Back in August, 97.5 The Fanatic let go its longtime program director Matt Nahigian, who spent 10 years at the station, dating back to the pre-FM days of SportsTalk 950 in 2007.
Now Nahigian is headed to San Francisco, where he will take over as program director at 95.7 The Game, which is owned by the Bala Cynwyd-based Entercom. Nahigian will officially start next Wednesday, and his family will join him once they sell their Philadelphia house.
“The station is the broadcast rights holder for the A’s and the Golden State Warriors, so I won’t be considered a bandwagon jumper if I become a Warriors fan,” Nahigian joked.
It was Nahigian who signed Mike Missanelli, the station’s most important personality, after he was fired by rival 94.1 WIP. Nahigian also played a role in securing the play-by-play rights for 76ers and Flyers games, wooing both away from WIP back in 2012.
Nahigian’s tenure at the station wasn’t without controversy. Last year, he was suspended for his role in a scandal involving a fake black caller that garnered national media attention and drew protests from the Black Lives Matter movement. Other than Missanelli, the Fanatic have found it tough to compete against their rivals over at WIP for ratings over the past year. In the last quarterly ratings book, WIP finished third overall in the market, nearly three full ratings shares ahead of the Fanatic, which ended the period in 10th place among men 25-54, a key demographic for both stations.
It’s unclear what led to Nahigian’s ouster, though a change in ownership seems like a likely culprit. The Fanatics’s former parent company, Greater Media, sold their 21 radio stations to Beasley Broadcast Group back in July 2016 in a transaction valued at $240 million. The deal officially closed on November 1, 2016.
The Fanatic is in the process of replacing Nahigian, though no official timetable has been set. Jason Myrtetus is currently pulling double duty as acting program director and the station’s new midday host, with executive producer Eric Camille handling a lot of the day-to-day duties.