Jeff Katz

Archive page for Jeff Katz, talk radio host on WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelphia

Jeff Katz left WPHT in December of 2003 and currently works in San Francisco at KNEW.

Former Philly Talker Jeff Katz (on the left) at a Bus 19 Rally in San Francisco.
Story from zombietime




Article from the Northeast Times - Broken Link 

Homegrown Jeff Katz had always been raised on radio

By Tom Waring
Times Staff Writer

Growing up, Jeff Katz was a big fan of Philadelphia radio icons like Irv Homer, Ken Garland, Joey Reynolds and Dr. Don Rose.
“I always loved radio,” he said.
Katz, who will turn 39 in September, might be a successful Philadelphia talk radio host today, but the Oxford Circle native didn’t pursue his first love upon graduation from Central High School.
Instead, Katz attended the Delaware County Police Academy.
During his law enforcement career, Katz worked as a summer cop in North Wildwood and as a part-time officer in towns as diverse as bucolic Rockledge and the badlands of Chester. He also spent two years with the Philadelphia Housing Authority police department.
Katz, though, didn’t want to be a career police officer. He wanted to be in radio in some capacity, even if it meant taking a sales job without any background in that field.
The new hire didn’t exactly impress the brass at Atlantic City’s WFPG.
“I was awful,” he admits.
As luck would have it, the overnight disc jockey quit. Katz spoke to the program director and got the job spinning easy-listening records six times a week.
That was back in 1988, when Rush Limbaugh was taking his Sacramento-based radio show national. Katz asked the station to give him a talk show. The folks at WFPG agreed to give the young upstart a two-hour-a-day gig, on the condition that he sell his own ads.
That was fine with Katz. His radio career seemed to be going in the right direction.
“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he said.
Since then, Katz has worked in bigger markets such as Hartford, Indianapolis, Sacramento, San Francisco, Boston and Las Vegas.
Each town was different, with Indianapolis known for its work ethic and conservative ideology, Boston thinking of itself as the center of the universe and San Francisco famous for its left-wing politics.
Two years ago, he arrived at Philadelphia’s WPHT (1210-AM), “The Big Talker.”
“It’s a nice thing to be in your hometown,” he said. “It’s a unique experience. I have thirty-eight years of life experience that I can bring to it.”
In the other cities in which he worked, there was a learning curve for Katz. Not in Philadelphia.
“I know where the bodies are buried,” he said.
Jeff Katz was raised on the 6500 block of Kindred St. He attended Gilbert Spruance Elementary School and Samuel Fels Junior High before heading to Central.
Young Jeff had an interest in politics. He recalls supporting a young lawyer named Ed Rendell, who was challenging incumbent District Attorney Emmett Fitzpatrick in the 1977 Democratic primary.
Katz called Rendell headquarters, and the underdog candidate answered the phone himself. Rendell asked the caller where he lived.
“Congratulations, you are the 54th Ward, 24th Division coordinator for the Rendell for DA campaign,” he told Katz.
Rendell had no idea he was talking to a 12-year-old who would later take the Route 59 trolley and the El to campaign headquarters to collect election materials.
Katz began distributing Rendell literature in his neighborhood when a committeeman named “Izzy” offered to pay him $10 to hand out the incumbent’s brochures.
The boy declined, calling Fitzpatrick a “bum.”
“Yep,” Izzy told him, “but he’s our bum.”
Rendell went on to beat Fitzpatrick by a 3-to-1 margin in the 54th Ward, 24th Division en route to victory citywide in the general election.
Katz later ran for office himself, winning a Republican seat on the South Windsor, Conn., town committee.
Today, Katz is a Libertarian.
“I’m the one,” he jokes.
While working in Boston, Katz met his wife, Heidi. They have two children, 2-year-old Harrison and 5-month-old Julia.
When they moved to Philadelphia, Katz wanted to buy a home in the city. He immediately ruled out Oxford Circle after driving up Kindred Street.
“It’s dirtier,” he said.
There was graffiti at Max Myers Playground.
“I never saw graffiti growing up there,” he said.
Katz considered a nicer neighborhood like Chestnut Hill, but then he considered Philadelphia’s high wage tax, real estate transfer tax and car insurance, Section 8 housing and lousy public schools. So, he settled in Chadds Ford, Delaware County.
The talker still has fond memories of growing up in Oxford Circle. He attended last year’s 50th anniversary celebration for Spruance and recently got together with an old friend from Fels who called the show.
Katz believes Philadelphia can thrive. He called the mayoral race “do or die” for the city’s future. He supports Sam Katz, who is not related to him.
“I think four more years of John Street, forget about it. Turn out the lights,” he said, contending that the incumbent cannot effectively lead Philadelphia after bragging to an NAACP convention that the “brothers and sisters are running the city.”
It’s safe to say that Street will not declare “Jeff Katz Day” in Philadelphia. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, a fellow Central grad, honored Katz with a day of his own, as did former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci.
Getting the keys to a city or state is a nice honor, but it has its limitations. Katz recalls showing the toll-taker at Boston’s Tobin Bridge his proclamation from the governor.
“That’s great. It’s a dollar,” the unimpressed toll-taker told him.
At WPHT, Katz is on the air from 6 to 8 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 6 to 7 p.m. on Fridays.
In addition, he’s a regular guest on It’s Your Call, hosted by Lynn Doyle on CN8. He’s been in four movies, including Rocky V and Bonfire of the Vanities. He’s also appeared on Nightline, Hardball and the Jerry Springer Show. He even appeared in Wrestlemania XIV as one of the Undertaker’s druids.
This summer, he’s been broadcasting live every Wednesday from Feasterville’s Buck Hotel. He likes the atmosphere, as he’s able to puff on a cigar and eat from the grill on the Buck’s second-floor deck.
Last week, state Rep. Steve Barrar surprised Katz by coming to the Buck to present his constituent with an American flag and a House of Representatives citation for two years on the air.
Katz’s radio career has really grown since the days when he couldn’t sell an ad at an Atlantic City station. He’s working in a major market at a 50,000-watt station, and he has been named one of America’s 100 best talk show hosts by Talkers magazine in eight of the last 10 years.
Katz isn’t one to scream at callers or hang up on them. He wants to have a substantive debate with them, whether they agree or disagree, and welcomes listeners to tune in the next day.
The topics on Katz’s show vary. Last week at the Buck, the big issue was accused rapist Kobe Bryant’s court appearance that day.
Katz will discuss meaty subjects such as terrorism, the war with Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, African uranium, the gay Episcopalian bishop and the Catholic Church priest scandal.
WPHT’s lineup includes Limbaugh and other hosts who lean right politically.
Katz doesn’t side with either major political party.
“There are no sacred cows on my show,” he said.
Political correctness is not in Katz’s dictionary. He freely calls Kwanzaa a “made up holiday” and “phony to its very core.” He supports shooting anyone who threatens to jump off a bridge, saying he doesn’t want to sit in a traffic jam as negotiators try to get the person down.
Katz has certain staples on his show. For instance, on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, he leads a debate on the merits of propane and charcoal grills. During Christmas season, the battle is between real and artificial trees.
Then there are the somewhat lighthearted topics, such as whether his son should be able to play in his pool without a diaper. During “Operation Fluffy,” Katz and his listeners found a happy home for a neglected neighborhood cat.
Perhaps Katz’s favorite guest is Karen Davis, of United Poultry Concerns. Davis is on a mission to rescue chickens from winding up on kitchen tables.
“She’s a very, very nice lady,” Katz said, “but she’s nuts.” ••
Reporter Tom Waring


Tuesday, September24, 2002

Jeff Katz created the concept of the "JewPhone" or Jew Phone, Jew-Phone, whatever ...  The point is that with so many nutty conspiracy theories about the Jews controlling everything he though the idea of a special phone for Jews to check in with the latest Israeli policy was a neat bit.  Here I post my own version of the Jew Phone retail box cover.  The concept of the Jew Phone belongs to Jeff Katz, the artwork is mine.

Tuesday, October 9th 2001 (first reported here on Philly Talk Radio Online)

WPHT 1210 AM hires Jeff Katz for the 3 to 5 pm slot.  Katz, a former Philadelphian, has been working mornings at KXNT AM for the past two years.  Katz has been filling in for Dom Giordano since just after the attack on September 11th.  Dom has been on the air during Dr. Laura's timeslot, 9 to noon.  He will continue there 'till further notice.  A decision has not been made on the ultimate future of Dr. Laura.  (In November 2001 the station expanded his time slot to 3-7 with the departure of Michael Smerconish.)


Pictures of the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center by a listener to the Jeff Katz Show.

Posted on 10/17/01 Press articles gleaned from the Internet by PTRO researcher "UsaGiJoe"

For those that asked, "Who is this Jeff Katz guy?"  Here is what our crack research guy dug up.  We tossed out any unsolicited negative or positive info sent in via email, it's a given that any radio host gathers fans of both extremes as he moves from market to market.  I thinned it all down to just a few articles that sum up what can be found.  These are links pointing to  established websites, not personal sites with an agenda.  The following is presented without agenda, we report, you decide. (what? FoxNews took that one already? damn)

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