ESPN Radio Syracuse personality Brent Axe was fired after nearly 10 years with the station over the weekend after the affiliate’s ownership said he had increasingly become too critical in his coverage of the university’s athletics program.
Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Media Partners, which owns the affiliate station, told Syracuse.com on Sunday that Axe was fired because he had “a problem with the content of the show” he hosted.
“I’m an SU fan. I’m sorry, but I bleed Orange. I’m not going to apologize for that, and I think a fair reading of the Orange is appropriate. I understand (Galaxy has) a business relationship (with Syracuse), that Coach (Jim) Boeheim and I are personal friends and he’s an investor in my company,” Levine told the outlet.
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“I understand and acknowledge all of that. We’ve called it pretty fair, and I would argue we’ve been tough on SU when the on-field or off-field events warrant it. I just think over the past six months it took a different tone and became overly dark and negative. I don’t think that’s what Syracuse fans want to hear.”
Axe, who also works full time for Syracuse.com, told the outlet that he felt he was “fair” during his broadcasts, seemingly disagreeing with Levin’s characterization.
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“I had a responsibility to give an honest, fair and thorough opinion to my audience,” he said. “I certainly wasn’t perfect, but I don’t regret anything about the approach of the show. We put listeners on the air, and we gave them the opportunity to say what they needed to say. I don’t have any regrets.”
His firing came just one day before Levine announced that former men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim, who seemingly retired after Syracuse got knocked out of the ACC Tournament by Wake Forest, would now be featured “regularly” on the radio station.
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According to Syracuse.com, Boeheim has been critical of Axe in the past, but Levine told the outlet the two decisions were unrelated despite his ties to Boeheim.
“I put it on Facebook for the timing of it,” Levine said. “That agreement was done a full year ago. They are unrelated. Two completely separate items altogether.”