Ramsey, Rutherford exit too quickly from Louisville sports radio

No face to face, no letters of resignation, just a couple of emails on Friday from John Ramsey and Mike Rutherford to the boss Drew Deener that they were resigning from their sports radio talk show on ESPN 680. 

Outta here. Gone. Effective immediately.

No advance notices, no apologies to the listeners, nothing that would be considered anywhere close to a graceful exit. They were done.

So abruptly that many University of Louisville fans thought it was an April Fool’s joke, occurring on the eve of April 1. Others speculating that Ramsey and Rutherford had been enticed to another radio station and were unable to discuss their plans because of contractual obligations.

Turns out, as Rutherford explains on his web site, that working multiple jobs on a taxing schedule was apparently taking a toll. Something had to give, and it turned out to be the radio show. Ramsey, who was originally a solo act, may have decided that the show had limited potential without Rutherford.

The most surprising thing about the episode was the speed with which the departures happened. Coming as a shock for some listeners who tuned in day after day for their take on UofL sports.

Imagine Drew Deener’s shock at learning about the resignations via email, two of his most valued personalities leaving immediately, not bothering to give him or the listeners any advance notice.

Ramsey was probably the biggest homer on sports talk radio, leaning heavily on Rutherford for facts and insights. Rutherford, meanwhile, had a radio voice that could only be described as monotonal and grating at best. 

The fact that they were both longtime UofL fans, with easy access to Louisville coaches and other personalities, made the show an entertaining one while filling a local media void.

Ramsey was never bashful when it came to professing his devotion to the Cardinals or making his contempt known for the Wildcats. Rutherford, on the other hand, was obviously one of the most knowledgeable and respected sources on UofL sports in the community. 

A sudden, strange and awkward departure. Their listeners, and their boss, deserved better.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

13 thoughts on “Ramsey, Rutherford exit too quickly from Louisville sports radio

  • April 3, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    They were taking their cue from Bobby Petrino 1 maybe? Come on, guys, you’re better than that.

  • April 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    So, what happens when you leave a radio personality on air knowing they are quitting or getting fired?

    Ugly. Ugly happens.

  • April 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I am guessing this was written by Matt Jones because it was both insulting and totally false. Oh well.. we were never looking to please the haters. L1C4.
    It is all good and Mike and I look forward to the next chapter.
    It’s a great day to be a Cardinal fan!!
    John Ramsey

  • April 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Well this one was very insulting.. proof is in the pudding. #1 in afternoon drive for the past year. No promotion, just word of mouth. Would have loved to have given a he audience a proper goodbye. I agree they deserved it. Sadly it is more complex than that..
    The next chapter will be interesting.

    • April 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      John, that was my primary point that your listening audience deserved a friendly farewell. Instead they had to wait all weekend to get the final word on the show.

      I agree that achieving No. 1 position during the afternoon drive time was impressive, especially for a show on an FM station.

      • April 4, 2017 at 5:35 am

        Monotonal and grating? Wow, that’s hateful. Most would agree that Rutherford has a fine voice for radio.

        You sound jealous and childish with this kind of nonsense. Disappointing.

  • April 4, 2017 at 8:37 am

    It seems extremely unlikely you some authoritative survey on which to base that statement (‘most would agree he has a fine voice’), you should have written you ‘think’ most would agree.
    I happen to think his voice is non-conducive for radio, but not that it is as bad as Spencer described (of course, that’s just like my opinion, man.)

    The entertainment industry makes for strange bedfellows, as is witnessed by Mike’s recent hooking up of his wagon to Sam Vecenie’s horse (and who possesses a terrible, awful voice for radio.)

    Either way, the Louisville ‘afternoon sports radio segment’ isn’t the monster some seem to think it is based on this back and forth (here and elsewhere.) At the end of the day money drives the shows, so the money must simply not be there.

  • April 4, 2017 at 9:44 am

    They weren’t number one for a year…that’s simply not true. I’ve seen a one page summary of the ratings when I was pitched for advertising. They were tied with Jason Anderson in their last ratings period for 7th, both well ahead of 790

  • April 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I loved listening to John and Mike. You guys will be missed… It’s not just about fans, it’s also about the human beings who provide the entertainment and their own lives… Live well you two! Got nothing but love for you!… Haters will hate, because you are both so great!

  • May 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Would have MUCH rather had Tony Vanetti and Mike Rutherford together as opposed to hearing ave Jennings cricket humor or John’s interview questions of “So, the audience wants to know… what did you eat for dinner last night?” The best part about the show was Mike’s insight and inside knowledge of the program. I love John’s fandom but his input was ridiculous more times than not. How many times can an Ali impression be entertaining? In my opinion, Maybin is the absolute BEST thing that station has going for it. He’s entertaining, informative, engaging, and I love having the knowledge of someone who actually played in the trenches of a sport. Pair him with a football guy of equal personality and I think you’d have a hit. Just my opinion. Ramsey should probably just return to spinning records and letting commercials fill the space in between songs.

    • May 2, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      We are pretty much on the same wave length, Mike. A Charles Gaines-type personality with Maybin would be a fascinating combination.

  • May 2, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    The bad thing is… Mark Hebert has a show (non sports related) on a Sports channel which affiliates itself with ESPN. I don’t know which is worse. A Mark Hebert hour or those two ass clowns Mike and Janelle on ESPN who force me to spend more time researching their nonsensical terminology in the annuls of Urban Dictionary.com, rather than give me interesting sports information. I swear it’s an even less funny version of Regis and Kathy Lee. Frank Gifford probably drank asbestos to rid himself of that babbling host much as I crave having being faced with another segment of Mike and Janelle.

    Point is, I tune into 93.9 TheVille for sports information and to hear the opinions of a host. It’s become a hunt for “when is Maybin on” and plugging up my car auxiliary cord for Spotify. Sometimes I tune into Deener in the morning until I hear the god awful voice of Billy Reed. Talk about a voice that makes you search for a moving train to lay our face. Having to endure the stroke-like drunken slur of Billy Reed commentary is as pleasant as a chlamydia exam. I will however give Deener credit. He has somehow become less pompous and arrogant in his discussions with callers, and his segments with Jared are actually pretty funny. They interact and play off each other very well, as he also does with Maybin whenever he brings him in. Basically Louisville, out sports talk radio is becoming as horrendous as our musical selections that Clear Channel or iHeart have left us with.
    I’m nt Bill Lamb, but that’s my point of view.

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