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Joe Benigno Celebrates 25 Years With WFAN

“25 years ago, Joe Benigno made the unlikely jump from being a food salesman to a full-time sports radio host on WFAN, at the age of 41.”

Brandon Contes

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25 years ago, Joe Benigno made the unlikely jump from being a food salesman to a full-time sports radio host on WFAN, at the age of 41. A far cry from the typical route hosts take to make it in the industry.

In 1995, Benigno was still known to WFAN ‘Joe from Saddle River,’ until he grabbed the unlikely opportunity to become a full-time host on the station.

Earlier this week, the New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro shared a screenshot of an article written by his colleague Phil Mushnick from ’95, which presented Benigno as WFAN’s new overnight host. Mushnick, who 25 years later rarely has anything kind to say about WFAN hosts or the modern sports media in general, noted Benigno’s ability to offer “a point of view that was generally honest, fresh and worthy of consideration” as a caller.

Then and now WFAN program director Mark Chernoff made the decision to hire the 41-year old Benigno in 1995, but even he didn’t sound totally sold on his staying power. “A good caller doesn’t necessarily translate into a good host,” Chernoff told Mushnick at the time. “But who knows? We might have lightning in a bottle,” he added.

In Dec. 1994, Chernoff gave four regular callers the opportunity to host a show during the quiet sports radio week between Christmas and New Years. After that show opportunity, Benigno attended broadcasting school twice a week and bought airtime on New Jersey’s WJDM 1530 following the advice of Chernoff. Not long after, Benigno won the audition and was named a full-time sports radio host at WFAN.

25 years later, it’s fair to say The FAN and Benigno’s unlikely marriage was indeed a strike of lightning in a bottle. Nearly a decade on the overnight, followed by more than 15 years in middays, Benigno helped bring much needed consistency to what was previously a timeslot known for having a revolving door of hosts. Set to turn 67 years old later this month, I have no idea if Benigno was a good food salesman, but his second career as a radio host has been pretty damn impressive.

Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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Sports Radio News

Jake Chapman Named Orlando Magic Radio Play-By-Play Voice

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Jake Chapman has been introduced as the new radio play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

Chapman is beginning his 10th overall season with the franchise. He has previously served as the pre-game and post-game host for the team, as well as the radio producer. He joined the club as in intern in 2006 before becoming a producer in 2009. He then joined the Detroit Pistons Radio Network in 2014 to become its pre-game and post-game host as well as executive producer. He later joined 92.3 The Fan and the Cleveland Browns Radio Network as a producer. He returned to the Magic in 2019.

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brandon Kravitz will serve as co-host for pregame, halftime and postgame. The network pregame show, Magic Tonight, will hit the air 30 minutes prior to tip-off. Magic Tonight is scheduled to premiere on October 11.

96.9 The Game is the radio flagship of the Magic Radio Network.

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Sports Radio News

Angelo Cataldi Thinks Cris Collinsworth Is A ‘Bozo’

“He goes ‘I think Cris is usually smart in and his analysis is good but…” Hughes said before Cataldi interrupted by shouting “No he’s not! No he’s not!”, he reiterated. “He’s not smart!”

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Some analysis made by Sunday Night Football commentator Cris Collinsworth caught the attention of 94 WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi that sent him over the edge Monday morning.

“Joe Banner ripped Cris Collinsworth last night over something he said about Andy Reid in the game last night,” Rhea Hughes said as she detailed Banner’s criticism. “He goes ‘I worked for Andy Reid for 14 years. Cris Collinsworth just said if there’s anything Andy Reid loves to do it’s pound the football.”

“Oh that’s a total lie! Cris Collinsworth is a bozo!”, Cataldi shouted.

Reid faced heavy criticism at the end of his tenure as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for his reluctance to run the football. The team routinely finished in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards per game during Reid’s 14 seasons at the helm of the franchise.

“He goes ‘I think Cris is usually smart in and his analysis is good but…” Hughes said before Cataldi interrupted by shouting “No he’s not! No he’s not!”, he reiterated. “He’s not smart!”

“NBC needs to learn he does no work anymore,” Hughes added of Collinsworth.

“Nothing! Stop it! Stop it all of you! Stop it now!”, Cataldi concluded.

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