Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Sports-talk station WIP has cut Mike Missanelli loose. Official word is he violated policy. Unofficial: He got in a fight with a producer on St. Patrick's Day. He denies it.
Update: Anthony Gargano sounded sad as he issued a brief statement about his ex-cohost at the start of the midday show. “I will say this: Mikey Miss is a dear friend of mind, I care about him deeply, and he’ll be OK. And I wish people would respect that we can’t really talk about the situation. Mikey’s a good man.”
So who'll take Missanelli's place? Let's handicap the candidates:
Hugh Douglas (4-1): The likeable ex-Eagles defensive end (left) would add pro football experience and diversity to WIP's lineup. He's teaming with Gargano this week.
Steve Martarano (5-1): Missanelli's predecessor was popular and, a column note says, recently met with Gargano.
Rhea Hughes (6-1): She's beloved for her snappy, on-point give-and-take with morning monolith Angelo Cataldi, and recently started a Saturday gig. Management, though, might think she's most valuable staying in drive time.
Glen Macnow (6-1): Was a midday guy with Gargano, highly respected by callers. Knows movies, burgers, ribs, hockey, football suicide pools.
John Marzano (10-1): Ex-major leaguer does post-Phillies analysis for Comcast, has impressed during WIP guest stints, and when did being Italian hurt at WIP?
John Smallwood (10-1): Accomplished Daily News columnist who has often shared a mike on on WIP. Given fears about his paper's future, he'd have to listen to an offer. Would also help WIP's diversity.
More 'IP guys (15-1): Cataldi sidekick Al Morganti (morning fixture), Big Daddy Graham (comic bent best fits lighter-hearted overnight and morning gigs?), ex-Flyer Keith Jones (more all-punchlines than all-sports?), ex-Eagle Garry Cobb (not on 'IP often), evening fill-in Brian Startare (still working his way up the food chain?).
Howard Eskin (20-1): Fans might beg for a less polarizing personality during afternoon drive, but ratings don't call for revamping the lineup.
Jodie McDonald (25-1): Left midday 'IP for New York, has deal with rival WPEN.
More newspaper guys (25-1): Inquirer's Don McKee, Bucks County Courier-Times' Ruben Frank, Trenton Times' Mark Eckel, Daily News' Mike Kern (sounds too much like Gargano) all add insights to WIP's lineup. With his own ESPN show, Inquirer columnist Stephen A. Smith has gotten too big for 'IP.
Why nots (100-1): Ex-Temple coach John Chaney sure can talk, but hasn't shown affection for sports-talk. Phil Martelli has a job as St. Joe's coach.
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