OnMedia: Phil Cianciola is staying here, moving on
Less than six weeks after Phil Cianciola was fired by WTMJ-AM (620) from the afternoon "Green House," the Milwaukee radio veteran is ready to launch the next phase of his career .
His daily podcast, or "The PhilCast," starts posting at noon on Thursday, with some surprise guests. Of course, since they're surprise guests, he's not identifying them, although he did tweet this week about his first show: "Someone's bitter and it's not me."
Spending some time with Cianciola in the studio he's built in his basement, he's clearly not bitter, and he's looking forward.
But I had to start off with his firing, and the story out there that he and "Green House" host Jonathan Green didn't get along, and that, ultimately, a dispute between them was behind the firing.
"Could be," is the only answer Cianciola would give.
He says, somewhat philosophically, "14-plus years, and -- we move on. Not unheard of in the business. Somebody once told me a long time ago you're not a true veteran until you've been fired three times. Guess which number this was?"
Yes, it was three. "So, you can refer to me as a veteran broadcaster now, yeah."
The veteran broadcaster knows his business, and times aren't great in radio for on-air folks. There aren't many spots on Milwaukee's radio dial where his style would work. He's not a conservative political talker, so WISN-AM (1130) isn't a likely spot for him.
"There's a very small market for what I do in this city," he says, although he plans to stay in the Milwaukee area.
He's blogged about talking to Chicago's WGN-AM (720), where he'd love to end up. Cianciola could fit well in a format that includes guys like Garry Meier and John Williams.
"I had a great time, and I like what I hear at WGN. And you can still get WGN up here, so it wouldn't be like leaving that connection totally," he says.
In the meantime, he's made a "small investment" to get the equipment to record and edit his podcast.
"It's mobile," he says. "I'm gonna be able to go to events and record, I'm going to be able to go to potential sponsors and record.
"It's pretty amazing what you can do with a few hundred bucks and some patience and some people who know what they're doing with a cable. You can go pretty far."
While there are plenty of amateur podcasts out there, the test "PhilCasts" show a technical sophistication that makes it easy to listen to. Regular features from his old radio gig, including "Pack Yak," will be there.
And one of Thursday's guests will become regular -- although Cianciola won't say who it is.
"It is a name you will recognize from Milwaukee media ... Is that a good tease?" he asks.
AND THEN THERE'S JANE MATENAER: Another long-time Milwaukee radio voice, Jane Matenaer, was silenced earlier this year when WMYX-FM (99.1) sent her packing.
She debuts a new comedy, "Morgue Lady" on Nov. 7 as part of the Racine Theater Guild's new season of "Comedy Tonight" performances. The show features tales about growing up as an undertaker's daughter in a funeral home.
Here's where to find ticket information.
ON TV: Milwaukee fourth-grader Tony Capla, a student at Pershing Elementary Schol, is scheduled to be on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" morning show on Thursday to demonstrate the skill that won him the mooing crown at the Wisconsin State Fair.
- Milwaukee's Michelle Kamke tries for the big prizes on CBS' "Price is Right" at 10 a.m. Thursday on Channel 58.
- Jake Pavelka was announced as the next "Bachelor" on Tuesday night's installment of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Pavelka, who was a viewer favorite on the last run of "The Bachelorette," begins his next quest for "reality" show "love" in January.
- Dave Levy, the San Diego chef who spent much of this season of Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" with his left wrist in a cast, won this edition of foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsay's cooking competition on Tuesday night. This season featured Milwaukee-trained Suzanne Schlicht, who was cut a couple weeks ago.
ZACH BRAFF ISN'T DEAD, BUT HE IS FUNNY: An Internet rumor that "Scrubs" star Zach Braff had died led Braff to post a funny video on his Facebook page to prove that he's still around for the latest season of "Scrubs," where he'll be making some appearances.
His "I'm alive" video follows below.
I found this information incredibly interesting. I had stopped listening to the Greenhouse after being a fan since the 70's, when Phil came on board. The show was Jonathan's, and here is this arrogant new personality being introduced. I gave him a fair shot but it was an "all about me and how cool I am" broadcast. I turned to Mark Belling as I couldn't take Phil any longer. Imagine that...tolerating Mark over Phil! At least I was being entertained and educated at WISN about current events vs. auto racing. I occasionally switched over to WTMJ in the past months and would not hear Phil. I truly thought he was on vacation the times I'd listen in. What a hoot to google his name today to find out he was fired and to read of his undying supporters. This enlightened me as to how sad audiences have become. I had always felt that Phil was being primed to take over for Jon when he retired. Now I say...hang in there Jonathan and keep annoying all those liberal, arrogant, and ignorant people out there.
God, I wish there was a truly good local NEWS station in Milwaukee. Everyone tries to turn news (and sports reporting, except for ESPN 540) into entertainment. What I want is news, straight and simple---no laughing, no making fun and NO INTERRUPTION of the news or sports reporter. All Jonathan Green does is interrupt and try to turn every news or sportscast into his "shtick". Jonathan Green hasn't been enjoyable since Catherine Catalane was the traffic reporter. That's a long time since we've had to suffer his "personality" or lack thereof. Plus he totally disrespects our military and minimizes the seriousness of what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan when he gives that "comic" introduction to the "Military Update". I think Phil was pressured into fitting in with Jonathan's "shtick". I'd love to hear Phil on his own terms...maybe the podcast will be enjoyable!
I had already learned to turn off WTMJ at 8:30 AM to avoid the head exploding rants of Charlie Sykes. Now I've learned to listen to Chicago radio on my way home from work. WTMJ missed a golden opportunity to dump J Green - if indeed, it was one or the other. I can't believe Green's "demographic" will pull in the sponsors and their almighty dollars for long. Maybe we could have a benefit and send the Green House off into retirement - soon!
I,m sorry to hear of the firing of Phil Cianciola . I was wondering what happened to him. I haven't been listening lately without him he makes the show Now that I hear he is gone for good I won't bother to tune in anymore . I know that the show bears his name but Mr. green needs to retire.
Thanks for filling us in, Tim, on The Biggest Name in Milwaukee Podcasts. I'll subscribe to Phil's pod immediately. Goodbye, Greenhouse!
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