Well, after speculation and lies, ESPN Cleveland's WKNR pulled the plug on the popular show 3 Deep, hosted by Will Burge, Emmit Golden and Jer'od Cherry.
This came a day after the sport talk massacre where the once proud Cleveland sports talk station dumped, Burge, T.J Zuppe and long time KNR broadcaster Kenny Roda, while limiting Michael Reghi to Cleveland Browns hosting duties.
Here's the thing, sports is one of rare occurrences in life where everyone comes together.
Urban and suburban as well as those who want in-depth sports talk or silly banter.
Yet, by staying with Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer's "Really Big Show" and Bruce Hooley and Greg Brinda's "The Hooligans", KNR has decided to cling to silly and suburban, while missing the boat on urban and in-depth.
I started listening to WKNR in college and to me the station wasn't the same after former host Jeff Sindelar passed away.
Sindelar was the essence of what sport stalk use to be: funny, cranky and most importantly, knowledgeable about the world of sports.
As a listener, you just felt smarter as a sports fan after hearing to him.
As things shifted at WKNR, I personally felt the the best part of WKNR over the past few years was at night with "3 Deep" and "Sports Night" hosted by Kenny Roda and Michael Reghi.
"3 Deep" offered urban listeners to engage in cool sports talk and pop culture references, that usually goes over the head of those, who think they are hip and funny during the day (i.e. Burge saying Cleveland Brown's owner Jimmy Haslam walked one practice while 2 Chainz' "Fed's Watching" was playing, while in contrast, one of the daytime hosts didn't recognize the song at all. )
Most of the 3 Deep's audience were not "long time season ticket holders" or had jobs where their co-worker had a loge; 3 Deep's audience was mostly urban (i.e. African-American and Latino) who didn't have the type of job where they could call a sports talk station during the day.
3 Deep's audience represented those who had been squeezed out from sports arenas over the past few decades because of high ticket prices.
However, the one thing that sales teams like WKNR's miss is that urban listeners like spending money too.
Maybe not on golf, camping or some kind of vitamins that may or may not give you energy, but sneakers, video games, Hip-Hop/R&B concerts, etc.
These things that might not have sold well to the mostly khaki wearing, suburban audience during the day, but would have been great reservoir of untapped advertising revenue at night (If KNR would have sold 3 Deep T-shirts on their website, it would have sold like hot cakes!)
As as show, 3 Deep didn't try to be funny. They were funny.
3 Deep didn't try to be hip. They were hip.
3 Deep's audience were loyal, because they felt Burge, Cherry and Golden were real, (which is something you can't say about some of KNR's daytime hosts as times).
Because of the diversity of its hosts and their audience, 3 Deep could have been the future of sports talk, but because they were different, they are no more
On the flipside, Roda & Reghi were old school sports talkers like Jeff Sindelar.
When duo were dumped from drive-time slot and moved to late nights with a disappearing radio signal, they took what could have been a demotion and brought some of the best sports talk and interviews on the station.
Contrary belief, not everyone is fan of bad impressions, dumb jokes , absurd contests and wedding talk.
Some listeners want (get this) in-depth sports talk.
Sure Roda and Reghi had fun on their show too with their "Bump and Run", but the segment wasn't that long or annoying and you would actually looked forward to how crazy the next one would be.
R&R's Sports Night didn't need create bits to fill their time or lack of sports knowledge.
They knew their audience was smarter than that; so they talked to sport experts locally and nationally who expanded their audiences sports knowledge.
If you wanted to know about players in the NFL or NBA draft, you would learn far more about those players at night than during the day.
Where in the daytime, you would get the top of the draft, Sports Night would go so in-depth that you would immediately recognize a player, if they would go undrafted.
I didn't get much of this analysis from "Hammer De-Bone."
At the end of the day WKNR's parent company Good Karma and its owner Craig Karmizan can do whatever he want with station.
However, the thing Karmazin missed was an opportunity to create a new sports talk paradigm.
A station where suburban and urban, intellectual and silly could exist, while filling different sports talk niches.
However, Mr. Karamzin with his bottom-less pit of audience surveys went the opposite direction and by doing so, WKNR will continue to follow in that same direction....down.
R.I.P. 3 Deep & Sports Night