Inside the Major Staffing Shakeup at WMMR

Employees at the historic Philadelphia rock-and-roll station are downright nervous.

Former WMMR employee "Pancake" with WMMR DJ Pierre Robert

Former WMMR employee “Pancake” with WMMR DJ Pierre Robert (Photo courtesy BP Miller/Chorus Photography)

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“Pancake” and Other WMMR Workers Lose Their Jobs

Wednesday was a “terrible fucking day” at WMMR, Philadelphia’s long-running rock-and-roll radio station. That’s according to one source from Beasley Media Group, the huge Florida-based company that owns WMMR and several other stations in the Philadelphia market. The Beasley source confirmed what we had already heard: that at least three people working with WMMR had just lost their jobs.

One of those three people was the WMMR producer and on-air personality known as Pancake. His real name is Chris Ashcraft. Pancake got his start at WMMR in the late 2000s, when he was an intern for Pierre Robert. More recently, Pancake could be heard exchanging witty banter with Pierre Robert, in addition to calling in reports to the Preston & Steve Show about things like a beheading in Bucks County, where Pancake resides.

Two other people no longer working with WMMR include Greg Monaghan, a graphics specialist, and Todd DiFeo, who worked in the promotions department. Both Monaghan and DiFeo worked at WMMR as well as the other Beasley Media Group stations in the area.

One Beasley staffer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing their own job, called the layoffs “corporate bullshit.”

It’s been a busy week in the Beasley Media Group human resources department. Beasley also let go Jen Scordo and Pat Egan from 97.5 The Fanatic.

“We are realigning our core business operations to reflect the current economic conditions in order to best serve the needs of our valued audiences, advertisers, and shareholders into the future,” a Beasley representative said oh-so-corporately in a statement.

All of this comes less than two years after Beasley turned WMMR on its head by firing the popular DJ Jaxon. That’s when WMMR also eliminated all live overnight programming, opting for cheaper automated programming.

“We’ve been live and local 24/7 and used that for all the good it brings us for 54 years,” one WMMR source told us back then. “But corporate ownership simply doesn’t care. And that’s the real punch to the gut. They are completely profit-driven. And they don’t care about history or legacy. They don’t care about what the station and the people who work there mean to Philly and to the listeners. They care about one thing and one thing only: money.”

Back in 2022, we also learned that Beasley had even considered ending its long, long relationship with its most famous personality: Pierre Robert. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. And Pierre Robert secured a new deal with WMMR earlier this year, extending his contract for four years.

As for other WMMR talent, all on-air staff at the Preston & Steve show remains safe. For now.

Over In Kensington…

It took city workers just a few hours to completely dismantle the homeless encampment on Kensington Avenue on Wednesday. The one-block stretch of Kensington Avenue is now free of tents, sleeping bags, trash, and, most notably, people. It’s not exactly clear where all those people have gone. And activists are asking the city for transparency in the process. 6 ABC has this report on what happens next, though the city isn’t exactly providing a lot of answers.

Local Talent

It’s graduation season, so you know what that means: Famous and semi-famous people speaking at local college commencements. Former Temple University student and now Hollywood mega-talent Quinta Brunson came back to Temple on Wednesday to talk to the Class of 2025. She told them, “Kids at UPenn got nothing on you.” Well, other than much, much higher tuition. But I’ll leave the jokes to the comedians. Brunson’s full speech is here.

By the Numbers

$1,500: Minimum it will cost you to have Marc Vetri and Lidia Bastianich cook for you at the Friends of Marc dinner next week. Well, actually $3,000, because tickets have to be bought in pairs. Only 100 seats are available.

$40,000: Franchise fee you’ll have to pay if you want to open the next Philadelphia location of Tapster, the pour-your-own-drinks bar that opened in Center City last August. I dunno. A bar without a bartender just feels so wrong.

900: PECO customers targeted in an aggressive new scam. If somebody calls you telling you they’re on their way to shut off your electricity because your last payment didn’t go through, they are almost certainly lying. Should this happen to you, hang up the phone and call PECO directly. And if PECO tells you the call was bogus, call your local police department.

And From the Wait-We-Can-LOSE?!? Sports Desk …

The Phils didn’t get on the board first for a change in yesterday afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays at CBP, since the Jays got a run off starter Aaron Nola in the second on a pair of singles and a steal. The Phils got it right back in the third, though, as the Jays’ Chris Bassitt gave up walks to Bryson Stott and Edmundo Sosa, a Johan Rojas single, and a Kyle Schwarber sac fly. It was quiet after that until the sixth, when the Jays got two more on a brace of singles, a double and another single. That brought in Matt Strahm for Nola, and he promptly pitched a single: 4-1 Jays. Apparently there was some sort of Hulu problem, but that only affected folks who didn’t have to work in the middle of a Wednesday, and what kind of people are that?

Seranthony Domínguez came on for the seventh and got it done, and in the bottom half, Brandon Marsh singled and Nick Castellanos doubled off the wall, which was the end of Bassitt. Zach Pop (high on the Great Baseball Name list) took his place with one out, and Stott pushed a run around with a sac fly before Kody Clemens, pinch-hitting for Sosa, struck out.

Orion Kerkering pitched the eighth and let another run across on a walk and two singles. A J.T. Realmuto double in the eighth went wasted; Alec Bohm led off the last-chance ninth with a single off Jordan Romano, Castellanos eked out a single, and damn if Stott didn’t double and make it 5-3. Two on, two outs, Whit Merrifield at the plate … and a pop-up for an out. Well, I guess we were due — overdue, really — for a loss.  End of game, end of winning streak — never change, Phillies fans.

They’re off until Friday, when they begin a road trip with a visit to the Marlins, 7:10 start.

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hinsgton.