Howard Eskin: Erin Andrews Should "Thank The Guy" Behind Peephole Video, "I Think She's Terrible" (UPDATE: Dan Sileo Suspended For Going After Her)







Philadelphia radio host Howard Eskin thinks Fox's Erin Andrews owes her popularity to her infamous peephole video and "ought to thank the guy that shot" it. "I think she's terrible."

Philadelphia radio host Howard Eskin thinks Fox’s Erin Andrews owes her popularity to her infamous peephole video and “ought to thank the guy that shot” it. “I think she’s terrible.”

All of a sudden, the Erin Andrews haters have been coming out of the woodwork lately.

First, she had to endure a Florida radio host’s obnoxious rants about her on Twitter (more below), and now, another radio host suggests she should thank her lucky stars that a peephole video of her was leaked, because that single-handedly multiplied her popularity.

Both of these instances stemmed from the bizarre story about the girlfriend of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, a girl who was but a figment of the Heisman Trophy candidate’s imagination.

Caller Murray expressed to Howard Eskin, the longtime afternoon drive host on WIP in Philadelphia, who now hosts a two-hour show on Saturday mornings, how a popular athlete like Te’o would ever go through with such an imaginary gal pal in the first place.

“He’s a star football player at Notre Dame,” Eskin told the caller. “Even if you’re ugly, you get women.”

At that point, the caller went from Te’o to the other most-talked-about college football player over the last two weeks, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, whose Crimson Tide rolled the Fighting Irish in the BCS National Championship Game – though it was an accolade from ESPN’s Brent Musburger that put the spotlight on McCarron’s beau, Katherine Webb.

“He ain’t all-world in looks, and look what he got,” the caller complained to Eskin, who countered with a bold prediction for McCarron’s love life: “He ain’t got her long now. Now that she’s a big star, he’s short for that one… A.J. McCarron can say goodbye to Katherine Webb.”

When the caller brought up the fact that Webb defended the ESPN broadcaster’s belief that he didn’t say anything that warranted an apology, Eskin can only think of another ESPN broadcaster, now employed by Fox, who became the center of attention back in 2009 – for all the wrong reasons.

“It’s like, Erin Andrews ought to thank the guy that shot the nude video of her,” Eskin said.

As the caller could be heard underneath Eskin agreeing with him (“you’re absolutely right”), Eskin continued: “She was a sideline reporter for the SEC until that happened.

“I think she’s terrible.”

And as Bob’s Blitz is quick to point out, by way of Eskin’s daily gig as sports anchor at Philly’s WTXF/Fox 29, a station owned-and-operated by Fox, this could basically be construed as Eskin taking a jab at one of his colleagues. Awkward.

It wouldn’t be the first time, though. During Fox’s coverage of the MLB postseason, in which Andrews joined Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, he tweeted on October 15: “Thought Erin Andrews was brutal doing football reporting, hard to believe she’s worse doing baseball playoffs, but she is worse. #brutal” Alas, he would eventually delete that tweet – but we have it archived here. (He did manage to leave this subsequent tweet re: Erin Andrews from the same night be.)

This radio host’s viewpoint on Erin Andrews came over 24 hours after another radio host, Dan Sileo, had a run-in with Erin Andrews on Twitter:

Sileo later came to his senses and realized that his “pepe hole” comments about Ms. “Andres” may have been a bit too much:

And yet, some are now crying for the WQAM/Miami midday host to be suspended, even fired, over this.

This is the same Dan Sileo, you may recall, who was fired for referring to NFL players as “monkeys” during his previous radio gig in Tampa.

If Sileo does time for his altercation with Erin Andrews on Twitter, I can’t imagine what the penalty would be for Howard Eskin. Isn’t being banished to Saturday mornings punishment enough?

UPDATE, 1.20.13: The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson is reporting that Sileo has been suspended for a couple of days for his sexist social media squabble with Erin Andrews. I was wondering why Sileo sent me the following tweet:


Well, your move, Fox.

The Eagles Are Putting Philadelphia Sports Radio Hosts To Sleep

WIP host Brian Startare admitted that he could barely stay awake while watching the Eagles’ sixth straight loss against the Washington Redskins.

The Philadelphia Eagles, who have not won a game since the night they honored Brian Dawkins in a victory over the division rival New York Giants (that was the final day of September – even the Phillies, who have long been on the golf course, have picked up a win since then), enter Thanksgiving with a six-game losing streak, all but guaranteeing Andy Reid’s goose is cooked as the team’s head coach.

But if it wasn’t enough that the Eagles have allowed eleven passing touchdowns and a third more points, and made zero interceptions since the firing of defensive/offensive/defensive-again coordinator Juan Castillo over the bye week; if it wasn’t enough that Reid’s undefeated post-bye-week record coming to an end this season; or if it wasn’t enough that rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a game that sends the team to a 3-7 overall record and last place in the NFC East, perhaps this development might factor into the decision for team owner Jeffrey Lurie to relieve Reid of his duties sooner rather than later:

The Philadelphia Eagles are so bad, they’re even putting local sports radio hosts to sleep.

“I watched [the game] with my brother today,” WIP host Brian Startare told a caller, “and we were both nudging each other to stay awake.”

Now, if that right there doesn’t tell you that the team has to move into a new direction, I don’t know what will.

After all, sports talk radio in the Philadelphia market is in a class by itself. And we wouldn’t want Andy Reid’s losing ways to rub off on that, now, would we?

So, Mr. Lurie, take one for the team – the sports radio landscape in the City of Brotherly Love – and please, fire Andy Reid, before the local hosts are too tired to even assault cabdrivers.

Thank you.

Looks like the tryptophan in that turkey you’ll be eating this Thanksgiving has its work cut out for it this year.

Philly AM Station Raptured By Family Radio

WPEN-AM in Philadelphia, the one-time “950 ESPN,” has been sold by Greater Media to Family Stations, Inc. Greater Media’s sports radio format will now exclusively be heard on sister station WPEN-FM, “97.5 The Fanatic,” which celebrates its fourth anniversary next month.

Once upon a time, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they would be relocating from the market’s established sports radio station, WIP (610 AM/94.1 FM) to rival WPEN-FM (97.5 The Fanatic), with games simulcast on WPEN-AM 950, which was station owner Greater Media’s original frequency on the Philly radio dial for sports talk until they flipped 97.5 to “Philly’s first FM sports station” in the fall of 2009. This move came roughly one month after the 76ers abruptly shifted from WIP-AM/FM to WPEN-AM/FM as their flagship, effective with broadcasts of their 2012 postseason run. Up until then, WIP-AM/FM held the monopoly on radio play-by-play rights (sister station WPHT-AM is also the Phillies flagship). So the field is now split between Greater Media and CBS Radio, owner of WIP/WPHT.

And very soon, the programming between the AM and FM sides of both WIP and WPEN will be radically different. We already know that WIP-AM is going to become a 24/7 outlet for the new CBS Sports Radio network on January 2 of next year.

Now comes word that WPEN-AM, the one-time flagship station of the Phillies, has been sold to Family Stations, Inc. for an undisclosed price. For years, Family Radio had been heard in Philly via Camden-licensed WKDN-FM 106.9, but was sold earlier this year to Merlin Media. The sale of this station plus another in Washington, D.C. may have been brought on by the negative publicity Family Radio president Harold Camping received in 2011, when he predicted not one, but two raptures – May 21 and October 21 – that never came into fruition. (And for what it’s worth, the date of Family Radio’s acquisition of WPEN-AM is September 21.)

While Greater Media had planned to simulcast Flyers and Sixers games on both 950 AM and 97.5 FM, it would have been ideal for both frequencies to air both teams’ games in the event of a conflict (though upon the announcement of their new deal with Greater Media, the Flyers announced that some overflow games would be heard on sister station WMMR/93.3 FM). But with the NHL currently in lockout mode, thus no Flyers/Sixers conflicts to be concerned about, Greater Media likely decided that now would be the best time to unload AM 950. And at a time where the AM band is all but being phased out in favor of FM and smartphones, you’ll want to unload those AM sticks as soon as someone has a reasonable offer.

It’s likely that once the NHL lockout ends, Flyers games will be heard on WMMR by default, should a Sixers game be played at the same time (and heard on WPEN-FM – which would become simply WPEN once Family Radio receives a new callsign for AM 950).

But whither WFME in New York? The frequency, at 94.7 FM – which at one point Family Radio applied for the status of its license to be changed from its current non-commercial status to commercial – once rumored to be purchased by ESPN (which eventually turned out to be 98.7 FM in an LMA deal with Emmis Communications)? Does Family Radio’s buying back into the Philadelphia market mean Harold Camping’s got his groove back?

Well, the deal was made exactly three months before the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar

Health Scare For LA, Philly-Based Sports Media Figures

Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda is recovering from a heart attack he suffered on Monday. Meanwhile, Philadelphia sports radio host Angelo Cataldi (right) is preparing for intestinal surgery, which should sideline him for most of the month of June.

Tuesday presented some sobering medical news involving two popular sports personalities – one prominently known in Philadelphia, and one who hails from the Philadelphia area, but is well-known to baseball followers across the country.

Tommy Lasorda, a native of the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown, suffered a heart attack on Monday in New York City. Appearing in the World Series four times during his 20-year reign as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he currently serves as an advisor to the team. He was in town for the 2012 MLB draft when he fell ill and was hospitalized. The team subsequently released a statement saying the Hall of Fame manager, 84, had a stent inserted to fix a blocked artery. He’s reported to be resting comfortably. Ironically, a heart attack led to Lasorda abruptly retiring as Dodgers manager in July 1996; he had gone to the hospital citing abdominal pain which, unbeknownst to him, was actually a heart attack.

Among Lasorda’s sports media credits are roles as a commentator on “This Week In Baseball” in 1997, and as a correspondent for the Los Angeles-based “Jim Rome Is Burning” program in 2009. He also starred in the early-80’s baseball sketch comedy show geared toward children, “The Baseball Bunch.”

Meanwhile, Angelo Cataldi, who has practically been the morning host on WIP for as long as it’s been a sports radio station (we’re talking way before its migration to the FM dial last year), was MIA on Monday, and ended up calling into his own show that day – live from a hospital in South Jersey – to share his own medical predicament with his audience: he’s suffering from diverticulitis, a digestive disease usually affecting the large intestine or the colon. Under doctor’s orders, he is to remain off the air for practically the entire month of June, as he is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday. Cataldi’s wife, Gail, told the Philadelphia Daily News that her husband, a known “embellisher,” was “really sick” to the point that he could not make it into work to talk about Eagles training camp, or the Phillies’ two-game slide at that point. (Ironically, the Phillies are currently playing the aforementioned Lasorda’s Dodgers.)

As Cataldi, 61, recuperates from surgery, WIP late-night host and throat cancer survivor Big Daddy Graham will sub for him in morning drive.

A speedy recovery to both the godfather of Philadelphia sports radio and the godfather of late-20th century baseball.

Sports Media Gone Wild! Philly Radio Host Not Famous Enough For Free Ride, Assaults Cabdriver

Alleged "celebrity" sports radio host Tom Byrne thought he was above paying a cab fare. He would proceed to achieve a different kind of fame by assaulting the cab driver he had stiffed.

(This is the first in a rolling series of articles on sports media figures getting into trouble with the law. Big trouble. For our sake, hopefully, the series won’t be too long.)

Not since “the punch” from Mike Missanelli has there been a senseless incident in Philadelphia involving a local sports radio host.

This time, it involves a relatively nameless sports radio personality – just don’t tell him that.

Especially if you say, “That’ll be $5.00.”

In the early morning hours of Monday, January 16, 97.5 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM) host Tom Byrne, hailed a taxi. When he reached his destination after a mile or so, he exited the taxi – neglecting to pay the driver.

When the driver demanded Byrne pay the fare, here’s what he came back with: “I’m a celebrity. This is my neighborhood. What are you gonna do about it?”

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Tom Byrne, starring in: “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of This Cab Fare!”

Let’s just take a closer look at this so-called “celebrity,” shall we? According to the bio posted on the Fanatic web site (while it’s still available – more on that later), Byrne’s sports radio career began when he became the play-by-play announcer of the Scranton Royals – the Division III basketball team from Scranton College. “He also worked in the television studio of Phonebet TV,” reads his bio. Phonebet TV – I know. a channel that’s just as famous as Tom Byrne… made for each other! Phonebet actually aired in the Philadelphia area – but even if you live in Philly, the reason you may not have heard of it, is because it’s been off the air for the last two years. Byrne’s bio also boasts his writing talent “for The Sports Network” – no, not the mighty TSN network out of Canada, but a sports news website based out of Hatboro, PA. (We won’t link them, since they’re competition.)

But you haven’t read anything until you read this gem from his bio page: “Tom’s rise in the broadcasting industry is a testament to how bad he wanted to flourish in sports and to the talent he possesses as a broadcaster.”

Whatever talents Tom Byrne possesses as a broadcaster, he lacks as a negotiator.

Back to 6th and Pine Streets in Philadelphia, where the self-described “celebrity” sports radio host Tom Byrne asked a cabbie – and even though we weren’t there, we will assume he wasn’t asking nicely – what he was “gonna do about” evading a cab fare. According to an arrest report – yep, this can’t have a happy ending, now that I’ve belted out those two magic words – the cabbie proceeded to follow the uber-famous radio host down the street (usually you would need a few security guards in tow if you’re a celebrity) when Byrne knocked the cabbie’s glasses off his face, then allegedly punched the cabbie in the face, and dragged him across the street.

Fame. Ain’t it a bitch.

Police caught up to the megastar sports radio host about a block away from where he was dropped off and started his challenge with the cabdriver. He would spent most of the rest of the day in jail, before being bailed out by his girlfriend (I bet those two are a real power couple) to the tune of $500 – or $100 for each dollar Byrne denied paying the taxi driver. The charges against Tom Byrne, in no particular order: Simple assault (I guess that’s when he knocked the cabbie’s glasses off), aggravated assault (that’s probably the punching and dragging parts), recklessly endangering another person (ditto), and of course, robbery and theft of services.

I believe this is where Tom Byrne hires Mark Geragos to fight the charges.

You would think a $5 cab fare wouldn’t be a problem for a big-time celebrity like Tom Byrne.

Instead, he just bought himself a bigger problem, with the new charges brought against him following that “case of the Mondays”.

Byrne has been hosting the evening shift on weeknights starting at 7 PM (you would think a celebrity would be beneath hosting a time slot normally pre-empted by live sports play-by-play, or perhaps a Scranton Royals game). When he showed up Tuesday for his airshift, the program director decided about a half-hour before 7 PM that Byrne would not be on the air. And it appears that he’s been suspended indefinitely – at the very least, he’s been off the air the entire week of the incident (as recent as Friday night, Sean Brace had been hosting in the timeslot). Though 97.5 The Fanatic GM Matt Nahigian would neither confirm nor deny Byrne was suspended. Nor did he confirm or deny if Byrne was a celebrity.

But given Byrne’s brush with the law, you’d have to wonder if he’ll ever be back on the air at the station.

Six years ago, WIP midday co-host Mike Missanelli punched a producer at a live remote broadcast, and was subsequently fired.

Two years later, he was hired by rival sports station 97.5 The Fanatic for their afternoon drive program, which he continues hosting today.

You figure there’s probably no room for two brawling talk show hosts on their roster. If Byrne is indeed dismissed following this incident, he has to concentrate on vanquishing his personal demons before looking to return to the radio.

Or he can always double down and wait for a reality show producer to give him a call.

Don’t all obnoxious celebrities end up going that route?

Or even celebrities in their own mind, like Tom Byrne?

And Tom, if you’re reading this article: What are you gonna do about it?

Auld Lang Sigh: Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against WIP Bigwig Another Black Eye For Sports Radio

A lawsuit filed against Marc Rayfield, who oversees several Philadelphia radio stations, including sports WIP-AM/FM, is yet another blow to sports radio in a year that has been totally out of bounds.

The former director of marketing communications for a Philadelphia news station is taking her former boss to court on grounds of sexual harassment.

Attorneys Samuel First and Christopher Wagner have filed a lawsuit against CBS Radio’s entities in New York and Philadelphia on behalf of their client, Shelley Kanther, who claims she endured a “highly offensive, discriminatory environment and culture at CBS Philly.” Kanther was fired from her position at KYW Newsradio 1060 in Philadelphia, an action that she thinks is “in retaliation for… complaints” about the “degrading and extremely upsetting” atmosphere that she and co-workers experienced while working at the top-rated all-news station in Market No. 7. “No remedial action of any kind was ever taken” at KYW, according to the lawsuit, “despite Ms. Kanther’s repeated complaints.”

Specifically identified in the lawsuit by Kanther is CBS Radio Philadelphia Senior Vice President and Market Manager Marc Rayfield, whom Kanther dubbed “one of the worst offenders” during her tenure at KYW.

In addition to KYW, Rayfield also oversees five other radio stations in the cluster, including WIP, which has been broadcasting a sports format on AM 610 for close to a quarter-century – and just this past fall, added a simulcast on 94.1 FM; the station now brands itself as “SportsRadio 94 WIP.” This is actually Rayfield’s second go-round working at WIP: in the early 1990’s, he had previously served as the station’s local sales manager when it was owned by Spectacor Broadcasting. He was hired in the same capacity by KYW in 1992, and worked his way up to station manager. Later, KYW owner CBS Radio merged with subsequent WIP owner Infinity Broadcasting, and Rayfield had assumed responsibilites for WIP.

I could go into detail about some of the graphic “locker room behavior” that is described in Kanther’s lawsuit, but I won’t. I’ll actually direct readers here. And when you read the alleged comments and actions depicted in the lawsuit, consider this quote from the same lawsuit picked up by this source:

“… Kanther once complained about the discriminatory treatment to another female employee, who in turn told Kanther that the harassment was par for the course, and that ‘that’s always how it has been here’…”

One wonders if WIP employees experienced the same “highly offensive” environment that Kanther has while at KYW. I myself am not alleging, nor confirming, that a similar workplace exists or has existed at WIP. But knowing that Rayfield manages five radio stations – actually, four, when legendary rock station WYSP flipped to a simulcast of what was then known as “Sports Radio 610” and is now known as WIP-FM, though AM 610 occasionally airs programming different from 94.1 FM at times – the immediate thought is whether or not the same behavior can be found in the work environments of all of the radio stations under Rayfield’s watch.

Not to single out WIP specifically, but when you read about the alleged tawdry goings-on at KYW, anyone familiar with Philadelphia radio may immediately ask themselves, “Is this business as usual at WIP?”

In fact, we are coming off of a year in which sports radio personalities have engaged in regrettable behavior, on and off the air. This past spring, former ESPN Radio 1000/Chicago personality Jay Mariotti, who is also seen on ESPN, was arrested in Los Angeles for assaulting his girlfriend. In August, nationally syndicated host Tony Bruno referred to Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez on Twitter as an “illegal alien pitcher” after a pitch hit a Philles player, ensuing in a benches-clearing brawl. Just this week, we witnessed another lesson in how not to use Twitter as a sports radio personality, as Pittsburgh’s Mark Madden took an unwarranted shot at all women by instructing a female listener to “get in the kitchen, have a kid, dance ’round a pole.” (While the radio station Madden works for has an alternative music format, Madden has a strong sports background.) And, of course, there was the recent fallout with Albany sports radio host Bruce Jacobs and his comments about the WNBA which invoked gay slurs, which was first reported right here on

2011 also saw another lawsuit being filed, this one specifically against a sports radio station. Back in March, Jen Royle, reporter for Baltimore’s WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which is also owned by CBS Radio – hit rival sports station WNST, and its owner and main radio personality, Nestor Aparicio, with a defamation lawsuit stemming from comments Aparicio made on the air about Royle, including, among others, “that she looks like a stripper.” As you can imagine, radio station WNST, like its owner, Nestor, is nicknamed “nasty.” (Royle would drop the lawsuit right before Labor Day.)

And now, this latest lawsuit against one of the people in charge of one of the most well-known sports radio stations in the country.

Again, I’m not holding WIP or any of their personalities accountable. (Even former WIP host Mike Missanelli, who now holds down afternoon drive on rival WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”) Yes, the lawsuit revolves around another radio station Rayfield oversees.

But to borrow an old adage, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Name-calling. Gay-bashing. Drunk-tweeting.

These are just some of the examples of things that sports radio can do without.

With all of the ugliness that has taken place amongst the sports radio landscape in 2011, what does 2012 have in store?

Hopefully, more on X’s and O’s, and not so much, T & A.