It looks like 97.5 The Fanatic will need to drop their “Philly’s only FM sports station” tag line. According to philly.com’s Dan Gross, the area’s sports talk radio king 610 WIP is planning on taking over operations from legendary local rock station 94 WYSP. Both are owned by CBS Radio.
WIP’s program director Andy Bloom would neither confirm nor deny the rumor to Gross. Neither would CBS Radio market manager Marc Rayfield.
The rumored change date is Labor Day.
If true, this is huge, and not necessarily in a good way. WYSP is a Philly staple, and with the garbage that is today’s music losing a station that plays rock music would be a travesty.
Of course, the horrible music scene itself could be what’s actually prompting the switch. Per Gross, CBS Radio recently changed two underperforming music stations – WJZ FM in Baltimore and WBZ in Boston – to sports talk. When AM station 950 ESPN switched to 97.5 The Fanatic on FM in 2009, total listeners went way up, with recent reports saying Mike Missanelli’s drive-time show on 97.5 has taken over Howard Eskin’s same slot on WIP as the most listened to in sports radio. Of course Howard is an abrasive and ignorant jackass so that could be contributing to the lower ratings as well.
Gross also notes that WYSP’s biggest personality in both name and salary, Danny Bonaduce, had his contract renewed for only one year, possibly indicating some future uncertainty.
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