Recently unemployed Columbus sports radio host Scott Torgerson revealed that he had apologized to ESPN “College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit after unloading on “The Torg” on his weekly radio program on WBNS-FM/”97.1 The Fan”, following the infamous “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again” tweet – a tweet that led to a suspension and ensuing termination of Torgerson from his own show on “97.1 The Fan.”
“I actually talked to him on the phone… the Wednesday while I was suspended, and apologized to him for putting him in that situation.”
Considering how Herbie’s Torg rant went viral by that Wednesday, it would show what great character Torg has, saying sorry to Herbie knowing he ripped him to shreds on the radio station his top-rated afternoon drive show used to be heard on.
As it turns out, Torgerson was practically the last person in Columbus to find out about it.
“I didn’t hear it at the time,” Torgerson admitted Friday on John Corby’s own afternoon drive program on WTVN-AM 610. “I actually just heard it a few days ago… After listening to it, wow, it was pretty harsh.
“Then I looked at his Twitter feed, and he kinda was going at me a little bit… And then he did some TV interviews on Tuesday, where he went at me some more. But you know what? I don’t have any ill will. He can decide to do whatever he wants, if he decides to take that road, you know, it’s not a road that I would take, but remember, I did it, and I own up to it, and whatever he did, he has to deal with it.”
Corby suspected WBNS-FM’s affiliation with ESPN, the network that employs Herbstreit, did Torgerson in. “Maybe,” Torgerson said. “I don’t really have any proof of it… I don’t want to accuse anyone of doing anything, because I really don’t have the proof.
“I could tell you ‘I guess,’ but I don’t want to goof up my suit, if it comes to that,” he added, regarding a potential lawsuit he has intentions of filing against the station and its owner, Dispatch Media Group. But 48 hours after he wrote on his website that that was the direction he was going to go, he didn’t sound very committed about taking legal action to Corby. “I don’t know if we’re going to,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a process to this… If it drags out long enough, I guess we’ll find out.”
Also in his first local media interview since his dismissal from “97.1 The Fan,” Torgerson explained how, while “running errands” the day he posted a tweet that he thought was “sarcastic,” he came to the conclusion that, “Boy, that was a dumb thing to tweet.” He also disclosed how the Monday after his Twitter trouble, he “proposed” to station management that he be suspended for a week, “and it kinda took off from there.”
Corby asked Torgerson how his employment status at “The Fan” had gone “from suspended to fired.” Torgerson said that he was assured by “some management” that his job was safe with the station, and was told to “hang tight” for the duration of his suspension. “You just kinda hear more and more things,” Torgerson said, recalling his anxiety late last week. “The more time went by, and the more no one would give me an update, I knew I was a goner.”
After Torgerson finished the interview, Corby expressed his suspicion that the Worldwide Leader did indeed have a hand in Torgerson’s termination.
“It’s hard for me to believe,” Corby told his listeners, “that Herbstreit and ESPN weren’t somehow involved in this, because ESPN, all they had to do was say, ‘Hey, you’re no longer an affiliate.’ Then, what do they do? Most of their programming is ESPN… And we’ve got Fox [Sports Radio] on [our sister station], so that’s not available. You’d be pretty much screwed.”
Apparently, Corby is unaware of the two new sports radio networks that have launched over the last couple of months. Supposing “97.1 The Fan” stood by The Torg and kept him on the payroll, while the station may have indeed risked losing the ESPN Radio affiliation – remember, it was a talent on an ESPN Radio affiliate taking an unwarranted swipe at an ESPN network talent – they may have considered signing up with either NBC Sports Radio Network or the CBS Sports Radio Network, which officially launches its 24/7 schedule on January 2.
But would it have been worth risking your affiliation with former Ohio State Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit? Probably not.