After sustained silence in the wake of Damon Bruce's rant about women in sports, it looks like San Francisco radio station KNBR has taken action. And it doesn't look promising for Bruce. On Sunday, Bruce was absent from his duties as pregame host for the San Francisco 49ers. Rich Lieberman reports Bruce has been suspended and might even lose his job over the comments that have gained nationwide attention. In what might be the worst news for the embattled host, not just listeners but advertisers have complained to the station about his comments…
"Supposedly, KNBR and Cumulus management will reportedly meet Monday to weigh the considerably negative reaction from Bruce's rant last week. What may have accelerated his fate was intense outrage from women who have flooded the e-mail box of Opps Mgr, Lee Hammer.
Moreover, says the source, KNBR has been inundated with complaints from a few advertisers. When that happens, bad things happen."
Bruce did appear in his normal timeslot on Friday and addressed his rant and the reaction to it in his opening segment. The non-apology left much to be desired as Bruce shifted his attention from women being the problem in sports to the "feminization" of men, which isn't really much better. The station has still not made any kind of public statement about the matter.
Bruce has maintained that his now infamous 8 minute diatribe against women in sports was an aberration. Some online sleuthing reveals this entry from the Women's Sports Watch blog and an encounter between Bruce and the site's author. In 2011, Bruce had an e-mail exchange with the listener after he made comments criticizing women's basketball. In the exchange, Bruce apparently wrote, "If you’re a diehard hoops fan … you know I’m half right. Maybe you don’t like hearing it, but I’m just saying what most men think. Woman’s team sports, do not entertain us."
It's going to be very difficult for Bruce to come back from this. We've seen more than our fair share of sports talk radio hosts lose their jobs after similar controversies. Examples include Scott Torgerson (who's now working again hosting a local morning zoo show on a Columbus rock station), the Atlanta hosts who mocked Steve Gleason, Jack Clark, and the many firings of Dan Sileo. The rant from Damon Bruce has received arguably more mainstream news attention than all of them combined and that pressure is weighing down on KNBR. Now with Cumulus management and advertisers involved, the deck is certainly stacked against the controversial host in another unsightly episode for sports talk radio. More on the story if and when it develops.