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WIP announces new weekend hosts, Phillies NBC Sports Philadelphia TV ratings up

94.1 WIP host Glen Macnow is getting not one, but two new radio partners to replace the retired Ray Didinger.

Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski will co-host alongside Macnow on Saturday mornings from 10 am to 1 pm, while longtime WIP host Jody McDonald will join Macnow on Sundays, though that show will be cut short most weeks by the station’s Eagles pregame show.

Both Sielski and McDonald will start this weekend on WIP. Macnow’s on-air relationship with McDonald dates back nearly 30 years, when the pair hosted mac and mac on WIP for six years during the mid-1990s. McDonald, the son of former Major League Baseball executive Joe McDonald, has been affiliated with WIP since 1990.

Meanwhile, Sielski is just the latest Inquirer writer to take their talents to radio, where he’ll join fellow columnist Marcus Hayes at WIP. Current Philly sports talkers Angelo Cataldi, Al Morganti, Mike Missanelli, Anthony Gargano, and Bob Cooney all once worked for the Inquirer or Daily News during their careers, as did both Macnow and Didinger.

During an appearance on WIP’s morning show Thursday, Macnow told Cataldi management at the station allowed him to choose his new co-hosts, something that doesn’t often happen in sports radio. Macnow said his goal was to find a host clued into Philly sports who knows how to craft an argument and can offer strong opinions.

“Nobody replaces Ray. Ray is an icon,” Macnow said on WIP Thursday morning. “But what I felt is that the Saturday show — I hope this doesn’t sound too proud — we had a way of doing things that was a little different, and we brought a different perspective. And I think Mike brings in that different perspective.”

» READ MORE: Mike Missanelli lands a new Philly sports gig following 97.5 The Fanatic departure

Speaking of Cataldi, the retiring morning show host told his listeners back in June that WIP would announce his successor in July. Now it looks like that will be bumped back into August, but you can certainly expect a decision before the Eagles kick off their season on Sept. 11 against the Detroit Lions.

It’s not clear who the station will choose to replace Cataldi, but in recent months WIP hosts Joe DeCamara, Joe Giglio, and Jon Marks have all spent time guest-hosting the show. So has Jon Johnson, but it seems unlikely he’ll get the gig after landing Big Daddy Graham’s former job as the station’s overnight host.

The only thing we know for certain is it won’t be Mike Golic — father or are.

While the Phillies haven’t always been a must-watch TV this season, the team is certainly driving viewers to NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Through July 24, ratings on NBC Sports Philadelphia are up 23% compared to the same time last year, according to the network. Ratings are also up 21% compared to 2019, which featured the debut of Phillies slugger Bryce Harper. Among viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, a coveted demographic for advertisers, ratings are up 29% compared to this time last season.

Digital viewership on either the NBC Sports app or the My Teams app (both of which require a cable subscription) are up 36% compared to last year, according to the network, though still remain a small portion of viewership. Overall, Phillies games on NBC Sports Philadelphia are averaging over 215,000 viewers per game in the Philadelphia market.

Not surprisingly, the most-watched game on TV in Philadelphia so far this season was opening day, which drew over 360,000 viewers on NBC10.

The increase in viewers is notable in a TV ratings environment where flat is the new up, as more cord-cutters and more ditch cable all together. Last week’s All-Star Game averaged 7.51 million viewers on Fox, the game’s smallest TV audience on record, but still enough to outdraw this year’s Pro Bowl on ABC and ESPN (6.69 million viewers), NBA All-Star Game on TNT and TBS ( 6.28 million viewers), and NHL All-Star Game on ABC (1.15 million viewers).

» READ MORE: Pete Rose expected to attend Phillies’ celebration of 1980 World Series team

NBA Hall of Famer and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley is scheduled to play in LIV Golf’s pro-am Thursday, which is taking place at former President Donald Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, NJ

Trump is also scheduled to play in the event, as is former Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner and NFL Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Brian Urlacher.

For the past few weeks, Barkley has been flirting with joining the controversial Saudi-backed golf league as an announcer, even though LIV Golf has yet to land a TV deal in the United States. Instead, it streams coverage of its tour directly through its website and on YouTube and Facebook.

Barkley has defended the upstart golf outfit, and said critics who complain about Saudi Arabia’s role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi or the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are practicing “selective outrage.” But Barkley also admitted to Dan Patrick earlier this week the process has been “stressful” and he’s not willing to lose his TNT job to join LIV Golf (so far, TNT has remained silent). He also isn’t prepared to wait around forever for an offer.

“I’m not going to keep TNT in limbo,” Barkley said on the Dan Patrick Show Monday. “When I leave New Jersey Thursday night, when I leave the golf course, if I don’t have an offer in hand, it’s over.”

» READ MORE: Charles Barkley calls LIV, 9/11 outrage ‘fake’ at Trump tourney just minutes from Ground Zero

  • On the most recent episode of his weekly Audacy podcast Unwritten: Behind Baseball’s Secret Rules, former Phillies star turned broadcaster Jimmy Rollins recalled the time famed announcer Harry Kalas called him out for calling fans “frontrunners” during the 2008 season. “’J-Roll, J-Roll, why’d you say it? Just why?’” Rollins recalled Kalas asking him. “You want to stand on your rock, but this is Harry and you know his passion about him, he was speaking with his heart about him… It’s like a man, I almost kind of felt like I disrespected him in saying that.”

  • Rich Eisen isn’t going anywhere. The face of the NFL Network announced he re-signed a deal to remain with the network after Front Office Sports reported last week he was “poised to hit free agency.” Notably, Eisen said he agreed to terms with the network on June 17, a month before the story ran. “If you had called me, I’d have told you that,” Eisen said on his show Wednesday.

  • Longtime Philly sports talker Harry Mayes is teaming up with Eytan Shander and Devan Kaney to launch a new sports betting show for PhillyVoice appropriately called SportsBet. Beginning Aug. 1, the 15-minute show will land three days a week on the PhillyVoice website and its YouTube channel.

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