12.29.04

Chicago’s WMVP Boots Mariotti

Posted in Sports Radio at 6:30 pm by

Jay Mariotti’s radio show on the flapship station of nemesis Jerry Reinsdorf’s White Sox and Bulls lasted almost 10 months. From the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein.

Jay Mariotti is off Chicago’s airwaves, and he says his departure from ESPN Radio’s WMVP-AM 1000 is the result of the station’s desire to curry favor with the White Sox and Bulls.

Mariotti said the station asked him to tone down his criticism of the Bulls and White Sox, whose games are broadcast on WMVP and whose contracts are close to expiring.

The station is in negotiations with the teams on a new deal.

A source said Mariotti received a written edict last month ordering him to ease up on the Bulls and Sox. Station executives followed that up with oral reminders.

Both sides finally had enough.

“We agreed that if I wouldn’t agree to their editorial conditions, then I should leave,” Mariotti said Tuesday.

“I’m not going to compromise my integrity to do favors on the air for the White Sox and the Bulls. When they ask me to treat two teams differently than the others, that’s a red flag for me, and it has been happening quite a bit over the last few months.”

Mariotti also has feuded publicly with Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson, Reinsdorf’s friend and adviser.

Their verbal war nearly escalated into a fistfight in the press box at the Metrodome in Minneapolis before and after a Sox-Twins game in July.

Told Tuesday that Mariotti was off the air in Chicago, Harrelson couldn’t hide his glee.

“I’m happy for the fans,” Harrelson said, “because he’s a vicious guy.

“I said he wouldn’t have that [radio] job long and I don’t think he’ll be a columnist much longer. He never lets the truth get in the way of a story. The city will be a lot better off without him.”

12 Responses to “Chicago’s WMVP Boots Mariotti”

  1. kt says:

    it’s sad that i take so much pleasure in this. but mariotti was without a doubt the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with sports radio, he’s hysterical, stubborn, duplicitous, lacking intellegent commentary and perhaps worst of all, boring.

  2. jamie says:

    i won’t disagree with that assessment of Mr. Mariotti (and i thank the sweet lord that no one in New York has given Lupica a show), but there’s still something wrong with not being able to speak one’s mind freely especially when it comes to the White Sox and Bulls – two of the most shoddily run franchises in all of sportsdom.

  3. kt says:

    no one is saying he can’t speak his mind, the station is saying they value their relationship with two professional sports teams more than they value their relationship with a dim-witted hack columnist. if mariotti wants to spew his lunatic rants he’s free to do so on any other station that is willing to hire him.

  4. CSTB says:

    though I only caught Mariotti’s show a few times — and I prefer him in print to on camera or behind the mike — my own impression was that his hiring was a deliberate ploy on the part of station management to let Reinsdor know they were displeased with plummeting ratings for the Bulls, and to a lesser extent, the White Sox. Sacrifcing Mariotti was no big deal either way, this was all posturing.

    I seem to recall a similar situation with New York’s WABC and the Yankees during one of the Bombers’ lean years. Though the station didn’t employ a noted Steinbrenner-baiter, management did make a number of public comments criticizing the team’s direction, implying that the rights fees were too high given the ratings, etc.

  5. bocabrian says:

    I love jay, I dont think he is always right, but right more than most. He certainly is among the most entertaining and informed sports jocks in Chicago. He was after reinsdork and I think correctly. Chicago and the world needs more people that will speak the truth. its too bad that others can use their power to censure the truth.

  6. KBGC says:

    Mariotti is a horse’s ass with an ego that even the City with Broad Sholders could not deal with. He’s never been wrong in his life (ha!), and was looking to pick fights with the Sox and Bulls. It’s one thing to call a spade a spade, but he was overtly antagonistic to these two franchises. He wasn’t being honest, he was being viscous.

  7. Memphcide says:

    Jay was alright, and from someone who is not from here, it was nice listening to a guy who wasnt the typical “Chicago Sausage” yelling about how Packers suck and Da Bears are the best franchise of all time

  8. windycitykay says:

    Jay Mariotti is a voice crying out in the wilderness. I stopped listening to ESPN radio when I turned on my radio at 9am and found that they had ended their association with Jay. I am tired of hearing every excuse in the book for why Chicago Sports teams stink. If the White Sox and Bulls think that we need Jay Mariotti to tell us that their ownership is inept, they are fooling themselves. Jay just reaffirms what we as Chicago fans already know.

  9. Dave Abeyta says:

    Had’t listened to sports radio in a while. But not that Jay isnt on anymore, whats the point. He did get on alot of people’s nerves, but he was fun to listen too. I didnt always agree, but its funny how the people ran him out. Kind of dont blame them, if as owner my team sucked, i wouldnt want someone always on my back to make them actually good. Funny thing for me is, im not a Cubs fan at all, but at least they have ownership who tries to win. Just shows you how the United States works now, someone who has an opinion should keep to themselves.

  10. Tim Bockey says:

    I can’t recall a single positive remark the guy ever said on the radio. Every time I turned him on, he was talking about his job at the Sun-Times and ripping on the Tribune. His ego is what lost him the job…What a jerk.

  11. [...] REASON #1239 TO HATE JAY MARIOTTI Who likes this guy? He’s hated by the entire city of Chicago. All of his former co-workers Sporting News Radio and WMVP. He’s a blowhard who throws down the gauntlet for effect. He talks MMA here and misses the boat slightly on his PPV number estimates. [...]

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