Fixing WEEI

HomeBrew1901

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There have been a lot of posts in a number of threads about the demise of WEEI and quite honestly I don't see a quick and easy fix. They have mis-managed things to the point where all the bench talent seems to be on The Sports Hub already but presumably the bench could go to EEI if they were offered a full time slot (keep in mind I have no idea if they have contracts that would forbid a move like this).

The biggest thing that TSH has going for them is that the hosts genuinely seem to like each other and enjoy going to work together, there is a chemistry there with each of them that makes them worth listening to. The teams on EEI have no chemistry and barely seem to be able to tolerate each other, this is based on very limited listening so I could be way off base on the EEI part.

Assuming you could start from scratch what would you do to make the station competitive?

First moves I would make would be to get rid of John Dennis and Ordway. They are both way past their prime and bring very little to the station anymore. I would then move Callahan to the afternoon drive time slot with Holley. I think this would be an immediate upgrade to the afternoon drive and give F&M some legitimate competition especially if they were able to hire Bertrand away from TSH.

Hire Bertrand or Keefe and pair them up with someone like Gasper or another up and coming talent and put them on the Morning show to compete with T&R or on mid-day to compete with Gresh and Zo. I would listen to Bertrand and Gasper over Gresh and Zo in a heart beat.

Here is where the job gets tougher but I think you could take Merloni and bring back Dale Arnold and together they could hold their own against T&R from the sports contingent that doesn't want to listen to Ask a Pink Hat or their other bits.
 

bsj

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Dec 6, 2003
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Honestly, one place I would start would be to tell my hosts to talk about sports and not politics. Being out of town, I rarely listen, but during my time off had some opportunity to fire up the WEEI app. I had forgotten just how politically extreme and, frankly, pretty damn socially intolerant the D&C broadcast is. I turned it off.

There are plenty of places I can go to get political talk. But I am a Mike & Mike guy, not a Morning Joe guy. I like lighthearted talk about balls and pucks at 7:00am. Too often those guys get on a soapbox about the most random shit.
 

wutang112878

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Nov 5, 2007
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I dont want them to do this, because I am truly enjoying watching their demise considering their past attitude, but..

The first thing to fix is D&C and its probably the easiest show for them to contrast against TSH. I like T&R but there is an opportunity for EEI to have the morning show be an intelligent solely sports talk and interview show that could take some listeners away from T&R and gain listeners that D&C had lost. The best part is to compete against T&R they might be able to get away with a cheap hire as long as they could get a talent who could talk sports.

I would suggest they just fire D&C to demonstrate that they are making major changes, and if EEI is reluctant to do so because it would demonstrate their mis-management by giving them the contracts then they are more stubborn than I thought.
 

Gambler7

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Dec 11, 2003
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Honestly, one place I would start would be to tell my hosts to talk about sports and not politics. Being out of town, I rarely listen, but during my time off had some opportunity to fire up the WEEI app. I had forgotten just how politically extreme and, frankly, pretty damn socially intolerant the D&C broadcast is. I turned it off.

There are plenty of places I can go to get political talk. But I am a Mike & Mike guy, not a Morning Joe guy. I like lighthearted talk about balls and pucks at 7:00am. Too often those guys get on a soapbox about the most random shit.
They already did this, now D&C just whine on Twitter about not being able to talk politics.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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D&C have severely toned down the political talk from their pre-TSH heyday, probably as a directive from programming. This is a good thing, and the show has short bursts where I'll listen to it for a while after switching from a commercial break during T&R's broadcasts.

Where they lose me is when Dennis goes on with one of his 3 minute (and 64-point) questions. I switch right back.

Seriously, ditch the guy. OTOH, Callahan can actually be an asset, and I say this as someone who loathes his persona.
 

TheWalthamKid

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Dec 16, 2012
378
I grew up on WEEI, used to fall asleep every night listening to either Sox broadcasts or Ted Sarandis. Basically because I never knew any better, I never looked for an alternative.

Recently, I came back for winter break from college and while driving around for the first time in months, I forgot what the FM affiliate for WEEI was. Since 850 was gone, I decided to just flip over to the Sports Hub because I knew that it was on 98.5. Wow, what a difference! The afternoon drive in particular is great with T&R. Ordway really grinds my gears. I think there should be a stat for Sports Talk Radio hosts: Steering Wheel Slaps. Everytime a host makes you slap your steering wheel and say "That's not true" or "What the hell is he talking about", that is one SWS. Ordway may be the uncontested leader in this category, if not for the existence of Cowherd.

Anyways, I think I may be a late convert to the Sports Hub. I still will always go to battle with my New York Roomate with Mikey, though.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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There have been a lot of posts in a number of threads about the demise of WEEI and quite honestly I don't see a quick and easy fix. They have mis-managed things to the point where all the bench talent seems to be on The Sports Hub already but presumably the bench could go to EEI if they were offered a full time slot (keep in mind I have no idea if they have contracts that would forbid a move like this).

The biggest thing that TSH has going for them is that the hosts genuinely seem to like each other and enjoy going to work together, there is a chemistry there with each of them that makes them worth listening to. The teams on EEI have no chemistry and barely seem to be able to tolerate each other, this is based on very limited listening so I could be way off base on the EEI part.

Assuming you could start from scratch what would you do to make the station competitive?

First moves I would make would be to get rid of John Dennis and Ordway. They are both way past their prime and bring very little to the station anymore. I would then move Callahan to the afternoon drive time slot with Holley. I think this would be an immediate upgrade to the afternoon drive and give F&M some legitimate competition especially if they were able to hire Bertrand away from TSH.

Hire Bertrand or Keefe and pair them up with someone like Gasper or another up and coming talent and put them on the Morning show to compete with T&R or on mid-day to compete with Gresh and Zo. I would listen to Bertrand and Gasper over Gresh and Zo in a heart beat.

Here is where the job gets tougher but I think you could take Merloni and bring back Dale Arnold and together they could hold their own against T&R from the sports contingent that doesn't want to listen to Ask a Pink Hat or their other bits.
I'd listen to Bertrand & Gasper or Johnston & Flynn, or really any combo of the four over Gresh & Zo. I love T&R but I'd probably listen to Bertrand & Gasper over them half the time as well. I don't think Keefe can really hold his own at this point.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Apr 12, 2001
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The obvious move is to remove John Dennis from EEI. I think that Callahan can still be a useful tool at the station, but I'm not sure if his reputation is salvagable. Even if he and Holley were on in drivetime and they were talking sports I'd be wondering what right-wing conspiracy is Callahan looking for on the web and how will he shoe-horn it in to a discussion. And I'm not sure if Holley is a strong enough presence to reign Callahan in. As to who takes over in the morning, I'm not sure. It might be best if they look out of market.

As for Ordway, I'm not sure what they can do with him. They'd have to fire him, I suppose, and that would be poetic if Pete Sheppard is working at EEI while Ordway is on the bricks. Maybe go back to the drawing board and having a rotating group of writers and media guys come in like the old Big Show; but do away with the cronism. It's not that the concept of the Big Show sucked, it's just that listening to Larry Johnson, Fred Smerlas, Steve Burton, Mike Adams and the like make two appearances a week got really old, really quick. Aside from New York and maybe Chicago, Boston probably has more sports writers and commentators than anywhere. Shuffle those guys in and drop the whole, "We're at a bar and we're just talking guy talk here!" schtick.

The mid-day show is where they have to focus their attention. If EEI can get a foothold in the mid-day then they should be able to build from there. Gresh is a trainwreck, while I am pleasantly surprised at Zo. But I don't think that Mut and Merloni are the answer here. Bertrand and Gasper could do some damage to Gresh and Zo, I think.

And stay away from Lenny Clarke and Denis Leary. That's ratings poison.
 

finnVT

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Jul 12, 2002
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For me (as a primarily morning-listener), the two big problems with D&C were (1) the "political" stuff (though really i don't think that's the right term, it's the hateful, bigoted undertones to a lot of their schtick), and (2) the callers. It's good to hear that (1) has been toned down (I haven't given it a try recently, other than boomer/brady interviews on mondays, so I wasn't aware). And maybe I'm the only one that has a problem with (2), but the callers they get are just. so. terrible. I get that it's a call-in show, and T&R really isn't, but I like that T&R basically just kick people off after 10 seconds and use the questions/comments as a springboard, rather than as a discussion with the caller. I suspect the problem goes deeper than this (I don't think D&C create content in advance of the show, so they have more time to fill, etc), but even when I find myself enjoying D&C, inevitably some idiot will call in, stay on too long, and i'll flip.
 

erfus

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Sep 5, 2002
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I'm not sure EEI plays to their strengths very well anymore in that they are the flagship of the Sox and Celtics, who usually get squatted upon on the Sports Hub (with exceptions like Rich for the Cs). The rampant negativity on the Hub about the Sox is something I find to be tiresome and contrived but D&C are not the place to find innovation or 'hot sports takes' these days. I think Phenom in the other thread hit the nail on the head when he said D&C have burned too many bridges with listeners. I don't care if they avoid politics now, I have a well-formed opinion that they are below-average human beings and I have no desire to contribute to their success. Their ship has sailed and they need to go, or at least be shifted out of drive time. Maybe their stuff plays better from 10-2? Anyway, if Bertrand and Holley were running a morning show, I damn well would listen to them when T&R went off the tracks on some pop culture issue I could not care less about or started in on some Adolfo-oriented skit.

EEI does have good baseball guys in Speier, Merloni, Bradford. I hear Sean McAdam doing fill-in on the Sports Hub on holidays occasionally and wonder if EEI couldn't steal him back. The hot stove show they do I think is pretty solid and I've always enjoyed the Baseball Show type format (as in the Saturday AM show on CSN). I think a Big Show type format could still function if it were a rotation of competent people and not old cronies. I'm not a Cs fan but I imagine it wouldn't be hard to get a similar basketball rotation going with Grande, Maxwell, Donny Marshall, etc.
 

Haunted

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Aug 23, 2006
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I am no fan of D&C but I do work with a few who are - and are all upset by the no-politics rule. On BSMW Bruce suggested moving them to WRKO (where the morning show is a bit of a mess and has been for some time) and having them ditch sports altogether. It's clear that they simply aren't interested in sports beyond golf and the occasional big event-type game, so I wonder how that would work. I think the WRKO crowd would appreciate them more in a politics/hot topics format than what they're doing on WEEI.
 

NortheasternPJ

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The rampant negativity on the Hub about the Sox is something I find to be tiresome


To be fair for the last year and a half there hasn't been many good things to say about the Sox.

As far as the NBA, isn't Adam Jones a big NBA guy?
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Jun 26, 2006
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I don't have the option of listening to the Sports Hub, as I'm up in Maine so I just get WEEI and our local sports station. I'm not sure if it's an indictment of EEI or high praise for our local guys, but in the afternoon, it's really no contest: the "PM Jab," with Chris Sedenka and Javier Gorriti, blows the Big Show out of the water. Sure, I tune in for the Belichick interview on Monday and flip over there every once in a while, but basically, Chris and Javier just plain know more about sports. Leading into the football season, for example, they did a series of interviews with a beat writer for every single NFL team. They have Chad Finn on once a week, plus a series of other regular guests. And they can talk intelligently about just about every team in every sport (there are exceptions, obviously, but they're pretty good).

The thing about the Big Show, and D&C especially, is that they don't even seem to enjoy sports anymore. They don't know shit about the rest of the teams in the league, I'm pretty convinced, nor do they seem to have a passion for or knowledge of sports history unless it involves Glen's former role with the Celtics or Holley's inside dope with the Pats or something. Yesterday, Glen and Holley were blabbing about this year's rookie QB class, which is certainly a relevant topic, but Glen is going on and on about how "you definitely have to put Russell Wilson in that conversation with Luck and RG3," which, no shit, everyone is already doing, and then he says, "you know, I can't think of another class like this. You probably have to go all the way back to that class with Marino and those guys in it, but I don't know."

And it's just so fucking frustrating, because, yeah, that would be interesting to hear about. Let's compare 2012 to 1983. Are Luck, Wilson, RG3, Tannehill, Wheedon, et al, a better class than Elway, Marino, Kelly, Eason? Of course, it's too early to tell, blah, blah, and there are a million caveats, but it was clear that Glen couldn't bring "1983" to mind, couldn't come up with the other QBs from that year, and completely didn't have a handle on the conversation at all. Then they bring on some ding-dong caller and the whole topic is lost and they're talking about some other inane flavor of who's better, Brady or Manning.

With our local guys, you can tell they've both got the internet in front of them and they're constantly rebutting caller points with stats and things they quickly google. Glen and Holley and D&C just spout whatever comes off the top of their head and they never make convincing points at all. It's embarrassing. Sports talk show hosts are supposed to know more about sports than your average guy. It's clear that none of these guys does.

Other people have mentioned Minihane and although I see what people are saying about him being a bit of a drip, I've caught him solo hosting on the weekends a couple of times and he seems to really know his shit, and if he doesn't, he looks it up! Plus, the way he handles callers is a million times better, cutting them off quickly if they're being stupid instead of arguing forever with them or shouting them down a la D&C/Ordway/Holley. I'd like to see him get a shot at some bigger spots.

Regardless, I think EEI's only hope to retain relevance is to retain the best interviews, which they do, indeed, have, and supplement them hosts who are a little more hip to modern sports debate, with the internet at their fingertips and a broad knowledge of sports in general, instead of just a myopic view that only includes Boston teams. I agree with others who've said they could maybe combat the silliness that Sports Hub apparently delves into a lot more often (as I said, I don't hear it).

They're partners with WJAB up here, so maybe no one cares, but I think EEI gets creamed in the afternoon by our local guys and if that's really happening, they should take that as a real splash of cold water.
 

Phenom

as if andy gresh and gary tanguay had a baby
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Jul 31, 2006
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Great thread, HomeBrew. I was thinking of starting it myself.

WEEI has to find a way to be competitive with “The Sports Hub” again. This wasn’t a competition in the fall, with 98.5 even taking the evening slot handedly despite the fact that the Celtics are playing and the Bruins are not.

The biggest difference between the two stations, as HomeBrew pointed out, is that “The Sports Hub’s” hosts seem to actually have fun hosting their shows. If you watch Felger, Mazz and Beetle on Comcast, it’s obvious how much they enjoy working with each other. You also see the brilliance of Felger. Whenever he’s ranting about “footie-pajama-wearing Patriots fans,” you can see him winking to the listener. His style is the opposite of a guy like Ron Borges.

He and Mazz also take bad calls in stride. They don’t take it as a personal affront if somebody calls up their … sports talk radio show and says something inane. They aren’t reciting the gospel; they’re trying to entertain people on their drive home from work. If somebody unintelligible calls, they hang up, Mazz does his Boston voice and they move on within 45 seconds. They don’t keep the poor guy on the line for seven minutes to withstand their wrath like D&C and Ordway do.

The same can be said for Toucher and Rich and Gresh and Zo. The chemistry Gresh and Zo have is the main reason why they crush “Mut and Merloni” in my opinion, who still talk to each other like they’re college kids whose parents have put them on a blind date against their will.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here would be my brief plan for WEEI:

Mornings: As erfus said, Dennis and Callahan have alienated too many listeners at this point to ever gain ground on Toucher and Rich. Entercom should move them to WRKO, and just let them host the kind of show they want to host.

I think T&R, for the most part, is the best radio show in this market. But I will say, there are plenty of times throughout a week when I change the channel during their show. Whenever they interview comedians, base a segment around Adolpho or try to talk sports for a prolonged period of time, I’m out. Fred actually knows what he’s talking about for the most part, but Rich’s knowledge outside of the Celtics is sorely lacking.

There is an opening for a more serious sports show to compete with Toucher and Rich. I don’t think WEEI could ever win in the mornings with this formula, but they could do better than 7[sup]th[/sup] place. People have mentioned Michael Smith before, maybe see if he would come back to Boston, and pair him with Michael Holley. I would say try to bring in Bob Ryan, but there is NO WAY Ryan would be interested in hosting a daily radio show at this stage.

Middays: This is the easiest spot for WEEI to gain ground on “The Sports Hub.” Pair Kirk Minihane with Merloni here. Minihane, unlike Mutnansky, seems to actually have opinions, and wouldn’t be afraid to debate with Merloni. It’d be cheap, too. Or, throw money at Bertrand and see if he would come over. Bertrand and Merloni would have me over Gresh and Zo any day of the week.

Afternoon: The key to taking listeners away from Felger and Mazz would be to offer a show that completely differs in tone. Meaning, less style and more substance. That’s not to say the show should be boring, but it should be less histrionic. Give the people a contrast.

This isn’t a sexy plan, but bring back the old “Big Show” formula of two rotating co-hosts per week, and have Dale be the host. Sign a stable of 10-12 people, and give it a go. Include people like Tom Curran, Troy Brown, Alex Speier, Jackie MacMullan, etc. I think a lot of people would flip over from Felger and Mazz, especially whenever they try to talk basketball or baseball.

Sorry for going too long. I had too much fun writing that.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Maybe I don't listen enough but what is the appeal of Merloni? Outside of him being a fan favorite back in the day I find him boring. I know he was the number one choice over Mazz as well so maybe it's me.
 

Sampo Gida

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Aug 7, 2010
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Maybe I don't listen enough but what is the appeal of Merloni? Outside of him being a fan favorite back in the day I find him boring. I know he was the number one choice over Mazz as well so maybe it's me.
I think its you. I find him the most objective and intelligent analyst there, a breath of fresh air. If he could be free of that clown he has for a partner and given his own show ratings might do well. Of course, since the listeners tend to like clowns, like Mikey and Callahan, maybe not.
 

americantrotter

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Aug 1, 2005
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I don't have the option of listening to the Sports Hub, as I'm up in Maine so I just get WEEI and our local sports station. I'm not sure if it's an indictment of EEI or high praise for our local guys, but in the afternoon, it's really no contest: the "PM Jab," with Chris Sedenka and Javier Gorriti, blows the Big Show out of the water. Sure, I tune in for the Belichick interview on Monday and flip over there every once in a while, but basically, Chris and Javier just plain know more about sports. Leading into the football season, for example, they did a series of interviews with a beat writer for every single NFL team. They have Chad Finn on once a week, plus a series of other regular guests. And they can talk intelligently about just about every team in every sport (there are exceptions, obviously, but they're pretty good).
Except for the fact they run an add making fun of geeks for not liking RBI's. They think sites like this are ruining sports.

They do know a lot more about the national scene, but they seem to be lost on the finer points of Boston sports. I originally really enjoyed them, but they follow the same trend in sports radio that I dislike so much. Too many callers with their schticks, not enough smart guests, subsittuting bombast for intelligence, and a heavy reliance on old school gut and antiqauted stats.

Which for all of EEI's faults they are better than. I agree with most here, it seems they just need to free one host per slot of their shackles. D&C needs to lose D. Mutt&Merloni needs to lose Mutt. The Big Show needs to drop Ordway.

I live in Portland and aside from guest hosting days or interviews I listen to neither station anymore than I have to and hit up my podcasts.
 

teddykgb

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I think I disagree with a lot of that, Phenom. You're essentially proposing that they try to just provide more substance in all 3 slots. While I'd love to think that that would work, I think it's a bit simplistic to say that just adding substance to every show would bring the listeners back.

T+R and F+M work because there's a good mixture of personality and comedy in their shows in addition to the sports talk. Nearly every show you described on EEI would be repetitive and at times likely boring. No matter how good the Dale + experts panel would be from a knowledge perspective, it's basically 'The Baseball Show' that everyone likes when they're listening to it but nobody actually seems to tune in to listen to.

I think there's a natural expiration date on any radio personality. If I were writing the obituary for EEI I'd say that it was more than just resting on their laurels, they just had the same people in the same slots for far too long, they just got stale. The bench wilted and when 98.5 hit they found themselves hoping Merloni could freshen them up, and he hasn't. To me, the answer for EEI does not lie in Minihane, Holley, Merloni, Arnold, or any of the other people who are known commodities over there. They need to unearth their own Felger or even Bertrand, inject some more personality into their shows without going full on meathead.

In terms of what makes the sports hub successful, I think that their formula seems to have been to put a bunch of personalities on air and encourage them to entertain. T+R, F+M, Bertrand, hell even Gresh and Zo all are a bit less serious than the WEEI counterparts. Even someone like Mazz, who was only occasionally serious on EEI, is a complete goofball on TSH. There seems to be a general acknowledgement that in a 24 hours news cycle and the age of the internet, sports radio needs to do more than 20/20 updates and a rehash of the same news everyone's been reading about all day. In a way, I think that's why T+R are able to be successful. There's a minimal amount of sports news that happens when they are on and most people who are listening know what happened the day before, so their lighter take on sports with more humor mixed in really works in that time slot. So, first and foremost, they've prioritized personality and entertainment. Secondly, as you mentioned, they've clearly got a policy on ending bad calls quickly and moving on. This is a problem that still plagues WEEI, who has always tried to let the freak show be part of the program, engaging a bad caller and trying to "convince" them to not be stupid is a fruitless and painful exercise. Thirdly, I think they just keep a pace to their shows. They seem to split their 4 hour shows into blocks and have a specific topic planned for each block. Instead of spending 4 hours on the same topic that the hosts introduced at the start of the show, they seem to figure that an average listener is only in the car for a certain amount of time and gear their show in that regard. It's probably not new to the radio world, but I think it gives their shows a certain amount of pace when you're listening that makes the time go by faster. In any given hour, you're likely to hear a few different things from a show on TSH and get out of your car feeling like you really "learned" a lot.

To fix WEEI, then, I think you have to update your format similarly to how TSH has in terms of planning your shows and cutting back on the bad callers. Then they have to solve the personality problems by bringing in fresh faces. They just need a youthful exuberance that's completely lacking at that station right now. Bertrand was a real find for TSH, but he wasn't some recycled host from another location who parachutes into Boston and tries to become part of the sports scene.

In a lot of ways, I keep coming back to the decision to can Pete Sheppard. He was basically a dumb version of Bertrand. A local guy who really cares about his teams and has some personality. I'm not saying that Pete solves much, if anything, for WEEI, but the decision to fire him really neutered WEEI of anyone who seemed to really care about the local teams. Really started to head in the opposite of TSH with that move, and it has really shown. Finding another passionate local would help them immensely to inject some energy into their shows.

You may be able to salvage Minihane, he's almost the guy I'm describing, only he manages to come off as so angry and douchey that I worry about his ability to transcend his natural tone. I think one of their biggest mistakes was overvaluing Holley, who has always been a bit of a bore and a long talker who doesn't say much. He's practically an anti soundbite. Everyone chalked that up to Dale Arnold because he's so vanilla but Holley was just as vanilla as he was. Merloni is a former athlete who doesn't seem to leverage that in any way and again seems to talk a lot without really saying anything. As others have stated, Callahan is great when not paired with his buddy, I honestly think he could be the part of a great midday show if he wanted the slot and had the right partner, he's basically Felger with a conservative bias and sometimes absent sense of humor.

I don't know, I think I'm all over the place right now, but I keep coming back to a need to inject personality into their shows and find a few hosts who are capable of succinctly making a thought provoking point, upping the pace, and being more 'local'. If there's one thing you can hit most of TSH guys on, it's that they're outsiders, and in this town I think that can matter.
 

Phenom

as if andy gresh and gary tanguay had a baby
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Jul 31, 2006
998
Great post, teddy. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

Admittedly, the plan I put forth for WEEI wouldn't propel them to the top of the ratings book. But with more substance, they would draw some listeners away from "The Sports Hub," and be more competitive. Dale and two co-hosts would be bland, but it could be insightful and informative, which would be a step above Ordway and Holley.

I don't see who the next Mike Felger is for WEEI to plug into their lineup. Bertrand could be that kind of guy, but would WEEI throw money at him, pair him with Pete Sheppard, and put that up against Felger and Mazz? It's risky. Minihane, as you said, is interesting, but he lacks something. Maybe it's because he's never worked on a beat, or never hosted anywhere else, so I don't think he's as credible a voice as others in the market. Plus, he's too whiney for my liking. Way too preoccupied about getting into Twitter wars with Joe Haggerty and nonsense like that.

Ultimately, this comes down to how much risk Entercom is willing to take. If they are to retake the ratings book, they have to think big, as teddykgb pointed out. The safer route would be to try to add more substance to the airwaves, which though it wouldn't beat out "The Sports Hub," it would give 98.5 a little bit of a challenge.

But who can they take a risk on? That's the question we're all still trying to answer.
 

JimBoSox9

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Wait. Is there any evidence that ANYONE likes Mikey Adams?
I think I'm very much in the minority of the radio-philes on the board in that I've always preferred Planet Mikey to the DA Show. Mikey is an idiot and I don't listen to his show (T&R is the only sports talk radio show that I make a point to tune into, really), but he's an idiot in the goofy drunk uncle kind of way that appeals to my sense of humor, intentionally or unintentionally. DA to me has always been super-generic. Got the tough guy/blowhard radio host attitude without overdoing it, echoes the standard talking points of the day, takes a lot of calls; I'm consistently not entertained.
 
Nov 29, 2012
411
I'll admit that I don't listen to EEI much until it's Sawx season, but the biggest problem with both the morning show and the Big Show seems to be a sense of entitlement and a lack of imagination. The article above that talks about "passion for sports" ; especially when concerning the morning show really is spot on. It's not just the political crap that sucks, D & C seem to find anything and everything to talk about besides sports. Plus they are too douchebags. Secondly (or whatever number I'm on) get rid of the "blow up button" in the afternoon, either screen your calls better or don't make a huge part of the show be a tribute to the "Whiner line" crowd. YOU'RE ENCOURAGING AWFUL CALLS.

I am probably the minority as I listen to Boomer and Carton in the morning. I am in CT. and have equal access/reception of WFAN and WEEI. I hate the constant talk about New York sports teams, but the comedy and chemistry of the straight man(Boomer) and the loony toon (Carton) blows anything on EEI away. They have a very funny and entertaining morning drive show and even though there isn't anything groundbreaking in the format they manage to stay fresh despite the amount of saturation within the market.

During the summer, especially in the evenings when I occasionally tune to EEI when the sox are off or on the West Coast and catch Planet Mikey. EEI could do worse, as mentioned above he's entertaining enough and doesn't take himself too seriously.

who knows........... Maybe one of these days Remy retires to a radio job..... it would be painful sometimes, but at least it would be informative and probably popular.
 

Guapos Toenails

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Beetle has got to get a shot at his own show...somewhere. If EEI was able to get him and put him in the Big Show slot (after shit-canning Ordway...oh what a great day that will be) I would be back listening to EEI full time and only sometimes flipping to F&M. I think Beetle and Sheppard would be tremendous radio because Beetle would not let Sheppard get away with going full meathead all the time. I hate Pete Sheppard but for some reason can imagine a Beetle and Sheppard show working.
 

berniecarbo1

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Execellent thread here fellas. I lived in Boston for over 30 years and was around when EEI was HDH and you had Eddie Andelman and Dale cohosting.....I am dating myself since that was like 20 years ago. However, I ask the dumbass question of the day...is Boston really a two (or more) sports radio town? EEI entered Boston as the local version of the Fan and at one time used to have their hosts on and vice versa. Like anything, there is a self life to hosts, like athletes. I compare EEI and TSH to the televison version of WCVB and WHDH....old retreads pulling in a suburban older crowd for their newscasts on one channel vs. a slicker, hipper, bang, boom urban younger crowd to watch their news shows on the other.

Everything that has been said in this thread has a grain of truth to it and I think EEI should look at these suggestions. They need to maybe have a tad more national look at sports. They need to modernize their lineup with younger, dynamic hosts. Their lineup is old and cannot relate to a younger crowd. As much as I like Dale he has been around for 20 years. D&C...you have said it all...Ordway....overpaid loudmouth. Holley, boring....mid day....boring. The whole staion is just D-U-L-L!! In the evening, Mikey Adams is like a bad lounge comedian who used to play the Tropicana in Vegas but is now playing the Elks lodge in Somerville.....he is stealing money. They should just go national when the Sox and Celts are not playing in the evening.

I think TSH found the formula that works now. It's like an Oldsmobile and an Audi. One was a founding company of an industry but got stale and could not keep up with trends and consumer demand, relied on an older crowd to keep them going but when their base stopped buying cars, they were no longer relevant and went away. The other is sleek, fast, and people like driving in it....and they are still around. Once you find the formula anything else is a copycat. I think EEI's days have come and gone and they will be mired as a second rate sports station in a town that IMHO cannot support two such stations. One will always be far superior to the other. Add in ESPN radio and you have too many channels for too few listeners.

The biggest thing that killed EEI was not Pete Sheppard being canned ( I thought he was an Ordway lite when he was on the air regualrly) but it was the arrogant attitude of the hosts and the way they dismissed hockey as a sport. They equated it with box lacrosse and in a town like Boston, that has a supportive hockey fan base when it is winning, given that TSH embraced hockey and carried the games on their station, when the Bruins went on their run, people started switching over to TSH, liked what they heard, found new talent in Bertrand and the others and walked away from EEI. The desperate way Ordway and the rest tried to pander to get listeners back was pathetic and laughable. IMHO, they have never recovered from that.
 

JimD

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Frank from Gloucester says that you get-a-life nerds need to go back to your mother's basements and play with your calculators.
 

bosox188

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I think I'm very much in the minority of the radio-philes on the board in that I've always preferred Planet Mikey to the DA Show. Mikey is an idiot and I don't listen to his show (T&R is the only sports talk radio show that I make a point to tune into, really), but he's an idiot in the goofy drunk uncle kind of way that appeals to my sense of humor, intentionally or unintentionally. DA to me has always been super-generic. Got the tough guy/blowhard radio host attitude without overdoing it, echoes the standard talking points of the day, takes a lot of calls; I'm consistently not entertained.
Mikey Adams is somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine, I enjoy his show for what it is. He doesn't take himself seriously, it's a change of pace from the pattern most sports talk radio falls into where sports are life and death. Last spring I loved the show he did when he had Jim Koch in the studio.
 

David Laurila

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Frank from Gloucester says...
This. And I don't think I've ever actually heard Frank from Gloucester. Taking an educated guess, he's the same type of shill [and shrill] character who used to call in to Pete Franklin's popular sports show in the 1970s and early '80s. This type of "entertainment" got old many years ago, and somehow still survives. In an educated and sports-savvy city like Boston, aiming a little higher would be a move for the better.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Frank from Gloucester says that you get-a-life nerds need to go back to your mother's basements and play with your calculators.
Those words are way too big and way too coherent to come out of Frank from Gloucester's mouth.

G'bye men!
 

NortheasternPJ

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Can we give D&C the Ole Yeller treatment yet? It only seems fair. I know the 25 people watching them on NESN makes up for them being beat by 100% but still.
 

HomeBrew1901

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Blow it up at this point. 

I have to say though, as much as I haven't been a big fan of Minihane or Salk individually they were paired up a few weeks ago and I caught them during the EEI rebroadcast on Saturday morning and it wasn't bad.  Not saying that I would change allegiances but a morning show of Salk and Minihane might not be horrible to compete with T&R.
 

Haunted

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NortheasternPJ said:
Can we give D&C the Ole Yeller treatment yet? It only seems fair. I know the 25 people watching them on NESN makes up for them being beat by 100% but still.
But... Providence! 
 

americantrotter

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Keep Salke, Keep Holley, Keep Minihane, Keep Lou.
 
Add some better co hosts and shake up the current partners if they survive the cull.
 
 
Blowup that godawful morning show and midday show.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I used to be a big Holley fan but how many more chances can he waste? He's so bland and passive. When he tries to have a hot sports take it just seems forced.
 
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they could have kept Ordway and Dale, and just reshuffled the pairings as one last grasp, but nope....they are now stuck with a bunch of yappers who suck
 

Domer

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they could have kept Ordway and Dale, and just reshuffled the pairings as one last grasp, but nope....they are now stuck with a bunch of yappers who suck



I wouldn't say they are "stuck" with a bunch of new talent. The worse problem would be getting stuck with expensive talents such as the Big O. As mentioned elsewhere, the only reason the morning duo hasn't been replaced yet is because their money was guaranteed, even against free-falling ratings. If they are going to be a fifth place station, which is about what they were even with the Big O drive time, they might as well be a thrifty and profitable fifth place station. You can make a lot of money at number five in a market as large as Boston, but not when your personalities are making first place dollars.

Also, I can't believe WBOS is so popular.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Not that'd it happen but I'd listen to Johnston & Flynn and Bertrand & gasper over gresh & zo and f&m if they were on WEEI. 98.5s weekend is vastly superior to the WEEI main lineup.

There's talent out there. They just need to rebuild.
 

ForKeeps

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Oct 13, 2011
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Blow up both stations and build cinemas or libraries or museums in their place. Any of these guys who feel the need that strongly to inflict their nonsense on people can do podcasts and knock themselves out.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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The problem is, and I said this in another thread, is that the new guys: Salk, Minihan and Mutt all sound exactly alike and have pretty much the same sports takes. I really dislike Gresh, but he sounds nothing like Massarotti who sounds nothing like Toucher. The voices are unique and that's how it used to be on the old EEI. S/M/M are on from 6 am to 6 pm and it sounds like one guy doing the same thing for 12 hours -- and they're kind of smarmy, kind of know-it-alls, a bit whiny and none of them have really said or done anything to separate themselves from the others.
 
It wouldn't be bad if one or two or them were on the station every day, but 12 straight hours and it's like enough all ready. 
 

soxfan121

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If and when WEEI is no longer indebted to D&C, they should take the following suggestions:
 
6-10AM: Good Morning, Michael Holley (with "flash" guy Mike Mutnansky)
Holley has killed two partners (Arnold & Ordway) and is well on his way to killing a third (Salk). He's just not good as the "other guy". What he needs is a more free-form show where he can talk about anything (sports, politics, pop culture) and bust on a "flash" guy (a la John Wallach) who can interject stats, look things up and keep it things on schedule. Giving Holley time to engage with callers the way he wants to would be dangerous but might lead to a more fervent and loyal following. Demoting Mutnansky to being a non-named co-host would keep a good long term prospect under contract and encourage him to refine his technique with a lead host who would give him time but not allow him to ramble on (and on, and on).
 
10AM-2PM: Middays with Minihan (with "flash" guy Christian Arcand)
Minihan tries very hard. I don't like him very much. But he clearly puts in the work to come up with controversial takes and to plumb the depths of his own personality to be interesting. This is where WEEI enacts JMOH's philosophy of "if you're gonna suck, do it cheaply". Middays don't really matter, so give the slot to the (potentially) most interesting prospect on the roster and see what he can do with it. 
 
2PM-6PM: Salk & Merloni (with "flash" guy John Saucier)
WEEI spent money to bring Salk to town and I'll bet his contract specifies a drive-time slot. Merloni is wasted in the midday slot; he's a local name, he has developed into a decent radio host and he's by far the most interesting person on the WEEI roster at this time. Why not see if these two have chemistry? Merloni would call Salk on his milquetoast-y tendencies and Salk could help Lou avoid the "don't you know who I am?" trap that Merloni falls into occasionally. 
 
6PM - : Chris Velani, Jon Ryder, etc.
Rotate the voices in the Red Sox/Celtics pre-game slot and let some of the younger prospects try to develop an audience at night, where the ratings are largely based on the games and the ability to cater to weirdoes and defectives. Lock Mike Adams in a broom closet and never, ever let him out. 
 

Bunt4aTriple

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Am I the only one who can't stand Merloni?  I'm not sure what it is about him, but I feel as though he spends the morning staring into a mirror, holding his hairbrush as a microphone, asking himself, "What's my hot take for the day?"  I just don't believe that feels as strongly on any topic as he purports.
 

Rocco Graziosa

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Recently I gave Salk/Holley a second chance just to make sure I wasn't tuning in on a bad week........but my god that show fucking sucks.  They're completely boring and when they try to be "fun" its contrived and stupid.  Nothing, and I mean nothing on the show seems genuine.  When they give an opinion, especially Holley, I don't believe it.  Like I'm listening and think "someone told him to say this".  They also have godawful chemistry.
 
Just a horrible, awful radio show.    
 

NortheasternPJ

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drtooth said:
How Jason Wolfe still has a job is baffling.  There is where I would start.  A fresher set of eyes to oversee the operation is long overdue.
 
Obviously this is just a blip because of the Bruins run. It's not WEEI's fault! Just wait for the Red Sox run in Sept/Oct. Oh wait, WEEI gets smoked again? It's because of the Patriots! The Celtics won't be good so we can write off the 2014 winter books. 
 
That's the only reasoning i can come up with for how everyone over there isn't fired.
 
For kicks (and the fact I'm procrastinating) I put together the last 3 books. To be fair, WEEI isn't really losing share, they're just not gaining any. 
 
Oct -Dec        
        TSH    WEEI
Morning        9.1    5.7
Midday        7.9    5.9
Afternoon    9.1    5.2
Evenings    6.9    5.6
        
        
Jan - March        
        TSH    WEEI
Morning        11.4    6.2
Midday        8.2    5.4
Afternoon    10.1    5.3
Evenings    9.6    5.8
        
April - June        
        TSH    WEEI
Morning        13.4    6
Midday        7.8    5.4
Afternoon    12.3    5.4
Evenings    16.2    9.7
 

Andy Merchant

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Aug 2, 2010
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Has John Dennis started spinning this on twitter yet? "Well, with 93.7 plus Providence, plus NESN, plus the mice in the walls of the studio and the anthills within earshot we are absolutely crushing TSH!".
 

JohnnyTheBone

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Rocco Graziosa said:
Recently I gave Salk/Holley a second chance just to make sure I wasn't tuning in on a bad week........but my god that show fucking sucks.  They're completely boring and when they try to be "fun" its contrived and stupid.  Nothing, and I mean nothing on the show seems genuine.  When they give an opinion, especially Holley, I don't believe it.  Like I'm listening and think "someone told him to say this".  They also have godawful chemistry.
 
Just a horrible, awful radio show.    
 
Agree 100%.  Salk is boring, Holley is boring, and they have zero chemistry.  The non-sports banter is even worse than the sports blathering.