Monday, August 15, 2011

Eskin exits from WIP radio show

Longtime afternoon drivetime host Howard Eskin signed a contract extension with WIP but will step down from his afternoon slot, the station announced today.

Eskin has been the most high profile Philadelphia sports radio personality for a quarter century but his bombastic style that relied more on confrontation than research or homework was clearly wearing thin on a listening audience that seems better educated these days.

Eskin will host WIP's Eagles game day coverage and remain a sideline reporter, while contributing to other shows and fill in as a substitute host.

Sources have confirmed that glad-hander Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow will slide into Eskin’s spot from midddays. It was unclear Monday afternoon where Eskin’s co-host, former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese, would land on the WIP schedule. My guess is Jody McDonald does the heavy-lifting for Reese in the midday slot.

"This new contract provides me with the ideal schedule for the future with the ability to remain part of the WIP team for years to come," Eskin said in a press release. "Working Eagles football and a variety of shows across the WIP lineup, while at the same time not having to work the 3-7p daypart will allow me the freedom to further explore some national opportunities I've had recently.  I'm looking forward to this new chapter and challenge of my career."

"Since the late '70s, Howard Eskin has had more impact on the Philadelphia sports landscape than anyone I know," said CBS radio senior vice president Marc Rayfield.  "He is now, and will always be, an icon in this city.  We are thrilled he has chosen to remain with WIP while at the same time pursuing some exciting, new opportunities."

Despite the glowing spin most believe Eskin is being shoved out the door thanks in large part to Mike Missanelli at 97.5 The Fanatic, Philadelphia’s ESPN affiliate. Missanelli, who was fired from WIP in 2003, has topped Eskin in most key demos for months now.

“It was time,” Eskin said on his show Monday afternoon. “I approached our program director Andy Bloom and we agreed on a new contract that would give me the freedom to pursue some of the national opportunities that I have been able to dabble in over the last couple years while still having a role here at WIP. So after Sept. 2nd I will be giving up the 3-7 p.m. shift but will still continue as part of WIP, as part of the Eagles broadcast, along with the pregame shows and other shows and projects.”

Eskin then got choked up.

“You have often heard me say, ‘I’ve never had a bad day in my life,’ and I mean it,” he said. “This really another great day in a terrific streak and I’m just starting a new chapter.”

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