RADIO WARS: After Deadspin Story, Tony Bruno’s Show is Pulled From SiriusXM (Update)

Tony Bruno and Harry Mayes have not been on SiriusXM satellite radio since last Wednesday, and while part of the absence is due to a scheduled vacation, sources tell Crossing Broad the change is permanent.

Sirius decided to remove the show from their lineup following Bruno’s recent comments about NBA players, which were picked up by Deadspin in a story titled “‘NBA Players Can’t Read,’ Idiot Proclaims on Radio.”

This is part of what Thomas Laforgia wrote last Wednesday, August 26th:

Bruno’s dog whistle began as most do these days — with a critique of the league’s most prominent player.

“LeBron’s not focused on the game right now. He’s talking about the situation that went on with the police shooting over the weekend,” said the afternoon voice on SiriusXM’s Dan Patrick Radio.

“He only talks about the lives he thinks matter, but other lives don’t matter. That’s why I despise LeBron James and I despise the NBA,” Bruno said, emphasizing “despise.”

Perhaps sensing where the diatribe was headed, Bruno’s co-host, Harry Mayes, threw him a lifeline: “I just watch the games. I just enjoy the sport.”

But Bruno was either too worked up, or too blisteringly stupid, to pick up on the cue. Quickly, his boilerplate appeal to Boomer racism — because who else listens to radio — spiraled into something even more sinister.

“Most of these guys can’t even read, for god’s sake,” Bruno blasted.

Bruno responded to Deadspin on his Wednesday show, and there are also quotes appearing in a a follow up story at Barrett Sports Media. In the BSM article, he refers to Deadspin as a “clickbait, dirtbag site,” while accusing Laforgia of authoring a hit piece.

From this story:

“Bruno, who pulls double duty for both Sports Map Radio and SiriusXM, is emphatic that Deadspin’s headline misrepresents what he actually said. In a rant about NBA players boycotting games on Wednesday, Bruno went in on LeBron James and the league at large. After a break, he can be heard saying “most of these guys can’t even read, for god’s sake.”

All of this happened on SiriusXM’s Dan Patrick Radio. The channel did not have Bruno on air on Thursday.

Robin Austin, Bruno’s executive producer, noted the comments that Deadspin referenced were part of a commentary that started before the end of the previous segment. In context, it is clear that Bruno was being flippant and not as malicious as Deadspin portrays. She also said that she and Bruno had spoken with the show’s lawyer.

“I will do everything in my power to make sure Deadspin is taken care of and brought to justice,” Bruno added.

It doesn’t seem that Bruno disagrees with the gist of how Deadspin described the segment. He takes issue with LaForgia and his editors putting the phrase “NBA Players Can’t Read” in quotation marks in the headline, making it appear as if that is an exact quote from Bruno.

We took the time to go back and find the clips in question, which are two separate entities. The first is the commentary that Robin refers to, which began about seven minutes before the second clip, which is what Deadspin used in their story.

Here’s the first clip, with video, which took place prior to a commercial break about an hour into Tony’s show from Monday, August 24th:

The meme that Tony is referencing is a picture that somebody apparently put together last week. It has four different images of LeBron James, which shows the Lakers star in the act of reading, though the books look to be on their opening pages, insinuating that he doesn’t actually read, but is only giving the impression that he does.

Here’s the image that was going around on social media:


Right, so there’s some context RE: the meme.

Here’s the second clip, which is what Deadspin is referencing in the Laforgia article. You can actually hear the entire audio clip at the top of their story, but here’s the video version, which gives you the added context of body language and whatnot:

That’s the relevant audio and video.

You can watch those clips and decide for yourself whether or not Sirius made the right call in removing the show from their lineup. For what it’s worth, Tony is still doing his thing with Sports Map Radio, it’s just that the 3-6 p.m. broadcast will no longer be on satellite radio. (Update: we’ve been informed by Sports Map that they’ve dropped Tony’s show as well)

We emailed Sirius asking for comment and/or confirmation, but no reply. Our understanding is that lawyers are involved, so there might be news with Bruno and Deadspin coming down the pike.