"The Rock Is Back" is the new slogan for WYSP (94.1), which at 5 this afternoon is expected to announce that it will dump its guy-oriented talk format in favor of a mix of rock and talk.
Gone will be The Barsky Show, Scotty & Alex, and Matt & Huggy, plus late-night fare including Loveline and John & Jeff. Paul Barsky himself is expected to remain under contract, as is Vinnie the Crumb, who works on the CBS station's Eagles broadcasts. Barsky sidekick Kim Douglas has been let go.
Opie & Anthony, the New York-based syndicated morning talk show, will remain, as will Kidd Chris' show in the afternoon. (Chris' producer, Brad Maybe, and sidekick Monkeyboy were let go.)
Opie and Anthony themselves are in town for live broadcasts today and tomorrow, leading up to their concert appearance Saturday at the Tweeter Center.
WYSP, once a dominant force in Philadelphia radio, has seen a steep ratings decline since the syndicated morning host Howard Stern left for satellite radio in December 2005.
In the July Arbitron ratings, WYSP was ranked ninth among its bread-and-butter audience of men ages 18 to 34. It has toyed with a number of images recently, including "Free FM" and "94 YSP Talks."
The station seemed committed to a talk format as recently as June, when it let go of its longtime programmer, Gil Edwards. Station sources said Edwards lobbied for a return to rock but was rebuffed by management.