When Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton (not his real name) ironically accepted the top sports-talk host award last week at the annual Southern California Sports Broadcasters ceremonies, most of remarks weren’t so much of thanks, but of a plea for help. Minus the tin cup with pencils and a sign: “Will Talk For Food.”
“I will tell you that radio free agency is surely not like Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixeira,” said Hamilton, a former 570-AM employee who recently left the San Diego-based 1360-AM sports-talk station, according to the story on LARadio.com. “It is pretty tough. . . . There’s an awful lot of good people out on in the streets. There are so many influential people in this group, sometime this week, pick up the phone and call one of these guys that’s out in the streets and tell him you’re thinking of him.”
Joe McDonnell answered his phone on the second ring earlier this week.
“I’ve always looked at myself as the voice of L.A.,” he said when I asked him about the last 33 years of his career in the city as a sports-talk show host, focusing on the last five months where he’s been out of a job. “I’m a fan lucky enough to have access to people in all parts of the sports world.
“Whether people like me or hate me, they know I get the information and I tell them what I feel is the truth. If they don’t agree, that’s fine. That’s what’s supposed to happen. I’m asked all the time if I think I’m missed (on the air today). I think so. I’m hoping I don’t have to leave L.A. for my next job. I can’t picture that happening. I didn’t burn any bridges. It’s just tough being patient. Honestly, this is the first time in my career I’ve had to apply for jobs. I’ve always had people come to me. Not that I’m above it, it’s just weird.”
Friday, we’ll get more into with Big Joe (his website linked here) about his views of the landscape of today’s syndicated-squashed L.A. sports-talk — and more to cause some chatter, our 17th annual best and worst of L.A. sports-talk hosts, as well as a lists of local sports radio newscasters and syndicated sports-talk shows.
Thanks again for all the imput. More can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I guess in this business, everything is cyclical. Who’s to say next year that KLAC won’t come up with a deal to carry the Dodgers if KABC decides to get rid of it, and then switch back to more local talk.