Doesn't look like a joke [the typical stunt pulled on WLW]:
Furman silent on, off air
BY JOHN KIESEWETTER AND MARK CURNUTTE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Andy Furman, the popular WLW-AM radio host, has been suspended for on-air comments he made about Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Darryl Parks, operations manager for Clear Channel’s four AM stations here, refused to confirm or deny that Furman was suspended. Three phone messages for General Manager Karrie Sudbrack Thursday were not returned.
“You know we don’t talk about personnel matters,” Parks said.
Contacted at his Florence home, Furman, 56, refused to answer when asked if he’d been suspended.
“I can’t say,” Furman said.
Furman said he has no idea when he might return to work.
“I really don’t know. I have nothing in writing. I don’t know,” he said.
Furman, the outspoken – and sometimes outrageous – radio personality, is being disciplined for comments about Houshmandzadeh on Oct. 5-6, after the player missed a paid appearance with Furman on WLW-AM. WLW-AM personalities, who frequently joke about vacationing staffers being “suspended,” have been ordered not to talk about Furman, Clear Channel employees told The Enquirer.
Houshmandzadeh said he had flown home to California after practice on Oct. 5 – the Thursday of the team’s bye week – thinking he was not needed on the radio that night because the team was off that weekend. He called Furman after missing the show, he said.
The next day, Furman called Houshmandzadeh a racist on the air, according to Houshmandzadeh. Furman told listeners that Houshmandzadeh had called him a “white punk a--,” Houshmandzadeh said.
“I didn’t say it,” Houshmandzadeh said of the alleged racist remark. “I told him, ‘Andy Furman, you can ---- yourself.’ That’s the bottom line. And he twisted it into all whatever he wants to.”
Houshmandzadeh, 29, said Thursday he has talked to a lawyer about Furman’s broadcast remarks.
In a statement released late today through his publicist, Carla Welborn, Houshmandzadeh said that “being of mixed heritage myself, I understand that my fans come from diverse backgrounds and for that reason alone I would never say or do anything to offend them – and more importantly – I care about my image both on and off the field.”
Houshmandzadehi is half African-American and half Iranian. His wife is half white, he said.
“What he did was wrong,” Houshmandzadeh said. “Controversy sells. This time he took controversy too far.”
Since Friday, Bill “Seg” Dennison has hosted “SportsTalk” and the Monday night “BengalsLine” call-in show. WLW-AM is the area’s No. 1 station, including during Furman’s shows.
Controversy is nothing new to the opinionated talk host.
Two years ago, he angered Ken Griffey Jr. by criticizing the Reds outfielder for calling loud, abusive fans “clowns” in a USA Today story.
In 1995, he was banned from appearing on Bengals-related radio shows by team President Mike Brown.
Furman called Reds General Manager Jim Bowden a “liar” and “weasel” in 1994. That same year he referred to University of Cincinnati President Joseph A. Steger as “Adolf Steger,” and later apologized.
He was sued by anti-smoking advocate Ahron Leichtman for blowing cigar smoke in his face during a 1991 appearance on Cunningham’s talk show.
The former race track promoter at old Latonia Race Track (now Turfway Park) was fired from Monticello Raceway in New York for a “Ku Klux Klan Night” promotion in the 1980s.
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