Monday, January 4, 2010

Last to know

I woke up this morning not happy to be going back to work after a couple of weeks off. I warmed up the car, (no the weather has not improved) then took off down the road. Took me about 40 feet to recognize Steven A. Smith's dulcid scream on Fox sports radio. I checked that I was on XM142 then my heart sank.
When I arrived at work, I checked Steve Czabans blog were there it was, all laid out. They canned him.
That's pretty much it for me with Fox sports radio. I don't like the afternoon drive and I just can't stand Steven A.
I found Czabes original statement on line and will reprint it here for posterity sake.

From Czabe.com:

File this one under “Horrible and Ironic Ways (For Your Radio Show) To Die.”

My contract with Fox Sports Radio has not been renewed. The last day of the “Steve Czaban Show” is scheduled for December 23rd.

Steven A. Smith will be my permanent replacement.

Now, you can chew on that one for a bit.

Okay, you still with me? Good. Here’s all I’m going to say.

This was not my choice, or desire. My agent wanted me to spin it in one of those “we decided to mutually part ways” for anybody who wanted to know. But I’m not good at lying. And besides, you deserve the truth.

The letter from the network read (in part) as follows. “As you know, our decision not to renew Steve’s contract was not made in haste. He has performed for us on air brilliantly, and has been a tremendous asset to our network for many years. It was only after much contemplation that we made the tough decision to move in a different direction.”

I’ll take that as an “Honorable Discharge.”

I held down the morning shift for FSR since 2004, and did a night time show for 2 more years prior to that. In sum, 7 years is a pretty good run. I’m thankful for every minute of it.

The “un-official” reason why the show was cancelled – or at least what was relayed to us - was that “affiliates” were saying that we sounded “too much like Mike and Mike.”

Yep. That’s what FSR told us.

Ohhhhhkaaayyyy then.

I might argue that our show was actually the ANTI-Mike and Mike, but what good is arguing with that logic anyway?

Steven A. Smith will not sound like Mike and Mike.

To further understand what happened, you need to know that a whole new programming regime came into power at Fox Sports Radio about a year ago. The new guy (and his name is not important) didn’t hire me, so perhaps I never was his cup of tea.

This happens in radio. What can you do?

Furthermore, they believe that Steven A. can get the network cleared in New York City and Philly. I hope they do. Good luck.

All I know is this.

When we began in morning drive, there were 106 affiliates that carried the show full time. Currently, there are 186. We obviously were doing something, somebody out there, liked.

But enough of me. Let’s talk about you, my faithful listeners. My army of trained robot killers.

Thank you.

Thank you from the deepest, no-bullshit, part of my heart.

Thank you a million times over for being a part of my life for these five years. Thank you for allowing me into your cars every morning. Thank you for emailing me with notes of support, long winded arguments, cheap shots, funny jokes about Mark Mangino’s coat size, serious suggestions on show ideas, and on and on and on.

Thank you for so many hilarious, creative text messages. Thank you for all the great “Lock It Ups”, dumb questions, mancrushes and the like.

Thanks for understanding that my intermittent blowhardery was – in reality - balanced by a truly “regular guy” who actually didn’t take himself that seriously. Our show took SPORTS seriously. Ourselves, not so much.

Thanks even more to my two remaining running mates, Scott Linn and producer Steve Solomon. These guys are warriors. I will have them on any show of mine from now until the end of time. They are both smart, workaholic, funny-as-shit, dedicated radio professionals.

They are also two of the best people I know. I am honored and humbled to be able to call them friends.

What is next for us? Well, for starters, sleep! Haha! No more waking up at 4:30 a.m. to start “making the donuts” for us! My dream of once again staying up late enough to see the finish of a Monday Night Football game is about to be a reality.

As you know, we also work for ESPN980 locally in Washington D.C. Those gigs are safe, and quite rewarding in their own right. We’re gonna be fine, and we’re not going anywhere.

In fact, you can listen to the Sports Reporters on ESPN980 every day at 4 p.m. Eastern at ESPN980.com. Granted, you’ll have to listen to a whole boatload of bitching about the Redskins, but at least it’s something.

Also, here at Czabe.com we’ll still be cranking out 5 “Czabecasts” a week with all the fellas and bonus Al Galdi! So do make sure to swing in to the shop once a day for your dose.

I certainly hope there’s another chance for me (and us) at the network level. But I assume nothing, and the industry doesn’t owe me a thing. That said, I believe I can play at this level. And with my P90x program winding down, I’m feelin’ friskier than ever.

As soon as anything happens, you’ll hear about it right here. Or even better yet, you can now join my “Official” Facebook page. Yeah, I know. I swore I’d never stoop to this level, but my web guru Kirk Strong is the guy who basically “handles” it, and I will just have to drop by and chime in from time to time.
We’ve got two weeks left together, people. Let’s make ‘em good, and lets laugh like hell.


I will look for Czabe to turn up elsewhere and will find some other diversion for my daily drive.
Thanks to http://thebaldtruthblog.blogspot.com for grabbing the original post.

Bill

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