Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Couple of Final Thoughts on Mike Bacsik

I had speculated that Mike Bacsik was in trouble at the station even before his exclusion from The Great Game.  I didn't hear all of the hosts yesterday, but it appears that at least as far as his immediate colleagues are concerned, my impression may have been incorrect.  They uniformly sang his praises, said what a good guy he was.  That makes his exclusion from The Great Game puzzling -- hard to believe Junior has the juice to exclude a guy who was, overall, good for TGG last year -- but I'm prepared to believe it.

As Mike Rhyner suggested in yesterday's show, Ticket guys -- all of them -- aren't employed by a local family station where everyone can rally 'round a wounded colleague.  They're employed by Cumulus, a publicly-traded national company.  When an employee commits a horrific public gaffe like Bacsik did, there are two --actually, two-and-a-half -- major considerations:

(1)  Bottom Line.   Cumulus does not have a property in San Antonio, but it has plenty of properties in plenty of places that have plenty of Latino listeners.  And even if Latinos don't make up a significant portion of Cumulus listenership, if the story has legs (as it appears that it does), you can imagine that Latino activists would pressure Latino businesses to boycott Cumulus and yank their advertising.  Not a difficult choice to end this crisis before it starts.

(2)  Legal / Human Resources.  These aren't really two things, but maybe one-and-a-half.  The issue here isn't external, it's internal.  The law these days sometimes doesn't require any particularly awful single event to happen to an emloyee in order to impose liability on the employer.  The employer's tolerance of a hostile racial/sexual/you-name-it "environment" may be introduced into evidence.  So even though Bacsik didn't oppress anyone at Cumulus, if he weren't dealt with severely it could be brought up as evidence in a later discrimination case to show that Cumulus tolerates an atmosphere where racial slurs are no big deal.

So he had to go.

The "dirty Mexicans" remark was stupid enough, but let's not overlook the threat to bomb the NBA, which is equally stupid.  For reasons I don't need to explain.  It doesn't even matter if he "meant" either one of these remarks.  If this is what comes out when he's drunk, frankly, he's probably not what you want around a company whose business consists entirely of interacting with the public.

Sorry to see the man go -- Your Confessor had big plans for him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you hear JC Wolfe's new show 12-1 on 1190 "the daily nooner?". Radio grabass smorgasboard. He was playing some of his greggo drops today from their experiment last winter. I nearly ran off the road with laughter. Good stuff