Josh Innes has hosted his last show for WIP.
The controversial sports talk host has been fired, sources within the station have told Philly.com. Crossing Broad was first to report the firing.
“We can confirm that Josh Innes is no longer with WIP," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Various station personalities will fill in during the afternoon show until a new host is announced.”
Marc Farzetta and Hollis Thomas hosted Wednesday's show, but there's been no word who will fill in for the remainder of the week. Innes was fired just an hour before he was set to take the air.
The news comes a day after Innes harshly criticized competitor Mike Missanelli and 97.5 The Fanatic over a story involving a white producer creating a black character to call in to the show.
Innes had been previously suspended by WIP back in January after using a racial epithet on air to describe Eagles center Jason Kelce. The controversial host has had a history of using racially-offensive language on his show.
Recently, Innes was criticized by some listeners for sharing a photo of a performer in blackface in response to the controversy over a fake caller at The Fanatic.
David Brody, Innes’ agent, pointed the finger at WIP program director Spike Eskin, who took over managing both Innes and the station when Andy Bloom (the man who brought Innes to Philadelphia) lost his job due to a company-wide layoff.
At the time, Innes' ratings were strong, and he was coming off ranking #1 in the coveted men 25-54 demographc in both the spring and fall 2015 ratings books.
“Josh didn’t forget how to attract an audience in January 2016,” Brody said of his ratings decline after Bloom’s departure. “He lost a manager who knew how to manage him. He was suspended within 30 days of that managerial change. That has brought us to where we are today.”
Innes’s brief stint in Philadelphia had been chaotic, to put it mildly.
The controversial host started with WIP in January 2014 as the station’s night host, but was given the afternoon drive slot alongside Tony Bruno in February of 2015.
Ratings for the pair were strong out of the gate, and the duo managed to top Missanelli in the ratings in the first month, despite only being on the air three of our the first four weeks. But just six months later, Bruno abruptly announced he was leaving the show and retiring from sports talk radio.
After weeks of tryouts find the right co-host, Innes was eventually paired alongside former Eagles defensive tackle Hollis Thomas and Eskin. Initially, ratings remained strong, and the show continued to top Missanelli despite the changes.
Things started to change when Eskin left the show to take over the full-time duties managing the station. Eskin was replaced with Marc Farzetta, who became the third different partner for Innes in less than a year.
For the past nine months, Missanelli has soundly defeated Innes. Last month, the ousted host saw his year-to-year ratings share among the coveted 25-54 male demographic plummet by more than 50 percent, leading to speculation the host would not be re-signed when his contract was up at the end of the year.