It’s been that kind of month for Chris Carlin.
Carlin, the one-time co-host of 94.1 WIP’s afternoon show alongside former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese, was forced off the air on Wednesday afternoon for the second time in about a month.
Carlin, who was taken off the air by WIP’s sister-station WFAN in New York City in September despite strong ratings, was scheduled to fill in for Peter Rosenberg for two hours on ESPN Radio’s The Michael Kay Show on Wednesday. But after about 30 minutes, Kay told listeners that Carlin was forced off the show by WFAN parent company Entercom, which threatened to not pay the remaining portion of Carlin’s salary if he remained on air.
“They’re so mean-spirited and petty, to stop a guy from going on the air,” Kay told listeners. “If he’s that bad that you fired him, what do you care if he’s on the air for two hours with us?”
Entercom did not respond to a request for comment.
It’s not unusual for radio hosts to sign non-compete clauses when they leave a station, though it’s unclear what specific restrictions Carlin might have agreed to.
For his part, Carlin spent the majority of his 30 minutes on air discussing the New York Yankees and his current life as an unemployed radio host, joking his decision to join Kay’s show for the day amounted to simply “killing time.”
“Got out of the bathrobe for a couple of days, put on some pants and here I am,” Carlin joked.
Carlin hosted a three-person show on WFAN alongside Maggie Gray and former Jets linebacker Bart Scott, both of whom remain at the station. It remains unclear why Carlin was the odd-man out, especially considering the midday show has posted strong ratings, finishing among the top three in its time slot during the last four Nielsen ratings books.
During his brief stint in Philadelphia, Carlin hosted WIP’s afternoon show alongside Reese and increased ratings 22 percent after the firing of Josh Innes. In addition to his hosting duties, Carlin also does play-by-play for Rutgers football games.
Amid a tense situation between the NBA and China stemming from a since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey supporting protesters in Hong Kong protesters, ESPN drew heat for displaying a controversial map of the country many critics said amounted to the network kowtowing to the Chinese government.
The map, which was displayed during SportsCenter on Wednesday morning, is used by the Chinese government to claim sovereignty over Taiwan and other disputed areas in the South China sea. In 2016, a United National tribunal ruled that China’s claims have no legal basis, and the map is not recognized outside the country.
ESPN did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but by Wednesday night the network used a different (and more accurate map) during SportsCenter hosted by Scott Van Pelt, according to Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand. ESPN personalities have reportedly been barred from discussing the politics of the Hong Kong-China dispute, leading to at least one awkward on-air moment involving First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith.
Despite the controversy over Morey’s tweet, a scheduled preseason game between the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers took place as planned Thursday morning, albeit without the lucrative corporate sponsors the NBA expected to include.
Sixers fan Sam Wachs was ejected out of the Wells Fargo Center after holding signs and shouting in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during the NBA team’s exhibition game Tuesday night against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.
“It brought a human rights issue to the NBA,” Wachs, a video and podcast producer for a Philadelphia nonprofit, told the Inquirer. “I don’t think the NBA should be bending over backwards to please China."
• 97.5 The Fanatic celebrated its 10th anniversary on Thursday by mixing up its morning show with hosts from the station’s lineup, including Mike Missanelli, Jayson Myrtetus, Tyrone Johnson, and Natalie Egelhoff. The station also debuted a new live-stream of its morning show on Twitch earlier this week to celebrate its one-year anniversary.
• The Eagles will kick-off a stretch of three road games (against the Vikings, Cowboys, and Bills) this weekend, which appears to have been scheduled in part due to the expectation of the Phillies playing in the postseason. As NFL senior vice president Howard Katz explained to NBC Sports’ Peter King back in April, “We usually ignore the Phillies when it comes to stadium blocks, but I don’t think we can this year.”
“Baseball [conflicts] factor into it. But the reality is we can play the same day as the Phillies. Howard knows that," Eagles president Don Smolenski told reporters last Sunday. "It’s something they prefer not to happen. But it’s not really why [this three-game road trip] happened.’’