William “Tra” Thomas is out at 97.5 The Fanatic.
The former Eagles offensive lineman, who has cohosted the station’s morning show alongside Marc Farzetta since October 2018, said he has been laid off as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pressure media companies dependent on advertising revenue.
“Welp guys it’s been real!” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “I’ll see you guys on the other SIDE, SIDe, SIde, side.”
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 in July 2018, Thomas performed similar duties at SportsRadio 94.1 WIP, regularly acting as a fill-in host.
Beasley Media Group — which owns The Fanatic and six other stations in Philadelphia — eliminated 67 positions across the country Tuesday and temporarily furloughed 18 full-time employees, according to a company spokesperson. Last week, it announced companywide pay cuts and hourly reductions for some employees, which will continue through the end of June.
“Our company, like other broadcasters and our clients, is being directly impacted by the recent unanticipated economic downturn due to the Coronavirus pandemic," the company said in a statement to the Inquirer. "These are very difficult decisions. We are confident that the steps we take today will allow us to continue to serve our clients, communities and ensure our company will emerge stronger once the crisis abates.”
It’s unclear if any other hosts or employees at The Fanatic were let go Tuesday.
Media companies, long supported by local advertising, have been hit hard by business shutdowns due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Sports stations like The Fanatic and 94.1 WIP, which air live games, have also been hurt by the postponement of professional sports leagues.