Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Axe Falls at The Fan

News arrives this morning that some major players at 93.7 The Fan have been given their walking papers, effective immediately.  Merry Freakin' Christmas, as morning co-host Paul Alexander would say.  Oh, and speaking of Paul Alexander, he is one of the two on air personalities to be let go!  The other is mid-day co-host Vinnie Richichi.

I will never (with rare exceptions) take delight in a person losing his or her job.  It has happened to me in my life, and it is not a pleasant experience.  That said, I can say that I will most definitely not miss Paul Alexander.  There was so much about this guy, including his incessant use of the juvenile adjective referenced in the prior paragraph, that irritated me to the point where I could not listen to The Fan Morning Show for more than about 10 or 15 minutes at a time.  I am assuming that Paul will still have his Root Sports Pirates and Penguins gigs as well as his hair replacement commercials, so he's got that going for him.

On the other hand, I am going to miss Vinnie.  I suspect that I will be in the minority on that score since Vinnie had two major handicaps going against him that the provincial Pittsburgh audience almost never forgive: he spoke with a pronounced New York accent, and HE AIN'T FROM PITTSBURGH!!!!  I mean, how can this guy tell us abaht the Pirates and Stillers n'at if ain't from here, right?  Another handicap facing Vinnie was that he had to work with the miserable and bitter Ron Cook.  The dislike, which Bob Smizik assures us was real and not a gimmick, between Vinnie and Cook often time made for an entertaining, train-wreck style show, but, just as often, made you squirm when listening.  Still, I liked Vinnie and his somewhat bumbling style.  He was kind of like an Everyman given the chance to host his own radio show.

Not sure where Vinnie will go from here.  Like a lot of guys in the radio business, Vinnie has been all over the map, and I suppose an almost four year gig at The Fan (like Alexander, Vinnie was an original cast member from when The Fan went on the air back in February, 2010) represents as close to permanence as one can get in that business.  I suspect that he will turn up somewhere on the radio dial, and if it means leaving Pittsburgh, so be it.  Before he does leave, I hope that he gets to do a "tell all" interview, either on air or in print, on what a total jerk Ron Cook was in their almost four years together.

Oh, and just for fun, I will close by reprinting an excerpt from the very early archives of The Grandstander:

Monday, February 15, 2010

"The Fan" - Later in the Day

Caught some of the mid-day show on The Fan. The 10:00 to 2:00 show is called "Vinny and Cook" and features PG columnist Ron Cook and, some guy named Vinny.

Now Ron Cook is Ron Cook so we should all know what we're getting with him. Vinny is a newcomer to town, and he appears to have a New York accent, and both of these facts will no doubt cause the provincial Pittsburgh audience to not like him. However, in the 20-30 minutes that I heard while driving this afternoon, I have a good first impression of the guy. He describes himself as a huge baseball fan and can't wait to start going down to PNC Park on a regular basis, and he does not appear to be coming in with an I-hate-the-Nuttings-and-bobbleheads-and-fireworks attitude that the entrenched media (and first caller to the show that I heard) has.
Farewell, Vinnie.  At least one listener is going to miss you.

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