After 18 years on WLW-AM (700), in which he offended many listeners with his bombastic comments, a public dispute with a Bengals player cost Andy Furman (above, 2nd from left) his job. Furman, 56, was fired Wednesday, nearly three weeks after being suspended with pay on Oct. 13 for calling wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh a “racist” during the station’s weeknight “SportsTalk” show on Oct. 6.
The remark came a day after Furman had ripped the player on the air for missing a paid appearance that night on “SportsTalk” during the team’s bye week.
The decision came from Clear Channel’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, and not from the Kenwood-based station, says Janet Abary, Furman’s attorney. Houshmandzadeh’s attorney had contacted the San Antonio office after the incident.
Furman’s attack on Houshmandzadeh was the latest in Furman’s controversial career, during which he had angered Reds and Bengals management and players, university coaches and presidents, and listeners.
On Oct. 6, Furman said on the air that Houshmandzadeh had called him a “punk-ass white boy.”
Houshmandzadeh denied making the 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 said several days later. “What he did was wrong. … This time he took it too far.”
ike Honold was listening to Furman on his drive home from work on Oct. 6 – as he has for 18 years – and thought the host was “particularly over the top” on Houshmandzadeh.
“If he was lying about it, he should be fired – particularly since he said it about such a big customer on the station, the Bengals,” said Honold, 44, of Cheviot.
>Furman’s firing was cheered by Sheri Edmundson-Wood, 32, of Anderson Township, who called it “a very, very long time coming.” She has disliked him since 1990, when Furman called her a “slut.” He made the remark when Edmundson-Wood, then 16, had called to wish Furman’s co-host at the time, Cris Collinsworth, a belated happy birthday.
Bob Burgett of Fairfield Township also supported WLW-AM’s decision. He was shocked to hear Furman on Oct. 5 encourage listeners to spit on Houshmandzadeh’s jerseys because he had failed to appear on “SportsTalk” that night.
“That was more than just talking smack. It was hateful and unprofessional,” said Burgett, 43.
But longtime friend Tom Dinkel – a former broadcast partner and former Bengals linebacker – said he was disappointed at the news.
“Bill Cunningham says stuff twice as bad on a daily basis – he had offended almost every ethnic group in this city – and he doesn’t get touched,” said Dinkel, who co-hosted “Sunday Morning Sports- Talk” with Furman for 15 years.