Sports Radio 94 WIP Marketing Director, Cindy Webster, visited Rowan University on Monday to discuss the ups and downs of her 28-year career during this week’s edition of “Pizza With the Pros.”
Webster is a professional marketing director and event planner. She shared her remarkable stories with students, ultimately providing priceless lessons for those hoping for a sports media career.
Prior to landing in Philadelphia, Webster’s radio career sprouted when the University of Delaware product acquired an internship with 93.7 WSTW Delaware. She recalled the long hours she logged at the music station in order to progress in the ranks.
“Don’t leave before my boss leaves,” Webster would internally repeat this to herself in order to keep herself motivated. Although valuable experience, the switch to sports radio in Philadelphia was monumental for her career.
Since joining 94 WIP in 1992, Webster ran massive events like the Wing Bowl, while also appearing as a recurring guest on Angelo Cataldi’s morning show. She reminisced on the time she spent working with the legendary radio host and her experiences being a fundamental cog in the radio station’s success.
Cataldi’s consistent desire for excellence took her to “another level with what he demands.” Her admiration for Cataldi was evident, crediting him for being “instrumental” in her own professional ventures.
Their connection is one Webster will never forget, as it aided her during a low point in her life.
For her 28 years in Philadelphia, Webster would make the annual trip to Clearwater, Florida in order to cover the Phillies during spring training. In April 2020, after making a round trip due to confusion surrounding early COVID-19 regulations, Webster received a company-wide email detailing the impending release of multiple CBS radio employees.
Later that afternoon, she received a call from her boss informing her she had lost her job.
“It was really tough, it was my life, and 28 years is a long time to devote,” Webster said while holding back tears. She noted the importance of her close friends during the dark time, including Rowan’s own Neil Hartman. Keeping in touch with those in the industry who have dealt with similar circumstances kept her spirits high during the year-long hiatus, but her return was inevitable.
Upon discussing terms for his retirement, Angelo Cataldi kept Webster in the forefront of his mind.
“I’ll give you one more year if you give me Cindy Webster back,” Cataldi would argue. Due to the lifelong friend’s campaigning and easing of pandemic restrictions, Webster found herself back in the studio.
Working in an intense sports radio market like Philadelphia presents challenges, but Webster has mastered the art of rolling with the punches.
Webster reflected on inspiring words from her aunt, imploring students to stay vigilant in the face of adversity and to take no opportunity for granted.
“Don’t just do an internship for the credits,” Webster continued, “as it will not yield the fancied outcome. Try your hardest in every endeavor, even if it means taking risks.”
She detailed a comical story involving former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and a spill he took sitting down for an on-air interview. According to Webster, who walked the politician into the building, Christie immediately left the studio and left Cataldi dry.
Days following the incident, the hopeful Presidential Candidate announced publicly he was a Dallas Cowboys fan.
In the studio, Webster and the rest of the station debated airing hidden footage of the tumble, unsure of the copyright laws and possible punishments. Not only did they air the clip, but they also showed it during the most fitting event — the Wing Bowl.
Wing Bowl was the creation of a team of professional event planners, including Webster. The lack of a Super Bowl for 51 years left hungry Philadelphia fans yearning for an event to look forward to after every football season.
The Wing Bowl satisfied raucous fans for 27 years and cemented itself as a Philadelphia tradition. In accordance with the Eagles championship in 2018, Webster explained how she knew it was time to put a bow on Wing Bowl.
“Sometimes it’s good to drop the mic when you’re ahead,” Webster said, explaining the awareness required to know the event had reached its conclusion. She noted how there were only so many gimmicks she could muster up every year.
Planning for the Wing Bowl took the better part of six months, and was the most labor-intensive work she had ever been assigned. Gathering big names such as Snooki, Dennis Rodman, and Chip Kelly for a chicken wing eating contest is no small feat.
Webster’s networking footprint goes outside just Wing Bowl. Multiple fundraisers WIP has with the Phillies, and brand endorsements such as Tastykake, would not be possible without the work she put in behind the scenes.
Pizza With the Pros returns this Monday when Philadelphia Union Producer Jordan Strauss visits Rowan University.
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