RADIO WARS! 94 WIP announced the hiring of Rod Lakin to serve as the sports talk station’s new program director after Spike Eskin hit the yellow brick road to start his new gig at WFAN in New York. Lakin joins the Audacy owned sports talk station after spending the last 18 years in the Arizona sports talk market.
Lakin has spent his entire professional career at Phoenix’s Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and ESPN 620, serving as the station’s program director for the last three years. He’ll officially step into the role of Brand Manager (program director) for WIP.
Congrats to Rod! Clearly you have to be named after a blunt instrument to be @SportsRadioWIP PD. He'll do great.
And his dad didn't even get him the job! https://t.co/Ikn7DOPPd2
— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) September 14, 2021
Lakin had this to say about his new role, according to Barrett Sports Media:
“I have the deepest respect for the iconic WIP brand and what it means to the most passionate fan base in the country,” Lakin said. “To have an opportunity to join the talented team at 94WIP is truly an honor, and I want to thank David Yadgaroff, Jeff Sottolano, Spike Eskin and Audacy for their belief in me.”
Lakin will be thrown headfirst into one of the largest sports radio markets in the country in his new role at WIP. WIP and Audacy conducted a nationwide search for a new director after Eskin departed over the summer to replace Mark Chernoff as the vice president of programming for WFAN and CBS Sports Radio.
It will be interesting to see how Lakin fits into the Philadelphia sports media scene with only having experience in Arizona sports radio, which I have to imagine is FAR less intense than Philadelphia. Programing content for the “Burns and Gambo” show is probably a little different than trying to manage the whirlwind that is the WIP lineup. I’m not sure Gambo has as much cachet in the industry as someone like Angelo Cataldi.
Lakin has 18-years of experience in the industry, all with the Arizona sports talk station. He started at the company in 2003 as a technical director and worked his way up to program director in June 2018.
If Lakin is smart he’ll immediately start up a new 76ers podcast, call it “The Rights to Norvel Pelle,” and ingratiate himself with a fanbase that is likely puzzled by the decision to bring in a program director from Arizona to man the city’s biggest sports talk radio brand.
I’d also suggest taking up the nickname “Rowdy Roddy” Lakin because that would rule. It can’t hurt.
Good luck Rod.