On Monday, Nov. 13, “Pizza With the Pros” welcomed former talk show host Angelo Cataldi. He is most notably known for his work on Sports Radio 94WIP. Caltadi has a daughter who graduated from Rowan about 20 years ago with a degree in communications, so the school isn’t new to him.
Before retiring nine months ago in February of 2023, Cataldi accomplished a lot throughout his career. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize as a sports journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He also hosted the WIP Morning Show for 33 years from 1990-2023 and is releasing his autobiography, “LOUD”, on Nov. 28, 2023. Cataldi wrote and published the book.
Cataldi wrote for seven years. As the years went by and Cataldi started to fall out of love with his profession, he wanted to start covering sports. Since he was still in school, he talked to his advisor about his new dream.
“He cringed, and he went, ‘Why did you come here?’ Columbia’s there for foreign correspondents and managing editors and newspapers, the elite. Not people writing about stupid sports. He thought it was idiotic,” Cataldi stated.
When the students were asking him questions, one asked what his favorite thing about journalism was, even though he left the profession.
“When I would write a story that I thought was really good, the sense of satisfaction seeing it in the paper the next day was amazing,” Cataldi said.
With zero radio experience, this field was very new to him. Cataldi would have to turn his shy personality into a loud one. This caused him to get into many alterations with players and coaches.
“I was attacked twice in the locker rooms. I was suspended from my job for overstepping my boundaries. I had a very chaotic career,” Cataldi stated.
He mentioned many times how he never cared about who liked him, but instead cared about his audience. He figured out very early in his career that if the players and coaches wouldn’t like him, he’d make sure he built an audience that would.
One of the students in the room asked Cataldi about his most classic press conference, which was the Allen Iverson “Practice” press conference. The ironic part about this question was that Neil Hartman, who runs “Pizza With the Pros”, filmed the press conference, while Cataldi asked the question.
“You had to understand, with Allen Iverson, he can say that kind of thing and everybody would kind of laugh and it’d be fine. If some more serious guy went out there and said it, it would’ve been a bigger story,” Cataldi said.
Cataldi emphasized multiple times throughout the night that you should aspire to have a job you’ll have fun doing, making it easier to work every day.
“You have to pick something you love, and if you do, you’re gonna reach your potential,” Cataldi said.
This is something a lot of guests emphasize. This shows the students in the room that they are going into a profession that is fun and worth it.
Cataldi mentioned many times that the strategies that he used when he worked on the radio wouldn’t have worked today. He feels like the new generation is more forgiving to the players when they make mistakes. Even though times are changing, the legacy that Cataldi left on the Sports Radio Industry will never be forgotten.
Next Monday, “Pizza With the Pros” will be welcoming back former Rowan Students Rebecca Sulzbach and Dillon Siddiqi, who both work for the Philadelphia Phillies. Sulzbach is the Social Media Coordinator and Siddiqi is the Baseball Communications Assistant.
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