A veteran radio talk show host is in hot water for anti-gay comments made on his local program on a sports talk radio station in Albany, NY.
Bruce Jacobs, who had become the afternoon drive host on Townsquare Media-owned WTMM, known on-air as 104.5 The Team, this past September, was engaging in a discussion about women’s basketball, specifically, the WNBA league. He had referred to the Los Angeles Sparks and Phoenix Mercury franchises as the “Los Angeles Lesbians” and “Phoenix Dyke-ury,” respectively. (For the record, there is not even a WNBA franchise in Albany, NY; the closest franchises are located in the New York metropolitan area, the New York Liberty, and the Connecticut Sun team at Mohegan Sun in southeastern Connecticut.)
Jacobs’ anti-gay comments were first reported by sportsrants.com’s own Anthony DiMoro, via the website’s weekly “Rantin’ And Ravin'” radio program. DiMoro, along with co-host Katy Mitchel, expressed disgust with Jacobs’ choice of words, to the point that Jacobs was being compared to Howard Stern and other “shock jocks.”
Jacobs told the Albany Times-Union’s Pete Dougherty that he would issue an apology for these comments on his radio show on Wednesday. “I will not apologize by saying, if I offended someone,” he said, “I will apologize for even saying it.” Meanwhile, he admitted on the station’s Facebook page late Tuesday night, “if I felt I made a mistake, I would apologize.” And while he dubbed his WNBA barbs “dumb, sophomoric and amateurish” to the Albany Times-Union, he wrote on 104.5 The Team’s Facebook page, “I personally don’t think it was a gay slur.” Also, a Facebook page asking for Townsquare Media to fire Jacobs from WTMM quoted him as saying to a listener on his personal Facebook profile, “Actually, I didn’t say ‘dyke,’ I said, ‘Dykyury’ as in Mercury, so you didn’t hear it.”
What the casual sports radio listener may not know is that Jacobs has not only been a sports radio host. While in Phoenix, he had dabbled in conservative talk radio as the morning man on KFYI (Fox Newsradio 550). His low point was in the summer of 2008, in which Jacobs presented a diatribe against the widow of a Phoenix police officer, Nick Erfle, killed by an illegal immigrant in 2007. Upon the cop’s widow, Julie, announcing she was in support of “comprehensive” immigration law reform, Jacobs likened her stance to having “amnesty for all illegal immigrants”, adding that the next time a cop is killed, she should be blamed for it. The rant even drew the ire of Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts – who, like Jacobs, is a staunch conservative. Local police have even attempted to lead a boycott of Jacobs’ show in the wake of his comments.
Jacobs was eventually fired by KFYI in June 2009. Program director Smokey Rivers called it “a business decision” based on low ratings. Though Rivers made it a point that KFYI “is often controversial” and “controversy doesn’t scare us,” he said of Rivers’ firing: “We think we can do better.”
Bruce Jacobs resurfaced on Sporting News Radio, now known as Yahoo! Sports Radio, in 2010, before joining the local sports radio station in Albany, NY, affiliated with ESPN Radio.
At one time, Jacobs also worked for Fox Sports Radio. He even co-hosted a sports radio show in Phoenix with Mike Golic, who is now one-half of ESPN Radio and TV’s successful “Mike And Mike In The Morning.”
But maybe what Bruce Jacobs really wants to do is get back to the attacks on President Obama and anti-immigration rants that he was accustomed to on KFYI.
Maybe if 104.5 The Team decides to be a team player and dismisses Bruce Jacobs, he can have that opportunity.
We think they can do better.