Friday marked the end of an era in Philadelphia, as legendary morning host Angelo Cataldi signed off SportsRadio 94WIP for the last time.
Philadelphia sports fans woke up with Cataldi every morning for 33 years, but the longtime radio host did his last show Friday. Former and current colleagues joined the show to offer tributes. So did several popular Philadelphia sports personalities, politicians and longtime callers, who all weighed in to wish Cataldi well in his long-awaited retirement.
The 71-year-old Cataldi signed off his final show by thanking his wife for her support, before opting to use a phrase that he admittedly mocked many athletes for during his career behind the mic.
“It’s time for me to go, Philadelphia. I need to spend more time with my family,” Cataldi said, garnering a chuckle out of everyone in the studio. “Thank you for the best 33 years of my life…Thank you all for an amazing run. Goodbye.”
Angelo Cataldi says goodbye. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OrmNQVo6pP
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) February 17, 2023
In October 2021, Cataldi announced 2022 would be his final year on-air and began working a reduced schedule by taking Wednesdays off. Cataldi was supposed to host his final morning show on WIP last December, but opted to stay through the Philadelphia Eagles‘ playoff run, which ended in a Super Bowl LVII loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cataldi finally passed the torch on Friday. Starting Monday, Feb. 20, WIP’s longtime midday show hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie will be tasked with replacing a Philadelphia legend..
“When I took over, after Brookie [Tom Brookshier] left, everybody said to me ‘You’re doomed now. He’s a legend, nobody can follow him,’” Cataldi recalled. “And now some people are saying that to Joe and Jon, and James [Seltzer, producer], the next show. Don’t believe a word of it…give them the same opportunity you gave us. Offer them the same loyalty and they’re going to build on it the same way we did. They will be terrific here, and they will be successful the way we were.”
A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Cataldi began ingratiating himself to Philly sports fans as a journalist for The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1983. And Cataldi’s tenure on WIP dates back to 1989, when he co-hosted the morning show with Brookshier. In 1993, Cataldi took the reins of WIP’s morning show. His unparalleled longevity was backed by immense ratings success throughout his tenure.