It didn’t take long for SportsTime Ohio to respond to the arrest of talk show host Chuck Galeti over the weekend.
The regional sports network, which was bought by Fox Sports at the end of last year, released a statement Monday afternoon dealing with the situation.
“We have suspended production of Chuck’s Last Call until further notice. We will respect the ongoing legal process and have no additional comment at this time,” the whole of the release read.
Parma police arrested Galeti on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to display his license, according to reports. It’s not the first time he has had issues with alcohol. In 2003, he spent time in jail after a car accident and attendance in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
Galeti has seemingly had nine lives when it comes to his career. He has worked at Channel 3 (WKYC), WTAM (1100-AM), Channel 19 (WOIO), leaving that position, he said, because he was tired of standing outside of locker rooms waiting for athletes, according to a Plain Dealer report.
But after the success of Bruce Drennan’s All Bets Are Off, STO took a chance on Galeti’s ironically titled talker that followed Indians games during baseball season and aired at 10 p.m. out of season.
The reactions on Galeti’s Facebook page have ranged from supportive to terse.
“I feel terrible for you and your loved ones to experience a relapse. Start again. One day at a time. Love, love, love you and sending my prayers for you to heal,” wrote an Eastlake fan.
But others were concerned about the consequences of his alleged actions.
“Get yourself the help you need before you kill what is left of your career and your life,” wrote another from Lyndhurst.
However, his fate might already be decided. What could be a telling sign is that the STO link to Chuck’s Last Call appears to be scrubbed from the Fox Sports Ohio website, that or the link is broken.
The slot’s future
That being the case, one has to wonder, despite that Chuck’s Last Call has been yanked “until further” notice, whether it will return at all.
A callous speculation? Probably. However, it’s also reality.
If the powers that be at STO decide to fill the time slot, they do have options — local choices they have access to already. For those familiar with two Summit County natives — Andre Knott, a graduate of St. Vincent-Mary, and Zac Jackson, a Manchester alum — who toil in the media — their web show offers a perfect opportunity for STO to do something different.
By different I mean inject some youth into sports conversation. Currently their show, Sportstalk A to Z, can be found on the FSO website, but it deserves a wider audience and an investment of capital.
The show works because of the two hosts. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve had a professional relationship with them dating back six years now. Knott and Jackson are friends who treat the show as if they’re hanging in their man cave talking [sometimes arguing] sports.
But unlike most folks hanging out in their man cave, they both know their stuff through years of covering the Browns and other Cleveland-area sports. Knott can be seen on WEWS (Channel 5) as a fill-in sports anchor and in the same role on Sundays on All Bets Are Off on STO. Jackson traverses the state during the college football and basketball seasons covering college sports as a writer for FSO’s website.
They possess the chemistry and now the powers that be that run Fox’s regional sports channel can give A to Z a permanent home.
Given Galeti’s long career locally, it’s safe to assume that he has a following. Here’s guessing, however, that the demographics skew toward an older crowd. Knott and Jackson get the younger generation of sports fan that still puzzles this writer. They’re hip. They’re knowledgeable. And now all they need is the support.
A whopping 13 million viewers tuned in at the height of the event to see Nik Wallenda walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope Sunday night in Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda, which aired on the Discovery Channel.
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Read the On Sports Media blog at http://www.ohio.com/blogs/sports-media. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.