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August 26, 2016

Three 97.5 The Fanatic employees suspended over ‘Dwayne from Swedesboro’ incident

A wild week in Philadelphia sports talk radio is wrapping up with a punishment for how it began, the “Dwyane from Swedesboro” controversy at 97.5 the Fanatic.

A source told PhillyVoice that program director Matt Nahigian, producer and co-host Jason Myrtetus, and producer Pat Egan were all suspended by Greater Media for three days (Friday, next Monday and Tuesday) starting today, confirming a report .

At the beginning of Mike Missanelli’s drive time show on Tuesday, Myrtetus and Egan admitted to creating the character that Crossing Broad described as “a stereotypical black guy with paternity test problems.” Both said that Missanelli had no knowledge of the true identity (Egan) of “Dwayne from Swedesboro.”

While some other radio hosts and callers feel that using a fake caller consistently hurts the show’s credibility, the more pressing issue is a white producer voicing a character that promotes negative black stereotypes.

“If anybody was offended on racial angles, I sincerely apologize on behalf of my brethren and co-workers here at 97.5 who permitted it to go on,” Missanelli said.

Nahigian was previously scheduled to meet with Asa Khalif, head of Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter chapter, to discuss "accountability" for the producer's actions.

Over at rival station Sportsradio 94WIP, Josh Innes was fired on Wednesday afternoon with no permanent replacement yet announced. Innes’ show had reportedly been getting trounced in the ratings by Missanelli’s.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann