John “Junior” Feinstein was set to appear on Tuesday’s show to promote his new book “One-on-One”. However, our boy CHUCK SAPIENZA “changed his mind” about Junior’s appearance after the program director had given him a soft yes back in the summer when Feinstein was being shoved out the ESPN 980 door. From Junior’s blog:
Sapienza and I talked after he’d taken a weird cheap shot at me claiming he was glad to have Darren Rovell on the station instead of me because Rovell is younger. [...] At the end of the conversation Sapienza said this: “Just so you know, I understand Tony will want you to come on when you have a book out and you can always do that and come on the station to talk about any new book you have.”
[...] Thursday, Tony called and said that after he had promoted my appearance, Sapienza had told him I couldn’t appear. When Tony reminded him about what he had said in the summer, Sapienza said, “I know. I changed my mind.”
He’s entitled to do that. What he isn’t entitled to do is to walk up to me Friday at the Army-Navy radio row and say, “I just want you to know it’s nothing personal.”
Of course it’s personal. He never thought I’d leave which is why he kept cutting the money back—almost daring me to do something about it. When I did, he took a cheap shot at me publicly; gave his word on something and then, ‘changed his mind,’ because he knew the station would back him. I’ve been told by several people at the station that his word has all the value of confederate money.
Just when we thought we couldn’t want Chuck Sapienza to be hit over the head with a snow shovel enough times, he pulls this crap. We fully believe that Tony will bolt from these doofuses when his contract expires with ESPN 980 and Dan “The Danny” Snyder. We also expect him to go full Rambo regarding this latest SAPIENZA incident on Monday or Tuesday.
Our email was read today and this artwork will be hung up on the ESPN 980 studios!
Just listened to the podcast of the 11/3 podcast and Mr. Tony made it official: “I hate my boss!” Yup, he hates his current boss (or bosses) at ESPN Radio 980. This comment was made in regards to a Loyal Little who wants to write the history of the Tony Kornheiser Radio show and Tony was guessing how he would recount his previous employers and coworkers. And the BOOM! he exclaims his feelings about his current situation. Though he’s been taking more and more jabs at the podcast policy, this comes not as a big shocker, but good to know that the rubber stamp of hate has been planted officially.
In the last couple of weeks, Mr. Tony has been exquisitely and delightfully harsh on station management regarding not only the podcast policy, but their accumen in general. “[The policy] is simply going to kill the show….That is the problem. You’re listening to this a day late. That’s the solution around here, the solution to getting more people listening live.” And the hay maker: “The people who run radio stations, they’re apparently not adapting to the new culture and don’t truly understand how it works and what people want….Management believes differently than I believe.”
Currently, Mr. Tony is calling on his Littles to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that is occurring in NYC and now spreading around the nation. Based on the fantastic OccupyHerbstreit.tumblr.com blog, he would like to see “Free Mr. Tony” signs either at the sites or on ESPN’s College GameDay show. Some loyal Littles have already acquiesced the Orange One in NYC and on GameDay (can’t find pic but we swear we saw one from Eugene, OR where GameDay was this past weekend). The movement should continue this weekend when the road show lands in East Lansing, MI, for the Wisconsin/ Michigan State game.
Possessing the Third Eye, we already
made photoshopped signs back when we first started this post below…
UPDATE: week of 8/29
Mr. Tony finally came back this week after a long “furlough”! But for whatever reason, oh wait, we do know the reason: management at ESPN Radio 980 is complete crap, TK is back until Wednesday. He’s off the rest of the week and won’t be back on air until NEXT Wednesday. Tony even went on a mild rant directed at his bosses on air on Wednesday during the mailbag segment (8/31, hour 2):
The position of us [Tony and guest friends] on this delayed podcast is very simple: find a way to make money off the hundreds of thousands of people who are listening to this show all over the country. Don’t say, “oh we want to punish them.” No, no. Find a way to make money off them, even if you have to call them individually and ask for a dime!
We don’t know what his schedule will be for the foreseeable future, but hope that this part time gig comes to an end. As for the podcasts being uploaded, management is still waiting over 25 hours to post.
OFF TANGENT UPDATE: 8/16
- We are less than two weeks until the return of Mr. Tony to the airwaves. But before then, we had to apprise everyone of a fantastic jab directed at our boy, ESPN 980 programming director Chuck Sapienza, by none other than John “Junior” Feinstein:
We’re talking about a program director who seems to think his station is better off without Tony Kornheiser than with Tony Kornheiser
- This is in response to ESPN 980 replacing Feinstein with the hot-air, mongoloid “reporter” Darren Rovell on the Sports Reporters (our opinion of Rovell, not Feinstein’s). Junior was not pleased to being called out as “entertaining at times” by Sapienza, but what would Chuck know about entertaining when he’s running the station into the ground.
- LL Super G tweeted an update on the return of the radio show. Mark thy calendars!
- Mr. Tony made his long awaited return to radio today! … but on ESPN’s Mike and Mike In the Morning… Mr. Tony, in the Bristol studios for the day, sounded like was going to explode on the microphone, but not in his usual cantankerous way. With him being away from his “radio therapy” for such a long time, he just wanted to talk and talk and talk. It was highly entertaining, as you would expect. We’re not fans of Mike and Mike (and thankfully Mike Golic was not in studio), but the producers showed high class and respect by playing his “Tony! Tony!” radio theme as intros for his segments. Listen here!
OVERVIEW OF THIS POST AND #FreeMrTony
As tired and frenetic animals, there are few things in life that we look forward to every single day: whether it be a fresh bagel for breakfast, opening a window before going to bed to let a cool breeze in or eating our favorite sandwich every Tuesday. These timed rituals keep us at peace and make the chaos in between these small breaks seem OK.
Listening to the Tony Kornheiser Show everyday has been the root of ritual over the many years he’s been on radio. Thanks to podcasting, hundreds of people (not only across the U.S. but around the world) had the choice to listen to Tony’s rant and raves any time they wanted throughout their complex day. Loyalty to his daily show of sports, politics, TV and movie reviews, and general sarcasm was insanely developed by this podcasting method. Loyalty: something that is not earned quite so easily in the continuous fragmentation of modern media.
After that rant, do we seem irrational and are you, non-Mr. Tony fans, laughing at us? Probably. But everyone can get irrational for the tiniest and insignificant thing because it’s all relative. We don’t drink coffee, but if your caffeine-addicted body was to go without your morning Venti hell would be unleashed. Us, without coffee? Nah, we’re cool, kthnx!
But what ESPN Radio 980 has done is spit in our cups of loyalty and choice when they instituted a policy to delay uploading of their shows by 24 hours. Apparently, currency and immediacy of being in the news industry is not in their business plan. Neither is consumer relations. Or marketing savvy. Or knowledge proper distribution channels. I’m sure Thom Loverro and the Sports Chicks will definitely help their bottom line. This was idiotically aimed at us.
They have tossed us Littles like, literally, day old bagels. Ire has risen among the loyal fans via Twitter, Facebook and other social media. And, it will now include this blog as one of the many standard bearers for #FreeMrTony.
(Though we’d like to break out snowshovels to the business heads at the station, we’re going to keep it civil and humorous.)
We’ll be updating this page with links and other various humorous postings or pics until the Evil Empire rescinds its policy. We’ve gotten pretty good with some Photoshoppin’ and we’ll include our own designs as well.
- Loyal Little Rick Sharp had written to the management at ESPN Radio 980 and got a response from them (includes sharp diessection of their BS)
- MediaBistro has a take on the policy
- The Cheese Boy has a quick write-up with some words from Chuck Sapienza, programming director
- Loyal Little Tracy Tran puts some of the blame on Mr. Tony, but still hits home that the station can’t figure out how to monetize the podcast.
- A suggestion from ESPN 980 Facebook post: Free Mr. Tony! Instead of punishing podcast listeners, why not sell more sponsorships/advertising for the podcasts? Example: “This segment is brought to you by Jos. A. Banks: Buy 1 suit get 3 FREE”
- @KellyFino sums up our weekend conundrum
- Management has replied to another loyal little. This time with a whaaaaaaaa?? line from our boy Chuck Sapienza: “Over the last 12 months we have seen an increase in our radio listening.” So why implement a policy like this if the listenership is up???
- Fearless Leader @MrTonySays has set protest to-do list: 1) unfollow @ESPNRadio980 2) email the station with your complaints
Following the lifesaving attempts of fans for their about-to-be cancelled TV show, we suggest a similar protest approach: mailing the radio station actual snow shovels (we’d laugh at either the toy version or the real solid metal type)
- Window Nation has sided with… US!!
- Blogger Mike Shaffer has a take on the business situation and is based on some good reason. However, we feel that we needed to add our commentary to it so here follows our thoughts:
- We understand the heart of the matter is a business decision, however there are 2 points that we want to highlight on the post. First, “the problem isn’t with the station – it’s with the radio industry”. This argument makes it seem like the station hunched over its shoulders and is Charlie Brown-ing with the crowd. Take a look around and you see that media is not dying: it’s evolving. So, the industry is strugg-a-ling (we get that), but does that mean that this one station has to join in on the pity party? Be savvy, be creative and be aggressive (the post combats the point well by asking everyone for suggestions). Which leads us to the second point: “Sorry, Internet Listeners, you don’t count nearly as much as a listener in the station’s local market”. If we mean nothing, then why are we being punished? The station is choosing a wrong tactic of excluding Internet listeners and it is so blatantly obvious that it angered us to this type of protest (we Littles are not the average sports radio listener, which is important for the station management to realize. When was the last time a Redskins fan listening to the Sports Chicks was able to produce a haiku?). We are all for the station to survive and thrive because we understand that if it doesn’t, then there will be no Mr. Tony, but we are baffled as to why they selected such a horrific tactic. And as far as the “you also have the option of calling in to listen to the show”!??! Mike needs to be honest with Sapienza and tell him how moronic and demeaning that tactic sounds and is. All that being said, it IS time for some brainstorming and common sense from both sides and we are all for it here. But some fun and jabs are still in order…
- ESPN 980 has made a “business decision” to cut the number of shows by pulling Tony next week (financial reasons). It’s a clever move by a strategically innovative company that wants to raise ratings by limiting podcasts AND shows. The timing is also perfect because no one wants to hear about the conclusion of the NBA Finals and the start of the U.S. Open in Washington’s backyard or any other scandal that breaks out involving Weiner. God knows, the NFL lockout may end, too, but management knows that football is not America’s passion. Warren Buffet is anxiously waiting on Red Zebra’s next business decision because he’s clearly run his businesses the opposite of what ESPN 980 has done and he wants some of that!
UPDATE 6/27 (too long in between updates)
- Mr. Tony returned last week for a limited run through Wednesday only. But in the short span, he was able to take some subtle jabs at management for not being on air during a pretty important and exciting time in the sports calendar (see above). The emailers were also on top of their game taking more direct shots at the bozos in command (I think Wednesday’s email segment was the best of the three, so we recommend going back to listen if you didn’t). Tony is back this week but we’re currently unsure for how long. As always, if Anne Hornaday appears before her usual Friday timeslot, you’ll know that it’s the last day of the week for the Orange one.
- Window Nation keeps supporting the American way on Twitter!
- It seemed that ESPN 980 was uploading the full podcast the night of the original airing, but around midnight. Though now itseems their going back to their 24 hour practice.
- An emailer sent Tony a gift and LL Super G provided photographic evidence
We’re not sure if Tony knows what the hashtag means, but hope he wears it around town or hang it up on the PTI set. We’ll photoshop him and the tshirt in some appropriate places soon. Shoot over any ideas or have at it yourselves.
- Seems like the #FreeMrTony vitriol on ESPN 980′s Facebook page has died down which is a bit sad, but not unexpected with the “mandatory vacation” imposed on Tony and eventual quieting of the storm. The managers of the page were very hesitant to put any comments up when the campaign first started as it was one of the main battlegrounds, but they are freely posting inane stuff again. We recommend to fire at will and fire often, boys and girls!
- Today, Mr Tony announced on the show his long “vacation” starts today and was surprisingly unsure of when he’ll come back to the show. We don’t think it’s a contract issue (though it may), but we have hope that he’ll come back sometime around Labor Day (we think) for the start of the NFL season (which may or may not happen). Lots of speculation and guesses, we know. Until official word is announced, enjoy the summer. And may ESPN 980 management get lots of sunburns. Morons.
ESPN Radio 980 and Redskins owner:
We’ll be chanting in haiku format soon, but don’t think station management would get it:
We are being Alderaan’d