Former Charger making waves on the air


Phil Izinga, a 1988 St. Joseph graduate, hosts a radio talk show in Oklahoma City.

Staff report

You’re on the air!

Phil Inzinga, St. Joseph High School Class of 1988, has heard those words thousands of times from his producer and now the former Westchester resident is saying those same words to others.

“I am having a wonderful life,” Izinga relayed by phone while picking up his kids from school. “I am the executive producer and co-host of the No. 1 morning show in Oklahoma City.”

The show is The Sports Animal on WWLS, 98.1FM and it is Phil’s latest and, by far, his favorite gig.

“I cannot tell you how much I love my work,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started in the morning although waking up at 3:15 AM can be a burden sometime.”

Before Izinga settled down for 12 years in Oklahoma City, he did his share of climbing up the ladder. After St. Joe’s, Izinga attended and graduated from the Illinois School of Broadcasting before stops in Crystal Lake (WABT), Wisconsin (Kenosha at WIIL), New Mexico (Farmington), South Carolina (Charleston) and Florida (Miami). He was also a Metro traffic reporter for WMAQ radio and NBC 5 in Chicago.

“I spent hours and hours creating and sending out hundreds of audition tapes, usually with little or no response,” he said. “My biggest break was developing a relationship with Citadel Broadcasting and one day, while visiting my parents who had relocated to Las Vegas, I traveled to a new office they were setting up and made a connection.”

He was quick to respond to what he enjoyed most about his job.

“The things I used to get in trouble for at St. Joe’s, usually something I said, I now get paid for,” Izinga said. “Plus, I also get courtside seats for OKC Thunder games from time to time. It’s fun!”

Also a source of fun for Phil is his family.  He and his wife Sharon recently celebrated their twentieth anniversary at Disney World, where they went on their honeymoon. “We’re still kids and now I enjoy two more, my daughter Maggie (17) and my son Max (10).”

As far as advice for Chargers who are interested in a career in broadcasting, Phil had sound words.

“This is a tough industry to break into successfully and I really didn’t make a lot of money at first,” he said. “You have to REALLY want it and be tenacious about it. This is my calling. I’m compelled to do this. Like any career, you can’t get discouraged when things don’t go your way. You have to keep at it until you reach a level of success that you’re happy with. Then everything else will fall into place.”