Montgomery County Past and Present Had Impact on Legendary Merrill Reese
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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