Plugola, which is illegal and a Federal Communications Commission violation that could cost a station its license, is when a talk show host is paid to promote a product on the air without the station’s approval or without disclosing it to the public.
“The good thing is that we caught it before he did any damage,” said an official at sports talk WQAM who asked to remain anonymous. “Sid made an agreement to plug a sport-betting website he owed money to. My understanding is that he had a $100,000-plus in losses with the site.
“Sid received a fax at the station spelling out their private agreement, and Sid forgot it in the fax machine. Someone found it and brought it to our attention.”
Rosenberg, 44, is due back in the studio Jan. 3.
When asked why he wasn’t at work last week, Rosenberg text-messaged: “There’s no story. Nothing brewing. Stop listening to the scumbags at 790 (WQAM’s rival station, 790 The Ticket, which Rosenberg left in 2009 to join WQAM) and a few jealous losers on the street.”
Rosenberg stopped replying when I asked him about the fax and the plugola allegation.
And WQAM Program Director Lee Feldman said: “We’re not commenting on what happened with Sid, other than saying he’s taking personal days.”
Rosenberg’s disappearance raised eyebrows in the sports talk circles because it happened during the all-important football season. A source in the station’s sales department said Rosenberg’s shenanigans may have cost hundres of thousands in lost revenues.