Saints call ATL radio hosts mocking Gleason 'grossly offensive'

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by cajuncocoa, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    I heard the audio of the bit, and it was really uncomfortable to listen to....not funny in the slightest way, had a "joke" where the robotic fake Gleason asked them to smother him. Just awful. The two hosts who "interviewed" the other one who was impersonating Gleason sounded really uncomfortable, with lots of long awkward pauses. I can't imagine what they were thinking.

    I've got no problem with the station firing them. That was just terrible judgement by on-air personalities.
  2. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    How were their ratings before this incident? Perhaps they weren't too good and the radio station was thinking about making a change at some point. This just accelerated their decision making process.
  3. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    Shapiro founded 790 the Zone. He grew up a rich kid from a rich family and his parents basically staked him. The station grew dramatically as most sports radio shows did in the late 90's thru the mid '00s. He then sold the company with the premise that he would still be one of the on-air personalities. Believe me, he's not hurting for money after this firing. He could have retired a long time ago.

    I heard the bit and it was just terribly un-funny. It was a dumb bit that Shapiro brought up years ago called 'knock-knock Thursday' where the would tell knock-knock jokes and the jokes were always dumb. Even if you get past the offensiveness of the joke, it was un-funny. The punchlines were weak.

    Nick Cellini is the brother of former CNN sports anchor Vince Cellini. Nick is typically very funny although he used to be much funnier when I first started to hear him back around 2001. Dimino is pretty funny, but he's more of a stats and information guy.

    I will say that when I first moved to Atlanta in 2001, Cellini and Dimino had a show in the afternoon and it was the best sports radio show I ever listened to (and I've listened to way too many sports radio shows). It was very funny and informative. But, 790 the Zone kept shuffling around hosts and splitting up Cellini and Dimino and eventually Cellini left the company and then came back. I haven't listened to them since 2009, but I think the company finally decided that you shouldn't separate the two because they were usually fantastic.

    Shapiro has always been a hack. I've had the displeasure of being at a private party with him there and he's extremely arrogant and smug. I fully believe that he got himself paired with Cellini and Dimino simply because he will have no ratings on any show anywhere else and would be forgotten about.

    Listening to the bit in question, I disagree with the knee-jerk firing. However, I really don't understand how Dimino was fired. He stated out loud that he didn't feel comfortable doing this and more or less stayed quiet thru the bit while Cellini and Shapiro did their thing.

  4. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    Who knows. But, all 3 in question have been on that station for years and years. Shapiro founded the Zone. I know Dimino and Cellini where there when I got to Atlanta in 2000. Cellini left the company briefly and then came back.

    Being realistic about it, you know the station had no issue with their ratings. They fired them over this incident.

    To me, this type of firing creates an invisible line we can never see. Like I stated earlier, if they were impersonating Stephen Hawking nobody would have cared one iota.

    Hasn't Hawking suffered enough?

    Doesn't Hawking have friends and family?

    Is Hawking's disease terrible?

    We know the answers and I see entertainment and the internet mock him all of the time. I'm sure there are people that are offended by it, but for whatever reason they are more offended by Gleason being mocked than Hawking being mocked.

    The best way to handle it is to see what the sponsors and ratings do. That's when we know that the people are genuinely fed up with it and because it's a business they cannot survive if they are not making money.

    Knee-jerk firings are the easy way out.

  5. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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  6. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    Obviously, the station has the right to employ whoever it wants to employ. If, in their judgment, they no longer wished to employ these guys, they're perfectly in their rights to choose not to continue to pay their salaries. Everybody's got different standards, and that's how it should be in an open media market. I'd have fired the entire crew, on the spot, and not looked back. Obviously, others would have handled it differently if they are more tolerant of this variety of public disrespect of a sick person.

    In my opinion, something being a joke does not excuse it for being unacceptable. It might have been one thing if it were a one-off, spur of the moment comment in the heat of trying to be funny for money, but this was a group of guys saying "you know what would be edgy? Mocking this guy with this horrible, debilitating disease!"

    Yeah, you know what? Your judgement isn't good enough for me to pay you to have a microphone. Find somebody else who's got a similar job and who wants to give you another shot.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Anyone in this day and age should know that this sort of thing gets a huge reaction which is never good.

    So on top of being a bunch of POS's, they were stupid as well.

    Plenty of reasons to fire them
  8. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    That was a really good report from Rodney Ho.

    I started listening to 790 the Zone when I first moved to Atlanta. I really liked Cellini and Dimino's show in the afternoon. The problem was that they kept switching formats and hosts for no real reason. I laugh at Shapiro getting a chance at another sports radio gig. NOBODY listened to him and he paired himself with Dimino and Cellini so he could get his shine off them.

    I think Shapiro did have a good eye for talent. Not only bringing in Cellini and Dimino, but also bringing in the 2 Live Stews (who I wasn't a big fan of, but they were very effective, unique and popular) and Chuck Oliver (now with 680 the Fan). But, he tried too hard to push himself and more moderate talents like Mike Bell. Bell was serviceable for comedy and as a personality, but they tried to push him to the moon and it was overkill and turned listeners off to them.

    As Ho reports, their ratings were virtually the same. But, they couldn't get ad revenue. I suspect that Dimino will be on 680 the Fan soon. A lot of the 790 the Zone guys thumbed their noses at the 680 the Fan guys for years. Dimino was always a company man, but didn't act like he was better than the 680 guys. Cellini is too volatile and probably angered too many people over the years. Shapiro has no chance of ever getting on another Atlanta sports radio. I would be shocked if he did. He had a lot of power and fame in Atlanta for a time and completely abused it. His Atlanta Eats gig probably came off people trying to ham up to him when he had the power and that's gone and I think most people want nothing to do with him.

  9. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    Where do you draw the line?

    If they were making fun of Stephen Hawking (because the impression was essentially the same), would you have been outraged by this?

    And what about the listeners that were not outraged? What makes the opinion of the outraged more important than the opinion of those not outraged?

    We tend to have this very weird, tempermental and fickle way of choosing what outrages us and what doesn't outrage us.

    I have no problem with people being outrage, but if we really looked at what we consider 'crossing the line' and 'not crossing the line', I think all of us could see we are extremely hypocritical.


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