May the Fall of Citadel Be Only The Beginning

No, I don’t mean the baby blue colored school from Charleston, South Carolina. I mean Citadel Broadcasting. Sure, they are restructuring, which means their ultimate fall is delayed. But if the rest of their 224 station market is as pathetic as WJOX, let the band play as the ship sinks.

Our local Citadel chapter gives us The Opening Drive, The Roundtable and the Paul Finebaum Radio Network. On its sister station, it offers Dunaway and Brown. In my opinion, only one of those shows is worth a listen. Finebaum has great interviews, but that’s it. His callers make me want to shoot myself. D&B may be the only news outlet of any kind in Birmingham without an agenda to cover the University of Alabama in a negative light. The Opening Drive is radio fodder, and The Roundtable is radio sewage. If this is what Citadel is doing nationwide, how did their demise take so long?

The media as a whole is a problem. I was flipping channels with my better half this evening when we happened upon halftime of tonight’s bowl game, shown on ESPN. Now, ESPN obviously isn’t owned by Citadel, but hang with me. They were showing the top plays of 2009. As best I could tell, only two of the host of clips shown occured on CBS, which carries the premiere SEC game of the week. And at that, they were shown for a fraction of a second. Curious why, I had to explain to her that this “list” compiled by ESPN contained tons of clips from ESPN and ABC, both owned by the same corporation. So it was in their best interest to include tons of footage from their networks rather than cross broadcasting lines and dip into CBS’s love affair with the SEC. True, some SEC match-ups did take place on ESPN, but people love big plays in big games, and the big SEC games didn’t happen on cable. In other words, the “facts” of this list were skewed by the corporate interests of an organization in the business of making money off of college athletics.

The same could be said of the Heisman race. Suh and McCoy are from the Big 12. Who owns the rights to the Big 12’s “game of the week”? ABC. So naturally, who stands to gain the most from contenders from this conference? Who has the opportunity to produce talking heads constantly talking up candidates coupled with clips from their networks, shown in a national forum? And who is it that broadcasts the Heisman ceremony? You connect the dots.

Now, let me take  a break for a moment….I’m hearing you out there. “ITK, what are you getting at?” Simply this: Everything you read and hear in the media is tainted in some fashion. When the Birmingham News assigns a barracuda like Don Kausler to cover the Tide while Abarn gets softball throwing Charles Goldberg, you have to wonder. Not since my kids played coach pitch have I seen content like theirs lobbed over the plate to a hungry program eager to better its image. Abarn is painted as “the underdog who could” while Bama is depicted as the empire on the verge of a step backward. Chizik’s 7-6 season will be heralded as a building block for the future, while Saban’s was labeled somewhere between disappointment and failure. 

Even some message boards have their own agendas. One thing I’ve loved about this site is that all content is welcome. While (personally) I wish those who post here would refrain from vulgarity and profanity, nothing is off limits. As outrageous as some claims made in here may seem, the opinion (of the owner of this site) is that it will all come out in the wash. Scrutiny of outlandish rumors or ideas, or even mundane, run-of-the-mill information, will determine the legitimacy or lunacy of the information given. And that can’t be said for all online forums.I’ve discovered on one “Bama” site that if you post something the monitors don’t agree with, you’ll magically see your post disappear, with a warning issued the next time you log in. The Kremlin would be proud of that kind of operation. 

The beauty of blogging and Internet message boards is that information is transferred in its purest form. Even though there are obviously heavy self-interests and biases, information is dissected in the forum of public opinion. A rumor can’t live long if it doesn’t have merit, and ideas are exposed when multiple eyes see it from different angles. And though it may take a little while, the truth wins out in the end. But then again, it always does.

All media outlets have agendas and self-interests, and those outlets eventually have to answer for their transgressions. They just better hope that they’ve chosen their side wisely. I don’t claim to be an expert on Citadel broadcasting, and only see their company from the angle of their local radio station. But if the future of sports information is headed where it appears to be, companies in the business of reporting and talking about sports better get their acts together. The inmates are now running the asylum.


Add Yours
  1. 2
    Ballplay Indian

    The spelling police are our in full force ITK, watch it…I agree with your arrticle. At least on a blog, you know that the opinion of the writer is biased. If you really want to gag, watch the network news.

  2. 3

    Ahh, blame his editor as I was asleep and didn’t get the message to copy edit it.

    You know, I should just give in and hire a copy editor….I had the three greatest copy editors ever when I was at a newspaper. I can’t tell you how I miss them now.

  3. 4

    Corrections made…but I’m not sure “full” was the right description. And I don’t think the pot/kettle analogy works for you Sean, as my article had nothing to do with spelling errors in the media. 🙂

  4. 5

    Hey ITK. The English Teacher was always an old broad with legs shaped like Cows and wearing those green clunky shoes. When she walked – she squeaked. Out of what “part” – I will let your filthy mind guess.
    Sean – Sean – tsk tsk .

  5. 6

    What’s going to happen ? WJOX will get rid of more “Talent” ( excuse me if you heave) and automate more with ESPN. Dunnaway and Clown will be the ones to watch. 690 will have to totally automate and they are going to have to be put somewhere.
    Paul is gone. I would take a pay cut over bounced pay any day.

  6. 7

    Chris Vernon is coming to bham to it’s gonna be a cooler and more hip round table. Straw is not hip. LT doesn’t think he presents the bad boy image thY is portrayed on the rt. He despises his clothing choices. At least Ian protected the house. Mr Hankey is a kid trying to do a mans job. Verno!

  7. 8

    I think that is the problem with the whole fucking thing Prophet. The Metro wants to be hip and groovy – while the rest of us would like to stick a Wolverine up his ass.
    If this means another jive ass gets to slobber on the mic ……

  8. 11
    DAMAGE INC. formerly known as CB81

    Yes — the Brian Straw character should of stayed in Mobile — he is no “match” for the material required in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa area — as posted in another thread — how could Mr. Hankey put an Ole Miss yankee homer with LT? The Opening Drive — sigh…I’m tired of talking about it — changes are bound — let the Prophet preach the prophecies.

  9. 12

    Wkpn in Memphis comes on the roundtable once a week. Does an afternoon show. Ian and LT slobber all over this KID. He can be funny at times I admit. Ian is laughing. Siding with Texas on this game. Sources say.

  10. 13
    Tom Barkley

    Gee, so true about the demise of Finebaum. Callers are stupid and boring. Why does Finebaum let them keep talking when they reveal they are awful on the radio airwaves? The quality of the Finebaum show has sunk dramaticlly! I used to love the excitement some callers brought! What happened?

  11. 14
    DAMAGE INC. formerly known as CB81

    The Prophet has spoken — Ian FatSimmonz is a Texas homer bound by the sanctity of marriage. What a pussy! Ian no longer resembles any matter in this state — Mr. Hankey should ashamed of the lineup and Chris Vernon IMO would love to get out of that shithole we call Memphis to have a long contract in the “ham”. Can you say the “storm brewed up north” leaving for a LT & Verno show? Just my speculation — I will let the Prophet speak

  12. 15
    DAMAGE INC. formerly known as CB81

    Tom Barkley — people who have “a lot of time” love soap operas — ask the housewife who gets no lovin’ and the senior citizen who is sitting on a social security check with nothing to do — this equation is mostly the callers to WJOX.

  13. 17
    Tom Barkley

    Well, CB81 I listened back when Bobby, Phyllis, Jim and Shane and a few other good callers called that show and don’t think they are senior citizens with nothing to do. It’s just not an upscale show anymore. So many reasons why?

  14. 18

    I still listen to Finebaum. It is a great show, but I have always hated some callers—even the good ones can have a bad day, or week or month. I’ve always wished to hear more Finebaum commentary or monologue. But that is just me. I listen for informed opinion, not the callers.

    Hence, that is why I like Cowherd so much. He might be wrong, but at least I don’t have to hear callers with horrible telephones.

  15. 19

    I was standing on the grassy knoll near the library as vestavians discussed their latest concerns with pee wee football dominace. I was put of place and introduced to LT in a casual format. He was once again dresses in all black to excersise his defiance of being an actual graduatebof the very university upon which his desinger Italian loafers stood. I noticed the designer shades and the smell of designer hair gel. I watched him squirm in disgust as he watched the commoners flock to the game. How dare they wear gear and pull for their school? At any chance he would state to those who would listen that he pulled for Usc not the in state schools. USC? That’s a stretch I thought and obviously trying to hard to be different. He denounced the notion of even pulling for Bama. He was there for the upset he said. How disappointed he must have been. He was trying to hard. It was that simple. He was a glorified poser in designer clothing. I found him to be rather dense. The bottom line is that he doesn’t want to be a Dunaway but wants the glory of a Barker. He gets neither. He is simple really and is always seeking a way to skip out on a check. He is transparent in many ways. I don’t see a cool factor to him. He seeks the attention in a strange way. He also hates cyclists.

  16. 20

    The Deal with Paul’s Show has always been with the quality of the Callers. There are very few left because the Show has been dumbed down for the Sticks. Too many wanting to be a personality. Call it “Hillbilly Fame”.
    All of this shit started with “Calvin” and now his spawn – “Charles”.
    I have listened to a lot of Talk Shows like many of you – and if you don’t bring some Intelligence to your opinion – your ass is going to be dumped and not allowed back on.
    Nobody is Screening the Calls for Paul and this is what you get.
    The bottom line – the gross stupidity repulses listeners. Hell. Is there not enough of that in the World already ? At least I can in this case- turn it off with the knob.

  17. 21
    Tom Barkley

    Pluto, you are spot on! Finebaum has allowed his program to fall horribly. It is not like it was 3 years ago. Finebaum had high standards for any caller whom he allowed to stay on the Air for more than 30 seconds. Since switching from WERC AM to WJOX FM, in Jan. 2007, Finebaum has let the “Inmates (stupid redneck Charles, Tammy, Legend, etc.) run the asylum. Just a bunch of ignorant, trash-talking thugs…spewing poison crap. Decent people are not going to be involved with that trash…so now it’s not a great show anymore! It’s a piece of garbage!

  18. 24

    I used to enjoy hearing that show. The callers did drive the topic and Bobby and Jim and Shane were entertaining, as well as pretty intelligent and insightful. These punks who hog the show now are very obnoxious and boring. I don’t enjoy it. It’s a mystery why the show has become ordinary and distasteful? Maybe the the show will fade away as many have lately. Kinda sad.

Comments are closed.