With Mike Missanelli on vacation this week, 97.5 The Fanatic listeners have been treated to the sounds of a new fill-in host who’s familiar with all things Eagles.
William “Tra” Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowler who played 10 seasons for the Eagles, officially made the jump to The Fanatic last month. He’s been co-hosting the station’s popular afternoon show all week with Eytan Shander, the station’s flexible pinch-hitter who seemingly hosts shows all day and night for the station.
Thomas will fill several roles for The Fanatic, including co-hosting the station’s Eagles pregame show and a weekly appearance every Tuesday on the midday show hosted by Jason Myrtetus and Harry Mayes. Thomas will also fill in alongside Shander and Geoff Mosher next week for morning show host Anthony Gargano, who will be on vacation.
Thomas, who played for the Eagles from 1998 to 2008, was a three-time Pro Bowler during his 12-year career. He also spent two years as an assistant coach under Andy Reid, but wasn’t retained for the 2015 season after the team hired Chip Kelly. Before landing at The Fanatic, Thomas performed similar duties at SportsRadio 94.1 WIP, regularly acting as a fill-in host.
Drama at Bleeding Green Nation Radio
On Thursday, 94.1 WIP touted a new podcast called Go Birds, a rebranding from the popular Bleeding Green Nation Radio show that started partnering with the station in August 2016. John Barchard and James Seltzer will still host, and current subscribers shouldn’t have to do a thing to continue listening to the show.
But one name was conspicuously absent from the cheery press release: Brandon Lee Gowton, the editor-in-chief of SB Nation’s Bleeding Green Nation website, who co-founded BGN Radio with Barchard in 2013. As recently as this week, Gowton had been a contributor to WIP, calling into Angelo Cataldi’s morning show to offer thoughts on Eagles practices. He also co-hosted BGN Radio alongside Barchard on June 30.
After the announcement from WIP, Gowton took to Twitter to say that he had been “forced off the podcast” and that he felt “incredibly betrayed, demoralized and defeated” by the move.
The BGN Radio as you knew it is dead. I’ve been forced off the podcast I originally reached out to create back in 2013. It’s a long story that I plan to address in a post on @BleedingGreen at some point soon. For now, I feel incredibly betrayed, demoralized, and defeated.
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 2, 2018
The situation is decidedly different from two years ago, when Gowton told the Inquirer and Daily News he was thrilled to be partnering with WIP.
“We are very excited to be teaming up with WIP,” Gowton said after the deal was announced. “This partnership marks a huge achievement in the history of our show.”
Barchard, who declined to comment, wrote on Twitter that he was “committed to somehow uniting” with Gowton in the future.
It's an incredibly long story but @BrandonGowton is going to stick with @BleedingGreen and keep giving everyone the amazing content that he has continued to do for the last 5+ years now. We are committed to some how uniting once again in the future. https://t.co/8tl0JLLrIK
— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) August 2, 2018
Sources at WIP say Entercom’s purchase of CBS Radio (the former parent company of WIP) had nothing to do with the rebranding or Gotwon’s exit from the show.
“I want to thank everyone who supported BGN Radio for the last five years,” Gowton said. “ I hope people will stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation to hear out my side of the story regarding the demise of BGN Radio. We should have some details on the new Bleeding Green Nation podcast(s) coming soon as well.”
3 NFL Network stars out after sexual misconduct lawsuit
Former NFL players Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor aren’t expected to return to their jobs at the NFL Network after a lawsuit filed last year by a former colleague alleging sexual misconduct.
Representatives for Faulk and Evans are finishing the language for their exits, and Taylor has already been let go, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.
Faulk, a Hall of Fame running back who played for the Indianapolis Colts and the then-St. Louis Rams, was among the network’s most popular personalities, regularly appearing on the GameDay Morning show and as part of Thursday Night Football coverage.
Jami Cantor, a wardrobe stylist with the NFL Network from 2006 until October 2016, claimed Faulk groped her and exposed himself while demanding oral sex. She accused Evans, a former fullback, of texting her nude pictures and Taylor, a former cornerback, of sending her a video of him masturbating while in the shower.
Faulk, Evans and Taylor are among six former NFL players Cantor accused of misconduct. The list also included former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had already left the network but was fired by ESPN after officials there investigated the allegations.
NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp, fired by the network in 2015 after having been arrested for soliciting prostitution, was also named in the lawsuit, as was Eric Davis, who left the network in 2013 and was also subsequently fired by ESPN.
Cantor also alleged that former NFL Network executive Eric Weinberger groped her and rubbed his crotch against her. Weinberger was subsequently fired from Bill Simmons Media Group, for which he had served as president.