With seven minutes left in his midday show today, veteran sports-talker Jody McDonald announced that he was leaving 950ESPN (WPEN-AM).

"This is the last show I will be doing for this radio station," he said. "The radio station has decided to go in another direction, and I'm perfectly fine with that."

"It has been my pleasure talking to you, the Philadelphia sports fan, for the last four years," he said.

"I'm not retiring," he added, saying he's lived in Philadelphia for 19 years and has no plans to move, as he continues with a couple of other part-time gigs in the area.

Dan Schwartzman will move from his evening gig to join midday cohost Harry Mayes starting Tuesday, and football-related shows are being developed for weekday evenings, said program director Matt Nahigian.

McDonald first befriended local fans for a decade on rival station WIP (610 AM) with his straight-talking style, his "Jody Mac, do me a favor" segments, and his trademark phrase, " 'Preee-ciate it."

Somehow, he was even popular despite being a Dallas Cowboys fan.

In 1999, McDonald began a stint at WFAN ("The Fan") in New York, before returning in 2005 as 950's afternoon drive-time host.

Putting McDonald up against 'IP powerhouse Howard Eskin was part of the station's effort to lure market share from WIP.

In April 2008, the station switched gears, bringing in Mike Missanelli, another 'IP exile who went to the Big Apple.

Missanelli - Eskin's partner from January 1999 to August 2002 - took over from 3 to 7 p.m., and McDonald was moved to middays.

In August, quadruple bypass surgery took McDonald off the air for months.

The Missanelli experiment fared much better, edging Eskin with younger men, starting in spring 2009.

Overall, according to the July Arbitrons, though, WIP was tied for the 19th most popular station in town, with WPEN tied for 26th.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.