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TV/radio briefs: Nick Cellini loses CSS show, where is Wes Durham going?

Wes Durham
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The hits keep on comin'.

A day after CBS Atlanta cut ties with 790/The Zone, cable network CSS decided to end Nick Cellini's weekly sports show.

Cellini was part of the trio that got fired by the Zone Monday after an ill-advised bit about a football player with ALS that enraged a lot of people. Although he has apologized for his role, he isn't getting much leeway from employers.

CSS released this statement todady:

“We apologize to our viewers who were offended by the grossly inappropriate and insensitive comments made during Monday’s simulcast airing of 790 The Zone’s Mayhem in the AM program, and want to make clear that the opinions and actions of the radio hosts do not reflect those of our network. In addition to prohibiting these commentators from appearing in any future simulcasts, Nick Cellini will no longer be appearing on presentations of Dantanna’s Late Shift.” 

CSS will continue to air whatever morning show the Zone chooses to air.

Steak Shapiro's "Atlanta Eats" weekly show on CBS and Peachtree TV is still moving forth as of today but as noted yestereday, he and the other Mayhem hosts are off CBS's "Sportsline" show on Saturdays.

If you're reading this, you probably know what happened earlier this week. If you need to catch up, here's how it happened:

Monday early afternoon: The Zone suspends Mayhem in the AM

Monday evening: The Zone fires Mayhem in the AM (where you can hear the audio)

Tuesday afternoon: Winners and losers from the debacle

Tuesday evening: CBS Atlanta cuts ties with the Zone

***

Wes Durham, the well-respected veteran Georgia Tech football and basketball day-by-day announcer for 18 years, is moving to a TV gig. But what?

He wouldn't say to my colleague Ken Sugiura because the deal isn't finalized.

With CBS Atlanta announcing Tuesday that it was going to hire a sports director to replace the outsourced Zone deal, some commenters on this blog speculated it would be Durham. But I'm told he's going to end up doing play-by-play for college football for Fox Sports South.

Fox Sports South released a non-denial statement, which implies that an announcement is  just a matter of time:

“Wes Durham is widely recognized as an accomplished and respected broadcaster. We have no further comment at this time.” – Jeff Genthner, SVP and General Manager of FOX Sports South

Durham will continue to do calls for the Atlanta Falcons radio network, heard locally on Star 94 and the Zone.

With Tony Barnhart, Durham tried a popular daily mid-day show for the Zone for awhile but found his workload too taxing. So last  year, he and Barnhart cut back their time significantly on the Zone.

***

I was remiss in getting the official Monday statement from the Atlanta Falcons. Here it was:

"The Falcons are disappointed in the comments made about former Saints player Steve Gleason on a local Atlanta radio station Monday morning. The content concerning Mr. Gleason was completely inappropriate and is not representative of the views of the Falcons organization, nor does it represent the way we conduct our business on and off the field. To single out Steve the way he was this morning is totally lacking in taste and discretion."

The Falcons signed a four-year deal with Lincoln Financial in 2011 after several years with CBS and Dave FM. Star 94 and the Zone simulcast the Falcons games. The Zone added many more shows on top of that.

I'm told the Falcons are too close to the start of the 2013-14 season for the team to pull out this season so the earliest they can realistically cut out is early next year. But the contract is set through 2015. I don't know how easy it would be for the Falcons to change gear mid-contract even if the team wanted to.

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