Local Media Responds to Bernie Fine Scandal

November 29, 2011 by

Updated 12/1 - SYRACUSE -- While it's not uncommon to see "Syracuse University" mentioned by national networks like ESPN, those mentions had usually been for game highlights and other routine sports coverage typically afforded Division I schools.  That all changed nearly two weeks ago, when ESPN and other networks converged on Syracuse to cover developments in the Bernie Fine case.   And it's been a two-way street, as local broadcasters have been honoring requests to assist stations in other parts of the country.

On Monday evening, NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV) reporter Keith Kobland dropped by some local radio stations to see how the scandal has taken over local talk shows. The story included in-studio footage from Bud and the Manchild at The Score 1260 (WSKO) and from Joe Galuski's morning show at FM Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR.  Kobland wrapped up the report with a stand-up on the SU campus, mentioning the line of satellite trucks from national outlets like NBC News in the background.

At WSYR radio, the hour-long 5pm Daily Wrap with Joe Galuski and Kevin Schenk was pre-empted (on at least Tuesday, we didn't catch Monday) by what John Nicholson repeatedly called a "special extended edition of Central New York's Afternoon News" (which ran longer than an hour)  in light of recent developments.  Nicholson used to fill-in for Jim Reith, who formerly hosted an afternoon drive talk show on WSYR every day until about a month ago.

CBS affiliate WTVH aired a special panel discussion during its 11pm newscast on Sunday night, after SU announced Fine, originally placed on administrative leave, had been fired.  Anchor Michael Benny was joined by former CBS-5 anchor Maureen Green, along with The Score 1260's Brent Axe.  The discussion lasted nearly 10 minutes as the three broadcasters and a local psychologist discussed the entire .

Sports Director John Evenson at CNYCentral (WSTM/WTVH/WSTQ) put together his own story about the story's impact on local radio, focusing on listeners who called Bud and the Manchild on Monday.  In the story, co-host and Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin said he's had "a lot of weird experiences" in his journalistic career, but Sunday's developments were so surreal, he literally didn't sleep that night "because [his] head [was] spinning."

NewsChannel 9 also compiled some of the national coverage of the scandal -- on one page, you can view clips from shows like ABC's The View, World News Tonight, Good Morning America and even one of its competitors, NBC's Today.

Local Broadcasters Go National

Not only has the national media come to Syracuse, but local broadcasters have been honoring requests to provide updates and analysis for other local sports shows across the country.

Axe, host of On the Block weekday afternoons on The Score 1260 (WSKO) and Time Warner Cable Sports, tells he has given radio interviews for stations in places like Houston, Cleveland and St. Louis.  He has also appeared on cable's SNY.

Jim "Manchild" Lerch has provided insight on the story to stations in Los Angeles, Seattle and Arkansas.  He's also discussed the story on a national level with Fox Sports Radio's Pat O'Brien.

Added 12/1: Mike Lindsley, who hosts the midday shift on WSKO, checks in to tell us he's been filing reports for the Associated Press and he has also spoken on-air about the Fine investigation with hosts at ESPN Radio 1420 in Hawaii.

What would broadcasters elsewhere want to know, that they might not be able to get from national media?  When we contacted local radio hosts for this story on Monday night, both Axe and Lerch concurred most of the questions they fielded from other markets focused on Jim Boeheim's future with Syracuse University:  Would he be able to keep his job through the scandal?

In the less than 24 hours since we heard from both gentlemen, SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor issued a public statement affirming Boeheim's position as head coach. also reached out to ESPN Radio CNY (WTLA/WSGO) program director and Upon Further Review co-host Chris McManus for this story, but we did not receive a response.


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