By Annie Ross
Josh Innes crapped out as a WIP talker a few years ago and returned to Houston, from whence he came.
He got fired there too!
KBME (790 AM) sports talk host Innes said Wednesday on Twitter that his morning drive program had been terminated for “budget reasons” and wrote, “I do not have a show anymore.”
Innes reported on his own departure in a series of Twitter messages that began about 4 p.m. Wednesday. Asked by a listener about the podcast of Wednesday’s show on the KBME website, Innes replied, “Unfortunately, the show was terminated today. That’s why the podcast isn’t up.”
Innes’ apparent departure brings to an end a turbulent period that included high hopes on iHeartMedia’s part for a significant listenership boost from a host who enjoyed ratings success during his earlier stint on KILT.
However, Innes’ ratings have mirrored those of the station and of Houston sports radio in general. KBME’s morning drive audience share as of the most recent Nielsen Audio ratings ranked 25th among all Houston radio stations among men 25-54, the key demographic for sports radio, and trailed the station’s competitors at KILT and KFNC (97.5 FM).
Innes also was involved in occasional controversy at the station. The Texans in 2017 revoked his media credentials, citing repeated violations of team media policies, and station personnel were removed from the Radio Row broadcast area in Minneapolis prior to Super Bowl LII in January 2018 after a confrontation between Innes and KILT talk show host Seth Payne.
He also was suspended in May 2018 after he spoke on the air about his disagreements with talk show host Adam Clanton, who was subsequently fired by the station.
The son of radio host and voice actor Scott Innes, Innes moved from his native Louisiana to join KILT in December 2009 and a year later moved to afternoon drive time with Rich Lord, one of Houston’s longest-tenured sports talk hosts.
The show’s ratings more than doubled in 2011 and ranked as high as No. 4 among all local stations in afternoon drive before Innes left in late 2013 for WIP in Philadelphia.
He also enjoyed a rocky stretch in Philly, including a story in Philadelphia magazine headlined “Is Josh Innes Destroying Philadelphia Sports Radio?”
Innes was fired in 2016 by WIP but was hired by iHeartMedia to replace longtime talk show host Charlie Pallilo in afternoon drive time. He launched his show by mocking Pallilo’s delivery and his ratings performance and pledged to boost KBME’s ratings performance.
His show moved to morning drive time in June 2017 but also failed to make significant ratings headway in that time slot.
Innes also hosted a show on a New Orleans station owned by iHeartMedia.