With the end of WYSP looming, I asked Anita, former ‘YSP personality Anita Gevinson, her thoughts about the end of the rock format. Here’s what she said:
“After leaving WMMR, (what was I thinking?) I did my first show on WYSP on December 16, 1982 in the 10 am to 2pm spot. “Ask Anita” was invented when the program director, Michael Picozi was with me in the studio and he was listening to me talking to our listeners on the request lines while the music was playing. I was answering questions about anything and everything as fast as I could and it made Michael laugh. We were trying to come up with something to go against the very popular “workforce blocks” that I used to do on WMMR. ( 3 songs in a row from one band by request)
Michael said ” Why don’t you take calls live on the air and answer questions?”. We decided to call it “Ask Anita”. Michael recorded that perfectly creepy introduction and in spite of my shaky personal life I took calls live without knowing who or what was coming. My screener “Bob” kept it all on course and in those days no delay was necessary since no one was blurting out obscene words. (yet) Thanks to the many listeners who spilled their guts about everything from their bad romances to scoring Springsteen tickets. My mother “Happenin’ Janet” ( who turnes 87 on August 30th) even got in on the action. On September 17th, 1983 I became the morning show host along with R.D. Steele and Gary Lee Horn. I had a blast shooting the photo for the billboard complete with giant cleavage! It was a great time in my life. Warren Zevon moved to Philly and I we lived on Rittenhouse Square and when I wanted to go on tour with him Michael Picozzi was cool with that. WYSP was a happy place to be.. I started to feel like the station was becoming important to the tri-state listeners right along with WMMR. Then suddenly and sadly, Michael got fired and all communication stopped between “talent” and “management”. In May 1985, Andy Bloom was brought in as the new program director. I don’t know if he knew about the plans to hire Howard Stern and syndicate his show in Philly but I’m pretty sure it was already a done deal, even though Howard didn’t start until the following year. On August 28, 1985 I was fired by Andy Bloom along with Steve Sutton and Leslie Patton. I was offered the 10 am to 2 pm shift but I would have to take a big pay cut. Yeah, right. I went to WCAU AM and did a talk show but it wasn’t the same. I still miss those days even though it was so long ago. Thanks to all the listeners who still remember what WYSP once was.”
Anita said she is scheduled to appear on ‘YSP sometime before the station turns to all-sports on Labor Day.