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Trupiano Says It’s All An Act

He’s never worked in sports-talk radio, and until last year he hadn’t worked in any kind of broadcasting. But Nick Trupiano has rocked St. Louis jock-talk radio like no one else in the 22-year history of the format. His recent on-air comments led to fists flying, the man who hired him ending up in a hospital — then resigning his job — and a guy he was criticizing on the air spending a night in jail.

That was just for starters.

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Now the NAACP has notified his new boss that it is unhappy about racial comments Trupiano made on the air, and sources say the Federal Communications Commission has been alerted about of a vulgar word Trupiano used — the FCC can fine or take other actions against stations that violate its codes.

All this surrounds a 32-year-old guy who has an extremely colorful past and a vivid present.

“If I can survive this circus, I’m sure I can survive anything — especially the things that are coming to me lately,” he said this week. “I’m not a stranger to adversity.”

And controversy.


His father was Matthew “Mikey” Trupiano, whom Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan has called “this city’s last mafia chieftain” who ultimately “went to prison for playing gin rummy.” That was after being busted in a game begin played at Lloyd Christopher Auto Sales, on South Kingshighway, in 1991. That building now houses a rental car facility.

The younger Trupiano and other family members have been in the headlines themselves, too, notably for battles with St. Louis officials over troubles with bars they have ran, including on Washington Avenue and in Soulard.

A few years ago Nick Trupiano was co-manager of the downtown nightclub that was known as Lure and later Amnesia, which was owned by his sister Aprille. They fought for their liquor license after police and neighborhood residents complained that club customers fought in the streets and dumped beer bottles on the sidewalks. The Trupianos eventually were out, and Nick said then that the fix was in.

“You’ve got a city judge who works for the mayor’s office, and serves at the pleasure of the mayor,” he said, and he and his sister added that Mayor Francis Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford was out to get them.

They now run Social House, a Soulard bar that also has been under scrutiny of the local authorities. A Post-Dispatch story in late 2012 said the facility “has been on the city’s list of nuisance properties for about a year because of complaints of fights, noise, property damage and rowdy behavior.”

The family, including other siblings, has been involved in several other clubs through the years, too.

“It was a weird business to chose,” Trupiano said. “We never should have gotten into it, but now we are stuck.”

Trupiano also was stuck in a career morass before his radio opportunity suddenly developed.

He long has been an aspiring comedian, and his wisecracking as a 13-year-old was enjoyed by one of his dad’s buddies, who arranged for Trupiano to make a brief on-stage appearance at a local comedy club. One of his jokes: “My father is working for the government now. He should get off in about 2½ or three years with good behavior.”

“Everybody thought I was kidding — I wasn’t,” he said, adding that he drew a standing ovation.

For more visit STL Today where this story was first published
Jason Barrett
Jason Barrett
Jason Barrett is the President and Founder of Barrett Media since the company was created in September 2015. Prior to its arrival, JB served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He also spent time programming SportsTalk 950 in Philadelphia, 590 The Fan KFNS in St. Louis, and ESPN 1340/1390 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Jason also worked on-air and behind the scenes in local radio at 101.5 WPDH, WTBQ 1110AM, and WPYX 106.5. He also spent two years on the national stage, producing radio shows for ESPN Radio in Bristol, CT. Among them included the Dan Patrick Show, and GameNight.You can find JB on Twitter @SportsRadioPD. He's also reachable by email at [email protected].

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