My latest Chicago Tribune column is on Ben Finfer, whose epic rant traveled far beyond a FM sports talk station in Chicago.
From the column:
It was the rant literally heard around the world.
After learning that WGWG-LP 87.7, a.k.a. “The Game,” was shutting down while on the air in November, Ben Finfer unleashed his anger for all to hear.
“I had respect for my bosses until five minutes ago,” Finfer told listeners. “Who treats people like this?”
The 10-minute tirade quickly went viral. It got picked up by sites such as Deadspin and Big Lead and ran on outlets in New York, Washington, Toronto, and even London.
Indeed, the last thing Finfer ever expected was to be a story in the United Kingdom.
“I guess people love when you rip on bosses,” Finfer said. “I didn’t think it would blow up the way it did, but I also know how things work in 2014.”
Finfer also now has a better knowledge on the fickle state of talk radio. After he and co-host Alex Quigley play out the string for their noon-3 p.m. show on The Game, which will close at the end of the year, Finfer will go into 2015 looking for a new job.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Finfer and others who joined the new enterprise last winter. He was comfortable as the producer for “The Mac & Spiegs” midday show on WSCR-AM 670, along with working some weekend shifts as a host.
However, at age 34, Finfer yearned to have his own daily show. He didn’t hesitate when WGN-AM 720 president Jimmy de Castro offered him the opportunity on what would be the town’s third sports talk station.
“This was exactly what I wanted to do,” Finfer said.
On the rant:
Finfer was livid about receiving the news from Twitter, not de Castro, and exploded on the air.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t do a lot of thinking of what I would say,” Finfer said. “It was very surreal to find out that way. I probably could have said it with a bit more tact and nuance, but I don’t regret what I said.”