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Dec 21 2007

Mouse roars at Madden?


WEAE (1250) talk host Mark Madden has been ordered to clean up his act, or face dismissal, according to Bob Smizik of the Post-Gazette.

The station’s owner — The Walt Disney Co., parent of ESPN — is supposedly warning that the off-color, innuendo-laden rants that are a Madden trademark have no place on a “family-friendly outlet.”

Smizik claims that Madden’s board operator has been instructed to “dump” any raunchy remarks made not just by callers, but by the host as well.

Citing unnamed sources, Smizik claims that Madden has privately told friends he was worried about being fired.

But he also quotes WEAE program director Jim Gracie as offering unqualified support: “Mark has been part of our radio station in the past and he will be part of it in the future. We plan to have him on in 2008 as great as he ever has been.”

Madden is not quoted in Smizik’s story; the longtime P-G and Pittsburgh Press sportswriter is a regular target of Madden’s on-air vitriol.

In a related story, Madden is now writing for Go! magazine, the free monthly entertainment newspaper produced by the Beaver County Times. The first edition of his new column “Mad, Madder, Madden” appeared in the December issue.

Madden also writes a weekly column for ESPN’s website. Madden previously wrote for the Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh City Paper.