There were basically two paths for Beasley here – 1) let Gargano walk and decide that this isn’t worth the time, money, or effort, or 2) file suit and attempt to enforce the contract. They went for option two.

If you’re not familiar with the story, Anthony Gargano has not appeared on 97.5 the Fanatic’s midday show since last Tuesday, when the All City network announced its expansion to the Philadelphia market. Gargano was involved from the beginning, putting the staff together and assisting with the launch while still under contract with Beasley. Lawyers were already involved, before that mid-September ‘go’ date, but Gargano was pictured in the initial launch video and also appeared in this photo, shared by Makayla Perkins on Twitter 24 hours after All City launched:

launching our 4th city, super proud of our team and excited for everything that’s coming soon,” Perkins wrote on Twitter.

For All City and Gargano, this basically amounted to something like “ah fuck it, we’re just gonna forge ahead here and see what happens.” A very rough and crass synopsis on my part, but you get the gist.

The lawsuit alleges that Gargano wanted to do both jobs at the same time, as explained here:

“Under both his Agreement and the common law duty of loyalty, Gargano is prohibited from providing services to a competing business while he is employed by Beasley. Despite this clearly defined obligation not to compete with his current employer, Gargano notified Beasley on September 11, 2023 that he intends to do precisely that: Gargano advised Beasley that he intends to continue producing content for The Fanatic, but also that he has accepted employment with All City where he will perform on podcasts, write articles, and likely create other forms of Philadelphia sports-focused content that will compete directly with Beasley. In other words, Gargano intends to work simultaneously for two competing business to provide sports coverage and commentary to the Philadelphia marketplace, targeting the same audience and competing for the same local advertisers on each platform.”

There’s also this:

“Disturbingly, All City’s CEO has since claimed in the press that Gargano has been involved with the launch of PHLY Sports “since its inception” and that he has been instrumental in the creation of a competing media platform that is actively poaching Beasley’s employees. Beasley’s investigation into those allegations is ongoing.”

A couple of other notes from the filing:

  • It says Devon Givens “recently resigned in violation of his employment agreement” and is subject to a non-compete (three months, which he is currently serving, he hasn’t appeared on any All City shows yet).
  • Devon’s contract ran until March of 2025.
  • Gargano is on a three-year deal that expires on October 7th, 2024.
  • Beasley says it’s allowed a “limited exception” to the non-competition clause by allowing Cuz to do his Fox Sports Radio show, “an engagement that pre-dates his employment with Beasley.”
  • Beasley claims it first learned of All City’s approach in August.
  • They allege that Gargano pitched the idea of the Fanatic and All City creating a partnership and working together.
  • Beasley alleges that All City solicited 9 employees (which was news to me, the list of targets I had was much smaller, so maybe mine was incomplete).
  • Gargano is currently “suspended” with pay.

This is a pretty standard breach of contract filing. I’m no lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and Beasley has a decent case. All City’s best move might be to settle. Does either side want to rack up legal fees? I doubt it. Beasley has gone through some recent cost-saving layoffs and All City already spent a shit ton of money just putting this staff together and expanding into the market. Litigation like this can quickly get into the six-figure range. What’s interesting is to consider Gargano’s Fanatic sponsors, and if they start dropping. That could reinforce Beasley damage claims, like Primo Hoagies dropping the Fanatic for WIP, or some similar hypothetical.

Very interesting! Stay tuned for updates.