Fixing WEEI

Patriot_Reign

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Reading Bruce Allen, Chad Finn, and message board posters mention all of the rumors flying about WEEI's status (station getting ready for sale, or moving back to AM, or switching to all ESPN programming) probably holds some weight, but given the strength of 'EEI's dot com stable of writers and content production makes me reign in thoughts of the station folding.
And while they may be getting crushed in Boston, they're still syndicated throughout New England, that's got to bring in some serious cash still.
 

J.McG

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Aug 11, 2011
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I've heard it floated elsewhere that WEEI could be in the early stages of converting to a hybrid platform of local and national programming, similar to ESPN New York (98.7 FM, I think?). So you'd have ESPN's more popular syndicated shows in the mornings/early afternoon (Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, maybe first hour or two of SVP & Rusillo) followed by local programming featuring lower rent, ESPN-friendly personalities (the Mike Salk types). Imagine ESPN would be a lot more open to and capable of eating the contracts of guys like D&C, Mikey Adams, Holley, et al. if it meant they'd have full control of the station's programming going forward.
 
Now I can't see that translating into beating 98.5 in the ratings, but I guarantee ESPN would run a much tighter ship in terms of costs and would be willing to sacrifice some daytime ad revenue if it meant having an outlet in a major sports market to endlessly plug their television and online content. A deep-pocketed backer like ESPN with the kind of reach it has would certainly stand a better chance than Entercom when it comes time to renew the Sox broadcast rights as well.
 

Rocco Graziosa

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Oh my god it looks like there is a chance that in the end 98.5 didn't just beat EEI, they fucking killed them.  Literally.
 
Think about where EEI was 6 years ago, and what we're discussing now.  Its incomprehensible.  EEI was one of the most powerful radio stations in the fucking country. 
 
Wow. 
 

mabrowndog

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After hearing that Wolfe's replacement was just hired, I decided to listen to the first hour of this morning's D&C in anticipation of a train wreck. Highlights so far:
 
* Making fun of their new boss by holding up an iPad with a photo of him for the NESN cameras, and comparing him to Pig Vomit from Private Parts while playing out the scene where they're called into his office and repeatedly drilled on the proper pronunciation of "double you EEEEEEEE eee eye..." They spent roughly 15 minutes on this while chortling like teenagers watching Beavis & Butthead. I find it amazing that they'd invoke a Howard Stern reference mere weeks after he eviscerated them and made them a laughing stock on national satellite radio.
 
* Dennis bitching about Mike Adams scribbling on some piece of paper Dennis keeps on the desk under his microphone. A worthless 5-minute rant.
 
* John Dennis bragging about eating more oysters than Fred Smerlas. Seriously. This roundtable discussion lasted about 20 minutes.
 
* Returning from commercial break, more ridicule of the new boss. "We know he's listening, and we're trying to impress him."
 
I'm all for someone throwing MInihane a life preserver, but D&C need to die the death of a thousand screams.
 
And with that, I'm out.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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It's a sad day if/when WEEI goes away as a stand alone station.  Letting TSH run the town will be bad.  Sports talk in Boston will be better with 2 (or more) strong stations. 
 

Eric Yu

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Phenom said:
Is there much of a motive for WEEI to get back to number one?
 
They still hold the rights to the Red Sox and Celtics, have a strong signal 
 
 
Several days late on this, but am I the only one who has trouble getting a radio signal inside Fenway Park?  
Totally one of those guys who listens to the radio broadcast during games (or, used to).  I can definitely get 98.5, and the old 850 AM station (which no longer broadcasts the games), but 93.7 is totally crowded out by 94.5 and whatever is below it on my handheld radio.  
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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HomeBrew1901 said:
I dont' think Boston is big enough to support 2 strong stations.
 
I disagree, Boston is definitely strong enough to support two well-run sports stations. The problem is, EEI has to get off its ass and do interesting things. Like it or not, they're the underdog now and they have to start throwing crap against the wall and see what sticks. That means new voices, different shows, better takes. It's amazing to me to see how all of EEI's ideas to beat TSH have been either: a. the same old crap or b. trying to copy TSH.
 
You know why the Whiner Line was successful for 10 years? Because it was new and fresh. You know why the Big Show was successful? Because no one had really done a show like that. It was the opposite of Eddie Andleman's stuff that ruled Boston for 20 years. Changing around the deck chairs, putting the exact same guy on for 12 hours (Minihan, Mutt and Salk), keeping D&C and Mike Adams is killing this station. I don't know, maybe you devote one day to each team every week: Monday will be Patriot's Monday, Tuesday could be Red Sox Tuesday, Wednesday could be Celtics Wednesday (Celts play a lot on Wednesdays), Thursday could be Bruins Thursday (B's play just about every Thursday) and Friday could be a Free-Form Friday.
 
If something big happens (a trade, a trip to the Championship, a firing) you work it into that day. Or you just do it for the Big Show and invite the site experts and others in to talk about the teams. Maybe this fails terribly but I think that with TV getting so specialized, maybe it's time for radio to do the same. Also, listening to Tony Mazz talk about football sucks or Felger talk about baseball blows. I don't mean to pick on them, but hosts have their strengths and weaknesses, why play to a weakness for x amount of months simply because they're the host?
 
The one thing that EEI has over TSH is a really good web site chock full of smart people writing smart things. They should use that advantage more.
 

dirtynine

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I'm trying to balance my enjoyment of seeing the arrogance WEEI displayed, and the corrosive personalities it employed, get their comeuppance, with the desire (as a Boston sports fan and radio listener) to actually see them do something interesting to rebound.  
 
I guess I want the current regime to completely fail, and then rebuild with interesting programming that doesn't threaten what I enjoy about TSH (Toucher & Rich, particularly).  
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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dirtynine said:
I'm trying to balance my enjoyment of seeing the arrogance WEEI displayed, and the corrosive personalities it employed, get their comeuppance, with the desire (as a Boston sports fan and radio listener) to actually see them do something interesting to rebound.  
 
I guess I want the current regime to completely fail, and then rebuild with interesting programming that doesn't threaten what I enjoy about TSH (Toucher & Rich, particularly).  
 
I think we've reached that point.  Wolfe is gone.  Ordway is gone.  Those two were the primary "architects" of the WEEI that became such a powerhouse.  Once D&C are gone, and even they're hinting on air that their future is uncertain, a true rebuild can take place.
 
The problem that EEI faces, IMO, is one that TSH didn't, and that's havign available and established local talent to plug into their shows.  Think about TSH did with their daytime lineup at their launch.  They moved a highly rated morning show over from BCN, then plugged in a combination of established TV/radio personalities through the midday and afternoon drive (Tanguay, Zolak, Felger, Mazz, later replacing Tanguay with Gresh). The only "new" guy they had was DA, in the least important slot on the schedule.  It's not as though TSH started from the ground up with a bunch of hungry young voices...everyone already knew who they all were.
 
Who are the available recognizable personalities that WEEI can bring in and not simply be retreading old ground?  There's no Felger-esque guy hanging out waiting for a break to get on the air (like Felger was post-890, pre-98.5).  They had to reach all the way to Seattle to bring Salk "home".  Who else is there?  Seems like their best bet is to find and run with relative unknowns.  Guys like Minihane and Mutnansky are the types they're going to have to find somewhere, only they have to find better than them.  They need to find an Amendolara or a Bertrand of their own, give them an opportunity, and hope they can build themselves a following.  Because they're not going to find anyone who's bringing a following with him like Felger did at TSH.
 

erfus

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Isn't Boston supporting 2 sports talk stations now?  I think the point was made up thread that while EEI is not #1, their overall ratings are solid.  I think they will improve by ditching some of the obvious suspects and maybe raiding some of the Hub part-timers that are interesting.  I noted Paul Perillo on F&M yesterday made a quip about Mazz finishing 1st in that silly popularity poll and said "I can't even get a full time job on the radio" or something to that effect.  He may have been kidding but I get the feeling there are certain guys who make cameo appearances here or there that may be willing to work a more regular schedule.
 
I also agree that 'EEI underutilizes guys like Speier and even Bradford on the radio side.  It's a godsend when they have their 6pm show instead of the inane Planet Mikey stuff.  Obviously those guys are busy updating the web site and chasing interesting leads.  Is the web content more important than the radio content?  Honest question, I have no idea (from a name recognition and money-making point of view).
 

riboflav

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Sean McDonough is the only media person I already know well that I'd want to listen to on a daily basis. But, I know that's never going to happen for obvious reasons (job at ESPN, contract demands, perceived prior failure at hosting his own show).
 

teddykgb

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I tend to think that WEEI threw the baby out with the bath water.  Canning The Big Show's format, imo, was a big mistake.  The concept of a central host who brings in topical expertise on a daily basis is a great way to compete with Felger and Mazz, neither of whom have a ton of depth of knowledge outside their primary sports (and arguably struggle even in their primary sports).  Ordway had become a problem because he at some point morphed into Glenn Ordway: the maker and breaker of Boston radio careers.  He just brought on the people he liked and let talent like Mazz and Felger get driven away or ridiculed.  Over time, the format got stale because the same individuals were on there daily, doing the same schtick.  Especially with the Globe moratorium, it was like Ordway had a time capsule of media people who were relevant at some point and just kept using those people, instead of constantly introducing new voices and other outside experts like former players and coaches.  In a lot of ways, it's a much more responsive format, because even when you get stuck talking about the same topic for days on end (Tebow, pretty much the whole baseball season, etc), you can at least rotate in fresh opinions, thoughts, and ideas on a daily basis.
 
Going to a 2 host format right up against Felger and Mazz was somewhat suicidal, especially given that the two hosts were Salk and Holley (and Holley and Ordway).  The're just not interesting enough to carry a show day in and day out.  Either one of them, though, could probably be the "anchoring" host who prompts the other people for their opinions and engages them in conversation, which is precisely what Ordway did before he got too lazy there at the end.  Holley, in particular, might be decent at this, since I honestly don't care one iota about any of his opinions on pretty much anything, but he's generally gregarious and even tempered and could probably "moderate" a decent discussion amongst various experts.  And, of course, if you're in this kind of format, maybe you can convince Bob Ryan to come on air 4x per year, and everyone and their brother tunes in and listens because he's great on air and people love him.
 
My only other thought, on the "available talent" front, is somewhat mixed up in all of this.  People like Alex Speier are almost assuredly not interesting/talkative/bombastic enough to do a daily radio show.  He's good in guest spots and would probably be good in the "panel" format the Big Show used to have.  But there are actually a surprising number of people like him in the Boston market now.  There was a time there where the local papers really didn't introduce much in the way of new talent, but the turnover and struggles at the Globe and Herald, combined with time, have introduced quite a number of voices in the Boston market over the last few years.  In addition to the stable of content creators they have at their web properties, there's really quite a few people in the scene who could at least be rotated in semi regularly.
 

Rocco Graziosa

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
 
I disagree, Boston is definitely strong enough to support two well-run sports stations. The problem is, EEI has to get off its ass and do interesting things. Like it or not, they're the underdog now and they have to start throwing crap against the wall and see what sticks. That means new voices, different shows, better takes. It's amazing to me to see how all of EEI's ideas to beat TSH have been either: a. the same old crap or b. trying to copy TSH.
 
You know why the Whiner Line was successful for 10 years? Because it was new and fresh. You know why the Big Show was successful? Because no one had really done a show like that. It was the opposite of Eddie Andleman's stuff that ruled Boston for 20 years. Changing around the deck chairs, putting the exact same guy on for 12 hours (Minihan, Mutt and Salk), keeping D&C and Mike Adams is killing this station. I don't know, maybe you devote one day to each team every week: Monday will be Patriot's Monday, Tuesday could be Red Sox Tuesday, Wednesday could be Celtics Wednesday (Celts play a lot on Wednesdays), Thursday could be Bruins Thursday (B's play just about every Thursday) and Friday could be a Free-Form Friday.
 
If something big happens (a trade, a trip to the Championship, a firing) you work it into that day. Or you just do it for the Big Show and invite the site experts and others in to talk about the teams. Maybe this fails terribly but I think that with TV getting so specialized, maybe it's time for radio to do the same. Also, listening to Tony Mazz talk about football sucks or Felger talk about baseball blows. I don't mean to pick on them, but hosts have their strengths and weaknesses, why play to a weakness for x amount of months simply because they're the host?
 
The one thing that EEI has over TSH is a really good web site chock full of smart people writing smart things. They should use that advantage more.
 
 
STRONG opinions.  Thats what sells in this town.  Say what you want about Felger but he has STRONG opinions about everything he talks about.   Even those idiots (who have FANTASTIC chemistry) Gresh and Zolak have strong opinions about the local teams.  There is no one on EEI that, from what I can tell, feel strongly about ANYTHING.  Salk is straight vanilla.  Holley is even worse......I think he DOES have strong opinions, but waters them down on the air to avoid controversy.  That shit they throw up in mid day is atrocious.  Its Gresh and Zolak minus the chemistry and opinion.  The morning show has just completely run its course.  
 
Get someone in there that thinks Felger is a fucking asshole and let him rant about it all day long.  Get someone thats more of a homer, who has local ties and just shit on Felger all day long about being from Wisconsin and the fact that he's a Packer and Brewer fan.  Talk about SOMETHING interesting, and ALWAYS have an opinion.  
 
They have to take everything that Glen Ordway did there and do the complete opposite.   Instead of surrounding your talent with a bunch of dummies and have the host never side for or against anything, surround a host with smart people that are funny and wiling to challenge everyone and everything.  Be INTERESTING.  
 
There is a reason Felgers thread here is over 100 pages long and is always near the top of the forum.  People CARE what he says.  Some people like him, others HATE him.  But a LOT of people care what he has to say.
 
Until EEI gets people in there that the fans in this town care what they're talking about they will continue to spiral downward.  
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Toucher & Rich rarely have any strong opinions about sports topics, but they're funny and creative. Maybe it's a bit unfair to ask some potential new show to emulate that model, as it's a unique one in the world of sports radio, but it does prove that people want to listen to intelligent and talented hosts. The rest sorts itself out.
 

Ralphwiggum

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The Allented Mr Ripley said:
Toucher & Rich rarely have any strong opinions about sports topics, but they're funny and creative. Maybe it's a bit unfair to ask some potential new show to emulate that model, as it's a unique one in the world of sports radio, but it does prove that people want to listen to intelligent and talented hosts. The rest sorts itself out.
 
I was just going to post something similar.  The thing I love about Toucher & Rich is that they don't take anything too seriously, most of all they don't take themselves too seriously.  I think in particular for a morning show this is key.  Rich riffing on Belichick's non-answers to press conference questions this morning was funny, as opposed to others who would have spent hours ranting and raving about how they do not answer any questions in Foxboro. And their intelligence and the respect they have for their audience really shows as well, particularly with their treatment of serious stories like the marathon bombing (focusing on the positive stories to come out of the incident and spending zero time on the bombers themselves including rarely (if ever) mentioning them by name).
 
I think one of the main reasons that D&C suck so hard is that they are always so angry about everything.  Maybe that appeals to a segment of people who are angry all of the time but I don't want anger at 7:00 in the morning when I am driving into work.  I want to laugh a little and listen to something that is going to put me in a good mood for the start of the day before I have to deal with my shitty job all day.  You can't say they don't have opinions, in fact their opinions on the political stuff are so strong that they had to be told to stop talking about that stuff.  And I think they have shown they can have strong sports opinions as well.  I think the issue is that they are jaded and angry about everything and that gets old and tired after a while and people don't want it, especially in the morning.
 
Felger when he was at his best was certainly opinionated, but I also never felt that he took himself too seriously and was also willing to admit when he was wrong.  Reasonable minds can differ as to whether he is still this way (I think he's gone into full-on contrarian mode now and absolutely takes himself too seriously), but even I will admit that he has a talent for sports radio that few guys (in Boston at least) have.
 
So I'm not sure it is the format or the opinions or lack of opinions, I just think it is harder than you think to find guys who truly have a talent for radio.  T&R and Felger bring a LOT to the table in terms of content (whether it be comedic bits or "hot takes" or whatever) which overall means fewer shitty callers.  The WEEI shows all seem to be straight up the middle sports-radio where you are taking callers and reacting to the mostly stupid stuff they say.  I completely agree that what TSH has shown is that people want to listen to entertaining and intelligent guys who bring original stuff to the table, and take fewer callers (note I am leaving out the mid-day guys because I don't listen at work and frankly I don't think they matter all that much as compared to the two commuting shows). 
 
It is easier said than done for WEEI to find guys like this.
 

Dalton Jones

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Rocco Graziosa said:
STRONG opinions.  Thats what sells in this town.  Say what you want about Felger but he has STRONG opinions about everything he talks about.   Even those idiots (who have FANTASTIC chemistry) Gresh and Zolak have strong opinions about the local teams.  There is no one on EEI that, from what I can tell, feel strongly about ANYTHING.  Salk is straight vanilla.  Holley is even worse......I think he DOES have strong opinions, but waters them down on the air to avoid controversy.  That shit they throw up in mid day is atrocious.  Its Gresh and Zolak minus the chemistry and opinion.  The morning show has just completely run its course.  
 
Get someone in there that thinks Felger is a fucking asshole and let him rant about it all day long.  Get someone thats more of a homer, who has local ties and just shit on Felger all day long about being from Wisconsin and the fact that he's a Packer and Brewer fan.  Talk about SOMETHING interesting, and ALWAYS have an opinion.  
 
They have to take everything that Glen Ordway did there and do the complete opposite.   Instead of surrounding your talent with a bunch of dummies and have the host never side for or against anything, surround a host with smart people that are funny and wiling to challenge everyone and everything.  Be INTERESTING.  
 
There is a reason Felgers thread here is over 100 pages long and is always near the top of the forum.  People CARE what he says.  Some people like him, others HATE him.  But a LOT of people care what he has to say.
 
Until EEI gets people in there that the fans in this town care what they're talking about they will continue to spiral downward.
.

Rocco, that is best post I've ever seen from you on this or any topic. I think you are one percent correct. Bravo!

Addendum: strong sports opinions, not political......
 

URI

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The Allented Mr Ripley said:
Toucher & Rich rarely have any strong opinions about sports topics, but they're funny and creative. Maybe it's a bit unfair to ask some potential new show to emulate that model, as it's a unique one in the world of sports radio, but it does prove that people want to listen to intelligent and talented hosts. The rest sorts itself out.
 
Well Fred takes strong opinions on stuff (which, even though I don't really agree with most of them, I feel like he really believes, the specific example I'm thinking about here was Biggio in the Hall, which he was extremely against) and Rich tends to take Sports Radio Takes rather than formulate arguments.  Wallach certainly does, however simple and goofy they generally are.
 
But the difference is, they know sports is just a thing we do to take out mind off other stuff.  They don't think that sports is a moral play or really has anything real Importance, which Fred has stated more than once...what they do is silliness.
 
Everyone on EEI (and actually, Gresh, Felger, and Mazz do this too) takes themselves so seriously that it takes away the underlying reason we watch sports...it's fun.
 
Manny might be a dick because he didn't visit sick kids, but really...why does it matter after talking about it one segment.  With guys like Gresh and Merloni, it comes from playing the game at a high level (heh, Gresh)*, but there is literally no reason for D&C to take themselves so seriously.  Their takes work well in an echo chamber and that's about it.  Unfortunately for them, they don't have the ability to be dicks and still get people to listen with any compitition like Felger and mazz seem to have.
 
*Which is ultimately, for all his faults, I do like Zolak a lot.  He is an ex-player who doesn't fall back on the "I was a player!" troupe, and certainly doesn't take himself seriously.
 

Dogman2

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Dalton Jones said:
.

Rocco, that is best post I've ever seen from you on this or any topic. I think you are one percent correct. Bravo!

Addendum: strong sports opinions, not political......
 
 
ONE PERCENT!  CONGRATS ROCCO!
 

Eric1984

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dirtynine said:
I'm trying to balance my enjoyment of seeing the arrogance WEEI displayed, and the corrosive personalities it employed, get their comeuppance, with the desire (as a Boston sports fan and radio listener) to actually see them do something interesting to rebound.  
 
I guess I want the current regime to completely fail, and then rebuild with interesting programming that doesn't threaten what I enjoy about TSH (Toucher & Rich, particularly).  
 
This is exactly how I've felt since TSH came on the air. I was predisposed to prefer it from the time it was announced for exactly that reason. I do like the idea of an ESPN/local hybrid -- national shows like Mike and Mike, Cowherd and Rusillo/Van Pelt interspersed with local personalities. Especially because while I've lived here 20 years, I'm not a Boston native. I grew up in a huge college sports market and do want to hear discussion of out-of-market topics -- especially college football and college basketball. The ESPN radio programming brings a lot of that -- which is why, pre-TSH, I always used to listen to Mike & Mike on 1510 during my morning commute. I have no great love for them in particular -- they both have irritating tics -- but I found D&C to be completely toxic while finding M&M to be basically harmless and I was much more interested in the college sports and out-of-market MLB and NFL talk that they provided than the endless Manny-bashing, the Archie Bunker politics and social commentary and the screaming about the "scumbag" defense lawyers with the unmitigated gall to actually do their jobs and provide accused defendants the competent representation they're entitled to under the constitution. If I wanted that, I could have just hung out with my elderly relatives.
 
That said, a viable WEEI keeps enough heat on TSH to keep itself relevant. T&R is the best show on either station and it's keeping itself fresh. But I see Big Show/D&C bloat creeping into Felger & Mazz and it's disappointing. They need a fire lit under their ass just as badly as WEEI denied that it did.
 

berniecarbo1

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HomeBrew1901 said:
I dont' think Boston is big enough to support 2 strong stations.
 
Agree 1000% percent. If nothing else, this inverse of fortune for EEI I think proves your argument Home Brew. Boston  can handle 1 all sports local themed station. It can probably counter that with what is being discussed above as to a national/local hybrid thing. That will either  be the "new" EEI as people are discussing or 1510 with the NBC Sports net backing it or somethiong else. But having two 50,000 watt or whatever, local themed sports stations cannot and does not make it in Boston. The numbers clearly show that.
 

NortheasternPJ

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berniecarbo1 said:
 
Agree 1000% percent. If nothing else, this inverse of fortune for EEI I think proves your argument Home Brew. Boston  can handle 1 all sports local themed station. It can probably counter that with what is being discussed above as to a national/local hybrid thing. That will either  be the "new" EEI as people are discussing or 1510 with the NBC Sports net backing it or somethiong else. But having two 50,000 watt or whatever, local themed sports stations cannot and does not make it in Boston. The numbers clearly show that.
 
I disagree with this. From the #'s, WEEI & TSH make up about 15-20% of the market most of the time with TSH taking a large amount of that. Two stations can split that and be just fine.
 
Mornings: A more serious sports show alternate T&R that doesn't have D&C
Middays: Who cares really, even fill this with ESPN.
Afternoons: The Big Show without the suck.
Evenings: Who cares? Most the time it's just a game anyways.
 
TSH's format can easily have some decent competition. T&R are unique and F&M are what's expected. There's a lot of people who want Sports Radio, but don't want T&R. (And a lot of T&R fans who don't care about Sports Radio). You can easily come up something like The Big Show that's well formatted, likable people in a 3-4 person format that can go against F&M.
 

Jnai

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Maybe it is just me, but I'd rather my sports radio either made me laugh or made me think. Absurd, angry rants about politics or managerial decisions do neither of those things. Since that's the majority of EEI content these days, I'm mostly out.
 

Koufax

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Well, to lighten things up, D&C usually find some scurrilous (and hopefully bloody) crime to rant about.  It really puts me in the right frame of mind driving to work to hear how Callahan hates rapists and murderers; and it fill me with admiration to see what a stand-up guy he is in openly criticizing them.  That's usually good for about 30 minutes. 
 
Actually, I'd rather listen to PGA radio on Sirius, which is rather like listening to paint dry, but at least I don't feel like I'm having blood spattered on my windshield.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Rocco Graziosa said:
 
 
Thats one more percent than I've agreed with anything you've ever written on this site.  And thats probably mostly because you've never written anything memorable enough that I actually have an opinion on it. 
 
Bravo to you too I guess. 
 
Edit:  I mean we're getting nasty in the "Lets improve EEI thread"?  Unreal. 
 
I don't think that Dalton meant to write one percent, I think he meant one hundred percent. At least that's how I took it.
 

Dalton Jones

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I can see how Rocco could think I was condescending to him. It was a typo.
 

Phenom

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the1andonly3003 said:
Simulcasting Dan Patrick in Boston would be better than Gresh/Zo and M&M
 
I know I'm in the minority, but I think Dan Patrick sucks.  His show is three hours of grab ass.  No thanks.  
 
If WEEI simulcasts ESPN Radio for mornings and midday, they're throwing in the towel.  That's fine, but there's no way they can expect to compete with "The Sports Hub" if they simulcast Mike and Mike for morning drive.  
 
But maybe that is the best option for EEI.  As berniecarbo said, I don't see any free agents out there who would bring an audience with them.  
 
I would, however, listen to a roundtable show moderated by Beetle with two rotating co-hosts in afternoon drive (in fact, I think it'd be the best sports show in the market).  I'm not sure how sports radio contracts work, but if EEI could pry him away, that could be an option.  Because I don't see any changes forthcoming with "The Sports Hub's" lineup.  Maybe some tweaks here and there, but the seven weekday hosts seem firmly in place.  
 

yep

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Feb 3, 2006
2,465
Red Sox Natin
In no particular order...
 
- I think there is more room for 2 sports stations in Boston if one of them is willing to take a more "blue ocean" approach and target a niche other than call-in type controversies related to the major local teams. That might mean any kind of combination of things such as national news and discussion, more in-depth expert analysis or interviews, college/"other sports" type coverage, T&R-style "guy radio" general-entertainment, historical/general sportsophile type stuff, "how to" type shows for youth coaches and athletes, or other things that I'm not thinking of. That would probably be a smaller station, commercially speaking, but smaller does not automatically equal doomed.
 
- WEEI and TSH are going head-to-head for the same demographics, with conceptually very similar content, and WEEI mostly can't compete. Even their bumper announcer sounds like a cheap knockoff. It is ironic that WEEI was seminal in the development of the "shootin' the shit about sports" format, but now is not very good at it. 
 
- A lot has been said about strong opinions, chemistry, etc... I actually think too much reliance on "formulas for sports talk success" is part of what did EEI in. All the stuff that supposedly "sells", EEI has had plenty of: ginned-up controversy, red-faced ranting, contrarian opinions that listeners will want to argue with, etc... I think they made a series of mistakes, relying too heavily on such gimmicks, and not enough on keeping tighter, more focused infotainment value (if that's not an oxymoron).
 
- Another big mistake on EEI is a too-narrow spectrum of too-similar personalities, especially on the same show. Even if they took opposing sides, it was sometimes hard to tell who was talking on the big show. If you read a transcript of most WEEI broadcasts without names, it would be hard to tell whose opinions you are reading, sometimes even what show it is. That's not as true on TSH: you'd usually be able to tell whether you were reading a transcript of T&R, G&Z, or F&M, for example, and usually even who is doing the talking, just reading a transcript without names. It's like EEI wanted to keep their spectrum of opinion and debate within a range that wouldn't alienate the supporting cast from The Friends of Eddie Coyle.
 
-  While I do think there might be room for more than one sports-oriented station, I doubt whether there is room for both EEI and TSH as currently constructed. As a listener, it's neat to be able to flip back and forth at commercial breaks and slow parts, or on big news days, but it's going to be very hard for the weaker of the two stations (EEI, in this case) to hold onto competitive talent, supporting content, and ultimately advertisers. Especially with the stupid Globe feud in place. Places like NYC, you can have a Mets-oriented show and a Yankees-oriented show on simultaneously, and one might beat the other in ratings, but there is a built-in erosion wall, and a reason for columnists, athletes, advertisers, etc to be on the "Mets station", even if it's second in the ratings. 
 
- When EEI eventually lets D+C go, their problem is not going to be "who is better than D+C?", but "Who is going to pull listeners away from T+R". Same with Salk + Holley. You can't just play addition by subtraction, because strange as it may seem, those WEEI personalities *do* have a loyal listener base, and WEEI has legacy/inertia listeners. Which is why I think if WEEI is going to try any amount of reinvention, they should go bold. Just trying to tweak the on-air chemistry is rearranging deck chairs.
 
P.S. It's probably too late now, but I personally think they should have let D+C keep talking politics. I suspect that a lot of their listeners liked that aspect, and listened partly because of it. I think WEEI made the mistake of thinking that they could stop the hemorrhage of "everyone else" by cutting out the most controversial and red-hot aspects  of the show. I think they just kind of neutered it instead, turning a mean old dog into a tired old dog. 
 

Rocco Graziosa

owns the lcd soundsystem
SoSH Member
Sep 11, 2002
11,345
Boston MA
What host on EEI participated in " ginned-up controversy, red-faced ranting, contrarian opinions that listeners will want to argue" ??  The only one I can think of is Ted Serandis.  And they shitcanned him ten years ago.
 

Harry Hooper

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yep said:
In no particular order...
 
- I think there is more room for 2 sports stations in Boston if one of them is willing to take a more "blue ocean" approach and target a niche other than call-in type controversies related to the major local teams. That might mean any kind of combination of things such as national news and discussion, more in-depth expert analysis or interviews, college/"other sports" type coverage, T&R-style "guy radio" general-entertainment, historical/general sportsophile type stuff, "how to" type shows for youth coaches and athletes, or other things that I'm not thinking of. That would probably be a smaller station, commercially speaking, but smaller does not automatically equal doomed.
 
 
 
I think Sean McDonough tried to do quite a bit of this with his radio show. The signal was so abysmally poor, however, that it's hard to draw many conclusions as to viability
 

JayMags71

Member
SoSH Member
yep said:
P.S. It's probably too late now, but I personally think they should have let D+C keep talking politics. I suspect that a lot of their listeners liked that aspect, and listened partly because of it. I think WEEI made the mistake of thinking that they could stop the hemorrhage of "everyone else" by cutting out the most controversial and red-hot aspects  of the show. I think they just kind of neutered it instead, turning a mean old dog into a tired old dog.
I am 180 on the other side of this. D & C's brand of political discussion was toxic and divisive. And it wasn't as if they were simply trolling for listeners call in and argue with them. If they wanted arguments, they ruined it by shouting over callers. So honest discussion simply wasn't a consideration.

I also think letting them off the leash politically is a bad strategy, since there are a number of other stations/shows that offer the brand of political talk D & C would like to peddle. And those other shows do it better. The bottom line is D & C aren't very interesting anymore.
 

Rocco Graziosa

owns the lcd soundsystem
SoSH Member
Sep 11, 2002
11,345
Boston MA
Dalton Jones said:
I can see how Rocco could think I was condescending to him. It was a typo.
 
My bad Dalton.  That was a totally uncalled for pot shot at you even if it wasn't a pot shot.  While we don't always see eye to eye, I enjoy your posts and the value they bring here. 
 

Puffy

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Koufax said:
Well, to lighten things up, D&C usually find some scurrilous (and hopefully bloody) crime to rant about.  It really puts me in the right frame of mind driving to work to hear how Callahan hates rapists and murderers; and it fill me with admiration to see what a stand-up guy he is in openly criticizing them.  That's usually good for about 30 minutes. 
 
Actually, I'd rather listen to PGA radio on Sirius, which is rather like listening to paint dry, but at least I don't feel like I'm having blood spattered on my windshield.
 
I tuned in the other day to listen to D & C gleefully quote the gruesome details of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's injuries, focusing for several minutes on the gunshot wound to Tsarnaev's face. At one point Callahan declared, unironically, that it was "funny" - and seemed not to comprehend when it was suggested otherwise.
 

doldmoose34

impregnated Melissa Theuriau
SoSH Member
I think the biggest problem for 'eei  is their lack of a bench, all of their 'bench players' who were any good Zo, Mazz, Felgie fled to TSH when the opportunity arose...weekends where you could groom talent is a fucking wasteland, I'm going out to cut the grass in a few minutes and i know that if i was to turn 'eei on and hear a word from a) Larry Johnson, b) Butch Sterns or c) fucking Mustard its click... 
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
13,319
I hope -- but doubt -- that WEEI's problems are the canary in the coal mine of "sports talk radio." Its a pox on sports to the extent that "fans" form "opinions" based on what they hear from generally ill-informed bombastic nitwits whose goal is ONLY to generate calls.  And when some tipping point of fans start the echo chamber, the stooped starts to spillover into other forms of coverage that I do enjoy. Fuck the entire industry.
 
YMMV, of course.
 

shawnrbu

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25,542
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doldmoose34 said:
I think the biggest problem for 'eei  is their lack of a bench, all of their 'bench players' who were any good Zo, Mazz, Felgie fled to TSH when the opportunity arose...weekends where you could groom talent is a fucking wasteland, I'm going out to cut the grass in a few minutes and i know that if i was to turn 'eei on and hear a word from a) Larry Johnson, b) Butch Sterns or c) fucking Mustard its click... 
 
You can set your watch to it on a Summer weekend.  11:30 this morning featuring LJ, Mustard, and Danny From Quincy ranting about the Iglesias for Peavy trade being an absolute failure. 
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,277
I have no idea why celebrity callers are allowed on the air. None.

Mike from Canton, Danny from Quincy, Al from Everett, those moron brothers on TSH, there is not one of them that bring any insight to anything.

If I was a program director I'd have strict edict to keep all these idiots off the air.
 

Humphrey

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2010
767
John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
I have no idea why celebrity callers are allowed on the air. None.

Mike from Canton, Danny from Quincy, Al from Everett, those moron brothers on TSH, there is not one of them that bring any insight to anything.

If I was a program director I'd have strict edict to keep all these idiots off the air.
Throw Steve from Fall River and the embarrassment that's Frank from Gloucester in there too.
 

Harry Hooper

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From the announcement of Graham's hiring:
 
Entercom Boston announced today that it has hired Kevin Graham to lead WEEI as their new Brand Manager. Graham comes to WEEI from 1320 KFAN in Salt Lake City, where he served as Program Director and afternoon drive co-host.
 
 
 
Program Director and afternoon host. Now where have I heard that before?
 

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
6,697
Bringing in ESPN Radio shows is not the answer.  Mike & Mike would bomb in Boston and I wouldn't wish Colin Cowherd on my worst enemies.
 
I'm still convinced that Gerry Callahan is worth keeping on the air.  He's pretty good when he actually talks sports.  Dump John Dennis and team up Callahan with someone who can hold their own talking and arguing with him.  Or dump Holley and move Callahan to the afternoon drive with Salk - the latter may be vanilla but he's also a pro and could rise to the challenge.
 
SSS alert, but I tried listening to Felger & Mazz a couple of times this summer when I was back home and I turned it off both times - they were piledriving the same inane points into the ground both times.  I don't think TSH is a juggernaut that can't be taken down if WEEI plays its cards right.
 

Humphrey

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Aug 3, 2010
767
I have never thought Callahan was a very nice person...haven't changed my opinion of him all that much....but at this point I find him a lot more digestible than Dennis.    Some of Dino's actions the past few months seem to indicate he knows he's out the door soon.
 

Harry Hooper

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Jason Wolfe was honored at Fenway Park last night for his prime mover role in the Jimmy Fund radiothon. Well-deserved kudos for doing all that at least.