The Fanatic had quite a week. Harry Mayes? LET GO. Eytan Shander? LET GO. Anthony Gargano? DEMOTED. Mike Missanelli? STILL AN ASSHOLE.
By my count, the Fanatic is down to about three on-air hosts, a handful of producers, and countless ad reps desperately trying to re-up their accounts with Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza before they catch wind of the sinking ship that is the Fanatic.
The station obviously need some new hosts, some new talent to SHAKE UP THE STATUS QUO and tweet out some new and exciting poll questions from the station’s twitter handle for fans to shit all over.
And here’s where I’d normally make a wacky and UTTERLY HILARIOUS fake resume and fake job application to throw my name into the mix for the job. It’s been done. And done again it seems. Just great stuff there. Well played Coggin.
But at this point, is it even realistic anymore to even PRETEND to want to work for the Fanatic? It’s like a curse at this point to work for the station, a horror movie come to life. Everything starts off well, but you know something terrible is going to happen to you before everything is over.
Rumor has it if you say Anthony Gargano’s name three times into a mirror he appears and hands you an iron-clad Fanatic contract and uses your toilet for 45 minutes. I don’t need that evil.
What is the Fanatic doing? Is there any actual personnel strategy to these moves, or is it simply a cost-cutting effort by the sports talk station? Has the hull been breached?
In fairness, it’s easy to see the reasoning behind demoting Gargano, who was touted as the station savior and the man who would finally topple Angelo Cataldi’s WIP morning show armada. Gargano toppled nothing. Perhaps when your show prep consists of nothing but eating blocks of mozzarella, sleeves of mortadella, and beating off to old pictures of Sam Bradford you don’t stand much of a chance of getting the city out of its decades long rut and switching away from the train wreck that is the WIP morning show.
If you follow and believe Crossing Broad and its RADIO WARS features, it’s clear that Gargano was continually thrashed in the ratings by Cataldi and made a hefty sum doing so.
So, why not put an aging, unpopular, and expensive host out to pasture and try something else? ANYTHING ELSE. Sure, it seems like they threw a dart at a dartboard and it landed on Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas, but if it doesn’t work it’s at least a less expensive option than Gargano meat-sweating into the mics for three hours every morning and palling around with Bob Cooney to talk about the good old days of Philadelphia sports.
The Mayes and Shander moves? Those are a little more curious.
Mayes seemed to be liked at the station, liked by his peers, even by hosts at WIP, and based off the hundreds of responses he got to the tweet announcing his departure, liked by the fans.
What’s going to come out about this? Who is to blame? Again, if you believe RADIO WARS, he was offered a spot on the new morning show, he declined, and that was that. Did he leave on his own? Did the station ask him to leave if he wouldn’t accept his new role? He seemed happy working Middays with Jason Myrtetus, based off his message to fans, so what happened?
No matter the reason, the Fanatic lost half of its midday show and replaced it with a disgruntled, demoted morning show host. How excited can Gargano be with his new role? How excited can MYRTETUS be as he finds himself with a new co-host who is going to be stress eating capocollo by the barrel full and pouting that he has to come in during the afternoons.
Eytan Shander? Well, he’s a bit of a different story. He may have been let go due to some questionable tweets he published after the Fanatic shake up. He announced last week that his duties at the station would be drastically cut, so perhaps this was the final nail in the coffin of the jack-of-all trades Fanatic employee.
Shander deleted his tweet to WIP, but the Fanatic likely wasn’t happy and Shander all so much confirmed he was let go from his job after his outburst.
Look, was it smart to go off on social media and criticize your employer when you’re still under contract with them? Nope. But this is also the same station that keep Missanelli employed after several Twitter gaffes he’s made in the past. Oh, and he still has a job despite taking overtly racist calls for years from his producer posing as a stereotypical black caller (if you think he didn’t know his producer was posing as “Dwayne from Swedesboro” I have a timeshare in the Caribbean I think you’d be interested in).
He also still has a job in spite of saying Beth Mowins sounded unnatural calling a football game because she is a woman and countless other foot in the mouth comments he’s made through the years.
So, it’s not as if the Fanatic has a stringent policy against making embarrassing overtures on social media (or your own airwaves, I suppose), considering Missanelli has a job and Shander does not.
Shander himself would tell you he isn’t as big of a “draw” as Missanelli, but he hustled and held numerous roles with the station as a producer and a fill-in host when needed. He was a personality that people knew, an employee who filled an important role, but he was tossed out of a sinking ship and into unknown water.
Shander, it probably stings now, but this may end up being the best thing to ever happen to you. I feel like I’m using a lot of nautical cliches tonight (I’ve been listening to the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald on a loop for the last 10 hours), but you never want to be below deck when a ship is capsizing. You want to be above deck, a chance at survival, a chance to be thrown from the wreckage and given a shot at surviving on the open seas.
Keep swimming, Shander.
So enough with the Fanatic. If you think Farzetta and Thomas will provide enough pitch and tar to seal the Fanatic warship’s leaks, if you want to listen to Gargano bloviate on the benefits of a long-sleeved quarterback, if you want to listen to Missanelli be a contrarian for contrarians sake, please do. Continue sailing into the maelstrom.
I’ll be in an emergency dinghy, coasting into the calm seas of podcasts and sweet, sweet silence as I drive into work every morning.
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