For the past week, 97.5 The Fanatic listeners have been asking the question: Where is Anthony Gargano?
Now we have the answer.
Gargano is currently suspended with pay over his involvement with PHLY Sports, a new digital media outlet that launched last week, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday by The Fanatic’s parent company, Beasley Media Group.
The company says Gargano breached his contract, which states he’s “prohibited from providing services to a competing business while he is employed by Beasley,” according to the lawsuit.
Gargano helped build and assemble the talent at PHLY Sports, which is owned by the ALLCITY Network, and was featured in their launch video as “coming soon.” Brandon Spano, the cofounder and CEO of ALLCITY Network, told The Inquirer last week PHLY’s launch “would not have been possible” without Gargano’s involvement.
Gargano, Spano and Beasley did not respond to request for comment.
Beasley said Gargano told The Fanatic on Sept. 11, less than 24 hours before PHLY launched, that he intended to continue hosting his show while also accepting employment with the new sports outlet, where among other things he would write articles and appear on podcasts.
“In other words, Gargano intends to work simultaneously for two competing business to provide sports coverage and commentary to the Philadelphia marketplace, targeting the same audience and competing for the same local advertisers on each platform,” the lawsuit says.
Gargano is under contract with The Fanatic until October 2024, according to the lawsuit.
Beasley also claims ALLCITY solicited nine employees at The Fanatic, including “significant content creators, account executives and sales managers.” PHLY also landed former Fanatic host Devon Givens, who will cohost their Sixers show. Givens is currently subject to a non-compete clause that will keep him off PHLY until November, according to Spano.
In addition to The Fanatic, Gargano also cohosts a weekly Fox Sports Radio show with former NFL lineman Lincoln Kennedy called The Fellas. Beasley addressed the show in the lawsuit, saying Gargano was allowed a “limited exception” to host the show because his involvement predates his employment at The Fanatic. Fox Sports is also prohibited from selling advertising for the show in and around Philadelphia, the lawsuit says.
Gargano, a former reporter for The Inquirer, was hired by The Fanatic in 2015 to host their first local morning show, replacing ESPN’s Mike & Mike show. Gargano never got close to challenging then-94.1 WIP morning show host Angelo Cataldi, and was ultimately replaced by Marc Farzetta in 2018. Gargano has been hosting his midday show ever since.
The Fanatic has shed talent in recent years. Longtime afternoon host Mike Missanelli was forced out in May 2022. One of the hosts from the afternoon trio who replaced Missanelli — Hunter Brody — was laid off in July. Former morning show cohost Jamie Lynch, known to listeners as “The Bro,” was let go in October 2022, only to return in a part-time role. He recently left to join PHLY. The Fanatic also laid off Eric Camille, their former assistant program director, who also landed at PHLY as the website’s head of operations.
In the spring ratings book, which basically includes April through June, Gargano finished eighth in the Philadelphia market among men between the ages of 25 to 54, the target demographic of sports radio shows. That was well behind 94.1 WIP midday hosts Joe Giglio and Huge Douglas, who ended the quarter in third.