KLAC replaces “Joe McDonnell Experience” with Tony Bruno


Long-time L.A. radio sports icon Joe McDonnell is again without a broadcast home, as KLAC-AM (570) program director Don Martin confirmed this afternoon that a new show hosted by Tony Bruno will take the 7-to-10 p.m. weeknight spot beginning Monday, Sept. 29.

McDonnell (a link to his website here), who has had a 20-year run in the L.A. market as a sports-talk host, had been at KLAC since January, 2006, also working for sister station KTLK-AM (1150). His weeknight spot this week will be replaced with replays of the Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith show (which airs from 4-to-7 p.m.)

Martin explained that The Content Factory, which launched Dan Patrick’s syndicated radio career after he left ESPN (and is now on KLAC from 6 to 9 a.m.), approached him about co-owning a Bruno show called “Into the Night” that eminated from the station’s Burbank studios but will eventually be available to other stations, such as how the Tom Leykis show operates with out of the L.A. studios of 97.1-FM.

Bruno (his website linked here), who has been living in Venice for the last eight years, was last heard in the L.A. market nearly two years ago as the morning drive host at the former 1540-AM The Ticket, which was then owned by The Sporting News radio network. His contract with that network ended in April this year.

Martin said the timing of Bruno’s availability, the fact that it is formatted for a night-time show, and McDonnell’s contract coming up for renewal all converged for this decision.
“We’ve come to the end and it’s time to move forward,” said Martin.

Martin said that McDonnell broadcast partner Joe Grande will continue hosting a weekend sports-talk show and Tim Cates will produce Bruno’s show and contribute to it as well.

Over the last few months, Bruno had been approached by KSPN-AM (710) as a possible afternoon drive host, but the station eventually decided not to do it. Bruno also had a deal apparently set with the Angels’ flagship station, KLAA-AM (830), but those talks broke down in April.

A Q-and-A with Bruno coming shortly …

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  • gregb

    Bruno is the biggest no-talent (to be back) on LA radio. He has an ego that does not match his actual worth to the listener. McDonnell was one of the last reasons why I kept 570 on my presets. This move may actually “force” me to installing satellite radio in my car for the 2+ hours of a daily commute.

  • kornheiserscombover

    Hey Greg,

    If anyone’s ego never matched his worth or weight is Joe Mc Donnell. How can you claim Bruno is a “no talent” He launched ESPN and was on for 8 years, launched Fox Sports Radio, was picked for 3 Madden NFL games and was named “best of LA” in 2004. Get a clue dipshit!

  • gregb

    I tried listening to Bruno on 1540 and his show was unlistenable. For a “local” show (before it went national), he was too much of an East Coast hack. He made a number of misstatements that he refused to accept responsibility for making. Bruno thought he was so good that he could tell listeners to not listen. I took the man at his word and stopped listening to him on that station. When I heard him fill in for Dan Patrick (not his real name), I immedately turn the radio to another station. I would much prefer listening to the space alien programming on KFI at 10 pm then Bruno.

    Just my opinions. Others differ and like his program. Great! Enjoy! I will enjoy something else!

  • kornheiserscombover

    yeah, Greg because the other syndicated crap from Connecticut wasn’t “east coast hacks”. You obviously don’t know what a good guy Bruno is to his listeners and every one he knows. You are the one spreading misinformation about his “misstatments”. No one in sports radio is more stand-up than this guy, no one! You can listen to what you want, but your comments are sheer nonsense. He is a great person and a legendary broadcaster who lives in LA, not somewhere else.

  • Art Vandelay

    I am surprised that Tony can break away from Hooters long enough to work a radio gig again.

    As for Joe, he is a good dude and I hope to hear him on the air again soon. Maybe he can join Hacksaw on Sirius?

  • The Don Key

    Bruno is not great, but at least he’s better than McDonnell. McDonell’s show was so bad that flies gather on the radio when he came on…and that’s on the 405 fwy in a convertible in the car pool lane!

  • rejn

    Not surprising at all. As much as I think Big Joe is as knowledgeable as any other sports guy on radio, in L.A., what he was doing especially after he brought that loser Grande on board was his downfall. Grande is clueless when it comes to sports. And Joe with all his non-sports conversation ruined him probably in sports talk radio for the last time. Or who knows, maybe he’ll hook on with the Angels station. I guess anything is possible. Sounds like a gypsy to me

  • kornheiserscombover

    Bruno is the best in the business and invented entertaining sports talk 20 years ago when guys like Hacksaw were reading stats on the air and never grew with the times. Joe McDonnell is an angry and bitter guy who never appreciated his fortune and was always jealous of others where ever he worked. Did you hear his you tube tirades with Petros. Joe always thought he should be on afternoons and it was his downfall at 570am.

  • fanz23

    I’m not surprised that yet again, Joe McDonnell is off the air again. He’s a good guy and sports knowledgeable, but when he ventured into the land of politics and by the way his view and opinions were of lies and full of left wing talking points. He had to go, on two occasions I emailed Joe in regard to his political takes and he replied. I applaud that. But as for his show, I’m sorry, but having that buffoon Grande on the program…is a killer.

    Cost Joe..

    See you on KLAA, with Dave Smith, Joe, after that, you’re done.

  • KingFan4ever

    As abrasive as Joe McDonnell could be, he is WAY more entertaining to listen to than the duo of Petros and Money who waste 4 hours talking about movies and all sorts of useless nonsense. Joe has the perspective of having been around the L.A. sports scene for over three decades and doesn’t pretend to be hip or cool like PMS.

    He is incapable of checking his emotions on the air but that to me made things more interesting that the worthless babble of other hosts. It’s okay to mix in the pop culture stuff once in a while but I prefer, no nonsense sports talk.

    Having listened to Bruno on 1540am, he just comes across as someone with a minimum of sports I.Q. who is set on being the next Howard Stern. I’d rather have Dave Smith who at least will talk local sports.

  • rhs2772000

    i agree with u gregb

  • http://rhs277 rhs2772000

    im not a fan on Tony Bruno. i listened to him somtimes when he had his morning show(is it me or did it seemed he was always on vacation and they had a fill-in most of the time).i thought his show was horrible and didn’t like it.I will listen to this show to give it a chance and the only reason is because Tim Cates is still there.Im sure this show won’t last very long.

  • smartnsober

    I have enjoyed and hated The Big Nasty since the days sports talk started on 710 KMPC, when that was the home of Jim Haley and the Angels.

    When Joe is on, he knows more about LA sports than anyone since Haley, but too often he goes off on a tangent. (Maybe he is looking for the San Antonio River, which we all know goes right through the heart of downtown Los Angeles). Grande was a bad choice for on-air partner. (“…bad team, bad f***in’ team…”)

    Guess Joe could never revive McDonnell-Douglas. Doug kept Joe in line. But Bruno is so bad, I have found that the 7-10 timeslot duo on KFI is usually pretty entertaining when there isn’t a live game on. Fortunately now we have Ducks, Chargers, Kings, Lakers, USC, and even Bruins and Clippers, so most nights I have something to fill evening drive.

    Glad I just bought a new car with Satellite radio.

    I have radio on in the office all day, Rome would be great if he would just temper the constant repeats of his clips (e.g.”Fat…”) but I turn off the Cannons for 710. Vic is too much and Hartman sucks.

    830 AM is generally the only decent local LA sports talk after Mason & Ireland.

  • dwntwnSprtGuy

    Nice to finally find out what happened to Big Joe. I’ll agree with one sentiment regarding his now defunct show in AM 570 – Joe Grande had a lot to do with that show sucking. Grande had the worst takes, most ridiculous arguments and just plain idiotic perspectives.

    Joe McDonnell was knowledgeable on more than just sports, but specifically LA sports personalities and insights. However, his other downfall besides Joe Grande was his holier than thou attitude on all of his takes. Towards the end of his 570 show, he was pretty one sided and the arguments that ensued w/ the dummy Joe Grande only made it that much worse.

    As for Tony Bruno, one word – STIFF. Boring show, guy things his actually funny and talk about dead air. I thought he was bad when he was making appearances on The Best Damn Sports Show 4/5 years ago, but his radio personality (or lack there of) is even worse. They upgraded the morning show w/ D.P., but that night show is a mess. Bring back Hacksaw!

  • Dokkenn

    I am a little late to this blog, but if anyone reads this – great. I cannot agree more with many of the comments above. After listening to Tony Bruno for the past 2 months, I basically switch to 710 right away. He is beyond boring and Tim Cates is still a stiff. I know McDonald could be an ass at times and Grande was a bigger stiff then Cates, but at least they talked sports. Every night I accidently listen to Bruno, he spends at least the first hour talking about food or eating on the air. He has NO sports knowledge.

    On a side note, though I enjoy both MATT and PETRO, they have really gone way overboard with all the POP BS references. I actually like Petro better on other peoples shows when his areas of expertise (football) comes out. When PMS get off on one of there wild tangents, it reminds me of some failed attempt at vaudville humor. They sound more like wanna be comedians then experts we know they can be. I like comedy occasionally, but dial it down some and get back to the sports.

  • Cal-G

    I am also late to this blog, but found it after listening to the Joe and Petros fight. I am SOO glad to not have to hear Joe and Joe. Those dudes frustrated me EVERYTIME I drove the 91 after work. Joe’s comments one night about all people who are Christians are wack jobs showed his ignorance to me. I listen to Sports talk for Sports not his personal bias. Petros and Money are funny and had to grow on me but are cool. Such is the word of Cal-G

  • Radio99

    Joe McDonnell was once the king of drive-time sports talk in L.A. but not anymore! The guy is so LAZY that he can’t even update his own website. No wonder he is off L.A. Radio! The guy has no other choices but to wait and see if Arte Moreno and Dennis Kuhl take pity on him and hire him at AM 830 KLAA. I doubt he’ll end up there because Dave Smith is solid in that 3-7 slot. Joe really has no options in L.A. There is zero chance he’ll end up back at KSPN, especially with the Lakers going there next year. I don’t see him at Fox Sports radio because he sucks at talking national sports ( he was terrbile his only stint on the now defunct Sportsfan radio network with Pete Rose) I also agree with the Bruno and Grande comments. Grande was horrible and childish. His Power 106 humor did not play on AM. Bruno can get a decent interview now and then but the chemistry with Tim Cates is pretty bad.