Montgomery County Past and Present Had Impact on Legendary Merrill Reese

merrill reese
Image via Steve Boyle at Philadelphia Magazine.
Merrill Reese (l) and Bill Werndl in the WIP booth at Lincoln Financial Field.

It’s no secret that SportsRadio 94 WIP Eagles broadcaster Merrill Reese — who has called the Birds’ games for more than 45 years — has one Montgomery County connection: his Blue Bell home. But Philadelphia Magazine’s Victor Fiorello unearthed another, one reflecting a professional setback.

Reese was bitten by the Philadelphia broadcast bug as a child, listening to sports on a console radio.

Intent on a media career, he earned a broadcast communications degree from Temple University and, after a stint in the U.S. Navy, sought employment.

An early possibility was almost scotched by the jitters.

“I got an interview for a job doing high-school football games for a radio station in Pottstown,” Reese said. “But the station owner told me I looked like I was going to have a nervous breakdown.”

Dismissed at first, Reese was called back. Nobody else wanted the position. “It’s between you and dead air,” the station manager said.

It became Reese’s first full-time job, at a whopping $80 a week.

His Temple background led to some occasional jobs calling Eagles games, but in the 1975 season, he became the go-to color guy. Two years later, he moved into the play-by-play seat, where he remains.

More on the career advancement of Merrill Reese is at Philadelphia Magazine.


Was there ever a more joyous on-air call than Merrill Reese announcing the Philadelphia Eagles 2018 Super Bowl win?

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