The one mild got here from a flickering black-and-white
moveable TV resting on a stand in his mother and father’ bed room. The booming noise he
offered himself, broadcasting right into a hand-held tape recorder transporting his
imaginary viewers with his phrases to the place he was—courtside on the Sixers,
nestled within the press field with Harry and Whitey behind house plate on the Vet, or
at Oriole Park at Camden Yards with Jon Miller.
Joe and Eleanor Farzetta didn’t assume something of it.
Sitting downstairs in the lounge, their eyes would invariably rise to the
ceiling, then sideways at one another, they usually shrugged. It was merely their
youngest son, Marc, doing what he all the time favored to do — speak.
“My mother and father didn’t assume I used to be nuts, they only thought I
actually appreciated sports activities and the sound of my very own voice,” Marc Farzetta recollects,
laughing on the reminiscence.
At this time, you’ll be able to’t miss him. Marc Farzetta is omnipresent,
mild years from the child who used to speak at a TV display.
Over the subsequent few months, in case you’re a Philadelphia sports activities
fan, you’re both going to hear or see the 36-year-old, for those who haven’t
The Ambler native who was as soon as describing Darren Daulton
residence runs right into a cassette participant finds himself the newest tone of Philadelphia
sports activities media, as the brand new weekday morning drive host of 97.5 The Fanatic, on
“Farzetta & Tra in the Morning,” from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and the afternoon
co-host with Amy Fadool on Philly Sports activities
Speak Mondays via Fridays from 5 p.m. till 6 p.m. on NBC Sports activities
It’s a pair of dream jobs spawned from the dream world of a
little child whose concept was all the time to do precisely what he’s doing now.
How many aspire to that?
Michael Barkann as soon as hosted mid-days on 94.1 WIP with Ike
Reese and hosted Day by day Information Reside for Comcast SportsNet. Howard Eskin held the
prime rush hour slot for many years on WIP and did 11 p.m. newscasts for Channel
29, now Fox.
Nothing, although, like Farzetta, who finds himself within the
uncommon terrain of being a morning present radio host throughout prime time and sharing a
prime native TV platform.
That is even past what the 2001 Archbishop Wooden and 2005
Temple grad envisioned.
“It really has exceeded my wildest dreams,” Farzetta
admitted. “I all the time thought I might be a radio man who would do some TV. However
when this chance got here with 97.5, I couldn’t move it up.”
Eric Johnson, The Fanatic’s program director since November
2017, taking up for Matt Nahigian, is an alum of WIP, the place he was from
1994-99, and is from the world, born in Atlantic Metropolis and raised in Mays
Johnson is aware of the heart beat of the Philadelphia fanbase and
feels Farzetta connects nicely with it.
“I all the time loved listening to Marc on WIP and also you hear
sure issues, his character actually cuts by way of,” stated Johnson, who has
over 40 years of expertise within the radio business. “Marc’s a expertise. I didn’t
know the place he was in his profession at WIP and he has such an incredible grasp of
Philadelphia sports activities. Between radio and NBC Sports activities Philadelphia, he radiates all
of the qualities a morning speak present anchor wants in 2018.
“Between the 2 mediums, what individuals don’t know or see is
all the preparation that Marc places in. When the chance got here, we thought
it was an amazing transfer to get Marc. He’s assembly with his crew at three:30 each
morning. They’ve a plan for the present. He hits on all the proper subjects at
the best occasions. The man is only a natural-born chief with a morning present that
has a number of individuals on it. It wants a pacesetter.”
Maybe nobody works more durable or applies himself within the
Philadelphia market greater than Farzetta.
He graduated Temple on a Friday in Might 2005 and the
following Monday was within the WIP studios when it was at 2 Bala Plaza, in Bala
Cynwyd. Farzetta’s profession arc started when he competed and gained WIP’s intern
contest within the spring of 2005. It obtained him a station promotional gig that paid
$50 a job. A activity would come, Farzetta would load up the station van, do the
promotion and never see the $50 examine for about three months.
However Farzetta did one thing about that.
“I kept showing up,” he stated. “I used to be all the time round. If
one thing turned open, I simply did it. I keep in mind my first couple of days at WIP
when the promotional director advised me that I can solely present up once they name
me. I informed him I used to be sorry, after which I confirmed up the subsequent day as a result of I knew
the morning present would use me. I knew the morning present would put me on air. I
knew if I labored my ass off and did no matter they wanted me to do, there would
be a chance.
“I’m not going to be on the air sitting at house. I’m solely
going to improve my probabilities of being on the air by being in and across the
studio. So, I simply frolicked all the time, and that made me obtainable to
When Tom Lee, then-WIP program director, referred to as Farzetta to
produce the in a single day present, he referred to as at 11 that morning. There was only one
“I used to be truly driving house to Doylestown from the morning
present, when Tom Lee, an awesome man and an amazing man to work for, says, ‘Hey, Marc,
do you assume you possibly can find out how to produce?’ I stated, ‘Positive, when do you want
me?’ He says, ‘Tonight,’” Farzetta remembers. “I actually obtained off 76, went
again to Bala Cynwyd, discovered how to produce and did the midnight-to-6 a.m.
“The station was still standing in the morning.”
Producing wasn’t paying far more than the promotional aspect
work. Some weeks Farzetta may take residence $100. Different weeks perhaps $400. He took
a job overlaying highschool sports activities for the Trenton
Occasions, which paid greater than WIP’s afternoon drive producer. He additional
supplemented his revenue by landscaping, working as a highschool basketball
ref, and each every so often putting in submitting cupboard techniques with his
“I produced three nights every week, which solely paid $eight per hour
($240 per week), so should you’re fortunate, you will get the in a single day and a six-hour
shift, as opposed to a daily four-hour shift,” he recollects. “I keep in mind
repeatedly getting a $180 every week examine. I might take any shift that they gave
me, whereas nonetheless doing promotions.
“My first December (2005) out of school, it’s once I received my
first replace shift on the air. Tom Lee had a gap. He knew that I’d work my
ass off for it and after that, I did updates sporadically. For some cause
then, the Saturday night time replace was a revolving door. I used to be handed over twice
for it. I used to be nonetheless working the morning present once I obtained the Saturday night time
Whereas juggling all of that, he was doing assistant aspect work
for NBC, a job he began the second semester of his senior yr at Temple. It
was a connection that blossomed from 2004-2018, earlier than touchdown full-time at NBC
Sports activities Philadelphia. He went from manufacturing assistant, doing probably the most mundane
duties like fetching tender drinks for the on-air expertise to turning into a part of the
precise manufacturing crew the final 11 years doing the whole lot from replays to
graphics as a part of an eight-time Emmy-winning Sunday Night time Soccer group.
However the job didn’t come, or no less than begin, with out its
“I used to be nonetheless at Temple when NBC requested me to do a hockey recreation
on the Wachovia Middle (now the Wells Fargo Middle),” Farzetta stated. “They
requested me to go get (shade analyst) John Davidson some Food plan Pepsi. The Wachovia
Middle was a Coke area, so I ran to an area CVS, grabbed a 12-pack of Weight-reduction plan
Pepsi with Splenda, which I assumed was the best way they made Food regimen Pepsi then.
“I ran again, put the 12-pack on ice so it will be chilled
30 minutes later when Davidson (at present the Columbus Blue Jackets’ president
of hockey operations) arrived. Then I get a name from the manufacturing supervisor
that Davidson had an issue. They informed me to return up to the sales space. I’ll
always remember it. I’m going again up to the sales space, and John Davidson’s again is to the
“I get there and say, ‘Hey, Mr. Davidson, what’s up?’ He
half-turned to the door; he didn’t even take a look at me, whereas holding up the Food regimen
Pepsi with Splenda. He raised his pinky like he was sipping tea and stated, ‘This
has Splenda in it; I don’t drink Splenda.’ I had to run again out and seize
one other pack of Food regimen Pepsi — with out Splenda in it. I keep in mind considering that is
what they’re speaking about when guys big-time you just a little bit. I look again at
that and I snicker my ass off. The factor that’s fascinating is I’ve heard John
Davidson is among the nicest man on the planet, too.”
The work ethic is straightforward to decipher. It’s deeply embedded in
Farzetta’s DNA. He by no means knew his paternal grandparents, Tomaso and Katie
Farzetta, who got here from Maida, Italy, as a result of his grandfather died 10 days
earlier than his father, Joe, turned one. His paternal grandmother raised 4 boys,
Joe being the youngest, by herself with appreciable assist from her two eldest
sons, Lou (or Sonny) and John. The 2 older boys took in Tommy and Joe, who
the three older boys vowed to their mom that “Joey
obtain a university schooling.”
Eleanor Chesnavage, Marc’s mom, was one in every of 12. His
maternal grandmother, who handed away in February, put up the wooden paneling in
their house and had no hassle getting her palms greasy underneath the hood
putting in a carburetor. His maternal grandfather, Al, who’s 97, is a former
member of the Coast Guard who labored into his 80s at Camden Yards as an usher
behind house plate with his orange hat and black invoice.
In his early years at WIP, Farzetta would do the morning
present, produce Howard Eskin’s afternoon present, do a station promotional occasion
from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Be again on the station by 10, unfold the again seat of his
silver 2000 Honda Civic on the basement degree of the Bala Plaza storage and he
would sleep there for an hour, with his ft protruding of the backdoor
home windows. Then he would get up in time to produce the in a single day present till 6
a.m., sticking round for the morning present the subsequent day.
After which go residence.
So there’s no thriller why Farzetta is in a position to function on
4 hours sleep to be at 97.5 by three a.m. to prep with producer Jamie Lynch and
his morning staff of Tra Thomas and Bob Cooney. He will get residence for a nap round
11, earlier than his day continues on the NBC studios on the Wells Fargo Middle at 2
p.m. for extra prep work for the 5 p.m. Philly
Sports activities Speak broadcast. Then, relying on whether or not any of the Philadelphia
groups are enjoying that night time, he gained’t get to mattress till round 10:30 or 11 p.m.
and start the method once more the subsequent day.
“I look again at the place I used to be and the place I’m, and there’s a
selection for lots of people that I graduated school with: Both keep right here and
grind it out, or go elsewhere to one other market and work your method again,”
stated Farzetta, who bounced round as a toddler from Rochester, N.Y., to Baltimore
with his father’s pharmaceutical gross sales job earlier than returning to the Philadelphia
space when he was 10. “I didn’t need to depart Philly. I really like the town and I felt
I missed out on lots in my youthful years. I didn’t need to depart Philly once more,
regardless that I used to be four or 5 once we moved. I simply all the time had a connection to
Philadelphia and I didn’t need to miss out on extra time right here. I needed to get
extra immersed in Philadelphia.
“As quickly as I made a livable wage, it’s why I moved into the
metropolis. So far as wanting again on these days, I’ve zero pity for myself. I
don’t look again on it with unhappiness or something like that. The extra I study
my circle of relatives, it’s unimaginable; it makes what I’ve achieved extra gratifying.
I’m fascinated by individuals’s household historical past typically.
“Am I going to complain a few enterprise that I needed to
work in since I used to be 11 years previous? Am I going to complain as a result of I had to sleep
in my automotive a few occasions and wasn’t making sufficient cash, when all of my life
I’ve been listening to tales of my mom’s household immigrating to this nation
from Japanese Europe working within the coal mines and dying from black lung? Am I going
to complain to these individuals about my exhausting day? Am I going to take a look at my dad,
who misplaced his father earlier than he was 1, as a result of he had to work in an asbestos
manufacturing unit, and complain about my day speaking about sports activities as a result of I didn’t get
“You’re making an attempt to accomplish a aim — don’t complain concerning the
journey alongside the best way. Cease bitching. For me it’s easy: If you develop up with
the tales I’ve, you study to put your head down, shut up and work your ass
off. In case you lose since you’re lazy, you deserve each ounce of being a loser.
That’s the underside line. There are individuals on the planet which might be higher at issues
than you’re, however don’t let anybody ever outwork you.
“That’s the attitude that you’ve to have — that I’ve.
Simply since you work exhausting doesn’t make you particular. It makes you respect
every part that you simply’re in a position to earn in your life.”
Farzetta recalled the final dialog he had with his
Uncle Sonny, who was extra a grandfather than an uncle.
“For all the work my grandparents did, particularly my
grandfather working in an asbestos manufacturing unit, I requested my Uncle Sonny if my
grandparents can be okay with me simply being an fool on the radio,” Marc
stated. “My Uncle Sonny laughed and stated that they might have appreciated it. However he
additionally stated one thing that struck me. They might have appreciated seeing the identify
‘Farzetta’ up on TV and stuff like that. That was the final time I spoke with
The $150 paychecks are gone. Farzetta is making a wholesome
six-figure sum between the 2 jobs — although it’s come at a worth. For over a
decade, his face and identify have been synonymous with WIP. Anytime there was a WIP
occasion, whether or not it was recruiting wingettes at an area bar for Wing Bowl, or a
94 promotional cease at a cellphone retailer, or operating to a location for a
“Farzy in the Field” bit, likelihood is, Farzetta was there.
For 13 years, he discovered on the foot of the grasp — Angelo
Eskin made sports activities speak radio fashionable in Philadelphia.
Cataldi took it to an entire new strata. Generations of Philly sports activities followers grew
up on his New England accent.
Household is essential to Farzetta. And WIP was household. Some
nonetheless are. There’s, nevertheless, one main lacking piece.
When contacted about this story, Cataldi admitted one thing
he by no means thought he would say in one million years.
Cataldi, who’s 67, took it upon himself to champion
Farzetta’s trigger at WIP. Each admitted that. Cataldi used his appreciable affect
to hold Farzetta there. Cataldi welcomed Farzetta again to the morning present
after the Josh Innes fiasco. In accordance to these shut to Cataldi, what
triggered his unique supply of anger was Farzetta’s refusal to stay half
time at WIP in order that Farzetta might function a trip alternative for Cataldi
in July and August. On the time, Farzetta stated he needed to dedicate all of his
efforts to TV. Three months later, he dedicated full time to work morning radio
at The Fanatic.
In accordance to these shut to the state of affairs, Cataldi had been
grooming Farzetta to take over his position when he ultimately retired.
It was one thing, in accordance to sources shut to each,
Cataldi was occupied with doing inside the subsequent few years. Now, these
affiliated with each additionally stated, verbatim, “Angelo plans to stick round fairly a
Phrases like “betrayed” and “livid” have been utilized to how
Cataldi feels. It was like a son parting methods with a father, discontinuing a
legacy that Cataldi started.
“Angelo has renewed inspiration,” a number of sources stated.
“It’s a shame how this happened, but to Angelo, Marc’s dead.”
In accordance to these shut to Farzetta, what triggered the
schism was the transfer to NBC and never filling in for Cataldi in July.
The 2 spoke over the telephone twice earlier than the transfer to NBC
The second name was terse.
“We’ve had better conversations,” Farzetta stated.
That galvanized Farzetta’s path to 97.5.
“When it comes to Angelo, something I’ve to say about him
comes with nothing however respect and admiration for the 13 years we labored
collectively,” Farzetta stated. “I’ve nothing dangerous to say about anybody at WIP.
“Angelo did go to bat for me, however I had to work for that,
too. I might get promised one thing, like a variety of shifts internet hosting exhibits, and
that lasted perhaps a month earlier than I used to be pushed apart once more. Angelo’s relationship
with me could also be severed in his thoughts, however my relationship with him isn’t. I’m an
open door. He stated some issues that weren’t good, like I betrayed him, however I
by no means did something behind his again. He was the primary one I referred to as once I obtained
the information about NBC.
“He had to know first, and it was one of many hardest issues
I ever had to do in my life. Keep in mind, I used to be an 11-year-old child listening to
Angelo’s tent present earlier than an Eagles’ recreation on the best way house from church one
Sunday. I keep in mind the followers chanting, ‘Dallas sucks, Dallas sucks!’ It’s once I
made the choice to go into radio. We had simply moved again to the world from
Baltimore. I assumed, at 11, I needed to be in the midst of that.
“My objective was to be the host of a morning radio present. He knew
my objective from the get-go. You’ll be able to take one other job and nonetheless be loyal. It’s why
I referred to as him. I’m not going to attempt to do this different sort of radio that others
have tried prior to now the place you slam the individual you’re competing towards. I
referred to as Angelo out of loyalty and out of friendship to apologize, and to let him
know that this wasn’t a simple choice. However, hey, I wasn’t getting the decision
from WIP. I noticed my ceiling there.
“Somebody asks you, ‘Here’s your dream job, would you like it?’
I stated, ‘Yes.’ I referred to as to let him know that I wasn’t going to betray our
friendship. Professionally, I’ve a thousand-times higher job than what I had.
So far as leaving WIP and competing towards a man who I’ve revered my entire
life and have been shut with the final 13 years, there’s no different method to put
it — it sucks. However nothing will change the truth that I had to shut the chapter
on an enormous a part of my life each personally and professionally.
“I owe Angelo my respect and loyalty as a pal.
Professionally, this was one thing that I couldn’t say no to. You gained’t catch
me saying something unfavourable about Angelo.
“He’s a legend. In boxing, it’s like a cruiserweight
stepping up to face a heavyweight. You’ve got to take your photographs. Patrick Mahomes
doesn’t come to New England and say, ‘I don’t need to play Tom Brady at this time.’
You go in and do your greatest and see what occurs. That’s all I can fear about.
Angelo is one of the best to do it. You might have to up your recreation. You have got to be your
greatest. Something lower than your greatest is horrible. I can solely be the perfect me.
“He’s one of the best to do it and it solely makes me need to be
TOPPLING A LEGEND
Cataldi has dominated the mornings for over 20 years.
Problem after problem arose, and he’s knocked them down. When Eskin was
internet hosting one thing referred to as “Sports Rock” on WMMR late in 1992, it didn’t final
lengthy. It was off the air by the spring of 1993. In 2003, Mike Missanelli tried
and failed on WMMR. Cataldi made ESPN’s syndicated Mike and Mike present, which was carried by The Fanatic, nonexistent.
And when Anthony Gargano took a piece out of Cataldi’s viewers when The
Fanatic transitioned to native morning sports activities speak in April 2015, Cataldi
scratched again to greater than double Gargano within the July 2018 scores ebook and
end second within the valuable listening demographic of males aged 25 to 54.
Cataldi is the Muhammad Ali of native sports activities speak radio.
Can Farzetta be the Larry Holmes?
The storyline is definitely there. Holmes educated and labored
for years beneath Ali, like Farzetta labored underneath the tutelage of Cataldi. Even
once they fought, “The Easton Assassin” had nice empathy for the ageing Ali.
Farzetta, on and off the document, didn’t have an unwell phrase to say about Cataldi.
Friday, June eight was Farzetta’s official final day at WIP. On
Saturday, June 9, he was on a aircraft to Siena, Italy, to marry his spouse Celeste
on June 15. When he obtained house, June 25, Farzetta needed a number of months to get himself
located at NBC Sports activities Philadelphia. That was his precedence. WIP nonetheless provided
part-time alternatives; one was to fill in for Cataldi in early July and once more
in August when he was on trip.
When Farzetta advised Cataldi he couldn’t spell him in July as a result of
he was nonetheless greedy the panorama at NBC, however can be okay for August,
Cataldi was enraged, in accordance to many sources. Farzetta by no means acquired a name
again from WIP for August.
In mid-July, Farzetta did obtain a name from The Fanatic
asking why he wasn’t on the air. Marc informed them he had to commit extra time to
NBC, however was tinkering with the considered ultimately returning to radio. The
Fanatic informed him they might take into consideration opening a dialogue.
“I had an open dialogue with The Fanatic for 5 years with
the earlier administration, so it wasn’t irregular to get a name or a textual content from
somebody over there,” stated Farzetta, who credit early influences like coaches
Al Maio and Mike Carty for a part of his willpower. “If I had executed one thing
at WIP, somebody from The Fanatic may say, ‘Hey, that sounded great,’ or if I
had carried out one thing on NBC, ‘Hey, that was a great bit.’ Jamie Lynch is one in every of
my greatest buddies. We speak all the time. He launched me to my spouse. Eric
Johnson and I’ve a variety of mutual buddies and we’ve had temporary conversations in
“In August, I used to be getting my ft underneath me and WIP by no means
referred to as me again to fill in for Angelo in August. In September, nothing was agreed to
with The Fanatic, however we began speaking. Nothing was actually finalized till
late September. Radio is my old flame, and to be the fourth man on a morning
present, and nonetheless put in those self same hours, that’s insane. To be the lead man of a
morning present, and being ‘the guy’ was totally different.
“I took this job, as a result of I knew I might have Jamie Lynch as
my producer, and I might have Tra Thomas and Bob Cooney. It wouldn’t be ‘The
Marc Farzetta Present.’ We have now a workforce right here and the employees made it attainable. There
is shared duty right here. I don’t have to present all the paint to
paint the image. I simply love radio and the truth that I had a group of individuals
helped me make the choice.”
On Sept. 27, Farzetta made the selection and acquired 243 textual content
messages congratulating him on his 97.5 debut on Monday, Oct. eight.
“That is an informed gamble and we’ve knowledge that claims Marc
is embraced properly by sports activities radio followers of Philadelphia and he has the sound of a
winner,” Johnson stated. “We all know what we’re going up towards. Angelo is a legend
and the most effective within the enterprise at what he does. I’ve lots of respect for
Angelo within the years that I labored for him there.
“However we all know we’ve one thing good right here. Marc, Tra and Bob
are so snug and nice with individuals. They’re naturals in public. We’re
simply getting began and we’re excited. Marc additionally discovered rather a lot from Angelo.
Marc and I went to that faculty. All of us discovered from Tom Bigby. All the stuff
Angelo employs, all the things Marc employs, something from anybody who’s any good in
radio regionally employs, that originated with Tom Bigby.
“With Marc, we’re certainly in a good position to grow.”
Whereas Cataldi is the king within the morning, 97.5 definitely
has its in-house icon in afternoon host Mike Missanelli.
“We’ve got a younger staff; we’ve got a superb idea of social
media and an excellent consultant of the Philly sports activities fan,” stated Lynch, a 2000
La Salle Excessive Faculty grad who, together with WIP’s Joe Weachter, might be the
greatest sports activities radio producer within the metropolis. “We attempt not to have ‘hot take’ radio
and never be as damaging, frankly. We’re pushing social media and to be in contact
with the youthful followers, and provides followers each choice we will. The primary 4 weeks,
everybody has been actually coming collectively. We’re not going to get out-prepped — I
“Plus, we’ve Marc. I used to be fortunate I went from pal to
pal, producing for Anthony (Gargano) and now Marc. I had two individuals within the
business at my wedding ceremony, Marc and Anthony. Marc is a grinder and it’s good
somebody like that will get awarded within the business. Angelo is a corridor of famer and
it’s no straightforward process. However within the first 4 weeks, everybody has been actually coming
collectively. Marc actually is aware of how to drive a present. He has a singular means to
carry out on not a lot sleep, which is an effective attribute, however it speaks of his
work ethic. Marc could also be a cyborg. I’m unsure. We’ve a robust lineup
all through, with Marc and now with Anthony at mid-days.”
Cooney, nevertheless, has an issue.
“Certainly one of my pet peeves are folks that put on sun shades indoors.
However there are occasions when the sunshine hits Marc’s head proper, it’s such as you’re
being questioned by police or one thing. That factor does give off a shine,”
stated Cooney, laughing. “In all seriousness, it’s superb that within the brief time
we’ve been collectively how straightforward it’s all come, and that comes from all of us
“Marc got here proper in and took cost, however he made positive to
embrace all of us, and instantly it went so easily. We now have 4 good
personalities, and we’re not the identical in any respect. We’ve mustered a great friendship
in a brief period of time. I obtained nice recommendation from somebody lengthy earlier than I started
in radio. When you’re going to begin a job that early within the morning, you higher
be working with individuals that you simply like. I’ve been lucky that within the brief
time I’ve been within the radio enterprise that I’ve been with individuals I appreciated.”
The place this could go is anybody’s guess.
One certainty is that Farzetta isn’t going away anytime
“I keep in mind one time when Marc tried out for a youth
basketball group and acquired minimize,” Joe Farzetta, Marc’s dad, recalled. “Marc got here
again to the coach and stated, ‘That’s okay, coach. I’ll be again subsequent yr and
I’ll make the staff.’ And he did. Marc was all the time decided like that. I can’t
say how proud I’m of the place he’s and what he’s finished to get there. He’s going
to carry on preventing and carry on working. That’s simply the best way he’s all the time been.
“As a mum or dad, all you actually care about is that your youngsters
are comfortable. And so long as Marc’s speaking, he’s completely satisfied.”
Comply with Joe on Twitter: @JSantoliquito
Like us on Fb: PhillyVoice Sports activities