John Ditullio: The raspy-throated sports man

·  John DiTullio moved to Rochester in 1997 from Erie, Pa., and worked as a sports anchor for local news shows including Fox and R News. He’s now found his niche on radio, where his wandering, trivia-filled mind jumps from topic to topic. While predominantly focused on sports, John’s humorous observations will touch on anything from cell phone use in the bathroom to defending his Snuggie’s masculinity.

By Ben Gonyo


Dec 8, 2010 

MPNnow.com

“A team to their community, it’s their identity. That’s what it is. The team becomes the face of the city. The Bills are the face of western New York. If the Bills leave, western New York officially crumbles,” says Greece resident and sports talk-show host John DiTullio. Never shy for words, DiTullio has become The Voice of afternoon sports talk in the Rochester area.

DiTullio moved to Rochester in 1997 from Erie, Pa., and worked as a sports anchor for local news shows including Fox and R News. He’s now found his niche on radio, where his wandering, trivia-filled mind jumps from topic to topic. While predominantly focused on sports, John’s humorous observations will touch on anything from cell phone use in the bathroom to defending his Snuggie’s masculinity.

“When I moved up here people treated me like an alien. Where in the heck did you get that voice?” he says of his deep and raspy vocal tone. “My voice is partly the reason I got hired here in Rochester. They did those focus groups and for whatever reason my voice tested well. I guess some women said they liked my voice,” he comments, as if not completely believing it himself.

When it comes to sports trivia, DiTullio’s brain is a steel trap, unlike anything I’ve ever heard. He’ll routinely recall obscure third-down plays from a 2001 Bills team that went 3-13. He’ll name an NBA role player you’ve all but forgotten and then go on to talk about his best game in obscene detail. Or he’ll make off-handed comments about the ’97 Yankees as if he’d just watched them play. That was the game Paul O’Neill bunted for a double. He used a black bat that night, which was strange for Paul. I remember him standing on second base with red shoelaces. Who the heck wears red shoelaces?

His propensity for recalling specific plays, players and games, whether memorable or not, is truly astonishing.

John is flanked on one side by his co-host Dan Moriarty, a young sports talk host who started with DiTullio as an intern. Operating the soundboard is John’s producer Jessica Sawyer. Her female perspective and good nature are a welcome check when the show runs astray with male point of view.

You can catch John DiTullio on WHTK 1280AM from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. I’ve also shot a short film for my Local Local film project with John while broadcasting live from Bills