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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eskin Leaving His Daily Show on WIP

I was a bit surprised to read in the Inquirer this morning that Howard Eskin is leaving his daily sports talk show on 610 WIP. Of course, the fact that a lot of people learned the news by reading it – instead of hearing Eskin report it on the air – is likely a big part of the story.

Despite the denials, it seems pretty clear that the presence of Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic during three of the four hours Eskin is on the air has lead to this change. It’s laughable that the ratings apparently aren’t clear cut – or someone is just blatantly lying – because both sides claim their station does better than the other during drive time in the afternoon.

But it doesn’t seem to matter now. WIP tried to shrug off the presence 97.5, which originally aired on 975 WPEN AM and still airs some programming there, when it first came on the air. Clearly they just can’t do that anymore. In fact, I don’t think they’ve been laughing for a while.

Eskin was the first guy many people, including myself, heard doing sports talk radio in Philadelphia. I still respect his desire and ability to break stories. He’s still worth watching on NBC10’s Sports Final, but he lost me years ago in terms of his radio show. There were nights I didn’t hear him utter a word about sports during my 30 to 40 minute commute, talking instead about fur coats and other nonsense. I rarely heard him with Ike Reese, now his partner, but I can’t imagine that was good listening.

Ironically, the ramifications of Eskin leaving his show may be the most interesting part of the story. The Inquirer reported that Anthony Gargano is the likely replacement for Eskin. Gargano’s success is absolutely baffling to me, and I can’t imagine he’ll compete with Missanelli at all. One of the earliest posts I ever wrote questioned Gargano and received a relatively large amount of traffic for this blog, a lot of which came from Google searches of “Gargano sucks.” It’s been years since I listened regularly to WIP, but I’ve seen him occasionally on Fox 29, and he’s still terrible.

Jody McDonald, the original guy to crossover from WIP to what is now 97.5, has been back on WIP lately. I believe he’s just subbing for guys who are vacationing, and he also pops up on Tony Bruno’s national show which airs on 97.5. So, it could be a coincidence or McDonald taking work wherever he can get it. But, could there be a Mac and Mac reunion in the near future with McDonald and Glen Macnow? According to WIP’s website, Macnow is still paired with Gargano. It makes sense that he would need a new partner if Gargona moved into Eskin’s time slot. Just so I don’t get ripped – this is pure speculation on my part. Presumably, Reese would be shifted somewhere.

With 97.5 still airing Mike and Mike in the morning, I would be tempted to flip back to 610 WIP if McDonald and Macnow reunited. I pretty much tolerate Mike and Mike because I prefer Harry Mayes with his various partners followed by Missanelli to Gargano and Macnow (or Gargano and anyone) followed by Eskin. I still have old-fashioned radios at home, and just don’t feel like bothering to keep switching the channel. But with a solid midday on WIP, I might be back to WIP until Missanelli hits the air at 2 PM on The Fanatic.


Pat Hilferty said...

Gargano might not be great, but I'm just glad the Eagles biggest apologist that ever lived is now gone. Now if only NBC would stop from forcing us to look at him and his terrible greasemop he calls hair.

Amy Silknitter said...

You're right about Ike and Eskin.  It didn't make for good listening.  They were always fighting.  And not entertaining-wise.   Like turn the radio off or change the station-wise.  I loved hearing Ike's perspective and what he had to say but Eskin would always either talk over him or poo poo his opinion to the point that it was just annoying and I'm sure humiliating for Reese.  Howard was clearly unhappy to be partnered with someone and he did everything in his power to show Ike and everyone else whose show it was.   It was ridiculous.   So what I'm saying is...  you didn't miss much.
Amy  -