ESPN Cans Pittsburgh Radio Host Mark Madden for Dumber-Than-Usual Comments

Ryan WilsonPosted May 27th 2008 10:30PM by Ryan Wilson
Filed under: Steelers, Pittsburgh, ESPN
City residents flock to the streets to celebrate the news.

Earlier this year, I spent a few hundred words bellyaching about the sorry state of Pittsburgh sports radio. Specifically, the fact that village idiot/local ESPN radio "personality" Mark Madden earned a paycheck to spew invective while making everybody who listened to him dumber in the process.

For me, it was more a therapeutic rant than anything -- Madden generates ratings, and ratings, as we know, trump all. Or so the thinking went. Today, ESPN corporate made an exception:

"We've taken Mark off the air pursuant to our contractual rights," said Josh Krulewitz, the network's vice president for public relations. On his radio show Wednesday, Madden said the following about Sen. Kennedy, who days earlier had been diagnosed with brain cancer:

"I'm very disappointed to hear Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is near death because of a brain tumor. I always hoped Senator Kennedy would live long enough to be assassinated."

Madden was last heard on his show Thursday, the day before his comments appeared in the Post-Gazette.

For Madden, it couldn't have happened to a nicer jerk.

Late last year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Bob Smizik wrote that Madden was dangerously close to losing his job once the higher-ups in Bristol caught wind of his shtick. (Apparently, nobody at headquarters cares about the backwaters of Western Pennsylvania radio ... until it comes to their attention that some jackass is singlehandedly ruining the wholesome Disney image Bayless, Paige and Smith worked so hard to cultivate.)

Madden agreed to temper his assault on common sense when his job was threatened. That he managed to last another six months is an accomplishment worthy of recognition. So congrats, Madden, for keepin' it real. An entire city (and especially Hines Ward!) thanks you for going away.

Random YouTube Fun: I vote for Tank Abbott to replace Madden who, after watching this video, would do well to get Larry the Cable Guy on the horn.