Monday, February 9, 2009

I Just Work Here, People. Sorry.

I am pleased to report that Al Galdi is alive and well.

In fact, he is in the ESPN980 bullpen every morning when me, Scotty, and Solly prepare to do the "Steve Czaban Show" on Fox Sports Radio from the same studio we've been doing it from now for almost 5 years. Only it used to be the "First Team On Fox."

I could even drag him in during a segment, if I wanted to.

Unfortunately, Fox Sports Radio terminated Al on inauguration day as part of a Clear Channel company-wide shedding of over 1,000 jobs. Al was techincally a part-timer, but he too apparently had to go.

Al remains a full time update anchor and reporter for ESPN980. Just as I remain a full time employee there, as does Scott, as does Solly.

I cannot give you, the curious listener, a coherent reason for this change. It was not my decision, and my passionate pleas to reconsider have apparently fallen on deaf ears.

Just so I was sure, I asked Al if he was making a lot of money at FSR. Hell, maybe he's got Scott Boras as his agent, what do I know?

He told me the number. I was shocked.

Al was the biggest bargain since Ryan Howard pre-arbitration. Given the massive restructuring/layoffs at FSR, I found his paltry, part-time salary to be inconsequential. No less than 3 full shows were canceled, and another one merged with existing talent from KLAC. All of that didn’t get us under our “luxury tax” I wondered?

Now I don't want this to sound like sour grapes, especially given many of my friends and colleagues at FSR who got vaporized all-together in this "consolidation.” For them, I truly feel sorry. As everybody getting pink slipped these days.

For Al in particular, this is a minor setback. In fact, I think he’s going to come out of this even better in the months ahead. His success is not in question. As I told him personally, I have found that a career is like a baseball game. Setbacks are just one-half of one inning. When “the man” hangs 2 runs on you with a layoff or firing, it’s just his turn at bat. You can post 3 runs yourself in the bottom of the inning, or in any one of the next.

It's a huge loss for my show, however, since Al was quite integrated into everything we do. As you know, we crafted segments like "Hey Galdi!" and "SuperFriends" with his particular expertise in mind. Those segments are now officially DOA.

The "4-wide" chemistry of the show is also blown apart with his loss. As I have come to learn in radio, nothing trumps chemistry and continuity. We had both with Al on board. Not just the nearly 5 years as our anchor, but he was our producer for two years when Scott and I prowled the 7-10 p.m. eastern time slot for FSR.

I've never met anybody who works harder, focuses on his job better, or improves his craft like Al. He's like a little brother to me, and I miss him badly on the show.

So if you, my listener, miss him, just multiply that by 10 and you know how I feel. If it might sound during shows going forward that I don't give a shit, or have "moved on", do not be misled. It's just that as a professional, I owe it to you, the audience, and to my employer to do the best job I can do.

In sports terms, Al Galdi is like my Wes Welker.

Imagine Tom Brady’s shock and dismay if he showed up one day at Patriots camp to be told that they had to cut Welker, his reliable, go-to, slot-machine wideout. “Don’t worry, Tom. You’ve still got Randy Moss, you’ll be fine.”

But again, I don’t control the roster. Never thought it would be an issue. I’m trying my best right now to either find new money to “pay” for Al to return (how ‘bout a bake sale!), or at least convince the powers-that-be of his real value.

It appears to be going nowhere, I regret to report.

In the end, my situation is not unlike that of many of you in corporate life. Sometimes decisions are made without your input that are simply bad ideas. Yet how do you delicately tell those above you who made the call: “this is an awful idea, but you are not an idiot for making it. Honest mistake. Now, how about we try to fix it?”

Al Galdi is going to be fine. In fact, if you want to reach out to him, just drop me an e-mail, and I’ll forward it to him personally. I’d like to be the middleman on this, because I appreciate reading your thoughts on Al’s work too, and always enjoy comparable stories of corporate silliness. Mine, is probably minor compared to some others.

As always, you can get your little dose of Al on with me and Scott on our awesomely illustrated “Czabecasts” by way of the boys at SIM.

In the meantime, we press on. And that’s all I’m going to say at this time.


  1. Czabe!

    (1) Will the FSR page ever get updated?
    (2) Is it true that after a nuclear war only cockroaches
    and J.T. the Brick will survive? Just askin'...

  2. I will miss Al on the show. I found it funny that each day, a couple of weeks ago, he was doing something different each day (personal favorite was the 1 day mormon mission). Thanks for the update! Good luck Al!

  3. I have been without my XM radio for over two weeks and could only hear 25 minutes of the show on my way into work. Not hearing Al during the segments and updates made me wonder if he was OK since I last remember he was off for a minor surgical procedure. At least I know he is OK now. You're right about chemistry, Czabe. The four of you made my morning commute a joy no matter what the ass hats were doing around me. I am glad that you have continued on without missing a beat as the consummate professional you are... and I know that is what Galdi would want you all to do. God bless ya, Al! :)

  4. Thank God for the Czabecasts - I need me my Goldie!

  5. Thanks for the explanation, Czabe. You and Scott have both been standup guys about giving fans information like this. As a listener, nothing is more frustrating that hearing major differences on air and never knowing why they happened. Galdi's presence and the presence of other former Fox Sports Radio personalities is greatly missed. I know corporate cutbacks are a necessary evil, but in my opinion, these are cutbacks that devalued the entire network.

  6. For me, Galdi's knowledge of Pro Wrestling and occasional comments like "that's his move" cracked me up. Czabe and Scott are the gel, but the occasional Def and Galdi quips made that first half hour.

  7. Czabe,

    Thanks for the Galdi update. I listen every morning and try and catch the re-loaded just to make sure I didn't miss something. Al was always there throwing in his jabs,quick short blows that just added another deminsion to an already world champion fighter (a.k.a "The Steve Czaban Show"). I love what you guys do. You make having to wake up at 5 a.m. enjoyable. I know that Scotty and Low Def will still keep you in check but Al will be missed.

  8. Czabe,

    Love the show. I'm a loyal listener. I cancelled my XM subscription when I found out that I can listen to the live broadcast or the Reloaded version on my Iphone.

    We all know they need to bring Galdi back. Who else is going to say "C'MON!!!" when Czabe says something totally distasteful?

    I share the same feelings that you have about Peter King. He reminds me of Brian (the talking from Family Guy). I find it crazy that no one realizes that a dog should not be talking. Just like Peter King should not be able to report sports!!

  9. This might be a dumb question, but when is 28 year old rising star in the business Al Galdi coming back to the show ?? Just kidding, Czabe I know this was not your decision, but everybody misses Al Galdi. Thankfully Solly is still around. Malcolm Midrange even misses Galdi.


    John in the 505