Josh Innes’ time has expired at Sports Radio 94 WIP in Philadelphia. The talented and polarizing sports talk show host was fired prior to his afternoon program on Wednesday.
“We can confirm that Josh Innes is no longer with WIP,” said a WIP spokesperson said in a written statement. “Various station personalities will fill in during the afternoon show until a new host is announced.”
Marc Farzetta and Hollis Thomas hosted Wednesday’s show. No announcement has been made regarding the rest of the week.
The decision to drop Innes came the day after the afternoon host verbally criticized competitor Mike Missanelli and 97.5 The Fanatic for their participating in a story involving a white producer creating a black character to call in to their show.
Innes drew the ire of some listeners after sharing a photo on social media of a performer in blackface. He posted the image in response to the controversy over the incident at The Fanatic. It wasn’t the first time Innes came under fire. He was previously suspended in January after using a racial epithet to describe Philadelphia Eagles Center Jason Kelce.
David Brody, Innes’ agent, blamed WIP program director Spike Eskin for the relationship with Innes becoming sour. Eskin moved from hosting alongside Innes in afternoons to managing him when former boss Andy Bloom (the man who hired Innes in Philadelphia) lost his job due to CBS layoffs.
“Josh didn’t forget how to attract an audience in January 2016,” Brody said of his ratings decline after Bloom’s departure. “He lost a manager who knew how to manage him. He was suspended within 30 days of that managerial change. That has brought us to where we are today.”
Innes’s tenure in Philadelphia provided mixed results. Although he had his run ins with management and paid the price for a few on-air mistakes, he also recorded high ratings when paired with Tony Bruno. From February 2015 to July 2015 the duo gained the upper hand on Missanelli, beating him head to head in the ratings. When Bruno departed though after six months, the program went through a series of changes which eventually reduced the show’s momentum.
Following Bruno’s exit, Innes was paired with former Eagles defensive tackle Hollis Thomas and Eskin. Ratings for the show were strong out of the gate. But when Eskin left the show to become the station’s head programming boss, the decline began to take place.
The inconsistency with the show, combined with Innes’ love/hate relationship with local listeners led to the show experiencing a big drop in the numbers. For the past nine months, Missanelli has won the head to head battle against Innes consistently, leading to speculation that WIP wouldn’t retain him when his contract expired at the end of 2016.
With Josh now out of the picture, the big questions become, who fills his vacancy? Does the new afternoon show follow Innes’ playbook or explore a different creative direction? And which radio station will take a chance on adding Innes?
Making things more difficult for WIP is the fact that Missanelli has been on fire at The Fanatic and shows no signs of slowing down. To unseat him in the top spot won’t be easy but Eskin now has an opportunity to add someone who fits his vision, and demonstrate that he has the right blueprint to lead WIP to a stronger tomorrow. What happens next will tell us a lot about the future state of the afternoon sports radio battle in the city of brotherly love.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
Shan Shariff: FS1 Has the Worst NFL Analysts
He noted that Skip Bayless, Craig Carton, and LeSean McCoy were the “dumbest” analysts for FS1.
FS1 has assembled a wide-ranging cast of former NFL players and pundits throughout its analyst, panelist, and host roles. That doesn’t mean they have earned the respect of 105.3 The Fan’s Shan Shariff.
During the Dallas morning show Tuesday, Shariff shared that in a recent interview with Awful Announcing, he named the three “dumbest” analysts when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys. He noted that Skip Bayless is the worst offender, while Craig Carton is third on his list behind LeSean McCoy. All three work for FS1.
A recent statement from McCoy caught the particular ire of Shariff, for arguing that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, despite playing well recently and being viewed as an NFL MVP candidate, needs to play worse to see how he’ll respond to the adversity.
“I wanna see when he messes and how he responds,” McCoy said.
“I honestly think — I don’t know if he’s a clown or if he’s just not intelligent…he made zero sense,” Shariff said. “Everyone else on set was looking at him like ‘You want him to be worse and mess up so he can respond to that in order to get more MVP consideration?'”
“If he had said ‘I need to see Dak play well against good teams’, that’s a totally valid statement,” co-host RJ Choppy said. “This makes no sense.”
Shariff then brought up a recent statement from FS1’s Joy Taylor that argued Prescott can’t win the MVP due to his on-field play.
“This is like a two-and-a-half-minute clip. I don’t have the patience for or the tolerance for that,” Shariff said.
Co-host Bobby Belt responded by saying “She’s clearly on TV because of her football opinions,” which led Shan Shariff to say “Yeah, Thanks, Jason Taylor,” the older brother of Joy Taylor, who made the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a 13-year NFL career.
ESPN 1400 Coming to KGVL in Greenville, Texas
Greenville, Texas is 50 miles northeast of Dallas.
KGVL in Greenville, Texas is preparing to flip formats from oldies to sports radio with ESPN 1400 set to debut after Christmas.
After it wraps up airing Christmas music, the station will permanently air a sports format with ESPN Radio.
“While we have enjoyed bringing you classic hits for the last few years, we have an opportunity to bring something to Northeast Texas that we can’t pass up!,” a post to the station’s Facebook stage said. “Starting after the Holidays, we will become ESPN 1400! Not only will we bring you non-stop sports, but we will also carry LIVE sports like college football, NFL, NBA, MLB, and even CFP Bowl Games!”
Greenville, Texas is 50 miles northeast of Dallas. KGVL is a Class C, 1,000 watt station owned by E Radio Network. The station covers the majority of Dallas and the eastern portion of the Metroplex. It can also be heard on FM translators on 105.9 FM and 107.7 FM.
The news was first reported by RadioInsight.
Scott Van Pelt: ‘Say Yes Until You Earn the Right to Say No’
“You put as much on your plate; be a good earner for your employer…”
On Monday afternoon, the New York Jets made headlines when Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported that quarterback Zach Wilson was reluctant to reassume the starting role when asked by the team. Shortly after the report was promulgated, ESPN New York afternoon program, The Michael Kay Show, welcomed ESPN SportsCenter and Monday Night Countdown host Scott Van Pelt for his weekly appearance on the show. When he was asked about the Wilson situation, he compared it to how those in the sports media business interact with management and earn credibility and prestige.
“Peter, you wear a lot of hats man,” Van Pelt said, addressing co-host Peter Rosenberg. “Your boss says, ‘Hey, we need you to come in and do this, that or the other.’ I always say to people in any business, ‘Say yes until you earn the right to say no.’ You put as much on your plate; be a good earner for your employer; and then at some point maybe you earn the right to say, ‘Listen, I’d rather not do this, but I’ve got you on all these other things.”
Show co-host Michael Kay hypothesized a scenario in which Van Pelt would tell ESPN management that he did not want to host Monday Night Countdown because of the injury to Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Joe Burrow. For Scott Van Pelt though, he understands the position he is in and how there are other people that look at him with a sense of envy.
“This is where you could point out, ‘How many people would kill to do this?,’ and that’s what we hear in our business [is] ‘You know how many people would kill to do this?,’” Van Pelt said. “Of course, and we get all that, and we’re lucky people – all of us – we’re in the get-to job, not got-to.”
Scott Van Pelt brought up how there are likely listeners who work extremely hard and would be aghast and perplexed if they heard someone in sports media talking about how they did not want to go to work. Moreover, he referred to what Wilson reportedly said as “an indefensible position” as the segment concluded.
Earlier in the segment, Kay called it “bizarre” that the discussion was even being had about Wilson not wanting to return to the starting quarterback job after being relegated from the role two weeks ago. Co-host Don La Greca also added his perspective into the situation, addressing Kay about how he goes about his work as the play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees and working in other roles.
“Michael, you know in your life there’s probably lots of times you’d love to tell your boss, ‘Are you kidding me?,’” La Greca said, “but you still say ‘Yes’ because it’s your boss.”