Wednesday, January 6, 2021

R.I.P.: Tom Bigby, Former Radio Programmer

Tom Bigby
Former SportsRadio WIP Program Director Tom Bigby died of an apparent heart attack Monday at the age of 77, according to Spike Eskin program Director at Sports WIP 94.1 FM 

Bigby's programming career was filled with legendary call letters like WIFI, WPHT, WNEW, KOST and WXYT, but it will always be WIP at which he left the most lasting mark, write Eskin.

"Known for his at times contentious relationship with talent, and his radio-ready voice, Bigby is the most well known, well respected, and most inconic PD in the history of WIP. His legacy will include many things, but from a WIP perspective, his belief that the Eagles were the biggest thing in town, and that the fans should be heard will be two of the most lasting for WIP. His 'two minute rule' and “once during the week, and once on the weekends rule” for callers will not be far behind."

Bigby, the former VP of Strategic Programming for CBS Radio, is best remembered for a long run programming then-Infinity Broadcasting “Sportsradio 610” WIP Philadelphia from 1989-2004. In 2006 he exited the company but returned two years later as Operations Manager of sports “The Ticket” WXYT-AM/FM Detroit and was elevated to VP of Strategic Programming for CBS Radio later that year. In 2009, he added Operations Manager duties at “Newsradio 1080” KRLD Dallas. Bigby also worked at KFI and KOST in Los Angeles; WNEW New York and KLUV Dallas. After leaving CBS Radio for a second time in 2011, he launched the consultancy Tom Bigby Media Pros.

Marc Rayfield, the former market manager for CBS Radio in New York and Philadelphia, worked with Bigby when Bigby was WIP’s PD and Rayfield was the station’s GM. “He wasn’t easy to work with, but more often than not, he was right,” Rayfield told InsideRadio. “We had epic battles, but I would not trade them for the world, and in fact, I stayed in contact with him up until the end.

“The industry has lost a legend,” Rayfield continued. “While WFAN might have been the first all sports radio station, in the early days, WIP was by far the best. Tom invented the format and that fact should never be forgotten. As a young man, he coached me, and had we not spent so much time together, I might never have become a GM and then Market Manager, ironically overseeing NY and WFAN.”

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