A Nashville Sports Anchor Lost His Job Over An On-Air Prince Tribute

So many of the tributes that happened across the country in honor of Prince’s premature death were touching, creative, a perfect way to honor the artist, or all of the above. Whether it was a temporary change to purple in his memory, a concert tribute by one of his contemporaries, or a surprise performance at a Broadway show, the moments were all attention-grabbing in their own way. Unfortunately for a local news anchor in Nashville, not everybody appreciates a broadcast segment that incorporates Prince lyrics.

Dan Phillips, (former) sports reporter at WZTV Fox-17 in Nashville, was reportedly let go from his position after he went on air and worked various Prince lyrics into his report. As far as this type of thing goes, Phillips’ report doesn’t differ too greatly from from others of its ilk. While discussing the previous night’s Predators’ game, he works in various song titles and lyrics from Prince’s catalog. He hits all of the big ones – “Let’s Go Crazy”, “When Doves Cry”, “1999”, etc. and works them in pretty creatively at points, all things considered.  You can watch the video above – courtesy of The Tennessean – and decide for yourself whether the bit is as insensitive as some reactions claim.

It can be argued that despite his creativity and clear passion for Prince the whole thing went on too long and could have been limited to one segment or sports team. He also seems a little too proud of himself for thinking up some segues, which undercuts the gesture itself. Although the station denies that he was let go completely because of the report, Phillips’ personal statement on the matter suggests otherwise.

First of all, I want to thank everyone for the kind words, comments and positive feedback on this tribute I did to Prince last week. It really means a lot.

Unfortunately, there were apparently some viewers, as well as management at the station, who did not feel the same way. They felt I was insensitive. And as a result, I was terminated today.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for someone that clearly was just trying to honor Prince in the best way he knew how, even if he probably should have run it by management beforehand to see how they would react to some of the references. At least now Phillips has plenty of free time to watch the Predators-Sharks series, which is shaping up to be a great battle.

(via The Tennessean)

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