A few months back the Capital Region saw a major change in local radio over at 104.5 “The Team” where they removed the hosts of “Soundoff with Sinkoff” abruptly. The move was met with a good amount of praise and some disappointment. It can be easily stated that host Brian Sinkoff made his fair share of mistakes that ultimately led to the show’s demise. Such of these things included mocking the Capital Region (Upstate, NY) and it’s fanbase upon his arrival, rudely hanging up on caller’s who didn’t agree with his opinions and turning his sports talk show into a comedy show with his sidekick.
But in comparison, while the Soundoff with Sinkoff show made some critical errors in it’s journey towards possible success in the local media market, they did not make the error that new host Bruce Jacobs did Tuesday night on his show “Game On with Bruce Jacobs”.
During a back and forth with his co-host Brian Cady in going over a humorous article about the worst gifts to give sports fans on Christmas, Jacobs decided to poke fun at a WNBA reference in the discussed article. Jacobs reflected on attending the first ever WNBA game, a major milestone for women’s sports, by not only mocking the WNBA players’ overall ability but also the way they play basketball. But that isn’t the worst of it.
Jacobs revealed the game he attended was between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Phoenix Mercury. Immediately after mocking the WNBA some more Jacobs went on to give both teams new names that he feels better suits the teams, players and the WNBA
“The Los Angeles Lesbians and the Phoenix Dykes”
There really doesn’t have to be much of an explanation about this, it sadly speaks for itself. The homophobic undertone, sexist insinuations and overall insulting attempt at a few cheap laughs may find Jacobs in the unemployment line rather than behind the mic at ESPN Radio in the Capital Region.
What makes this even more appalling is that we are currently seeing a good amount of Anti-Bullying campaigns not only across national media, but also here locally. CBS News Channel 6 even airs their own commercial which shows anchors endorsing the campaign. It would seem this comment from Jacobs would mean he missed the memo.
Furthermore one of the major milestones for the gay community came out of New York this year with the legalization of gay marriage. With a vibrant Gay & Lesbian community growing more active locally, this was undoubtedly a direct insult to that community as well as other listeners. It shouldn’t go unnoticed and definitely should come with disciplinary action from ESPN Radio 104.5 “The Team” and one would think that this action would and should cost Jacobs his job. Sponsors and advertisers should think twice about continuing to support a station that allows this type of garbage to circulate the airwaves.
So in the past few years 104.5 “The Team” has failed to provide any quality local radio that isn’t short of insulting the Capital Region, local fans and now, with this incident, all the cultures and personalities that live within our community. As a local, a sports fan, a radio host and most of all as a human being I certainly cannot tolerate this behavior and you shouldn’t either. I have a love for the Capital Region and it led me to start my own locally based website 518Fever.com and allowed me to get involved in the local sports scene, local music scene and local business community. This is not what local sports talk radio (or any radio for that matter) should be about, especially in New York where government has made so many strides to embrace the Gay Community.
Tune over to Fox Sports Radio where locals run the shows. Locals like Rodger Wyland, JR Rickert and Ray Brownell do a great job of talking sports intelligently while still finding time to emphasize on local sports. They also offer opinionated insight that doesn’t insult the listener. ESPN Radio 104.5 “The Team” should take some notes from them.
While I supported Jacobs’ show in the beginning I am sadly disappointed with his actions and it may rightfully cost him his job. Townsquare Media needs to clean house at 104.5 “The Team” and bring in locals with passion and intelligence who can host an engaging sports talk show that can host debates of differing opinions without insulting someone’s lifestyle.
We deserve better in the Capital Region and they need to stop bringing in out of market hosts who fail to make a true connection with the local community. To be honest, I’d love the opportunity to do so, but I absolutely love my radio show “The Rantin & Ravin Show” on my station SportsRantz Radio. It’d be hard for me to part with that. But hey if you want to tell them you’d like to hear me on the airwaves cleaning up this garbage, feel free.
Needless to say Townsquare Media needs to step up big here and may not only fire Bruce Jacobs but also go out of their way to reach out to the Gay Community to mend wounds. It goes without saying.
Here is hoping we don’t ever experience something like this on our airwaves again.