Sid Rosenberg may have left the building (and the area, for that matter) but he has been, and always will be, a New Yorker. Yes he is in Miami fulltime now, as a host on WQAM radio, and has been for a while, but unlike the millions of other snowbirds now in the Sunshine State, his road to Florida was not to find a solid retirement community. It was to resurrect a star-crossed career as a radio host, and maybe someday find himself back on the airwaves in New York.
Rosenberg has documented his pathway to success, ruin and recovery in a very unique book project, You're Wrong and You're Ugly, (coauthored by New York Post sportswriter Paul Schwartz), out this month. While it's probably, hopefully, safe to say that 42 may be a bit young for Rosenberg to be writing a reflective memoir, the book is chock full of anecdotes, insights and third party stories from notables like Jim Nantz and Pat Reilly to make it a fun and very insightful read, and maybe even serve as a series of lesson stories for younger people looking to break into a difficult industry in the best of times, on what to and what not to do.
The days of shock jock radio may be curtailed a bit in the current economic climate, but the digital era has created platforms for virtually anyone to voice an opinion or find a way to drum up controversy to attract attention to themselves. What is sometimes lost in the controversial voice is whether the speaker actually has something worthwhile to note or say to the audience, whether that is one person or one million.
The sound of one's own voice can become pretty deafening pretty quickly without any substance, and in reading the book, it really shows that Rosenberg's work over time has proved that he does have something to say, even if it is sometimes lost in yelling and screaming hosts and outlandish bad boy comments which have gotten him into trouble in the past. He knows how to report and pull news and information from a subject, no matter how opinionated he can be. He also has the ability to write and use the written word to also tell a story, another trait which is lost on many of those in the talking head business today.
Also unlike many who have reached a high level in his or her career through the media, Rosenberg is not afraid to take shots at himself at this point, and tell the tales of how he overcame horrible errors in judgment and a series of life and career-threatening addictions to put his life and career back on the right track. The book is much more reflection than scandal-ridden tell-all. For better or worse, Rosenberg's follies have been more than well told through the media over the years. It is also not a "How To" on how to be successful in the sports and entertainment industry. In actuality it is probably more of a "How Not To," with the result being a story that flows from chapter to chapter, anecdotes and all.
Will the book drive more interest and listeners in Miami or create buzz back home in New York? Maybe. Will it provide some sort of cathartic experience for anyone other than the author? Probably not. Is it a good casual read for the sports fan, especially those in the New York area and in South Florida? Sure is. What Rosenberg gives you in the book is some pretty good insight into what makes up any mercurial personality, whether that person is in business, academics, sports, and entertainment. In a time where many people are searching, or contemplating lifestyle changes, forced or otherwise, Rosenberg's work here gives you a few minutes to compare and contrast what challenges many people face with their inner demons, and maybe even makes you like the controversial man behind the voice just a little bit more.
It's clear that You're Wrong and You're Ugly was not an easy write for Rosenberg, who remains very much a player in the media business, especially in South Florida. It's tough for one to come clean with him or herself, let alone in the pages of a book. However, what is also clear is that the guy enjoys what he does, whether that is in South Florida or New York, and he has clearly paid the price for past transgressions.
Will it help him get back to the Apple fulltime? Maybe. But if not, at least New Yorkers can read along and remember back when he was a fulltime host in New York, not that long ago.