Thursday, March 20, 2008

Foley Fired, Missanelli Back

I am not sure how many times the Glenn Foley era has ended in his football career, but another Foley era ended yesterday as he's out at SR950 WPEN-AM.  Michael Bradley is hosting a considerably more sober than usual morning show solo.  He's just keeping the seat warm for a week though, as ESPN's Mike and Mike show is headed to the Philly airwaves starting April 1.


Bigger news though is that the man WPEN was built around, Jody Mac, is headed to mid-days (no hours yet) and Mike Missanelli is headed back from his NYC slot now that his Philly-area non-compete is up.  Missanelli is a smart, if temperamental  host, best known for his on-air feuding with 610 WIP's Howard Eskin and his rather rather infamous assault on a producer that got him canned from the Godfather of Philly Sports Talk.


My brother Matt and I talked about this Possibility last week when Missanelli did a guest spot on the Morning Show, and he broke the story over at The700Level last night.


Mid-day co-host Jamie Yannacone, best known either for winning a contest as a super fan and joining the broadcasting ranks or for running naked across Oregon Avenue, also got the axe.  It remains to be seen what will be done with Harry Mayes, the other early afternoon host.  My guess is he's headed back to evenings.  Bradley also needs a spot, though his somewhat cerebral approach doesn't seem to fit with the new style SR 950 is laying out.


I know why they're doing it, but I still hate to see them move Jody.  He's the only reason most of us even listen to the station and moving him to mid-days is a huge demotion.  Most of us won't be able to enjoy the show then.  Missanelli though, gives the station a chance to do what it hasn't done in the 2.5 years they've been sports talk.  Build listeners.  He's another known (and volatile) quantity on the air there who can directly challenge Eskin in a way that Jody hasn't been able to.  And moving Jody to mid-days is a massive upgrade for that time slot and puts him in a great position to compete with the dreadful midday programming at 610.


I'm just not sure that it will all work.  National sports radio isn't a good fit in the notoriously passionate Philly sports scene.  SR950 has done virtually nothing outside a few billboards to promote Jody's tenure in the afternoons, and they'll need to step it up big time to pay Mike Miss's salary and compete with Eskin.  They've never done it before, so why start now?


Is this just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic?


UPDATE


From Michael Klein at Philly.com:

Today it (950) announced that Jody McDonald, now afternoon host, would move to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


ESPN's Mike Tirico will take the 1-to-3 p.m. block, followed by Missanelli from 3-7 p.m.


The Locker Room, with current midday cohost Harry Mayes and Dan Schwartzman, previously at ESPN 920, will be on from 7 to 11 p.m.

I'm sad for Jody.  He's a class act and he's going back to his beginnings here in Philly when he took over the 10-2 shift for Bill Campbell.  I wish him the best of luck in the new slot. I also note that there's no mention of the lovely Meredith Marakovits or Michael Bradley.  Meredith was featured prominently in this morning's show, but I guess they're done with at pair too at 950.


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