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March 19, 2019

Former 94WIP host Josh Innes, fired in Houston, calls radio market 'boring without me in it'

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Former 94WYSP SportsTalk radio host Josh Innes.

The airwaves are once again without sports radio agitator Josh Innes, the former SportsRadio 94WIP host who was fired last week from Houston's SportsTalk 790.

In Philadelphia, Innes' tenure followed a strange arc. He went from the station's night-time oddball to its afternoon leader, briefly pairing with Tony Bruno before the co-host's abrupt departure. The rotating cast of partners who filled in never managed to contain Innes' runaway bits enough to prevent him from a combination of self-sabotage and wearing Philadelphia listeners thin.

In Houston, Innes had returned to a familiar radio market having worked a past stint with SportsRadio 610. He, his co-worker and fiancée Jill Osterman, and producer Jim Mudd were all let go from rival SportsTalk 790 last Wednesday.

Innes, as he did after he was fired in Philly, decided to record a podcast (in his underwear) to share his side of the story. Several quotes were collected by The Houston Chronicle, including a pattern of regret Innes believes is common among the cities that ditch him. He and Osterman, he said, will find a new home.

"Whenever we go on to find another job, which we're going to, people are going to send me tweets, 'Man, this just popped up on my TimeHop, whenever Jim [Mudd] did this ...' or 'We really miss the show, (expletive)'s really boring without you guys,'" Innes said. "It happened the first time I left here. It happened when I left Philadelphia. The market gets more boring without me in it, and people miss that. They think they hate it or they talk a lot of (expletive) about it when it's happening and once it's gone, they get really kind of nostalgic and they get bored."

That's one way of looking at it. Innes will likely never be a host who endears himself to much more than 50 percent of his listeners, generously speaking, but he is the type to have a hardcore following that appreciates his eccentricity.

One Twitter user, tongue-in-cheek, suggested Innes return to Philly and partner with Mike Missanelli. Innes was fired from 94WIP for racial insensitivity in an attack on Missanelli, who himself was exposed for a routine skit featuring an in-house, fake African-American caller voiced by a white man. 

That marriage would be the longest of longshots, but Innes will have plenty of time to figure things out. His contract with iHeartMedia will reportedly pay him to be off the air for the next seven months.