Firings Follow Morning Bit Gone Bad At 790 The Zone/Atlanta
June 21, 2013 at 4:36 AM (PT)
LINCOLN FINANCIAL MEDIA Sports WQXI-A (790 THE ZONE)/ATLANTA has fired three unnamed members of the morning "MAYHEM IN THE A.M." crew -- assumed to be co-hosts STEAK SHAPIRO, NICK CELLINI, and CHRIS DIMINO -- after the show aired a bit making fun of STEVE GLEASON, the former NEW ORLEANS SAINTS player stricken with LOU GEHRIG's Disease. The bit followed GLEASON's guest-authoring PETER KING's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/SI.COM "MONDAY Morning Quarterback" column this week; the show used a robotic voice to answer questions in GLEASON's "voice" (ALS has robbed GLEASON of the ability to communicate without computer assistance).
A statement from SVP/GM RICK MACK posted at the station's website reads, "We deeply regret the comments made by MAYHEM IN THE AM this morning on 790 THE ZONE regarding former NEW ORLEANS SAINTS player STEVE GLEASON. 790 THE ZONE, LINCOLN FINANCIAL MEDIA, our sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support the unfortunate and offensive commentary concerning Mr. GLEASON this morning. The members of the show involved with this incident have been suspended indefinitely pending further management review of their actions."
Later, a revised statement reflected the firings: "We suspended the three individuals involved immediately following their comments and have since terminated their employment," the statement added.
Show co-host NICK CELLINI tweeted, "My apologies to everyone. It was a stupid attempt at humor that backfired. Emphasis on stupid." Later, he tweeted, "An update: we all got wacked. I apologized to MICHEL GLEASON, she understands it was a stupid joke. I'll do my best to help Team GLEASON." CELLINI was later released from his hosting duties at COMCAST's CSS regional sports cable network.