Whether by choice or by shove, it appears legendary WIP sports talker Howard Eskin will soon be gone from the all-important 3-7 p.m. time slot.
Eskin, 57, revered by his fans as “King,” will reportedly continue working with the station as a sideline reporter and consultant.
Multiple sources confirmed that Anthony Gargano, currently paired with Havertown’s Glen Macnow from 10-3, is expected to slide into Eskin’s spot. It was unclear Monday afternoon whether Macnow would be a part of the show or what would become of Eskin’s co-host, former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese.
Eskin was on air at the time of this report and Gargano could not be reached for comment. “I’ve got an announcement coming up which is important to me,” Eskin told his listeners at 4:40 p.m.
“It was time,” Eskin told listeners minutes ago. “I approached our program director Andy Bloom and we agreed on a new contract that would give me the freedom to pursue some of the national opportunities that I have been able to dabble in over the last couple years while still having a role here at WIP. So after Sept. 2nd I will be giving up the 3-7 p.m. shift but will still continue as part of WIP, as part of the Eagles broadcast, along with the pregame shows and other shows and projects.”
Eskin got choked up at the end of what sounded like a prepared statement.
“You have often heard me say, ‘I’ve never had a bad day in my life,’ and I mean it,” he said as his voice started to crack. “This really another great day in a terrific streak and I’m just starting a new chapter.”
Known for his fur coats, natty attire, enduring relationship with Sixers legend Charles Bakley and penchant for telling disagreeable callers to “beat it,” Eskin is one of WIP’s highest-paid and controversial employees.
Once the king of the afternoon drive, Eskin now plays second fiddle to Mike Missanelli at 97.5 The Fanatic, Philadelphia’s ESPN affiliate. Missaneli was fired from WIP in 2003.
Sources said ratings are the main reason for the Eskin move. His chummy relationship with the Eagles has also been a point of contention with some at the station.
Eskin’s contract runs through 2011.
It appears there will be no changes to the WIP Morning Show, which features Angelo Cataldi, Rhea Hughes, Al Morganti and Keith Jones. WIP’s highest-paid jock, Cataldi has three years remaining on his contract with an option for a fourth.
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