Brent Axe
Brent Axe via Syracuse Orange sports on syracuse.com YouTube

Syracuse Radio Personality Brent Axe Fired For “Overly Dark And Negative Comments”

ESPN Radio Syracuse personality Brent Axe was recently fired from the station after nearly a decade of service, reportedly because his coverage of Syracuse University’s athletics program had become increasingly critical.

Brent Axe On the Block
Brent Axe On the Block via Cuse Sports Talk YouTube

Galaxy Media Partners owns the station, and its CEO, Ed Levine, reportedly told Axe via Syracuse.com that he had “a problem with the content of the show.”

Axe, a dedicated sports columnist for Syracuse.com, was a part-time employee at Galaxy Media. He was known for his candid evaluations of Syracuse’s sports programs and for facilitating a platform for fans to express their viewpoints, favorable or critical. But on Sunday, Galaxy President and CEO told Axe that his radio show On the Block with Brent Axe would be discontinued.

Levine went on to reportedly add, “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.”

He continued, “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.”

Ed Levine
Ed Levine via Utica Comets YouTube

RELATED: Coach K Calls Out Syracuse For Mishandling Of Jim Boeheim’s Retirement: “The Fact That There’s Any Ambiguity Is Wrong”

Levine further told Syracuse.com, “Brent is a full-time employee of Syracuse.com. I believe Syracuse.com has an agenda in regard to Syracuse University. I don’t know what that agenda is, but that agenda was manifesting itself on our airwaves. We have no agenda. We’re in business with Syracuse University, but we call it straight down the line. What I said to Brent was I wish he covered Syracuse University with the same affection that he covered the Buffalo Bills.”

Levine would also state, “I wish I had a dollar for every fan that came up to me in the last six months and said, ‘Why are you guys being negative about SU?’ When we haven’t had a particularly good football, lacrosse or basketball season, everyone around here knows it. We don’t need to have our faces ground into it every day.”

Ed Levine
Ed Levine via GalaxyCommunications YouTube

However, the fans acted opposite to Levine’s assumption. Specifically, Eric Silverman expressed his disdain for the decision on Twitter, saying, “Unfortunately, it seems SU was too thin-skinned to hear the truth.” He says “truth” because Syracuse’s big three sports each had terrible seasons.

Eric Silverman (@ericcsilverman) Twitter
Eric Silverman (@ericcsilverman) Twitter

Axe said he felt he had been fair in his broadcasts and was responsible for giving his audience an honest, thorough opinion. He added that he did not regret his approach to the show and had allowed listeners to express their views.

“I had a responsibility to give an honest, fair, and thorough opinion to my audience. 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,” Axe said.

Brent Axe Joins Mike Waters and Donna Ditota
Brent Axe Joins Mike Waters and Donna Ditota via Syracuse Orange sports on syracuse.com YouTube

RELATED: Coach K Calls Out Syracuse For Mishandling Of Jim Boeheim’s Retirement: “The Fact That There’s Any Ambiguity Is Wrong”

Syracuse’s former basketball coach Jim Boeheim recently retired. Coincidentally, Axe’s firing came just one day before Levine announced that Jim Boeheim would now be featured “regularly” on the radio station.

When asked in March if he’d continue to coach, Boeheim was confident in his response, saying, “ninety-five percent of Syracuse people want me to coach.” He reportedly said that the only consistent critic he heard was a local radio show host.

Jim Boeheim's Retirement Speech
Jim Boeheim’s Retirement Speech via Syracuse Orange sports on syracuse.com YouTube

Levine has denied all rumors and said, “I put it on Facebook for the timing of it. That agreement was done a full year ago. They are unrelated. Two completely separate items altogether.”

Nevertheless, Axe speculated, “What I’ll say is I think the timing is very interesting. I’ll leave it at that.”

Brent Axe
Brent Axe via Syracuse Orange sports on syracuse.com YouTube

Do you think Brent Axe deserved to be fired? Let us know in the comments.