As you probably know already, Anthony Gargano is out at WIP. He all but confirmed our RADIO WARS reporting* with this Tweet on Saturday night:
*Which no one has picked up yet. I don’t even know why you’d bother reading other sports blogs.
With this comes a lot of questions (into my inbox and Twitter timeline). I’ll do my best to answer below:
How did this happen?
I’m told Gargano was offered a crummy one-year extension, likely to give Josh Innes time to be groomed for the Afternoon spot. Cuz didn’t appreciate the offer (understandably) and ultimately made the decision to part ways with WIP. I had heard that the decision to cut ties came from CBS (WIP parent company, of course) in NY, but that part appears to be exaggerated. They may have had a say in the negotiations and certainly the money aspect, but the final call, last week, sounds like it came from Gargano. Everyone has a slightly different version of what happened here, however.
Where does Gargano go?
There’s obviously only one other local option– 97.5 The Fanatic. The two sides have absolutely been talking, and I’d bet something happens. I couldn’t confirm this next part, but I believe local hosts typically have a 90-day non-compete clause, and since Gargano’s contract is officially up at the end of the year, he likely can’t talk sports on the radio elsewhere locally until the spring.
Who would he replace?
Well, it wouldn’t be Mike Missanelli. But the timeslots before 2 p.m. are probably all in play. All of them.
Did Gargano leak this story?
They probably taste like delicious Primo Hoagies… but for the record, no, Anthony didn’t leak the story to me. In fact, I haven’t spoken to him.
Was the afternoon show getting trounced by Missanelli?
Fuck if I know. Radio stations treat ratings like nuclear launch codes. Everyone claims they’re on top, but no one shares the numbers on a per-show basis. But the consensus is that Missanelli and Gargano-Ellis (and before that Gargano-Macnow) were relatively even. My guess is Missanelli holds the edge over the long-term. Gargano and Ellis, however, apparently won the timeslot in the spring (April-June).
What about Afternoons on WIP?
My guess is Innes moves up at some point and he’s partnered with a known sports talk radio host who may or may not already work for the station.
How is morale at WIP?
Absolutely terrible. Hit it: