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Mike Missanelli out at 97.5 The Fanatic in surprise departure

“It’s difficult to get this out because it seems so surreal, but this is my last day as the host of 'The Mike Missanelli Show,'” Missanelli said Tuesday.

Longtime 97.5 The Fanatic host Mike Missanelli surprised listeners Tuesday by announcing it would be his last show at the station.
Longtime 97.5 The Fanatic host Mike Missanelli surprised listeners Tuesday by announcing it would be his last show at the station.Read moreNBC Sports Philadelphia

After 15 years at 97.5 The Fanatic, Mike Missanelli shocked listeners Tuesday afternoon by announcing it would be his last show.

“It’s difficult to get this out because it seems so surreal, but this is my last day as the host of The Mike Missanelli Show,” Missanelli said halfway into his show.

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Missanelli said his current contract with the station expires in a couple of weeks, and he and station owner Beasley Media Group decided to go “in another direction.” Co-host Tyrone Johnson told The Inquirer the announcement was a surprise, and producer Jen Scordo got emotional when Missanelli choked up thanking everyone who worked on the show. Later in the program, Missanelli told a caller he “wasn’t expecting” to announce the sudden end of his show.

“This is like the guy who comes into Bull Durham and they go, ‘The organization wants to make a change.’ Well that’s what’s going on,” Missanelli said on air Tuesday. “The station and I are talking about me remaining with the company in some kind of a role, but who knows. What I can tell you is they already have a replacement show under contract and I’m sure you’ll be hearing about that in the next few days.”

“I tried to give my heart with every show I did here for 15 years. I had some missteps in my career, as you well know,” Missanelli added. “But in the end, I hope the good outweighed the bad, and that people think I’ve been a positive part of this radio station’s brand.”

Johnson and Scordo will host the show in the interim, until a full-time replacement is named, according to sources at the station. As for Missanelli, a spokesperson for Beasley said in a statement the company “has offered him the opportunity to remain in another capacity with the station,” though it’s unclear what that means.

“It has been an honor and pleasure working with Mike over the years,” Johnson told The Inquirer. “He has made me better and immensely helped my career. I will miss seeing him every day.”

» READ MORE: Phillies slugger Nick Castellanos interrupts yet another broadcast; Ray Didinger offers his final goodbye

Missanelli had been a ratings leader for The Fanatic during drive time before being overtaken by Jon Marks and Ike Reese at 94.1 WIP. Still, Missanelli was easily the station’s most popular host, and had a simulcast agreement with NBC Sports Philadelphia in recent years that increased his reach and influence among Philly sports fans.

At least for now, NBC Sports Philadelphia will continue to simulcast the show, according to a source at the network.

Missanelli joins an exodus of longtime Philly media figures calling it quits this year. WIP morning show host Angelo Cataldi is retiring at the end of the year, and his colleague Ray Didinger hosted his final show at the station Sunday. On television, NBC10 meteorologist Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz’s last day was Friday, while 6abc’s Jim Gardner is giving up his anchor desk at the end of the year.

As Missanelli alluded to, he’s certainly skirted controversy over the years. Prior to his stint at The Fanatic, Missanelli was a host at WIP, where he was fired in 2006 after punching a producer following an argument. He was also fired by 6abc in 2017 over misogynistic comments he made about ESPN broadcaster Beth Mowins.

Missanelli, who graduated from Widener University law school in 1986, was a sports writer for The Inquirer and worked alongside Hall of Fame baseball writer Jayson Stark, who called in to the show Tuesday.

“I can’t imagine life without you on the radio, so we’re just going to have to talk all the time,” Stark said. “I’m not just a guest on your show, I’m a fan of you and your show. So it’s going to be hard for me to fill that void.”

» READ MORE: Tell us your story: After 53 years, Ray Didinger retires from a career that’s hard to match