Earlier this year, I wrote about the ouster of Scott Kaplan, the San Diego sports radio host who made disparaging comments on the air about Andrea Lloyd Curry, an on-air personality for the regional sports network The MTN (which, incidentally, has announced that they will be signing off next month; hope everybody involved with that operation lands on their feet soon – especially Mrs. Lloyd-Curry). It was in that piece that you learned about, maybe for the first time, Kaplan’s former radio partner Sid Rosenberg, who currently handles afternoon drive on Miami’s 560 WQAM. I wrote that Sid would be “doing his best to stay out of trouble.”
The fact that I’m writing a new post about Sid Rosenberg is a safe bet that he has not. Again.
He spent Wednesday night at an establishment called Tootsie’s. (Possibly Tootsie’s Cabaret, operated by the same folks who run Rick’s Cabaret in New York City.) After some good clean fun, he headed home to Boca Raton.
But it’s quite difficult to get to your desired destination, when your car is idle with the door open and the engine running. Did I mention his car was idle in the middle of a street, blocking traffic?
Surely, Sid would realize this. Unless he was drunk. Or preoccupied.
“I discovered him laying on the ground behind his vehicle in the fetal position with his fingers in his mouth,” recalled Officer Jon Cooke as he arrived on the scene early Thursday morning. “He appeared to be attempting to induce himself to vomit.”
Indeed, Sid had puked on himself, and there was vomit inside his car, as well. But that wouldn’t be the only foul smell.
“I noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath.”
It appeared all of Sid’s senses were impaired. Red face, bloodshot eyes, “extremely slurred” speech, exhibiting “extreme difficulty keeping his balance,” and on top of all of that, “he was crying.”
Crying because he realizes that he had a major relapse. Sid’s life has been riddled with three major addictions – drugs, alcohol and gambling – dating as far back as his pre-teen years. So vast are his personal problems that he wrote a book about his troubled past. At the time of the book’s release, he disclosed that he hasn’t “been drunk” since 2005.
Yeah, looks like that streak’s history.
“He knew he would fail,” said Officer Cooke, recounting Sid’s response to a request to perform sobriety tests that he initially agreed to do. “He then refused to perform them.”
Rosenberg would be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as driving with a suspended license, which was confirmed to have been suspended three times. He spent the majority of Thursday in jail – he missed his afternoon shift on WQAM – and would eventually be released on $500 bond. He returned to the air on Friday and made nary a mention of his wild Wednesday night, at least in the first hour of the show. The Hollywood (Florida) Police Department confirmed that the official police report will be available next week. Additionally, charges will be filed in Broward County Court.
WQAM general manager Joe Bell declined to comment on whether or not the station would suspend Rosenberg, while program director Lee Feldman provided the vague answer, “Not as of right now.” [UPDATE: Rosenberg has been suspended for one week, and is off the air for the week of April 9.]
A suspension probably isn’t the answer. You suspend a radio personality if he/she has hurt other people, especially verbally (as was the case when he dubbed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams “animals” and National Geographic magazine material). But when a radio personality like Sid only hurts himself, that’s a different story. Perhaps what the Gamblers Anonymous veteran needs is a mandatory enrollment to Alcoholics Anonymous. On second thought, with word on the street that he amassed gambling debts totaling nearly $45,000 in a two-week period, maybe they can cut a 2-for-1 deal for him. And yes, he’s been in drug rehab, too.
It’s ironic that, in that erratic scene on a South Florida street early Thursday morning described by the police officer, Rosenberg was “crying” – because when you’re drunk, vomiting and curled up in a fetal position next to your car in the middle of a road, I’m no expert, but that’s usually a cry for help. And at this point, when he’s had so many frantic chapters written in his imperfect life, radio employment should be contingent on receiving the help that he needs.
And since it’s no secret that Rosenberg has a penchant for getting liquored up, it’s horrifying to imagine just how many times a liquored up Rosenberg was on the road, putting other lives in danger! Are his assets that tapped from gambling debts that he can’t fathom a few bucks for a taxi?
Reaction to Rosenberg’s recent DUI is mixed. Fellow radio host Dino Costa called the news “awful” and is “hoping he gets better soon.” While Adam Smoot sums it up best: “Even Sid Rosenberg’s demons have demons.”
While Sid has his share of supporters and critics, there’s been one person who’s been at his side for more than twenty years: his wife, Danielle. She should be praised for being Sid’s rock through all of his rocky times. Like that time in 2004 that he contemplated suicide – but was persuaded to reconsider after looking at a photo of his then-newborn daughter. And I’ll applaud Sid as well, for not letting his drug, alcohol and gambling habits tear apart his marriage to Danielle.
This is obviously not how the Rosenberg family expected to start Passover.
And in his first tweet since the hysterics, Sid wrote to his followers, “Thank you all for your love and support. Happy Passover and Happy Easter to everyone.”
Get well, Sid.