(Left to right) Frank Rizzo, Bill Baldini and cameraman Tom Henry
Philadelphia City Hall outside of room 202

There's a really interesting story about this photo. During Frank Rizzo's second term as Mayor of Philadelphia, there was a confrontation between MOVE and the Philadelphia Police Department. Police Officer James Ramp was killed.

For months, Mayor Rizzo would not talk to the members of the press. This went on for months and months. Finally, WCAU-TV, Channel 10 news reporter Bill Baldini was given his orders. Get an interview with Frank Rizzo no matter what.

On the day the above photo was taken, Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Baldini and Channel 10 cameraman Tom Henry went to City Hall. They knew that the mayor would be in room 202 where he was talking to members of PAL, the Police Athletic League. Baldini and Henry hid behind the pillars on the second floor of the city hall building and when the mayor exited room 202, Bill and Tom jumped from behind the columns. Baldini said, "Mister Mayor. We want to talk to you about your PALS." Thinking that the reporter wanted to speak about the Police Athletic League, he started talking. Bill said, "Not those PALS, but your pals at MOVE."

With this Mayor Rizzo went into this huge, long monologue about the news media. One minute. Two minutes. Three minutes and ending after four minutes. WCAU-TV ran the entire footage that evening and that ended the mayor's silence with the news reporters. Ten years later, Frank Rizzo would become part of the media when, as the city's retired mayor, he started hosting a radio talk show on WCAU Radio, now WPHT.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Baldini
© 2008, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

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