A very memorable sports segment. Nashville TV anchor Dan Phillips claims he lost his job after he incorporated Prince lyrics into an April 21 on-air broadcast in tribute to the late singer.
The former WZTV Fox-17 anchor made as many references to the pop icon as possible in the four-minute sports segment. As seen in the video, he recapped the last minutes of the Anaheim Ducks beating the Nashville Predators in the NHL playoffs by referencing Prince’s song "1999." “The clock hits 00:00. Oops, out of time. It’s the Ducks who are going to party like it’s 1999,” he said.
He continued to quote Prince lyrics throughout the broadcast. "The Vanderbilt baseball team faces its biggest rival this weekend, and I can guarantee [coach] Tim Corbin and the Commodores won’t drive a 'Little Red Corvette' or their 'daddy’s Thunderbird' to Tennessee,” he said, referencing two of Prince’s major hits. “They’ll take a bus to 'erotic city,' also known as Knoxville."
Not everyone thought Phillips’ tribute was appropriate, though, and he was allegedly fired for the report. “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,” he wrote in an April 29 Facebook post. “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.”
However, Phillips took the news in stride. “I’m choosing to use this as a catalyst for some exciting things I’ve been working on for some time now,” he continued. The sports anchor also posted the news footage alongside his message and wrote: “A little tribute to my favorite musical artist. Enjoy. Or just laugh at the idiot making as many Prince references as he can in four minutes.”
The station has not yet publicly addressed the incident.
Watch the clip above!