And this week, the station announced there was a mutual agreement to part ways as Phat Joe pursues other ventures.
Known for his wry sense of humour, it would appear the host of the drive-time show was too blunt for his listeners.
A registrar at the commission said that Phat Joe had about 53 complaints against him in 2016 and 24 in 2017. In one incident, the station was fined R30 000 for his comments about Down Syndrome.
While some listeners loved him and were sad he was leaving, others said “good riddance”.
But the complaints were not his reason for leaving.
Programming manager Zane Derbyshire said the presenter left due to commitments outside the province. He said while ECR respected and attended to the complaints laid against Phat Joe by its listeners, those complaints did not have an influence on the non-renewal of his contract.
“We hired Phat Joe knowing his personality and we wanted him to bring a bit of spark to the show. And he did. As much as we respect our listeners, the complaints did not influence us. The decision was taken by him and the station. Phat Joe has other commitments that needed him to be in Johannesburg full-time.
“ECR wanted a presenter who would make the show a number one priority and that was impossible as he had other commitments. There’s no bad blood between the station and him. We may still work with him.”
Although Derbyshire was tight-lipped as to who would be replacing Phat Joe, he said listeners could expect another well-known DJ to take over.
Phat Joe was recently unveiled as the presenter for DStv channel Vuzu’s upcoming dating game show, Take me Out Mzansi.
He did not respond to requests for comment.