Vinnie Richichi, Rob Pratte ready to put show into drive
By Rex Rutkoski
Published: Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, 9:44 p.m.
Tom and Ray Magliozzi — aka “Click and Clack,” the nationally syndicated “Car Talk” guys — are retiring soon.
But Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte are just getting their engines revved up for their new show, “Drivetime,” debuting from 7 to 8 a.m. Saturday on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.
After a test drive last week, the radio veterans — Pratte, a sports reporter and host of “Weekend Magazine” on KDKA AM and Richichi, mid-day co-host on the station's FM sister, Sports Radio 93.7 FM The Fan — officially team for their first project together.
Program director Jim Graci says it will be a weekly blend of “guy-next-door” car discussion, approached with humor and passion, including interviews with guests from the automotive world and calls from listeners.
“Spend five minutes with Vinnie and Rob together in the same room and you'll see they already have a strong chemistry,” Graci says. “The trick may be trying to get a word in edgewise with the two of them bouncing off each other, talking cars, engines, experiences. They have a great common bond and sheer excitement to talk about cars together.”
Graci says “Drivetime” was not a response to NPR's “Car Talk” hosts ending their run. The station is always looking to expand and refine its on-air line-up, he says.
“It was apparent right away that this was a natural fit,” he says. “Vinnie has been writing automotive reviews for over 20 years and has a tremendous affection for the automobile. Rob is a closet motor head. I could see Rob crusin' Monaca in a muscle car about 30 years ago.”
Pratte implies that he will be riding shotgun to Richichi's automotive expertise and connections.
“He's the brain trust,” he says. “I'm the guy sitting in the barber chair leafing through a car magazine, while I'm waiting to get my hair cut, looking back at my youth and wishing I could have had some of those cars.”
He's also impressed with Richichi's “electric” personality “that just lights up the room.”
“He's gregarious, bold, bright and entertaining,” Pratte says. “Even though he's from New York, he is a Pittsburgh, Primanti-sandwich-eating yinzer.”
Richichi appreciates Pratte's easy-going nature and sense of humor.
“People sometimes just walk in and kind of click. It feels natural working with Rob,” he says.
Richichi, whose auto review feature has aired on radio stations across the United States and Canada, says the time felt right for “Drivetime.”
“New cars are coming out, and there is a resurrection of the American automobile,” he says. “People are looking at cars as a reflection of their personalities once again. We spend more time in our cars as almost anywhere else.”
Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cueto gets best of Bucs, as Reds take series
- Peduto says Penguins playoff series will be economic boon
- Starkey: Fleury’s future at stake
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Five years later, Crosby wants another Cup win
- Authorities plan to withdraw charge against bullied South Fayette student
- Penguins’ Malkin expects to play in Game 1
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Beaver Co. man indicted on federal sex crime
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Community turns out for Franklin Regional students’ return to class