When Sid Rosenberg did the afternoon show on WQAM in Miami last Friday, April 6 – one day after missing the previous show due to being holed up in a jail for DUI charges – it would prove to be his final day at the station.
On Monday, the station suspended him for a week. Within 24 hours, it was expedited to a flat-out termination.
No word on what the next career move will be for Rosenberg, either in South Florida or his native New York.
But I have a word or two on his replacement at WQAM.
Yes, the station has found a free agent to fill their sudden afternoon drive vacancy. You might have heard of him – his name is Dan Sileo.
In fact, if you’ve been reading this space as recent as last month, you know quite well who he is: the longtime host of the morning show on Tampa Bay’s leading sports radio station, WDAE (“The Sports Animal”), who had referred to three free agent African-American NFL players, Vincent Jackson, Cortland Finnegan and Jonathan Vilma, as “three monkeys” who could help the Buccaneers. (Jackson did eventually sign with Tampa Bay; Finnegan joined the Rams, and Vilma’s status is up in the air due to his possible role in Bountygate with the Saints.)
Well, before you know it, Clear Channel, which operates WDAE as well as six other Tampa radio stations, dropped Sileo like a pass intended for a Bucs wideout.
It was eventual that Sileo would resurface on the radio again one day. But it’s uncanny to replace one sports radio host who went out the way he did, with another who went out the way he did. It would be like, say, FIU hiring Monta Ellis to replace the departed Isiah Thomas.
Or, as Black Sports Online columnist Patrick Sicher puts it, it’s “the equivalent of the University of Arkansas announcing that they are replacing Bobby Petrino with Gregg Williams”.
Speaking of Bountygate: what’s WQAM going to do for an encore? Hire the bankrupt Warren Sapp for middays?
In the end, it’s a dream scenario for Sileo, who called South Beach home when he attended the University of Miami for two years (1985-87). And I’m sure his fellow “U” alumni are happy to see him hired by one of the popular sports radio stations in town – okay, maybe not Warren Sapp…
To say WQAM’s hire of Sileo is abrupt is an understatement. As of Friday, his third day on the job at the Beasley Broadcasting-owned radio station, his likeness is still not on the station’s website. (This would likely be the URL to go directly to his show’s page on the WQAM website.)
I admit that, when I first wrote about Rosenberg’s vivid vomit-inducing DUI stop last week, the thought of another Florida-based host – and a Miami alum – in Dan Sileo, eventually replacing Sid Rosenberg on WQAM did not cross my mind. Yet when news of Rosenberg’s firing first broke earlier this week, the Radio-Info.com member known as “cd637299” wrote: “I hope WQAM is not looking for Dan Sileo…” That was on Monday, the day before Sileo was eventually hired by WQAM. So “cd637299” responds the next day: “Man, I can’t even make a joke around here!”
If Sileo wants to remain at WQAM, he’ll do his best not to make any jokes. Granted, his personal record is volumes cleaner than that of the outgoing Rosenberg – not that we’re letting him off the hook for the “monkeys” comment, which Sileo steadfastly says was not meant to be a racist crack. In fact, he confessed that “every NFL player I’ve ever talked to laughed at it because they know me. I could have called three white guys ‘monkeys’.”
So he knows a lot of NFL players – that’s great. But I doubt they’re going to be carrying PPM meters into the training facility every afternoon (and we believe AM reception in those kinds of settings are shoddy at best). What he should do is get to know his audience – it is the listeners that will determine his success on South Beach sports talk radio.
And with the recent major sports story coming out of Miami, I believe Bob Mantz of Bob’s Blitz speaks for all of us when he writes, “Cannot wait for his first interview with Ozzie Guillen.”
Hey, Sileo: have a cigar. We hope you go far.