The fallout from a fake caller on a rival station seems to have claimed the job of one of WIP’s top hosts. Afternoon host Josh Innes has been fired by CBS one day after Innes criticized competitor Mike Missanelli, a host on Greater Media’s 97.5 The Fanatic. The Crossing Board posted a story about Missanelli claiming he didn’t know caller Dwayne from Swedesboro was a character created by producer Pat Egan.
Dwayne from Swedesboro had become a regular caller to the show and his content was racially charged. The story has ballooned into an issue about a white producer creating a black character spewing racially charged content. Here’s what Missanelli said on the air this week as reported by Philly.com. “I didn’t know that ‘Dwayne from Swedesboro’ was not a real person. I would not have authorized a racially charged caller like that.” He said a white producer creating a black character with some racial stereotypes might have pushed “racial bounds.”
Back to the Innes firing. The reporting out of Philly centers around this tweet Innes posted
and some things he said about the Missanelli fake caller situation on his show. You may recall that Innes was suspended back in January for calling Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce, who is white, a “house negro.” Innes later apologized: “I’m the dumbest human being on the planet. I apologize for that, I truly do. I’m an idiot.” Innes has also been losing in the ratings to Missanelli lately. UPDATE: We received this statement from CBS Radio on Thursday: “We can confirm that Josh Innes is no longer with WIP. Various station personalities will fill in during the afternoon show until a new host is announced.”
Both Innes (#16) and Missanelli (#17) were on Radio Ink‘s Top 30 Local Sports Talkers list in 2015.
Many in the radio industry know that some phone calls are faked on radio stations. It’s radio’s way of being as entertaining as possible without having to worry about identifying the caller first, so hosts can write more entertaining scripts for the audience. Did this one cross the line or is it all about political correctness? If you were the General Manager and this happened at your station, what would you do?