FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2010 file photo, political commentator Dick Morris speaks to the crowd during the "Gateway to November" rally hosted by the St. Louis Tea Party and Tea Party Patriots at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Morris acknowledged on Fox News Channel that some of the Republican presidential candidates that he talks about on the air have paid for advertisements in the newsletter he sends out to subscribers. Morris' statement on Fox Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, was the latest in a handful of episodes that laid bare close ties between the media and political world during the campaign season. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis, file)
In today's column, I teased a big announcement over at WPHT happening at 11 a.m.
Well, I've got it a bit early.
Conservative commentator Dick Morris will take over the spot currently held down by Steve Matorano and Rich Zeoli. Matorano and Zeoli will move to a night slot. Depending on the Phillies' schedule, they'll be on from 6 to 10 p.m. I hear Gary R'nel will cohost but that's not confirmed yet. Savvy listeners can note that Morris auditioned on WPHT a couple of weeks ago.
Morris will make the announcement today at 11 a.m. when he's scheduled to speak at at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference). He'll begin his hosting duties on April 15 (the same day Michael Smerconish is set to start his new show on SiriusXM), which will run from 2-6 p.m.
As I told you earlier, the schedule will shift in Smerconish's absence. Chris Stigall and Paige Powers will be on from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Dom Giordano takes 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
UPDATE: I chatted with operations manager Andy Bloom, who compared Morris' new gig akin to Howard Stern coming to WYSP (where Bloom was the program director) in 1986. "I see him as a lot better than Smerconish," Bloom said, when I asked him if he saw Morris as the next Smerconish-style syndicated personality. Bloom said that it would take awhile for Morris to reach syndicated levels but he thinks Morris will "probably be too big for one radio station to contain him."
Morris will be in Philadelphia in the nascent months of the show and then broadcast from his homes in New York and Florida. "I’m very excited about the long form of radio--where I can talk for four hours without getting interrupted, and where I can do the interrupting--is a lot of fun. I’ve always felt chaffed by the soundbite construct of television and I really love the opportunity to expand and, as friend of mine said, to bloviate," Morris told me.
Morris said that he thinks the show will be about two-thirds national news, one-third local, dropping notes on his displeasure with both New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. "[The show] will really give me a chance to articulate how I think the Republican party can come back and win again," Morris said.
Morris is excited to explore the Philadelphia area. "We publish childrens' books and they all center on my Golden Retriever, Dubs. The third book, which is coming back next month, is Dubs Goes to Philadelphia," Morris said, noting that the book was written before the radio gig was even on the table. "Dick and Dubs are going to Philadelphia at about the same time."