Boeheim Sinks Critic; Host Axed By Syracuse Radio Station
ESPN Radio Syracuse host, Brent Axe had a big old target on his back, by openly criticizing former Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim. The basketball coach for decades has been one of the most powerful individuals in Central New York. Until Monday, Axe hosted the afternoon drive show in Syracuse, weekdays from 4pm to 6pm. That was until the power of Boeheim finally took the host down.
The 47 year coach was well aware of his daily critic. Boeheim took a shot at Axe in February, claiming to ESPN that the only consistent critic he heard this season was a “local talk show host.” That host, was Brent Axe. Syracuse.com reported that the former Syracuse Basketball coach targeted his ire towards sports talk radio callers, as well. Following the Orange’s final game of the season, Boeheim said he didn’t believe that (radio callers) represented the Syracuse fanbase. One way to quiet your critic is to get them fired. Friends and business partners can make that easy.
According to Chris Carlson of syracuse.com, Galaxy President, Ed Levine explained Brent Axe's firing this way; “I had a problem with the content of the show. I’m an SU fan. I’m sorry, but I bleed Orange. I’m not going to apologize for that, and I think a fair reading of the Orange is appropriate. I understand (Galaxy has) a business relationship (with Syracuse), that Coach (Jim) Boeheim and I are personal friends and he’s an investor in my company." That last part is very important. Boeheim is a friend of the company president and a part-owner of the station. That's where it begins and ends in situations like this. How did Brent Axe feel about his situation?
“I had a responsibility to give an honest, fair and thorough opinion to my audience,” Axe told syracuse.com. “I certainly wasn’t perfect, but I don’t regret anything about the approach of the show. We put listeners on the air, and we gave them the opportunity to say what they needed to say. I don’t have any regrets.” In fairness to Levine, he is responsible for programming the station with content targeted for his audience. According to the Galaxy president, Axe had taken things in a different direction.
“I understand and acknowledge all of that. We’ve called it pretty fair, and I would argue we’ve been tough on SU when the on-field or off-field events warrant it. I just think over the past six months it took a different tone and became overly dark and negative. I don’t think that’s what Syracuse fans want to hear.” Long and short, it will be the listeners and advertisers that will determine if Ed Levine and Galaxy made the right choice. That is, if they were given a choice, by Jim Boeheim.