Imagine working away at your desk, opening Twitter and suddenly seeing breaking news that you’ve been fired. That’s what happened to Chicago sports radio hosts Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer.

While hosting “Quigs and Finfer” on 87.7 The Game on Thursday afternoon, Quigley scrolled down his Twitter timeline and noticed this tweet from local media critic Robert Feder.

It was news to the hosts, who were not made aware of any staffing changes, let alone the fact that the station will be being shutting down by the end of the year. They reacted as you might expect.

“We didn’t know anything about it,” Finfer said on the air. “We were coming back from a break and saw on Twitter from Robert Feder that the station is being taken off the air. Can you believe that? A lot of really talented people were hired to work at this station and found out through Twitter that they were fired. Nothing from the bosses. I don’t really know what to do for the last hour of this show. I guess take calls.”

Finfer continued to vent on air, taking issue with the way the news got out:

“You would assume you tell the employees before the media. You assume they have the common courtesy to let some hosts on the air know that something might be coming so you don’t find out when you’re coming back from a commercial break. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I’ve heard of some pretty crappy things in this business. You talk to radio people you’ll hear awful stories about the way they’ve been treated. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything like this.”

“They may fire us today now,” Quigley quipped.

The show’s update anchor, Julie DeCaro, took aim at Feder for reporting the story before word came down from management.

The news comes just nine months after WGN AM 720 launched 87.7 The Game, Chicago’s first FM sports talk station.

Some of the station’s on-air talent will reportedly continue on, while others have until year’s end. David Kaplan and David Haugh, who host from 9 a.m. to noon, are expected to continue on Comcast Sports Net (where their show is simulcast) after the radio station ceases operations.

Feder called the station an “ambitious but unprofitable venture” and said it was simply a matter of not generating enough advertising revenue.

Sports talk radio stations are generally found on the AM dial and rarely last on FM. It was certainly a gamble, but you’d have to think they were trying to emulate what ESPN Radio did in New York, jumping on to the FM dial a couple of years ago.

It’s always a shame when jobs are lost, particularly when it means there will now be less competition on the dial in one of the largest markets in the country. It’s even more of a shame when the people losing their jobs find out about it on social media rather than in the boss’ office.

Here’s hoping this serves as a cautionary tale for media managers. If you’re going to shut down your station and fire most of your employees, make sure they hear it from you first.

[Chicago Sun-Times]

About Josh Gold-Smith

Josh is a staff writer and the resident video editor for Awful Announcing. He is also a news editor at theScore, based in Toronto. GIF has a hard G, Bridgeport Sound doesn't exist, and the jury's still out on #Vineghazi

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