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Friday, July 10, 2015

Missing

Wednesday was a dark day in sports broadcasting.  I'll begin with radio.

Tony Bruno announced his retirement.  I became a fan during his first tour of duty with FOX Sports Radio.  In recent years, he was doing a local show in Philadelphia, first with WPEN FM, and then with WIP FM.

The latter show lasted only a few months.  Bruno was paired with Josh Innes, a talented young man, but a bit of flame thrower.  You know the type.  He loves to say outrageous things and wait for enraged fans to light up the phones.

It wasn't a good fit, even though the show was entertaining.  Most of that was due to Tony Bruno.  In quitting, Bruno said modern radio and social media sucked the fun out of it.

Tony Bruno is an established and well liked broadcaster.  WIP made a serious mistake when it stuck him with a co-host.  By the way, the show was number one in its time period.

Tony Bruno was a frequent guest on Keith Olbermann's ESPN show.  Olbermann called Bruno the most talented broadcaster to ever work at ESPN Radio.

ESPN announced Wednesday that Olbermann's show ends when his contract expires at the end of the month.  ESPN called it a "business decision."  More on that in a moment.

I really hated Keith Olbermann when he was doing politics on MSNB and Current.  Overly mean.  Overly snarky.  But, something happened when he went back to doing sports.  It looked like he was having fun again, and it really was a good show.  Commentary off the top.  The Worst in the Sports World.  An interview, and finally some highlights.

It was the commentary that apparently got Olbermann into hot water.  He's been very critical of the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell.  With good reason.  ESPN was just handed a rather weak Monday Night Football schedule, and many feel it's no coincidence.

Let me tell you about business decisions.  ESPN is reportedly trying to spend less money.  That's all well and good.  "Business decision" gives management the wiggle room to do what it wanted to do all along, and hide behind the economics.

It's a shame that a decent program gets the axe, while ESPN continues to employ the clownish Chris Berman, plus produce dreck like Around the Horn, SportsNation, His and Hers, and Highly Questionable.

Radio and TV just became a lot less interesting, and a lot less fun.