Maestro has been deciphering all signals intelligence coming in the last few days. It has been, frankly, difficult to separate the signal from the noise this time. Missives, cables, and outright disinformation campaigns have made the truth a moving target, like so much in our world today. Zuck, Cambridge Analytica, and a room full of Russian trolls have nothing on Philly sports talk radio interests.
Here’s what we know.
For the last week, since Mike Missanelli hurled his headphones at a wall live on the air, followed by an apparent blowup with producer Tyrone Johnson during the ensuing break, the outright leader in Afternoons has been missing from the air.
Last week, he told me he was on vacation through the end of the week, a claim challenged by a 97.5 source who said Missanelli had been suspended, ostensibly for the ordeal.
When things spilled over into this week, it was clear that something was afoot, as the Maestro indicated to you last week. There was chatter as to whether the two sides could be working on a buyout or settlement for the remainder of Missanelli’s contract, which is – or at least was – scheduled to be up at the end of this year. It’s unclear if any changes have been made there.
This all seemed like an overreaction to a radio host throwing his headphones– a common occurrence in the industry, per sources.
But deeper concerns were at play. Perhaps this presented 97.5 brass an opportunity to cut ties with the costly Missanelli.
For his part, Missanelli has seemed unhappy with management for some time, and he has been indicating a willingness to quit.
Strife with coworkers, particularly Tyrone, may have been the driving force behind this week-long void. It seems the on-air disagreement was not the first between the two of them and things may have escalated (to be clear: not physically!) last week. At points during this hiatus, Missanelli has indicated a great displeasure with his producer.
But per sources, as of now, the plan is for Missanelli to return on Monday, with his full show intact, including Tyrone and Natalie Egenolf.
Of course things can change. If Maestro would have assigned odds yesterday, he would’ve put it at -120 for Mike not returning. But it seems a truce has been struck, or at least that a peace treaty will soon commence.
Perhaps new program director Chuck Damico – by all accounts a good dude and well-respected figure – was able to mediate any concerns.
Asked for a comment on his expected return and told any response would be considered on the record, Missanelli told Maestro:
“Kyle, go away. Seriously.”
To my lair I go. THE MUSIC PLEASE: