. WIP packed up and went back to the station, forcing someone from WIP to get on the air until Ellis and Gargano could make it back to Old City.

Although neither Gargano nor Ellis would comment on the matter, sources tell me that it was not their decision and that they were not particularly happy when they were told to pack up midshow.

A spokesman for WIP told me that "ISDN-line issues sent the guys back to the studio." Bloom was out of the office due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day and could not be reached for comment. Similarly, Pete Ciarrocchi, CEO and chairman of Chickie's & Pete's, said he was down the Shore this weekend and didn't know enough about the incident to comment.

Marks confirmed what happened but had no further comment. Matt Nahigian, program director at The Fanatic, had no comment.

Cars for a cause

Want to win a Mercedes and help fight cancer at the same time? The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is raffling off a Mercedes-Benz CLA250. The winner will be announced at the Red & White Ball on Feb. 22, but the winner doesn't have to be present to drive off in a nice set of wheels. Go to to buy a $100 ticket.

Garces does good

Celeb chef Jose Garces and his dentist wife, Dr. Beatriz Garces, will host their Community Health Day, providing free medical and dental care for the city's uninsured and underserved immigrant communities on Saturday. For an appointment at their 212 Race St. office, call 215-923-1233.

Big Rube-style

Check out the eighth-anniversary cover of local sports rag Philly Sport, featuring Villanova's JayVaughn Pinkston, coach Jay Wright and Ryan Arcidiacono, which was photographed by the Daily News' own Street Style photographer , Reuben "Big Rube" Harley.


* Former Flyer and two-time Stanley Cup winner Donald Patrick "Big Bird" Saleski was spotted Saturday night at the Downtown Club, where he celebrated the wedding of Meredith Barrett Walsh, a lawyer with the firm Morgan Lewis, and Dave Merrell, who just happens to work at


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