Aug 152011

610 WIPThere have been rumors running around lately regarding Sportsradio 610 WIP’s plans to take over 94.1 WYSP, with WIP entering the FM battle to take on direct rival 97.5 The Fanatic. WIP and WYSP are both owned by CBS Philly.

It would be the end of an era for the local rock music scene and would be a major power play for WIP, who have been losing ground (and listeners) to the Fanatic ever since the latter made the jump from the AM side of the dial back in 2009.

And now the latest WIP-themed rumor surrounds the ending of another era — long-time Philly sports radio icon Howard Eskin could be out at 610.

The hater of nitwits and dopes alike is rumored to be resigning as soon as this week in what is being referred to as a proverbial “leave on your own or we’ll do it for you” type move.

If true, it would be a literal paradigm shift for the local sports talk radio scene. Eskin is the current drive-time personality, and his penchant for stirring controversy and kissing the Eagles ass have ensured he remained a dominating presence for a long time.

However, with Mike Missanelli’s rival drive-time show seemingly taking the ratings lead, it appears WIP could be ready for a change. Eskin rubs many people the wrong way and his sports knowledge is rudimentary at best. With his slip in the ratings, it may be that WIP is just ready to move on. They already forced the affable if barely listenable-to Ike Reese onto the show and now it seems the powers that be are forcing a more dramatic move.

Eskin’s rumored departure would also be accompanied by other programming changes at the station in preparation for the move to FM, which is rumored to be happening around Labor Day next month.  With former long-time WIP host (and Cowboys and Jets fan) Jody MacDonald doing some fill-in work recently, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a reunion of the Mac and Mac show, with MacDonald re-joining former partner Glen Macnow on the mid-day show.  Macnow’s current partner, the well-regarded Anthony Gargano, could potentially take Eskin’s spot in the prime afternoon/evening slot, partnering with a retained Ike Reese or another respected host like Rob Ellis.

That’s all just speculation of course, with the only rumor currently out there being that Eskin is out.  We should see very shortly if it’s in fact true or just a way to generate internet and radio buzz.

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