It could be that—for the three hours he hosted his drive-time radio program on Sirius/XM—Chris "Mad Dog" Russo was having trouble filling the air for the required three-quarters of every hour, because he said some pretty stupid things about race and media. Russo was asked about his hiring practices—his Sirius/XM channel, Mad Dog Radio, has never had a black host—in light of the Donald Sterling fiasco. Mad Dog said there hasn't been a black host worthy of the gig.
Now, Mad Dog maybe has some points to make. The demands unique to the job—odd hours, the lack of commercials in subscription-based radio often requires hosts to talk longer than broadcast radio, and the fact that listeners actually pay to listen—all limit an already limited candidate pool. But, uh, it's still sports and entertainment and people are ready, willing, and able to do the job. This is the Saturday Night Live casting controversy on a much smaller scale. There are perfectly qualified candidates out there, one may even be hired in the coming weeks now.
Nonetheless, Russo says he hasn't seen a resume or heard a tape from a black host who could carry a radio program for 45 minutes out of every hour for three-to-four hours and mix it up with callers worthy enough of captaining a national talk show. The top three qualities Mad Dog requires, that he has not seen in a black host are:
- Be entertaining;
- Do an interview that's quality;
- Get the phone lines going.
After the show, Russo went on Twitter to explain himself.
At least he probably got the phone lines going, anyway.