RADIO WARS: Chris Carlin Is Reportedly Leaving WIP, and 97.5 Has a New Program Director

I’m admittedly a little late on this, but it seems Chris Carlin and his loud-mouthed New York shtick are leaving for… well, New York, where he’ll replace one of the biggest sports talk radio personalities of all-time.

From the NY Daily News:

It will take three voices to replace Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa.

Industry sources say WFAN suits will soon name Chris Carlin, Bart Scott, and Maggie Gray — who the Daily News first reported on Monday as the third member of the team — as its new afternoon drive team replacing Francesa when he departs the station on Dec. 15.

Vacillating among CBS (and now Entercom) properties from New York to Philly and back, this is where Carlin belongs. Though technically fine in all the old-school sports talk radio ways, to me his shtick didn’t work here. Though I have nothing against outsiders, it always felt so hard to reconcile his Philly sports “passion” with the fact that he was a loudmouthed New Yorker.

People in the industry seem to like him a lot, so it seems he’s made some friends along the way, and this is obviously a promotion in the sports talk radio world.

Where does this leave WIP? I’m not sure. Carlin and Ike Reese barely ever registered on my radar of sports fandom and blogging. Like literally one of the last things I ever thought to do was tune into their show to see what was going on, even for coverage purposes. In the most recent ratings release, which was obtained by Rob Tornoe over at Philly.com and written in a way that sounds very much like it was provided by a WIP source (seeing as though almost every paragraph has a pro-WIP slant and is written from their perspective), Mike Missanelli was still well ahead of Carlin and Reese.

So who will replace Carlin? The only name that jumps out at WIP is Jon Marks, who has been hosting evenings there. He came over from 97.5 after stints in basically every time slot imaginable. He makes the most sense, though it’s unclear if Spike Eskin and the powers to be at Entercom view him as drive-time talent.

Besides him, there are no fresh names in the WIP orbit that jump out at you as possible replacements. If it were me, I’d probably just ask Glen Macnow and Ray Didinger if they wanted to do their show in the afternoon at least through the end of the football season and then jettison Ike Reese back into to the Jurassic era, so you know, he can see for himself. Macnow and Didinger are obviously well-liked and can talk Birds with the best of them.

Other than that, there’s Jody Mac, Joe Giglio, and then Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie, who are currently hosting mid-days, with any sort of weekday exposure.

Meanwhile, 97.5 has named Eric Johnson as their new program director-ish.

From Barrett Sports Media:

After spending the past 19 years at New Jersey 101.5 FM, Eric Johnson is ready for a new challenge. The veteran programmer is getting that opportunity in Philadelphia as the new Director of Sports Content at 97.5 The Fanatic. He starts his new role on December 4th, filling the seat previously occupied by Matt Nahigian.

Prior to joining 101.5, Johnson worked in sports radio. He served as the APD at crosstown rival Sports Radio WIP. He was also the PD of Philadelphia Top 40 station Y-100.

I heard from a few folks that Johnson is a good guy, and that’s about the extent of what I know about him.

More change, filling the air. HIT THAT BEAT:

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