Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In July 2006, Joe McDonnell appreciated Don Martin's honesty. How will he feel tomorrow?

I haven't written about radio since mid-September (and that was really a politics post), but radio has popped into my mind a couple of times over the last few days.

The first time was on Monday, during afternoon drive, as I was listening to the radio. I haven't listened to radio during afternoon drive for some time now - over a month. You see, back on August 29 I bought a CD. Now, as is usual when I buy a new CD, I put it in my car and play it into the ground for about a week or so until I start listening to other things. For whatever reason (perhaps the fact that I'm listening to last.fm and/or Pandora a bunch of the time when I'm NOT in the car), my usual week has extended. I conservatively estimate that I have heard the word "Doo" (as in "Doo...doo doo doo" in the "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" remix) approximately 700 billion times in the last month while driving around in my car.

So when I tuned into Petros and Money on Monday afternoon, it had been the first time in a long time that I heard the show. It was pretty much the usual stuff, but by the time I was ready to get out of the car, Petros and Money were getting ready to talk to the host of the 7:00 pm show, Tony Bruno.


If you haven't followed my blogs, or sports talk radio, over the years, let's just say that I first heard Tony Bruno when he was on Fox Sports Radio (having left ESPN Radio). (This was the time when Bruno worked with Krystal Fernandez.) He ended up leaving, to be replaced by the brilliant Van Earl Wright, but Bruno resurfaced on the new Sporting News radio network. All was right and fine until the local Sporting News Radio affiliate flipped to Korean programming, meaning that Bruno couldn't be heard here any more.

But Bruno's resurgence isn't the interesting part. The interesting part is that if Bruno is filling the 7:00 pm slot...that means that Joe McDonnell isn't.

Now McDonnell, while not having the national visibility of Bruno, has certainly been all over the map radio-wise himself. Eventually he landed at KLAC, where he had high praise for Don Martin. In fact, McDonnell blogged the following on July 27, 2006 in the course of discussing former employer KSPN:

All of which makes me thank God–literally–every morning that I’m working for a company–Clear Channel–and a PD–Don Martin–who have a clue. And I’d say it if they fired me tomorrow. They’ve been great to me and fair. But most importantly....they’ve been honest…something I rarely experienced at kspn under the three stooges...

Well, we'll see about that.

Last Thursday, when I was still in San Francisco, Joe McDonnell wrote the following:

9-25-08--I KNOW YOU"RE WONDERING.......

....what the hell happened at KLAC. Please check back late in the day Wednesday and I'll tell you all about it. THANK YOU from the bottom...middle and top of my heart for all of the support. It has been amazing and heartwarming to read and hear about how much you like what I do. Soemtimes in this business, you tend to forget who you are and what you mean to the audience. You've helped remind me over that last four days.

A few days earlier, Tom Hoffarth blogged the following:

Long-time L.A. radio sports icon Joe McDonnell is again without a broadcast home, as KLAC-AM (570) program director Don Martin confirmed this afternoon that a new show hosted by Tony Bruno will take the 7-to-10 p.m. weeknight spot beginning Monday, Sept. 29.

McDonnell...had been at KLAC since January, 2006....

Martin explained that The Content Factory, which launched Dan Patrick's syndicated radio career after he left ESPN (and is now on KLAC from 6 to 9 a.m.), approached him about co-owning a Bruno show called "Into the Night" that eminated from the station's Burbank studios but will eventually be available to other stations....

Martin said the timing of Bruno's availability, the fact that it is formatted for a night-time show, and McDonnell's contract coming up for renewal all converged for this decision.

"We've come to the end and it's time to move forward," said Martin.

So Martin, who previously brought Dan Patrick on board to replace Roggin and Simers Squared, has now brought in Tony Bruno to replace Joe McDonnell.

Today's Tuesday, tomorrow's Wednesday, so I figure we'll hear something when McDonnell speaks. (If you're wondering about the significance of the date, presumably McDonnell's contract expires tonight, and he will be able to speak freely on October 1.)

P.S. I mentioned that radio has been on my mind a COUPLE of times. Here's the other time.

P.P.S. Followup post.

P.P.P.S. Another followup post.

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