What's the quickest way to move up in the sports talk radio world?
Go on an offensive rant that will make your name known nationwide.
First it was Dan Sileo being hired in San Diego after managing to offend pretty much every definable sect of human beings under the sun. Now it's Damon Bruce moving from the KNBR "B" station in San Francisco to 95.7 The Game for a new afternoon drivetime show.
Here's the glowing announcement from The Game (via Bay Area Sports Guy) that ignores the very recent controversy that has made sports fans around the country aware of the name Damon Bruce.
“This is a great day for 95.7 The GAME and Bay Area sports fans. For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports. He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market,” said Steve DiNardo, Entercom San Francisco’s Vice-President and Market Manager. “Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive. In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following. We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow The GAME.”
Damon Bruce is a San Francisco radio veteran. A staple with KNBR between 1998 and 2000, Bruce returned to KNBR in 2005 as a host of “The Damon Bruce Show” on KNBR 1050. He first gained national exposure hosting Sports Overnight America before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has also filled in on the Jim Rome show and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. He later was a fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio, as well as the CBS Sports Network, before rejoining KNBR. Additionally Damon has hosted Pre and Post-Game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.”
Never underestimate the value of a good public relations staff to write your own version of history. To make this story come full circle, Jonathan Martin (the target of Bruce's original rant that veered off course into a degrading rant against women) is now going to be playing professionally in San Francsisco for the 49ers. I wonder what Damon Bruce will have to say about that.
Perhaps Bruce is a changed man who has learned his lesson and this will be a great success story. But I can't help shaking the feeling that sports talk radio continually rewards those who carelessly step out into the minefield and speak before thinking. This is an industry that doesn't give mere second chances to those who take part in neanderthalic, derogatory, odious rants and radio bits. This is an industry that gives them third, fourth, and fifth chances all in the name of drawing ratings points and reactions. In sports talk radio, it's better to be a loudmouth beligerent under the guise of "locker room humor" than an insightful original thinker. If that continues to be the case, there will only be more Sileos and Bruces to draw negative attention to the medium.