Fixing WEEI

Vandalman

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Callahan and Minihane were dumping all over the article this morning, saying the author was a digruntled former intern who clearly hasn't listened to them lately.
 
 
Contracts with longtime morning hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan expire next year, and critics feel the duo exemplifies the station’s problems: They are highly paid — reportedly in the $1 million a year neighborhood — and can be polarizing; their talk often veers off into politics, and some former listeners complain they sound shrill or confrontational.
 
 
 
Callahan laughed it off and said they stopped talking politics (unfortunately) two and a half years ago. Plus the article does not mention the practices of "the other station" at all.
 
I would have loved to hear Dennis' respond to this. Perhaps next week.
 

TFP

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mascho said:
Just looking at that graph, the rise of 98.5 coincides with the Bruins' Cup run in 2011.  FWIW.
The Cup was in the summer of 2011 (right after TSH started) and they experienced a decline after it.

It certainly helped put them on the map, but it didn't coincide with their rise since they actually declined after it.
 

mascho

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The Four Peters said:
The Cup was in the summer of 2011 (right after TSH started) and they experienced a decline after it.

It certainly helped put them on the map, but it didn't coincide with their rise since they actually declined after it.
 
You're right.  My bad.  
 

HomeBrew1901

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Vandalman said:
Callahan and Minihane were dumping all over the article this morning, saying the author was a digruntled former intern who clearly hasn't listened to them lately.
 
 
 
 
Callahan laughed it off and said they stopped talking politics (unfortunately) two and a half years ago. Plus the article does not mention the practices of "the other station" at all.
 
I would have loved to hear Dennis' respond to this. Perhaps next week.
I heard that and wanted to read the article because they made it sound like a D&C rip job.  No fucking way I'm subscribing in order to read the whole article though.
 

HomeBrew1901

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Patriot_Reign said:
the author of the globe article is on live with d&c right now...must listen radio
Thanks
 
 
Edit: Awwwwww, Poor Gerry and the WEEI witch hunt.  "WEEI IS FINE THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!!!!!"
 
This guy is definitely handling himself and coming off a lot better than Callahan's prosecutorial questioning. 
 
The more I listen the more butthurt Gerry is coming off, Minihane isn't doing too bad, but this style is representative of why the station is so bad.  Instead of taking criticism and getting better everyone is out to get them and The Globe is out to get them.
 

Gambler7

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Wow. So they bring him on and go on to basically confirm everything he just wrote.
 

NortheasternPJ

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
As late as Spring of 2012, EEI had a better afternoon show than TSH. That's amazing to me.
 
My assumption is that the Patriots Super Bowl loss is responsible for a large portion of the Winter-Spring huge decline on the Sports Hub. I don't think I listened for 3-4 weeks after that.
 

NortheasternPJ

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This is everything that is wrong with D&C:
 


“If you don’t ruffle the feathers of your listeners, then you’re not doing your job,” he said. “And the end result of that is you have some people upset with you. But the last thing I want to do is say, ‘Oh yes, I agree with you. That’s a very good point.’ That’s not good radio. Good radio is stuff that prompts people to respond and react.”
 
You know what I want in the morning? To listen to D&C come up with hot takes that are designed to just upset people. Nothing makes my day start out great than being prodded for 4 hours intentionally. Nothing says starting the day like getting pissed off and being miserable.
 
I can take it in the afternoon, but it still sucks when Felger does it.
 

Phenom

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NortheasternPJ said:
This is everything that is wrong with D&C:
 
 
 
 
You know what I want in the morning? To listen to D&C come up with hot takes that are designed to just upset people. Nothing makes my day start out great than being prodded for 4 hours intentionally. Nothing says starting the day like getting pissed off and being miserable.
 
I can take it in the afternoon, but it still sucks when Felger does it.
 
The difference between Felger and D&C is that Felger does it with a wink and isn't afraid to poke fun at himself.  When Felger is at his best, it's a good natured prodding.  
 
D&C are just angry.  Today's interview with that Globe writer is indicative of that.  Callahan came off as so small.  I never knew the Providence, Worcester and Portland markets were such powerhouses.  If only "The Sports Hub" could be heard in the boonies of Vermont.  THEN, maybe they'd have a chance at unseating WEEI.   
 

ForKeeps

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I'm sure if the piece had been a positive one they would've been harping on the fact that he was a former intern. BTW, did I miss the segment where they explained what makes him a "disgruntled" ex-intern aside from the fact that he wrote a factual article about their sinking ship?
 

Rusty13

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A pretty fair article, in my opinion.  Although I'll throw Callahan a bone and say the quote "their talk often veers off into politics" was an exaggeration, given the last few years.
 
I don't know why Entercom doesn't just ship them to RKO, where they can talk about (and be angry about) whatever they want.  That show would at least be an upgrade of Kuhner.  And you may be able to retain/spike some ratings and keep them aboard with some type of law ball contract extension.  They have nowhere else to go at this point. 
 
Then just give someone younger and cheaper a shot at the am slot on EEI. 
 

joe dokes

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Phenom said:
 
 
D&C are just angry.  Today's interview with that Globe writer is indicative of that.  Callahan came off as so small.  I never knew the Providence, Worcester and Portland markets were such powerhouses.  If only "The Sports Hub" could be heard in the boonies of Vermont.  THEN, maybe they'd have a chance at unseating WEEI.   
 
This sort of intersects with the post on the Olbermann thread about the little twitter pissing match between he and Callahan. 25 years ago, Olbermann was doing sport on the local news for 4 minutes at 6 and 11 (either Boston or LA).  Callahan was a pretty good sports columnist at the Boston Herald.  25 years later, Olbermann is one of the best known people nationally in his field, and while certainly not universally liked, its pretty hard to find someone who knocks his talent, skill, preparation or intelligence.  And Callahan can be heard in Providence and Rutland.  Callahan is small. Small-time and small-minded.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Callahan is the only person I am aware of that left the second-biggest paper in his town went to Sports Illustrated and then went back to the second-biggest paper in town.
 
His reason? "They didn't give him much to do." Boo hoo, Gerry. Boo fucking hoo.
 

erfus

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
Callahan is the only person I am aware of that left the second-biggest paper in his town went to Sports Illustrated and then went back to the second-biggest paper in town.
 
His reason? "They didn't give him much to do." Boo hoo, Gerry. Boo fucking hoo.
 
This sort of thing is why both D&C have burned to many bridges to remain at a viable sports radio station in Boston (or Providence).  Muzzling him on politics and/or current non-sports events or sticking him a cohost that can keep him on sports-target won't erase so many years of being so unlikeable.  At this point, I'm simply not going to contribute to his or John Dennis' individual success in any form and I think a lot of folks feel the same way. 
 

URI

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
Callahan is the only person I am aware of that left the second-biggest paper in his town went to Sports Illustrated and then went back to the second-biggest paper in town.
 
His reason? "They didn't give him much to do." Boo hoo, Gerry. Boo fucking hoo.
To be fair, SI has a history of locking up talent and not letting them do a lot in their wheelhouse...Gammons on hockey and college basketball, for example.

To be more fair, Gerry Callahan is a raspy voiced bully who can unkindly fuck himself. And then die. And then come back to life. And die again.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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URI said:
To be fair, SI has a history of locking up talent and not letting them do a lot in their wheelhouse...Gammons on hockey and college basketball, for example.

To be more fair, Gerry Callahan is a raspy voiced bully who can unkindly fuck himself. And then die. And then come back to life. And die again.
 
I agree. But it sounded to me (and this was awhile ago, so I may misremembering it) that he was angry that he, Gerry Callahan, had to cover figure skating and wanted to cover other things. 
 
I don't know the inner workings of Sports Illustrated, but I would think that it's just about like any places in that if you do a good job, pitch good stories, don't act like you're bigger than the place, you'll work your way up. Jeff Pearlman writes a bit about his SI experience on his blog and he was really dogged in his approach to moving up. I don't see Gerry Callahan doing that, he seems pretty lazy. 
 

Rocco Graziosa

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See, I think something happened somewhere along the lines with Callahan.  I think he has loads of talent, has some interesting opinions on sports, and is a pretty damn good writer.  Borges too.  But they just got some bad career advice in so far as now everyone in the greater Boston area thinks they're assholes.  Especially in Callahan's case, I think he could have generated the same fame and fortune without this result.  
 
15 years ago, his columns in the Herald were must reads for me.  He was a cynic to be sure, but he was interesting and not predictable.  Now?  He's just this old asshole who seems to hate everything.  
 
Edit:  And I don't know what happened to Borges.  He's one of the top boxing columnists of ALL TIME.  Then in the snap of a finger he was on every talk show in Boston just completely shitting on all the teams.  If for one second I thought it was genuine, I would have no problem with it......I like negativity......but he's playing a role.  A role someone, somewhere, thought would be good for him.  
 
Now he walks around Boston like Ron Burgandy after he said "go fuck yourself San Diego".  And unlike Callahan, best I can tell he didn't garner much fortune or fame.  
 

ForKeeps

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Kirk, I know you read this board, probably reading this thread. This dude is not Stephen Glass. Yeah, it's a pretty weak piece, which is amazing because of how ripe both sports stations are for a takedown. But the fact that he's interviewing his friends doesn't rise beyond the level of embarrassing, it's not some journalistic scandal. Get over it, nobody cares. And neither would you if it wasn't about you and your colleagues, despite your transparent claims otherwise.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It's amazing to me that people whose entire job is to critically analyze other people's work get incredibly defensive when others do the same to them.
 
What's the difference between:
"Lester has lost some MPH on fastball, he's not the pitcher he once was. I don't think he's worth the money and he's totally overpaid."
"WEEI isn't the sportstation it once was. They've lost a ton of listeners and the morning guys are getting less than half the audience from a few years ago. They're completely overpaid."
 
The only difference is that the latter is about Minnihan's show, while Lester is some dude who isn't Kirk Minnihan.
 

mabrowndog

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Minihane's off the rails now. "I don't like Fred Toucher. I think he's a dink. But that's not what this is about."
 
Wow. Way to stay on topic. T&R will be making mincemeat out of that clip for the next month.
 

joe dokes

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Rocco Graziosa said:
See, I think something happened somewhere along the lines with Callahan.  I think he has loads of talent, has some interesting opinions on sports, and is a pretty damn good writer.  Borges too.  But they just got some bad career advice in so far as now everyone in the greater Boston area thinks they're assholes.  Especially in Callahan's case, I think he could have generated the same fame and fortune without this result.  
 
15 years ago, his columns in the Herald were must reads for me.  He was a cynic to be sure, but he was interesting and not predictable.  Now?  He's just this old asshole who seems to hate everything.  
 
Edit:  And I don't know what happened to Borges.  He's one of the top boxing columnists of ALL TIME.  Then in the snap of a finger he was on every talk show in Boston just completely shitting on all the teams.  If for one second I thought it was genuine, I would have no problem with it......I like negativity......but he's playing a role.  A role someone, somewhere, thought would be good for him.  
 
Now he walks around Boston like Ron Burgandy after he said "go fuck yourself San Diego".  And unlike Callahan, best I can tell he didn't garner much fortune or fame.  
 
Boxing becoming a joke really pulled the rug out from under Borges.  And then the Raiders -- his long-time vision of the model franchise -- becoming a joke wrapped him up in the very rug.
 

jose melendez

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You know what would fix WEEI?  Making Sean Grande the host of the drive time show.  I'd listen to that guy do anything.
 
I don't think he'd ever take it, but he's the one guy along with McDonough who would be must listen.
 

riboflav

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jose melendez said:
You know what would fix WEEI?  Making Sean Grande the host of the drive time show.  I'd listen to that guy do anything.
 
I don't think he'd ever take it, but he's the one guy along with McDonough who would be must listen.
 
Exactly. Grande in the afternoons and McDonough in the mornings, or vice versa. Never going to happen as you intimate, but it's nice to dream.
 

Rusty13

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riboflav said:
 
Exactly. Grande in the afternoons and McDonough in the mornings, or vice versa. Never going to happen as you intimate, but it's nice to dream.
 
Well, especially now since the C's are no longer with EEI.  What is Grande's contract with the C's anyway?  I'm assuming he doesn't have any separate agreement with EEI.
 
McDonough back on the Boston airwaves in any capacity would be awesome.  I was a little bummed he didn't get any consideration for the Pats radio PBP gig, although Socci seems solid so far.  He also seems happy with his current role with ESPN anyway.
 

Eric1984

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Yeah -- the Globe reporter interviewing his buddy to get the listener's perspective wasn't unethical at all (arguably a little lazy and hackish, but whatever)l. Someone's personal relationship with a reporter is totally irrelevant to their opinion, as a listener, of the relative quality of the two stations. It's not like the opinion of a stranger in the street would have any more credibility -- you don't need any special expertise to decide if you like a station or not. I imagine the reporter probably submitted the piece without his pal's quotes and an editor said "You've got to go get quotes from a listener and then put together an anecdotal lead." And he knew a guy who listens to sports radio a lot and is in the wheelhouse demographic and got some quotes. A better reporter might have talked to more people, but really, why? Other than to show more legwork? But who else is he going to call? Is there a sports radio listener registry out there for him to thumb through?
 
On the other hand, he should have probably disclosed somewhere that he worked for WEEI. I say "probably" because it was so long ago and for such a short time that it probably didn't impact his reporting. But it is the type of thing that could still suggest an agenda without knowing more, so he shows his ass by not having done so.
 

joe dokes

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Eric1984 said:
Yeah -- the Globe reporter interviewing his buddy to get the listener's perspective wasn't unethical at all (arguably a little lazy and hackish, but whatever)l. Someone's personal relationship with a reporter is totally irrelevant to their opinion, as a listener, of the relative quality of the two stations. It's not like the opinion of a stranger in the street would have any more credibility -- you don't need any special expertise to decide if you like a station or not. I imagine the reporter probably submitted the piece without his pal's quotes and an editor said "You've got to go get quotes from a listener and then put together an anecdotal lead." And he knew a guy who listens to sports radio a lot and is in the wheelhouse demographic and got some quotes. A better reporter might have talked to more people, but really, why? Other than to show more legwork? But who else is he going to call? Is there a sports radio listener registry out there for him to thumb through?
 
On the other hand, he should have probably disclosed somewhere that he worked for WEEI. I say "probably" because it was so long ago and for such a short time that it probably didn't impact his reporting. But it is the type of thing that could still suggest an agenda without knowing more, so he shows his ass by not having done so.
 
I think the point is that if the numbers showed the ratings were UP, and all he did was interview his friends that said the station sucked, that would be a problem.  But with the numbers down, people who no longer like the station are somewhat fungible. he may have given the lizard-brains a target with his non-disclosures, and since the Globe these days is often not much more journalistically credible than EEI, it would nto surpirse me if teh Globe issued a 9000000 word "apology" because the Globe's business relations -- SOX/EEI -- are more important than sticking up for a reporter who really didn;t do anything wrong.  Its ESPN-NFL-PBS writ small.
 

Dalton Jones

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I thought it was an incredibly weak article, and I HATE Dennis and Callahan. The only meaningful thing is the chart that shows the trend in ratings over the last few years.

Once again I agree with Rocco. Gerry Callahan was (is?) a very good writer. I'd die to write like him.

But he's a bitter, angry asshole who harps on the same things over and over and over. The only reason he and Dennis are still on in the morning is the onerous size of their contracts. They'll be gone soon.
 

Sparky Lyle

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Dalton Jones said:
I thought it was an incredibly weak article, and I HATE Dennis and Callahan. The only meaningful thing is the chart that shows the trend in ratings over the last few years.

Once again I agree with Rocco. Gerry Callahan was (is?) a very good writer. I'd die to write like him.

But he's a bitter, angry asshole who harps on the same things over and over and over. The only reason he and Dennis are still on in the morning is the onerous size of their contracts. They'll be gone soon.
 
 
You.  Now you start talking again.
 

Dalton Jones

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Sparky Lyle said:
You're in the wrong forum.  Go back to V&N.  Where you belong.
Politics is depressing. I'd rather invest my energy in trivial things.
 

Dalton Jones

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I listened to the interview by Minihan and Callahan of the Globe writer who wrote that poorly sourced hatchet job and I was again struck by how bitter and frustrated Callahan is about getting his ass kicked by Toucher & Rich. His critique of the Globe article was fine as far as the journalistic methods of the writer and editor are. The fact that there was no disclosure that the writer of the piece had been an intern with D&C, the quoting of only two "loyal listeners", etc. -- these are legitimate complaints. I even think he's right that the Globe has it out for him and Dennis. But he misses the big picture: they are getting their asses handed to them in the ratings. That much is empirical and irrefutable. For him it's all a conspiracy: Providence, Worcester and other parts aren't included in the ratings, they're accused of doing politics when they don't, etc. He's raging against the tide.
 

Trautwein's Degree

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Does WEEI not get as many guests they used to? All of their programs benefit from having guys like Ainge, Wilfork, Brady, Francona, and others on. I don't listen all of the time but it feels like there are fewer guests. I can't recall the last time I heard Pedroia on EEI.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I even think he's right that the Globe has it out for him and Dennis.
 
 
So let me get this straight, Callahan is mad because someone has a preconceived agenda against him and his colleagues? That must be really frustrating for him. 
 

Andy Merchant

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IMO Callahan came across as a condescending, miserable, snide, thin-skinned jerk in the interview which is a major reason I stopped listening to that show. I'm glad TSH is kicking their ass in the ratings. They deserve it.
 

Dalton Jones

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
So let me get this straight, Callahan is mad because someone has a preconceived agenda against him and his colleagues? That must be really frustrating for him.
Great point.
 

Haunted

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The only problem I have with him on ESPN is that he doesn't shut up.  At all.  He has great, fantastic insight.  But sometimes, Curt, less is more.
 
That said, I'd listen to him - at least for awhile - over anyone on TSH not named Toucher & Rich.