A RADIO WARS stunner on a Wednesday afternoon!
Per Andrew Marchand at the New York Post, WIP’s Spike Eskin is leaving the station to take over at WFAN in New York.
Spike Eskin will replace Mark Chernoff as the vice president of programming for WFAN and CBS Sports Radio, The Post has learned.
In becoming the head of WFAN, Eskin joins a station with its most important time slots securely anchored by the top-rated “Boomer & Gio” in mornings and “Carton & Roberts” in afternoons.
Eskin will still have a huge impact in terms of what New York sports fans hear. He will decide the fate of “Moose & Maggie,” which has rated well, but is a spot where FAN still could change its daily lineup. He will choose the replacement for John Jastremski, who recently left FAN evenings for a Ringer podcast. And Eskin is expected to reshape the station’s weekend programming.
WFAN, you may be aware, is also owned by Audacy. There’s been plenty of crossover between these entities before, with Craig Carton and Chris Carlin and other hosts anchoring on both stations during their respective careers.
Chernoff, if you’ve never heard of him, is regarded as a radio programming legend. He’s 70 years old and is retiring following a decades-long stint with the station.
Spike makes a lot of sense as a replacement.
Because he took over for Andy Bloom several years ago and did an admirable job course correcting after the Josh Innes debacle that was chronicled on the pages of this website. He brought in Jon Marks and Joe DeCamara, elevated Joe Giglio, and made a number of moves that resulted in WIP going back to becoming a well-oiled machine that crushes the competition in the ratings.
There are a couple of interesting things for us to consider from a Philly standpoint:
- I’ve been told over the years that there are basically two factions at WIP. There’s a group of “Spike’s guys” and a group that is not. With Spike heading up to NYC, it makes me wonder if there are any promotions or demotions or reshufflings that take place in the coming months.
- Spike’s replacement is going to have to usher in a new era when Angelo Cataldi retires, if he ever does. At the same time, Merrill Reese isn’t going to be calling Eagles games forever. Those will be two tough spots to fill.
- There were some specifically-branded shows that Spike brought in, like Rights to Ricky Sanchez radio, which aired before Sixers games. That was named after his popular podcast. Does WIP keep the name after he’s gone?
- There are some opinions out there that WIP got a little “takey” after Spike took over, and I don’t know if that’s true or not. That’s up to each individual listener to determine. But the bottom line is that the station is humming, so it would be dumb for a new program director to come in and “fix” something that isn’t broken. (edit – I should note that Spike did bring in ESP, who is the lord of all hot takes)
- How about a Giglio reunion? Joe G used to host at WFAN back in the day and was promoted by Spike in Philadelphia, so a Giglio-to-New York move would not be surprising in the least bit.
Great gig though, for real. Spike is only in his mid-40s, and going on to become a VP at WFAN is a huge deal and big money job. It was only 10 years ago that he was anchoring middays at WYSP, and then transitioned over to sports when the format flipped and WIP moved from AM to FM, taking over that signal.
EDIT 2 –
“Spike has the vision, creativity, and drive to craft the next chapter of the iconic and influential WFAN brand,” said Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy New York. “Along with CBS Sports Radio, his experience will be ideal to fuel our sports production powerhouse of 48 hours a day of original audio, 12 hours of quality television, all alongside a vibrant digital and social experience for both New York and the nation. As a long-time colleague of Spike, I am excited that he has joined our all-star team and have no doubt that he will succeed.”
“I’m humbled and excited for the opportunity to help lead WFAN into its next chapter,” said Eskin. “It’s an iconic station with incredible talent, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m grateful to Chris Oliviero and Audacy for the opportunity. Working at 94WIP over the last decade has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’m grateful to David Yadgaroff for his belief in me and the staff who stepped up to every challenge.”
EDIT 3 –
Spike just posted this message on Twitter:
Appreciate everyone! pic.twitter.com/nc1GgfUrEL
— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) May 12, 2021