Thank you, Tony Bruno

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Wednesday was a somber day for the sports radio industry in Philadelphia. Tony Bruno, a personality whose career took him from local prominence at WIP to the lofty peaks of national outlets ESPN and Fox Sports Radio, has decided to hang up his headphones and step away from the microphone. Although Bruno has maintained that he will continue to release podcasts on his personal website, it appears that the radio host’s time on the FM dial has come to an end. According to Bruno:

After 45 years of pursuing my dreams and goal of radio and climbing the sport radio stairs to the highest rungs, the format and industry in general no longer provide me joy and satisfaction, even after reaching number 1 in pm drive in record time in my hometown.

I decided to resign from WIP and from regular long-form terrestrial radio as a result and will pursue my podcasts and other things to keep me occupied and happy.

For the past five years, I have been an avid fan of Tony’s shows as he brought his special brand of “intensity and alacrity” to the Fanatic and, later, WIP. His voice stood out amidst the inane babble that tends to dominate the format. In a sea of hot takes issued by brand-building loudmouths who mistake outrage for critical thought, Tony’s program was an island of lightheartedness that offered a comical approach to sports. Unlike some of his self-satisfied colleagues and competitors, Tony never took himself or the material too seriously. Sports, after all, are meant to serve as a diversion from the frequently frustrating and occasionally ulcer-inducing realities of life. There’s no need to add to one’s stress level because the Eagles quarterback situation is unsettled or because the Phillies resemble a mediocre Triple-A team. Better to laugh about it. In the grand scheme of things, this stuff really is not all that important. And, frankly, the opinions and analysis offered each day by sports radio hosts and “experts”  are as evanescent as an ice cube on a hot summer’s day. It’s all just noise that will be replaced by different noise tomorrow. Tony seemed to grasp these truths better than most, which freed him to focus on entertaining his listeners rather than trying to outsmart them.

I’ll miss Tony’s “stone cold, lead pipe guaranteed locks” and the “Mr. Monday Night” football picks (offered for amusement purposes only, of course). I’ll also miss the 12 Days of Bruno and the hilarious, well-deployed clips from Tony’s soundboard (i.e. Christian Bale’s “What don’t you f#%&ing understand!” and Brad Pitt’s “What’s in the box?” line from Se7en). Furthermore, I’ll miss the goofy tangents (like the time when Tony, a bald white guy, started waxing about hair care products for black men) and the allusions to long-forgotten incidents in Philadelphia sports history. I’ll miss the special chemistry Tony developed with Harry Mayes during their 10-to-noon show on the Fanatic. Finally, I’ll miss turning on sports talk radio and experiencing original, funny content.

However, life goes on. Thank you, Tony, for making the workday feel a little less interminable and a little less dull. Sports radio in Philadelphia won’t be the same without you. Here’s hoping retirement agrees with you. Now, in the words of Harry Mayes, “Get out! Get out!”

[pvc_paratheme ]

12 Responses

  1. tl;dr

    Tony seems like a nice guy, but he was horrible. Offered no insight and couldn’t follow a conversation.


  2. I look forward to the upcoming ‘fuck you, Tony Bruno’ article that someone is already writing

  3. Is this dude serious about writing this article, what a complete toolbag! Bruno sucks and has sucked for 5 years.

  4. Bruno has been up and down, hot and cold, black and white, etc. for years now. He was like an old, washed up veteran baseball player (Ryan Howard, anyone???) who could muster up the occasional “hot streak” of good radio but, for the most part, was just taking up a roster spot while someone younger and hungrier waits in the wings. Don’t get me wrong. There were moments of glory… but Bruno hasn’t been “Mr. Monday Night” since well before “Into The Night with Tony Bruno” hit the airwaves.

  5. Thanks for the kind words Tim. To the trolls who come on here and spew bile, I feel sorry for you and will keep you in my happy thoughts as you wallow in your apparently shallow world of sad anonymity.

    1. So just because people think you suck at radio means their trolls? do people who can’t stand Missanelli trolls also? Your logic in this mirrors your shortcomings in radio lately….shortsighted and incompetent

  6. Tim you wrote an on point article that I agree with 100 percent—it almost was like you were reading my mind—-the mayes and bruno show is my fav show of all time—many times I’d be laughing on the way to work—one time tony couldn’t remember “the green lantern” name–it gave 15 minutes of hilarity between tony younis and harry—I will miss him and now will listen to the pod casts—-I read this more than once—how many times ?”FOUR!”

  7. I couldn’t agree with this article anymore. I love that he was always there to talk sports, but most importantly to entertain. He and Harry were by far the best show anyone in Philly had over the past 4-5 years. Radio sucks now.

  8. Have always loved Tony’s grasp on the Philly sports scene as he knew to never take things so seriously. I truly gave the new WIP show every chance to succeed but their allowing the other joker to dominate 75 percent of the program drove me to news radio. JI is neither funny nor entertaining and you could tell that TB was not amused at his evolving role. I will continue to follow TB on podcasts and whatever comes his way–as for WIP afternoons, they have lost a listener for now.

  9. What are the odds that Josh will not be back after his “vacation?”

  10. I just stumbled upon this article today. I totally agree with your sentiments of Tony Bruno. I remember him when he was with Don Cannon and Dennis Malloy. He’s always been a joy to listen to, especially with his infectious laugh. When WIP brought him back they should have put put him back on with Angelo and Al. That is when the morning show was at its best. Good memories like the time Angelo sent him to the first Howard Stern appearance in Philadelphia where thousands of people showed up and told Tony it was a surprise party for his birthday. Tony played along great.
    Good luck, Tony. Enjoy your retirement. You’ve earned it.

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