Andy Bloom was 94 WIP’s Operations Manager from November of 2007 to January of 2016. If you read Crossing Broad at all back then, you saw his name pop up frequently as part of the RADIO WARS saga that ended with Josh Innes’ being suspended and later fired seven months after Bloom was let go by CBS radio, prior to the Entercom sale.
Bloom brought Innes to Philly, and still has a good relationship with him, so he went on his podcast this week to talk about a variety of topics, from the RADIO WARS epic, to sources within WIP, Mike Missanelli, Tony Bruno, and everything in between. Here are some bullet points takeaways, followed by full quotes:
- Bloom knows who leaked information to the press. He originally accused Spike Eskin of being an information leaker but said that Spike was “clearly never the leaker.”
- There were a lot of “petty jealousies” at WIP: “there was a pecking order, it was Angelo, Howard, the midday guys, then all of the part-time guys who wanted to be the next Howard Eskin.“
- Bloom pushed back on the idea that Josh Innes was “his guy.” He says he’d spend time in his office talking to anybody who wanted to sit down.
- Bloom is surprised that Angelo Cataldi is still on the air and thought he would have retired by now. He thinks Angelo is a “tremendous talent” but thought he would leave at some point during his tenure, which gave him the idea of putting Anthony Gargano or Innes in that morning drive time slot.
- Angelo’s show is “not the kind of shit” Josh would do (according to Josh), with the fake outrage routine.
- They talked about streaming ratings and believe them to be bullshit.
- Bloom told Innes to stop looking at social media.
- Josh admits that he ran himself out of town, but he and Bloom both respect Mike Missanelli for being a competitor and doing whatever possible to squash them.
- Bloom doesn’t think that Innes is “aloof,” but made it seem like he was because he’d walk into the station wearing head phones (and in general didn’t really make an effort to endear himself to some people). Josh touched on this and seemed to agree with it.
They also talked about the time Bloom got on the radio to yell at Kyle back in February of 2015, and I transcribed that part here:
Innes: To go back to that, that was the time, the news that Rob Ellis was either getting moved, and you were angry about, I guess the leaker gave them that story, too, and maybe that told you who the leaker was?
Bloom: Absolutely. I knew who leaked that one, it could have only been one person who knew it, or two people actually, and that may have been the time I accused Spike, and it was not Spike. So it gives you a pretty good idea of who it might have been. I was going to inform Rob of my decision when he got off the air that day. There were a couple of people who knew what I was going to say. Somebody had called or emailed and let Kyle know what I was going to say. Rob was on the air and read it on the air. That was an incredibly, I guess shitty thing to do to a human being. (Crossing Broad) didn’t call me for confirmation, they just went ahead and posted it. And I just think human dignity requires a little more respect than that. Rob had a right to hear it from me. The plan was I was going to tell him when he got off the air that day, not before he went on the air, and there were two people who knew it. One of them leaked it. I accused one of them and it was not that person, and I believe that. The other person knew it and did it.
Kyle and Bloom actually spoke on the phone after that on-air argument, and Kyle addressed similar complaints back in 2016, so I’ll add a couple of my own thoughts instead:
- The “human dignity” line rings a little hollow to me because Andy moved Rob Ellis not once, but twice in order to push Josh Innes up the food chain. Rob was first bumped off nights and placed on afternoons, which sounds like a promotion, but it really wasn’t, because that was just a temporary landing spot before he was booted again to make room for Josh. Everybody knew what was really happening.
- Innes was always Andy Bloom’s “guy,” even though he claims otherwise. The plan was always to give him a significant day part (which he admitted in the podcast), and that dicked over a number of respected and established hosts in the process. It was the “cost of doing business,” perhaps, as Saul Berenson and Carrie Mathison would say (the Homeland series finale was good, by the way).
Anyway, Bloom also talked about the day that Tony Bruno decided not to come in and do the afternoon show, and the dynamic of pairing Innes with him:
“I want to be very clear about this. The show was pitched to Tony as a partnership with a 51-49 vote, that if there was a disagreement, you (Josh) had the final 1% vote. It was always pitched that way. I think that at certain points that got to Tony, and if it wasn’t Tony, it was Tony’s support people.”
“In fairness, I’ll give Tony every benefit of the doubt here and pick on you a bit as much as I can, it was a little more of Josh Innes bringing his show forward and a little less of Tony Bruno. In particular, looking back, had we allowed Tony to use a few of his sounders, it might have satisfied him, but I think ultimately, to your point, that he was hearing from all of his old fans, really did kind of mentally F with him.”
They ended the podcast talking about Josh Innes theoretically returning to Philly with 97.5 the Fanatic. Innes has angled for that in the past, though I can’t imagine Mike Missanelli would ever sign off on it, assuming he has any say. He likely does not, though management would be smart to steer clear of doing something that would upset the afternoon apple cart. I think 97.5 would have to be up against the wall to make a controversial move like bringing in Josh, considering how ridiculous and nasty some of the RADIO WARS stuff got back in the day.
Here’s the podcast: