SBD/Issue 136/Sports Media

Slaten, Fired By KFNS, Claims Cardinals Behind Decision

KFNS-AM Friday fired radio host Kevin Slaten in the wake of a "controversial interview last week with Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan" in which Slaten aired a conversation between the two that Duncan believed was private, according to Dan Caesar of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. KFNS GM Evan Crocker said that management made a "thorough review of the matter ... and that there was no choice but to fire Slaten and [producer] Evan Makovsky" due to potential FCC ramifications. Slaten "disputed that and said the station was reacting to pressure from the Cardinals." Slaten added that the team "used the Duncan incident as an excuse to persuade KFNS management to remove from the local airwaves a voice that often is critical of the team." Slaten: "This is a vindictive and retaliatory practice by the Cardinals that has gotten me fired. The Cardinals are at the very root of this, and [KFNS] has thrown me under the bus to curry favor with the Cardinals. ... I'm simply stunned that any station in this day and age would cave in to pressure from an athletic team -- especially one that they don't even broadcast their games." Slaten added that he believes pressure to remove him came from Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, "a frequent target of Slaten's criticism, rather than the front office." La Russa Friday denied talking to the station about Slaten. Crocker said there was "no pressure from the Cardinals" and it "didn't matter who was on the other end of the call" for the interview in question. Crocker added that "even if the incident had happened with someone from another organization, 'the outcome would have been the same'" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/5).

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