Desperate WEEI Shakes Up Lineup

This afternoon Glenn Ordway was touting a “major announcement” to be made at 5:20. Most of these “major announcements” are little more than announcing a new weekly guest to the program, or something along those lines.

Today’s announcement however, is legitimately big news. After years of having the format of Glenn Ordway and two rotating co-hosts, Ordway announced that starting February 28th, the Big Show will add Michael Holley as a permanent co-host alongside Ordway. The name of the show will remain the same, and there will still be a whiner line. It is unclear whether there will be a third rotating co-host each day, as Ordway simply said that others “will be in and out of here all the time.”

The question was left then – what will become of the Dale and Holley show? This was not announced on the show, but The Inside Track at the Boston Herald reports that the duo will be replaced by former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni and weekend WEEI (and WGAM AM)  host Mike Mutnansky.

The track reports that Dale Arnold will be relegated to “fill in duty.”

These moves are clearly in reaction to the ratings gains made by 98.5 The SportsHub in the last year. The odd thing is, the Dale and Holley show was the only one that was still consistently beating their 98.5 competition.

WEEI was hamstrung however, by the salaries of their talent. They couldn’t make a move in the morning, with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan making big bucks, and Ordway is a fixture in the afternoons. I believe Holley’s contract was due sometime this year, so this move seems to be a promotion of sorts for him.

These are some big moves. I can’t wait to read all of your reactions to them.

WEEI Announces New Drive-Time ‘Dream Team’ (weei.com)

  • james

    Dale will consider this a big time slap and leave the station in a hissy fit

    • tiki

      hey – he was given the choice by NESN to go full time and chose his cushy 10-2 gig. As Jack Edwards would say "bwaaaah ha ha"

  • Bill

    The only show on WEEI that I can stand to listen to is Dale & Holley. Can’t imagine the Big Show will be tolerable, even with Michael. And while I loved watching Lou play, I find him shallow and uninteresting as a broadcaster.

    So I guess no more WEEI (or Boston sports radio, for that matter) for me. Somehow I imagine I’ll survive ;-)

    I only listen online from Florida, FWIW.

  • Johng

    I can't see how Arnold can stay there with dignity, and I wouldn't blame him. I would find it maddening to think that my show is the one in the daypart that beats the competition, yet I go. Radio is cruel.

    • http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com Suldog

      Yeah, but if Arnold stays, and remains in the same time slot, AND his ratings still beat the competition, then Arnold will be in a HUGE bargaining position himself. The splitting of Arnold and Holley may not be so much a promotion for Holley as it is a test to see if he's the drawing card or Arnold is.

  • budsy

    People still listen to the big show? As if it wasn't repulsive enough already, adding Holley with regular guests like pompous ass DeOssie will be intolerable.

  • Giggles

    How could he not be pissed? He's been demoted from midday host to fill in and likely weekend duty. When does his contract expire? I doubt he will leave, though. This is his last big paycheck. If you look at his career, it's in a severe downward trajectory. Stripped of play by play duties, now his show has been taken away.

    • Mark

      He wasn't stripped of ANYTHING regarding play by play. He was offered the full time broadcasting duties, but Dale did not like being away from his family for the Bruins away games. He aksi had just signed a 5 year deal with EEI and he did not feel it was right to do that to his employer.

      He was NESN's first choice, not Jack Edwards. Edwards knew that and was offered the position only after Arnold refused it.

      Get your facts straight.

  • guest

    Atleast the summer will be better now that we won't have Mikey guest host the Big Show when Ordway takes vacation every other week with Holley. I am glad WEEI is finally getting some competition and want them to be humbled, but I can NOT listen to Felger who is the ultimate douche who loves sticking it to the local sports team, and Mazz has become Felger's lackey "your right Mike". With Holley in the afternoon I can listen to the Big Show again as Ordway's comfort zone is gone no more Fred and Steve, no more dumb baseball crap from Buckley and Merloni. I feel bad for Dale as Merloni and Mutnansky ooze awful pairing. Merloni criticizes every caller that disagrees with him and Mutnansky is just an empty suit while Dale was a company man as well he was a good host. Hope WEEI wins the afternoon and SportsHub wins the midday and evening.

    • tl;dr

      YARM – You're Absolutely Right, Mike

  • Big Bang Clock

    Felger is the best thing to happen to this radio market in a long time.

    • Lance_

      You forgot the "sarcasm" tag for those not understanding it.

  • swami

    Maybe WEEI could find a male host who sounds like a man. Running girly-voiced men like Arnold, Mutnansky and the squeaky-voiced flash boys must be doing wonders for their ratings.

  • guest

    Big winners are Gresh and Zolak as I and many won't listen to the crap of Merloni and Mutnansky. Unless Dale's contract is not guaranteed it is dumb to not just slid Merloni into Holley's slot and when Dale's contract was up don't renew, but to cut the guy when he is beating the competition is STUPID. I usually listened to SportsHub in the morning as T&R are better than crusty old guys. Dale and Holley in the midday because they were a great pairing, and nobody in the afternoon unless Ordway had good guest hosts I tried Felger and Mazz and turned it off immediately as Felger is such an unlikable elitist prick and Mazz became his puppet. I hope the SportsHub considers putting Pete Shepard and Dale Arnold together as pairing either in the morning or midday.

  • jamiefolk

    Seriously, why the hell didn't they make Pete and Dale a show? The nice guy and the moron. It worked in the odd couple. I can't listen to Gresh and Zo. I listened to them when I worked and RI and it was painful. They just love topics that I have zero interest in and they are both kinda boring. Dale and Holley was the only show I listened to on EEI. I hate Ordway and can't listen to Felger and Mazz because Mazz just has zero talent. He likes to be an instagator but he stakes out the most retarded points and then loves to bust out the straw man. Actually the best pairing would be Pete and Felger. That would truly be great radio. Plus then you could bring back the real post game show only put people on it who don't drag their knuckles when they walk.

    • Tony

      Pete and Felger?

      I think you're onto something there Jamie.

      Opposites attract….listeners and callers.

      That would be some entertaining radio right there.

  • Clint Tyree

    WEEI management is officially running the station down the toilet. First they let Neumie go over a salary squabble. Yes, he did not appeal to the younger demographic, but who listens midday? Retirees, traveling workers and, ummmm…..who? Then they dumped Pete's passion to save $, and kept the arrogant Pink Pachyderm with Marbles Mouth (who obviously work for low pay while collecting their pension) doing football and berating anyone who dare question the Hooded One. Unlistenable.

    Tell me there's no significant cost savings by replacing Dale with Merloni and Mutnansky. Granted they will be better than the Fat URI Bench Warmer and the Backup QB who got lucky to be a starter on a crap team, but middays will now be spent listening to the iPod.

    If EEI keeps McAdam for baseball I will listen those days. Otherwise, Felger and Mazz will kill the Midget and the Buckeye.

    Say Goodnight Julie.

  • guest

    Somewhere Eddie Andelman is chuckling …

  • LJ Sandwich

    Saving money….younger guys that will work for less. Mutnansky is okay, but anybody with that moron Merloni is going to be p!ssing up a rope. Dale Arnold is probably a good citizen, which means he was an exception in radio and would meet and unkind fate eventually. He probably lasted far longer than he should have with his okely dokely schtick.

    Ordway and Holley is an all-time mismatch and won't last. Looks like EEI is dying a slow death and I for one couldn't be happier. As long as they still employ the two jackholes in the morning and the wacky d-bag at night, they are moving in the wrong direction.

    • TTFK

      The only thing worse than Ordway is when he has Borges on. It is like listening to Yoko Ono's greatest hits.

      Putting things in perspective, I actually enjoy listening to CHB on 98.5 at times, even with all his leanings… and especially compared to listening to the screech and screamfest the competition has on at the same time.

      As far as Borges goes, however, I actually found him much easier to listen to when Merloni was across from him since the voices were kept at a saner level along with people better able to finish their points without 37.3 interruptions per minute.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    I wonder if Dale's "rant" on Felger, etc. a couple weeks back was done in response to management pressure to be "edgier." When he sounded like a bad Kenneth the Page impression, they realized it was time to kick him to the curb.

    • Scott

      I thought Dale's rant was planned to distract anyone from noticing that Ordway's engineer/producer was fired,him being one of the only minorities employed by WEEI . If WEEI wants to get younger, axing Ordway would be a great start–if they don't want to eat his contract, move Ordway to 10-2 and D&H to 2-6.

      • Ghost of Mark Acres

        I didn't even know Bret was fired…..nor did I hear Dales rant! So, mission accomplished??

  • Jim

    time for me to buy an ipod. I cant listen to anything that weei is going to put out, Dale and Holley were the only show that I could tolerate. Looks like its T & R in the morning and then ipod time.

  • TTFK

    This explains a bit of the last few months where the number of of "guest hosts" seemed to skyrocket across the entire programming spectrum.

    Personally, I would love to see a more regular role for David Givens. While Troy Brown is knowledgeable and personable, I really warmed up to Givens' voice and style when he was on. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of him in the future.

    • Jason_Coyote

      I wonder if either Brown or Givens were interested in commiting to a show five days a week. Either one could have been paired with Dale and would make for a more interesting show.

      I haven't been listening to EEI much in recent months, but when I do I've noticed all the subtle changes they've made in response to the SportsHub's presence. The way their show segments now go into breaks with 'teases', the use of more drop-ins…basically, if you've listened regularly to 98.5 and the way their shows are produced you can tell EEI is trying to duplicate it right down to the scheduling of their commercial breaks.

      Guess all those EEI interns being told to take notes listening to 98.5 is really paying off!

  • Templeton Peck

    I don't get this move at all. Mut is awful. While D/H aren't groundbreaking , as Bruce said, they are the only show beating THS. Trying to imagine Holly with The Big O and I just don't see it. Bizarre move. I won't be listening so I guess it doesnt matter. I will be using my ipod and my Sirius/XM radio more

  • Jason_Coyote

    It's apparent that EEI is trying to 'youthanize' the Big Show with the addition of Holley (I also believe his contract expires March 1st and this might have been the only way EEI could get him to stay). I'll be curious to hear what kind of on-air chemistry O & H will have – at least they probably won't constanly talk over one other. If nothing else, the two should be an interesting contrast to Felger and the Strawman.

    The real shocking news to me is the Mutnansky-Merloni midday pairing, if that is to come to fruition. Like 'guest' said, the sensible move would be to replace Holley with Merloni opposite Dale. It would also allow Lou to more easily transition into being a radio host five days a week, working with a veteran talk host who could bring out the best in him. If this is to be the end of the line for Dale, it leaves Ordway as the last remaining host who was on the air when EEI debuted its sportsradio format twenty years ago this September (the late Andy Moes 6-9, Dale 9-1, Glenn & Janet Prensky 1-4, Eddie Andelman 4-7 and Craig Mustard 7-midnight).

    Pete Sheppard has to be weeping somewhere in the North End right about now.

  • DJH

    Holley is safe for the Big Show, I was hoping for more high profile name like Bob Ryan. The mid day was strictly a salary dump. You can so what you about Dale but he was a pro. The mid show is now feels like a weekend fill in.

  • john

    wow, weei just 100% surrendered the mid day slot and threw their best talent on the scrap heap. Dale and Holley were high in the ratings because they were the classiest show on EEI. Dale was not only knowledgable but respectful. I also truly liked his football show on Sundays.
    EEI just took Holley from being an equal and made him a sidekick by putting him on Glen's show — everyone know's it's Glen's show.
    Bottom line is wow — The SportsHub must be really kicking their ass. What a shame that EEI didn't rectify the situation the right way — by changing up the morning show.

  • LJ Sandwich

    I bet they are happy they let an old codger like John Dennis denegrate Ryen Rusillo back in the day and prevented WEEI from hiring him before ESPN did, or 98.5 even existed. The blind arrogance of Wolfe and Killer Kahn is now biting them in the rump. Even a guy like Noomie landed in a better place (NBC) after they dumped him.

    They made a huge miscalculation in underestimating their competition and slept on their laurels for 20 years…Oh well, nothing last forever.

    • swami

      "Ryen Rotillo?"

  • Steve

    I don't like the move. I understand the EEI was stuck, improve their overall product while blancing large contracts with a key advertising demo to the SportsHub(SH). Holley is the only reason I tune into EEI and the pairing of he and Ordway is not one that intrigues me. Ordway's best skill is also the current fault of the Big Show he is adept at directing the chaos. In a two man booth there is no chaos which is good but poor for the fence sitting Ordway who will be asked to square off with a co host.

  • Steve

    Before the SH came in I thought Felger was the ideal match for Holley, but after listening to him the past few years I think they would neutralize each other. Merloni would be an improvement but Im not sure its the splash, but it would be better than the SH midday lineup. Holley's best partner over the year's has been Michael Smith, when they talk sports not Globe memories and would be one I'd be interested in. It would also be one that would have the potential to grow together and eventually take over the drive time. Im not sure of the cost but the best option in my mind would be a Nuemi & Ryan show. I found myself switching from T&R to them some mornings. Sheppard and Merloni would also be an upgrade.

  • http://twitter.com/talesofgoodell TalesofGoodell

    Dale and Holley was the last show on WEEI I would listen to. I think Holley is being held back on that station. Given the chance I think he would be great with a little more freedom to do a show how he wants. You could just hear the tension between him and Dale at times. I loved Dale doing hockey games but I think he has turned into Eddie Andelman without the sense of humor. At any rate Holley paired with Ordway isn’t going to work either. Give Holley his own show or cut him loose.

  • Rudy

    I think this is going to work. Holley is an amazing talent and it took stones for Ordway, at this point in his career, to take on a smarter, younger, more charismatic partner.

    As for Dale, he has made far more money than his talent merits so he should just leave gracefully and do MC gigs. We will miss him as much as we miss Butch Sterns.

    And if this ends Buckley’s days on prime time it is a great move indeed.

  • twohats

    Seems to me that sliding Holley in the drive time slot is just another way to have a good co-host who can take over for Ordway's long vacations.
    The Dale and Holley show is the best show on 'EEI now. I'll miss those two guys not working together. Dale Arnold deserves much better than the way it seems to be working out for him. Merloni or Mutnansky need an established co-host to work with, that pairing of "Mut" with Merloni won't work. Better Dale with Merloni, now that's something I could enjoy mid-day!!!

  • tiki

    uncool and clueless

  • Guest

    Wow, huge news.

    Dale became the EEI archetype (condescending, automatically disagreeing with callers) a number of years ago. In many ways he's symbolic of why EEI, as currently constructed, is doomed. Caller-is-wrong/backslapping radio is dead.

    The only way for EEI to appeal to the younger demo – which this move reeks of – is to actually become younger as a lineup and as an organization. Maybe this was a first step in that direction. But until they turn over the vast majority of their on-air personalities by injecting some talented youth, they're going to just seem like old guys trying to be young and cool in a world where authenticity is key.

    • Jay

      Have to agree 100%. Dale "used to be" one of the few hosts that would actually show some respect for the callers, but if you were to listen to a few shows since the inception, you'll see he has become more ot the "your an idiot if you dont agree with me" every year.

      Holly as also spiraled down as far as I'm concerned.

      Hopefully EEI's apperent demize will put an end to that type of show.

      I used to listen to eii about 95%of the time, but what's the point of a show where you're only allowed to talk if you agree with the host?

      • Guest

        I think Holley was just bored with Dale. He saw that Dale was contrived and predictable and was just done with that act. I really think Holley is good, especially with the right co-host. As some mentioned, he is much better when he's paired with someone who is also legitimately good and informed.

        Some day a smart programmer will team Holley with ESPN's Michael Smith (formerly of the Globe) and they'll be a dynamic duo because they are relatively young, they're actually friends with chemistry that is hard to manufacture, and they can have civil disagreements that produce enlightening conversations.

  • tglazie

    people still listen to eei?

    • mandb97

      not anymore

  • just sayin'

    Don't understand the move at all. As mentioned they killed the one show routinely winning. I enjoy Holley tremendously, but fear he'll be lost trying to bounce off Ordway. Holley sounded awkward during the big announcement, have to think he's seriously considering his non-weei options right now. That ship is sinking, best to move off before it's too late.

  • sum dood

    I think this is a good (and ballsy) move by WEEI. I always felt that Holley's talent was hampered by Dale being such a curmudgeon – whatever chemistry there was between them seems to have disappeared over the past year or two. Whenever there's a decent fill-in for Dale, Holley has much more energy and is far more entertaining. Holley will make a good foil to Ordway and won't allow himself to be bullied like most of the current Big Show co-hosts. He's usually pretty informed in his opinions and can intelligently express them without having to yell over somebody. It'll definitely be interesting to hear how it works in the first couple weeks.

    The Merloni/Mutnansky pairing is a head-scratcher. I enjoy Merloni on the Big Show and his ability to talk sports outside baseball is pretty impressive. However I'm not sure he has quite the gravitas to anchor his own show, especially with a guy like Mutnansky. When he's done fill-in host duty on Sports Tonight, he doesn't look very comfortable. Mutnansky belongs on Butchie Stearn's "Pulse Network" or the Fox Sports Radio graveyard shift. His personality comes off as completely contrived and his sports knowledge is questionable at best. I would have gave John Ryder a shot, that guy busts his hump and never seems to catch a break.

    As for Dale, he must of seen this coming as he's been more ornery than ever the past few weeks (and conveniently wasn't in today). His career has really gone down the tubes the past few years, having lost play-calling duties for both the B's and the Sox and now his own show. Maybe 98.5 will pick him up after his contract is up to bolster their Bruins coverage?

    • spt

      Good post. I think it is a good move.I feel bad for Dale, he is a pro, but he is a little too stiff and I too noticed that Holly had more energy with fill in guests. I also think the Big O and Holly will be a good match.I think Ordway is the most knowledgeable sports radio host with a great knowledge of the ins and outs of all major sports, and he is the most well versed in the business of sports.I often have to turn off Dennis and Callahan due to Callahan's political rantings, but have noticed lately that he has seemed to tone down the policitcal lunacy, most likely due to the competiton across the dial. T&R can be funny at times, but I feel like they are morning radio guys first and sports guys second (which is true). Too much Morning Zoo and not enough sports gravitas. Gresh and Zo are okay. I actually like Gresh, but Zo is a one topic pony – football. I don't care what he has to say about other sports. Felger is full of himself and over the top, and Mas is like the pain in the ass, nudgy cousin, like Oliver from the Brady Bunch. Finally, I actually like Merloni and Mutt. I think they will bring more to the table than Gresh and Zo, and I thought the Dale and Holly pairing was getting tired.

      • TjM

        You like Gresh? May I ask why?

    • gafraidh

      I kind of disagree with your first point. In fact, I always thought that Holley was a much better second chair than first. I understand your comment about "more energy", but I didn't perceive it as energy. I took it as Michael trying too hard to steer. In fact that "energy" often led to things most people can't stand about Ordway's show – talking over the co-host. To me he came across as yucking it up a bit much.

      On air I thought he an Dale were a perfect pairing. I loved how would intelligently and frequently disagree with Dale, and Dale would frequently back down from a position. Confident yet proper perspective of being co-hosts. When Michael has a guest host, he comes across as it being his show, with a guest host.

      But agree to disagree…

  • Jim

    Why doesn't 'eei take the espn national feed from 10-2? Mut/Lou…r u f- ing kidding me. Panic move cause of the perceived younger demo they're looking for. Dale is well spoken, knowledgable and not a screamer like Ordway or a bleeping Neanderthal like Callahan. Can you imagine…maybe people want some dignity on the radio. Bad move, Jasom. You're being reactive…not proactive…. Mike Mut…gimme a break…

  • jmarsh

    This sucks, i hate Zolak and Gresh, just boring and sucky. The only show I truly enjoyed has now been blown up by WEEI, and the best on air guy has been saddled with Ordway and his morons. Am I really going to forced to listen to my local south Florida sports stations? How is D and C doing in the ratings? How have they lasted this long? How about Mustard and Johnson in the midday slot?

    • Dave

      Men 25-54 WEEI beats them barely in the rating but TSH has 20% more total listeners over the course of the a week. M 35-54 D&C take it. But 45-64, TSH is tied in rating and more listeners overall for the week.

  • LJ Sandwich

    I propose…the Malcontent Weakend….(emphasis on Weak)
    6-9 The late Andy Mose and Craig Mustard
    9-12 Larry Johnson…Tracing, Photoshopping, and Adventures with Silly Puddy
    12-5 Eddie Andelman's Nap Time
    5-10 Liquor in the Front, and Poker in the Rear with Pete Sheppard
    Overnight….Dakota, Danny from Quincy, and Anthony Pepe feeding coins into a ham radio for payable minutes of airtime

    • Ghost of Mark Acres

      Nice!! Don't forget to fit in the Ted Sarandis School of reputation protecting! (Rule#1: After caller says his opening disagreeing sentence, YELL over him for the duration of his allowed time, say "Nice to talk to ya, my man", then drop the call. This prevents anyone from proving you wrong!

  • sum dood

    I say bring back the "Quality Hang" with Buck & Merloni in place of D&H

  • Jules

    I wonder if this is why Dale was so angry about the Larry Ridley comments a few weeks ago. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall.

    • mandb97

      Great catch, Jules. That may not be so far fetched.

  • mandb97

    A while ago I asked the following, " Do you think management at WEEI are banging their heads against their desks asking over and over 'Why did we sign Ordway?!' " Bruce your headline is perfect. There is not a better term to use than desperate. WEEI's decision is also very dumb. It shows you just how incapable EEI management is now that they have competition. What this move has done has guaranteed that Gresh and Zoe will win 10-2 and you will not see any change at 2-6. The reason is that the problem with The Big Show is Ordway. I think I can sum up what a majority of the people here think, Ordway is bad at his job. If he is not screaming over guests, he is condescending to callers. Find out how many intelligent callers are on that show. There are very few and they are rushed off. A commenter on Barstool Sports said it perfectly. He/she said Ordway thinks he is the " President of Sports ".

    I actually like Lou Merloni. I think Dale would have been much better at leading the conversation though than Mutnansky. Mutnansky was doing a good job at WGAM and at WEEI on the weekends until he caught the virus that was transmitted by D&C and Ordway called blowharditis. The illness seemed to really take form when, for whatever reason, Mutnansky said at WGAM, David Ortiz was classless for not wanting to talk to the media after a particularly bad game. So Ortiz was great when he spoke the game before but classless because he wanted a break for one game. Sorry Mike, you lost me there.

  • mscully221394

    I think the addition of Holley to the Big Show could be a refreshing change. Michael is one of my favorites on local radio – well informed, great contacts with local teams, and solid on the air. I personally listen to T&R in the mornings and have always preferred Dale and Holley during afternoons while working. Then I’ll jump back and forth between the Big Show and Felger + Mazz, often changing when Felger becomes overly contrarian (which is often) or when Mazz starts to speak. Two other candidates that I would've liked to see get a chance for the 'EEI mid-day spot would be Jon Ryder and Joe Haggerty, both of whom I think are great on air and very knowledgeable – the future of sports radio in our town.

  • mandb97

    What I am still amazed with is that Julie Kahn, Jason Wolfe and other high ranking Entercom management still have their jobs. They were the ones who gave the large contracts to Ordway and D&C. They also did a terrible job at reconnaissance within the radio landscape. It seems like they were caught completely off-guard by the arrival of 98.5 a year and a half ago. My guess is that Entercom may have reconsidered signing Ordway to his deal if they knew there was going to be competition. What has to be particularly embarrassing to Entercom is that Ordway is getting smoked by two incompetent hosts at 98.5 in Felger and Mazz. Ordway is actually worse than them.

    • Jason_Coyote

      And although RKO is not a sports station, don't forget that the precipitous fall of that frequency from its lofty past since J&J were put in charge (losing Rush, the Howie Carr contract debacle, and don't forget the ex-speaker in the morning who best speaking is not found on the radio).

      Even had Entercom foresaw the emergence of the SportsHub and opted not to lock up Ordway long-term, you wonder how they would have responded. Would they have signed Felger instead?

      While most of the commenters here can find flaws with all of the afternoon sports radio hosts, the combined ratings for their shows have never been higher, so they appeal to the majority even if our vocal minority finds them grating.

    • grogansheroes

      Entercom didn't think anyone could compete with them after the failures of ESPN radio and 1510. But 98.5 has a better signal, plus the shows at eei are god awful!

  • tiki

    Judos to Felger and Mazz for killing the Big Show format. Given an alternative, we went and after a year and a half, management relented. Yes I will give the new Big Show a chance now that it wont feature Fred n Steve telling me what I think about football or worse yet explaining it to me b/c clearly im not paying enuf attention. Now lets just clean up the 3rd chair to guys who cover sports w/o being personalites on their own and cut down on the celebrity in their own mind callers and maybe ill stick around.

    As to Dayell – he's smart enuf to do what it takes to keep his fat paycheck and I dont begrudge him that. He had a nice run as a host and it is interesting that essentially Orway's failure is costing him his show.

    Finally – good call on the comment that somewhere Pete is giggling that the circle down the drain happened after he was canned – yet crying b/c he would have died to be midday host yet it goes to two nondescript D/A wannabes. And on that note – if we could somehow turn this tide against Adams and relegate 70s baseball and fart joke radio to overnights….hey a guy can dream

  • kate

    I don't really think Merloni can hold down a show on his own, and Mutnansky's just not there yet. So this kind of baffles me, if it does actually happen.

    And… OK, the thing is, Dale and Holley are kind of stodgy, together, but they have good thoughts and good information. I have no confidence that Mutt & Merloni will do anything at all similar to that. And Zo and Gresh have so far failed to thrill me either. Bleh. Wrong move, 'EEI.

    As for Ordway — I'm tired of him. But I can /hope/ this will provide some kind of change. 'Cause I'm sure not going with Felger.

  • Dream Team?

    The radio lineups are pretty bad from top to bottom, does it really matter what slot they’re in? Dennis (pompous and ignorant) and Callahan (humorless and ignorant) don’t ever talk about sports never mind the nonsense that comes from their useless lap dog (Meterparel). Toucher and Rich (sophomoric and pointless) barely talk about sports. Gresch (completely unlistenable) and Zo (completely uninteresting) make you beg for commercials or NPR. Dale (terrible whiney voice, virtually no opinion) and Holley (listenable but condescending) are not very exciting but somewhat tolerable as background chatter while in traffic. Felger (self-proclaimed douche, usually found beating a dead horse) and Mazz (shrill, dweeb) are fortunate that the Big Show is the only other sports radio option in their slot. Ordway (self-important, rude, loud, obnoxious) and his cast of equally self important, unfunny, ex-jocks actually match up well to their lowest common denominator call-in and whiner line audience. Mikey Adams (completely boring) makes you hope for a Celtics or Red Sox game. DA (Mr. Monologue) puts the talk in talk radio, shut up already.

    • mdubs

      who do you listen to then? matty in the morning?

    • grogansheroes

      great post on all accounts except, I like Felger. People misunderstand him. He is there to get under people's skin and does a good job of it! Appreciate the fact that he single handily brought down the fat, overpaid blowhard.

      • Jason_Coyote

        The only aspect of Felger I admire is that he will say whatever he wants and could care less what anyone thinks of him. Probably has the thickest skin of any sports media member 'round these parts.

  • CBK

    It's amazing that so many of these commenters "don't ever listen to WEEI" or "never pay attention to 98.5" yet have such strong opinions.

    Dale's a good soldier but he's irrelevant. Holley is the #1 talent on WEEI and they're hitching their wagon to him in hopes that he rights the ship.

    WEEI has sat on their asses for years now because of no competition (and can you blame them?). But they're obviously smartening up – when's the last time you've heard Steve Burton or Bill Burt on the airwaves? They've been replaced by the likes of Troy Brown. Huge upgrade. It used to be the Good Ol' Boys Network on The Big Show, but so many of the rotating co-hosts were piss poor that eventually it caught up with them.

    Ordway has minimal sports knowledge but he's a maestro at creating arguments and controversy. I have no idea how that'll mesh with Holley, who's more enthusiastic, genuine, and well-rounded. But WEEI is taking this seriously and putting their top talent in the top slot.

    I'm not sure how to feel about Mut and Merloni. Lou has been groomed for this slot since he started doing radio, and while I think he still has some of the "I'm a jock and you're a nerd" syndrome, he's gotten better. Mut's a solid straight man. It may take a while but I think they'll be respectable.

    This also proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Michael Felger reigns supreme in Boston (and I think Bruce did an article about that within the last few months). Love him or hate him, he's getting it done on multiple platforms.

    A Felger-Holley combo would be damn near unstoppable.

  • JohnnyApps

    Thankfully (and quite suprisingly) Gary Tanguay wasn't given the midday slot. WEEI is going downhill fast. In fact, the state of sports radio in this town has never been worse. Instead of bringing in someone fresh and new, they shuffle around Holly and bring in Merloni as a permanent host. He gets far too much work around here and is frankly not that good. Mut really has no talent. Wow… WEEI is in a free fall.

  • Doc Michaels

    This is a mixed bag of an announcement — I think it strengthens the Big Show, no doubt about that, though it'll be interesting to hear the chemistry between Ordway and Holley.

    What makes zero sense to me is Mutnansky and Merloni. It's almost — not quite, but almost — like moving Mustard and Johnson to middays. I don't get it. I hear Mutnansky for a few minutes on the weekends and I turn him off quickly because there's nothing there. He's a contrived, cliched broadcast-journalism grad type who's OD'd on too much talk radio — he's "smooth" but it's all surface, with no sense of an informed opinion or perspective that, to me, is worth listening to. Merloni I find to be not particularly interesting either. He makes sure he talks a lot but, ultimately, says little. Still, if he was paired with the right person (Dale? Pete?) I'd be willing to give him a shot. But not with Mutnansky. I'll even take Gresh & Zo — or something else — now between 10-2.

    So I'm up for Holley on the Big Show — and in fact I think there's less reason to listen in now to Felger & Mazz's 'Contrarian Show' — but the 10-2 shift perplexes me.

    I think in the end it shows how EEI has misjudged things in recent years. They cut Pete, they cut Dale — and they end up promoting a guy like Mutnansky to a day job? Bizarre, unless Dale was making so much money (?) it was a cust-cutting maneuver.

  • Classless

    Look at these names: John Ryder, Lou Merloni, Mike Mutnansky, Dale Arnold. All of them are simply boring. They add no personality or expertise to the sports talk discussion. Glenn Ordway is a dinosaur and I have no desire to listen to Republican talk radio at 6am.

    Sports Hub is killing them because they're fresh. T&R are younger and more original. Felger & Mazz are insufferable, BUT they are stoking the fires and getting people talking (I mean, pissing on Ray Allen's 3pt record? wow…contrarian to the letter). I don't really listen to either station because the constant problem at both stations is….the dumb callers.

  • CPD 496

    Maybe Dale can coax Eddie out of retirement and bring back the A-Team ! ;)

  • TheNarf

    Ye Gods.

    I don't know which is worse. The loss of one of most solid and level-headed radio personalities on the air in Dale Arnold, or the collection of comments I've been reading here.

    When I turn on the radio looking for sports talk, no matter WHAT daypart it is, I'm looking for commentary, in-depth analysis, and discussion about SPORTS. No fart jokes. No current-events conservative or liberal-bashing. No discussion of non-sports celebrities' latest screw-ups.

    D&C are fine when they actually discuss sports, which is about 10% of the time.

    Toucher and Rich have a yuk-it-up morning zoo-type approach, which does me no favors.

    Gresh and Zoe can be somewhat listenable, if grating.

    The less said about Felger and Mazz the better.

    The Big Show was fine as it was — the whole schtick there was hugely entertaining, and turned hundreds of afternoon commutes from a pain in the butt to something I looked forward to, including the 'character' callers and the Whiner Line.

    Ted Serandis was quite good in the evenings, except when sometimes get too earnest and wander into self-parody.

    The less said about Mikey Addams* the better.

    The DA show has significant promise to be replacement for Ted Nation, but he needs to lose some of the sound-bite schtick.

    Dale and Holley was the ONE show that gave me most of what I was looking for. I knew that I could turn to them for really good analysis after a weekend when one or more of the Boston sports teams had laid an egg.

    I'll give Mutt and Merloni a chance to see if they can do it.

    Echoing others on here, The Sports Hub ought to pick up Dale and put him on Bruins coverage. The current announcers do not compare well against the great Bob Wilson.

    • tl;dr

      The less said about this comment, the better.

    • grogansheroes

      So in what department of intercom do you work?

    • TheNarf

      (To finish my thought)

      *Deliberately mis-spelled — sometimes Mike Adams comes across more like someone from the Addams Family. Uncle Fester, perhaps?

  • Funkhouser

    All these shakeups and Meterparel is still employed??!! Unbelievable.

    • BSF34

      If nuclear war ever happens and wipes out humanity there will be 2 things left on the earth: cockroaches and Meter doing the morning sports flash on WEEI.

  • dave

    Dream team? Both eei and the sportshub are lousy radio and I can't believe anybody would be so starved for sports related entertainment that they would have to listen to either of these stations.

  • Chris

    In many respects, I think the callers help to ruin the hosts. Look at ESPN's 'Mike & Mike.' I listen to that podcast daily, and I like it because it comprises insightful talk and no callers. Would something like that work in Boston? Have we somehow decided that phone-in callers are a GOOD thing for sports radio?

    • http://www.allthingshorroronline.net mike

      Mike and Mike are about as vanilla as a duo can get. They wouldn't voice a strong opinion in an issue at gunpoint.

    • Aaron

      Couldn't agree more. I've found myself listening to podcasts far more than the radio over the past year or so. The main reason is that I listen for the on-air personalities, not John in a Car. Dan Lebatard does a great show down in Miami and I listen to the podcasts almost daily and they do a 4 hour hour radio (2 1/2 hours of content without commercials) and will go days at a time without taking calls.

      • Chris

        Thank you for the tip on Lebatard! I went to iTunes and subscribed to his podcast.

  • grogansheroes

    Ordway is unlistenable (is that a word?). I like Holley, and this is a demotion for him, although will probably get a raise. I usually listen to the other station, but bop back and forth when in the car. Gresh is god awful, if they put anyone else with him they probably beat weei in all three slots. As for Arnold, that milquetoast personality doesn't get you very far, all his co-hosts have carried him his whole career, so if they keep him they need a dynamic personality to go with him.
    Perhaps with the changes in the big show there will be less shouting, less talking over the callers, less bullying, (DeOssie) less olde time baseball stories. But this does seem to be a change motivated by competition.

    • johng

      Going to the afternoon isn't a demotion — I respectfully disagree.

  • http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com Suldog

    And then again, if Arnold is being demoted to 'fill-in', there's no chance of what I said above happening, so skip it.

  • donna28

    It's surprising they would break up the only show beating the SH.

    Somewhat off the post topic, but what has made Toucher & Rich successful is that you could call them "Deadspin" radio — sensationalized, pop-cultured sports. Not everyone wants to hear an hour-long discussion on whether to bat Crawford leadoff or 3rd (and you wouldn't hear it on D&C anyway because it isn't a right wing issue). In case you haven't noticed, Deadspin has turned sports journalism on its ear. Say what you will, they've been a game changer. Commenters talk about how shows/programs need the 18-49 demographic, but fail to realize that 18-year-olds were born in 1993 — quite a leap from whoever 'EEI is speaking to.

    • http://twitter.com/awesomeneil @awesomeneil

      EXACTLY. The only show on 'EEI that is beating the Sports Hub, and they're going to replace it with a weekend fill-in Flash Guy (Mutt) and a perpetual radio wingman (Merloni)? Now they could seriously go 0-fer in morning, weekday and drive time. Better keep tabulating those ratings in Providence and Bangor!

      Why not just pair Ordway up with Borges? One guy is a total blowhard and the other is a plagiarizing contrarian? I would LOVE to hear those Patriots Monday interviews.

  • Frank

    I think the ratings numbers tell us that Boston could sustain 3 local sports radio stations. EEi’s numbers really haven’t changed, and the Hub’s getting good numbers despite their “talent.” I think there’s finally enough talent out there to get a third station launched. It should be an FM station, and they could roll out a great line up of local sports people. I would go Neumie and Bob Ryan in the Morning, Dale and Pete afternoons and Jackie Mac and Sean McAdam drive time. I think that’s a strong line up that would probably kill both stations.

    • grogansheroes

      You're probably right, but two problems, 1. would any of those commit to a five day work week, and 2, could a new station afford to pay them?

      • Jake

        Yeah, I think people grossly overestimate writers desire and/or ability to do radio full time. Callahan can do it because he never travels, but the others mention travel in the course of their writing.

        Also, getting another good signal would be a problem from what I gather from radio-info discussion boards. It's pretty crowded and if somebody were to get a signal they would be chopping up the pie more and it would be difficult to pay a lot for talent.

  • jmar

    One good thing about these new moves is that Holley will mostly be hosting on his own since Ordway is on vacation all summer long. I wonder how the Patriots players who are used to being interviewed by Dale & Holley will adjust to Merloni/ Mutnansky. I like Merloni but Doc Michaels is spot n about Mutnansky.

  • Ann

    The frustrating thing with blowing up the afternoon show, is that was the one show that appealed to a demographic other than the coveted 19-25 year olds. It seems like now we're going to be out in the cold. The only EEI show I listen to is Dale and Holley, because I can't stand the buffoonery of Gresh and Zo.

    I understand that the goal is to take the top demographic, but that leaves a lot of us listeners without an option as the two stations converge on the same kind of brainless ranting.

  • JohnnyApps

    I love how most of the people here leaving comments keep saying they never listen to talk radio and hate all of the personalities, yet have so much to say about this big news and seem to be pretty plugged in as to what's been happening currently with the different shows. this has been very entertaining.

  • NutCracker

    It's like shuffling deck chairs on the titanic. Jason Wolfe and Julie Kahn are the ones who need to be fired. Ordway has lost his audience to 98.5 so this WEEI's way of trying to salvage that big fat contract they gave that big fat loud-mouth Ordway. I did listen to Dale and Holley but now I won't listen to any EEI shows.

  • Jack Edwards

    The irony of this is that Dale Arnold spent all his time trying to be non-controversial and doing whatever he could to kiss up to his bosses, and they did exactly what they should have done with a talk show host like that. They dumped the guy that most listeners realized was a phony and thus didn't take seriously. People saw right through Dale and the fact that at some point in his career he has backstabbed everyone he has ever worked with in an effort to please his bosses. Sorry, but WEEI just got a little better today. And that's not saying much.

    • mandb97

      You're right Jack, the show sucked that's why D&H were consistently beating the competition. No one like them. Now please go back and tell us about the Red Coats invading our land or something like that.

  • grogansheroes

    We miss you Pete!

  • cakes_are_cooking

    The big winner here? Emily Rooney mid-day on WGBH.

  • Jim

    I think that dumping the Dale and Holley Show only continues to show how clueless the suits at EEI have become. They rode the gravy train for so long they lost track of what was successful or appealing to their base. When 98.5 came along it was a breath of fresh air to listen to talk radio that looked with a critical eye towards the hometown teams.

    Dale and Holley had become the only show on EEI that was worth listening to. Now Holley will have a tough time trying to conform to the Big O's format-what they should do is overhaul the entire show-dump the whiner line, get rid of most of the co-hosts for good and let Holley put his stamp on the show. None of which are likely to happen.

    98.5 wins again without making one move.

  • Mike

    Does anyone know if Dale made a statement this morning when he went on air @ 10? Thanks.

    • tiki

      dude – you DID just write a chapter on every aspect of sports radio. While I agree that it is fun to watch eei drown in its hubris i also wonder how somebody so inside that he can recall and recognize the circumstances and politics behind the last midday shift can also think that sports knowledge and accuracy have any real part in ratings success. You wanna impart sports knowledge to win a trivia contest – sports talk for the last 15 years has been about entertainment – ordo didnt get holley to fact check him – he got holley b/c the emcee 3 ring circus format got stale.

  • FHG

    Does this mean Dale is no longer pledging at the Boston Sports Lodge?

    Let's hope the Red Sox have a decent season so Lou won't have to apologize and come up with excuses for their poor performance all summer long.

  • Jack

    Amazing. All this hatred for WEEI from people who say they never listen.

    • donna28

      Isn't it possible they're all former listeners? I know I am. I don't have to ever listen to D&C or Ordway again to know exactly what it sounds like.

  • Tim

    I stopped listening to EEI when D&C became Hannity and Beck…years ago. First-rate assholes, to boot. D&H are boring. The Big Show is self-congratulatory. Felger is a total asshole and Mazz sounds like the kid who follows around the big kids, begging to play right field. Mike Adams? Who's he? His claim to fame was taking over the studio – Mike, no one cares how much you hate Manny….I listen to T&R daily, G&Z sometimes, F&M occasionally, more during baseball. EEI is a dinosaur. I am 63, not in the key demographic so no one probably cares what I think, but Old Bastard radio is officially dead. Thank God!

  • Tim

    I stopped listening to EEI when D&C became Hannity and Beck…years ago. First-rate jerks, to boot. D&H are boring. The Big Show is self-congratulatory. Felger is too arrogant and hates the players, and Mazz sounds like the kid who follows around the big kids, begging to play right field. Mike Adams? Who's he? His claim to fame was taking over the studio – Mike, no one cares how much you hate Manny….I listen to T&R daily, G&Z sometimes, F&M occasionally, more during baseball. EEI is a dinosaur. I am 63, not in the key demographic so no one probably cares what I think, but Old Boy radio is officially dead. Thank God!

  • Paul

    I was listening yesterday and thought sure they would announce a jump to FM.

    That’s what they really need to regain/maintain share whatever.

    Living in Marlborough I cannot get a decent reception of the station at night. Hard to

    believe that living just 25 miles from Boston, the Red Sox cannot be heard. Where else in the US could that be happening?

    • Ann

      As I neighbor in Hudson, I'm with you. Most of the time I couldn't listen to EEI if I wanted to because the reception in the hudson/marlborough area just isn't there. The only option is to pay for the MLB broadcasts over the internet, or XM radio. UGH!

      • Paul

        Hi Ann, good to hear from you, in 2009 WCRN Worcester had them and it was great.
        But they dropped them last year and that was it, Couldn't listen to night games.

  • Jon

    Desperate, sure, but I think this is a good move for the Big Show as Dale and Holley was arguably WEEI's strongest program. I think Dale is getting hosed in this deal, but this isn't the first time WEEI screwed with their talent (I miss Pete Sheppard too). I'm not sure why they're ceding the 10-2 time slot to the sports hub, especially since Gresh and Zo is probably their weakest program. But if it comes down to it, I might have to take the new Big Show over Felgy's latest insane tirade about the Pats/Matt Cooke/Kevin Garnett/Randy Moss… etc.
    Of course, the Whiner Line still sucks. But I seem to be alone in that opinion…

    • Jason_Coyote

      After hearing that Dale will now become Dave O'Brien's backup doing Red Sox games on Wednesdays, it sounds like another loser in all this is Jon Rish, who will now be reduced to pre- and postgame along with rain-delayed editions of 'Sox Talk'. As down as Dale feels today, Rish probably isn't dancing in the streets, either.

      • Doc Michaels

        Dale used to do the Sox fill-in games a couple of years ago before Rish did. I also felt Rish wasn't cut out for play-by-play. His voice doesn't have enough range, and he has no personality on top of it. A guy who looks like he's forever going to be a "flash guy" type.

      • sum dood

        Jon Rish seems to get dumped on, in a mean way, more than anyone else by those on WEEI (D&C, Meter in particular). Never thought it was justified. He's a bit of a stiff, but seems like a nice enough guy.

        • Jason_Coyote

          It's jealousy on Metercrapel's part. You don't think he'd love to have that Red Sox gig?

  • Andrew

    While some of the criticism is justified, count me in as part of the apparent minority that likes what Dale Arnold brings to the table. I was disappointed to hear that Dale & Holley will no longer occupy the 10-2 slot , and it appears all but a certainty that Dale will be leaving the station completely. I felt Dale & Holley offered the most reasoned & intelligent approach to sports talk that the market offers. D & H were the absolute antithisis of their 98.5 midday couterparts Gresh and Zo.

    It will be interesting to see not only what form the new EEI midday show takes, but what countermove is made by the Hub. The Hub now has a tremendous opportunity to gain listeners by jettisoning Gresh and revamping their midday show to appeal to a wider audience. I have long felt that Gresh & Zo's core audience is comprised largely of those who will tune in regardless of the on air talent level and quality of the broadcast. If a better midday product is offered they can build upon this core audience by attracting more discerning listers as well, many of whom have been driven away by the poor quality of the Hub's current midday offering.

  • Corbin

    This move is proof that Jason Woolf has been, for the better part of his career at WEEI, the luckiest man in broadcasting.

    I mean, how talented did Woolf have to be to "build" WEEI into a ratings power in Boston? Not very. In fact, not all. It stood to reason that an all-sports format radio station would do well in a market as sports-obsessed as Greater Boston is. Further, fueled by the enormous competitive success that Boston's pro teams have had over the better part of the past decade, said obsession grew even more pronounced. WEEI was first to the sports-talk trough in Greater Boston, which carried the station through its infancy. Subsequently, it has benefitted greatly from having 3 Patriots Super Bowl-winning teams, 2 Red Sox World Series squads, a Celtics NBA Championship outfit, and a newly-competitive Boston Bruins regime to cover since the initial honeymoon period ended. An on-air line-up comprised of my two spinster aunts in morning-drive, my stuttering uncle and Tourette's-suffering cousin in the midday slot, and my alcoholic step-mother and her incontinent bichon-frise in afternoon-drive would have pulled-in phenomenal ratings while talking sports over the past 10 to 15 years.

    Lo and behold, a legitimate competitor crops-up on the Boston broadcast scene and WEEI begins to show real signs of vulnerability. Woolfie's no longer a broadcasting "wunderkind" when he actually has to start worrying about his on-air talent – or, in point of fact, lack thereof – bringing some level of competence to the airwaves. It isn't enough to throw a couple of bargain-basement Howie Carr-wannabes on in morning-drive, pair a Downeast version of Garrison Keillor (wait… that's an insult to Keillor's ability to sustain compelling energy) with a kinder-gentler Stephen A. Smith middays, and unleash a bloat of anthropomorphised hippos in afternoon-drive. It turns out that you actually have to worry about talent and content and pacing and – are you ready for this? – some sort of broadcasting standards.

    Instead of a true depth and breadth of knowledge, well-developed sense of humor and ability to engage their listeners, the vast majority of WEEI's on-air personalities during the Woolf era have been nothing more than venom-spewers or platitude-peddlers. Under Woolf's leadership, both the show-hosts and the "flash-boys" – sorry, but despite the fact that so many wax eloquent over his tenure at the station, Pete Shepard's act would have been tired in vaudeville – brought little in the way of talent to the airwaves. It has all made for a miasma of "white noise" on WEEI.

    And now, the chickens have come home to roost at WEEI. The clock is ticking… and one would suspect that it is ticking loudest for Ordway, Dennis, Callahan and Woolf.

    Ordway has to know that the younger, more intelligent, more talented – and, sorry to be so blunt, African-American – Holley is being positioned to take over the lead role in the afternoon-drive slot. Holley represents the younger, smarter, more articulate, more diverse audience that exists even amongst sports-radio listeners. Ordway is a dinosaur who thinks that regurgitating the content of the day's newspapers – often, close to verbatim – makes for cogent analysis and that "The Whiner Line" passes for cutting-edge humor. Ordway's current contract runs until January of 2014 and you have to believe that Entercom management can't wait to get out from under it. Look for them to start positioning "the Big O" for "the Big GO"… as in away.

    As for Dennis and Callahan, their current contracts run until September of 2012. Unless WEEI's numbers begin to turn around significantly, one has to believe that Entercom management will be looking to unload compensation that reportedly is in the eight-figure range. Barring huge ratings from the duo, they're likely to suffer as a result of being the first large contracts to come-up for renegotiation in the wake of WEEI's shaky battle with 98.5.

    And then there's Woolf. The boy-Emperor suddenly has no clothes. WEEI is losing ground – and ad revenue – to 98.5, all while being held hostage by the onerous contracts that Woolf gave to Dennis, Callahan and Ordway. Merloni and Mutnansky project to be a band-aid applied to a gaping arterial hemorrhage. When push comes to shove, the Entercom brass in Pennsylvania are going to sacrifice someone to the radio gods over the the clusterf**k that has gone down at their once-proud Boston "sports radio leader". Woolf has been dodging bullets since 2003 when Dennis and Callahan became embroiled in the infamous "METCO gorilla" controversy. Then-WEEI general manager Tom Baker took the flack for that matter, but it would appear that Woolf's luck may have finally run out. After all, if you're going to accept the bouquets when all is going well, you have to be willing to bear the brunt of the brickbats when the fecal matter hits the oscillating-rotary cooling device.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Love the intentional misspelling of 'Woolf' through your rant.

      On the bright side for Ordway, at least it's Holley pushing him out the door now as opposed to Janet Prensky two decades earlier. Not sure that Glenn's big giant head ego (or his bank balance) could've lived with that ignominy.

      • Corbin

        Two Os for "obviously obtuse"… no E, meaning "lacking effort". ; )

    • sum dood

      Never has a post made such exemplary use of a thesaurus. Top-notch ole chap, top-notch!

      • Corbin

        Ole? What… are you posting from Mexico? Ol' chap. Ol'…

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      "It isn't enough to throw a couple of bargain-basement Howie Carr-wannabes on in morning-drive, pair a Downeast version of Garrison Keillor (wait… that's an insult to Keillor's ability to sustain compelling energy) with a kinder-gentler Stephen A. Smith middays, and unleash a bloat of anthropomorphised hippos in afternoon-drive."

      This may be the greatest thing I've ever read on this site…..

  • Nopointe

    Why all the yellow seats Dale?

    Because Dale peed on them when he found out

  • King Larry

    Condolences to talkster Dale Arnold, first King Larry loses his show, then good pal Mubarak, now Dale, bad news comes in threes…Speaking of threes congrats to Raymond Allen on setting the three pointer record, 9 in a game against the Bulls, you still got it kid…Unstoppable is the must see movie of the year, you will believe a runaway train can hit like a speeding bullet…Sad news from Broadway, another tragedy on the stage of Spider Man, there hasn't been a production this cursed since Yvonne DeCarlo skipped out on South Pacific…Combos are a great new snack food combining pretzels and pizza flavored cheese, I eat them by the peach basket full…Funnyman Kelsey Grammar best known from his hit Down Periscope is tying the knot for the 4th time, nice try kid but you aren't catching King Larry…How about Eminem and Chrysler teaming up to save Detroit, start with the Pistons guys…King Larry out!

  • arp

    Corbin hit it out of the park. It seemed that WEEI could not believe that it would get serious competition from the Sports Hub. In that regard, their arrogance was matched only by their ignorance (a deadly combination).

    What will be fascinating is how Ordway (who is set in his ways, and has been the "star" of WEEI) reacts to this role with Holley.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Already interesting that they've deciding to keep the 'Big Show' name along with the Whiner Line. It's as if the only change will be Holley's presence five days a week. Wonder if this will signal the end of the line for James Brown's 'Living in America' intro?

      • LaughingInAruba

        Calluh, i know a little something about sports radio.

        Jason Wolfe used to pick the beaks out of my peking duck back in the old days.

  • JSR

    Why are people acting like WEEI is tanking? I'm not completely sure, but haven't their ratings pretty much stayed the same? Obviously, 98.5 picked up an audience that EEI never had, but WEEI still has way more listeners when you factor in Providence, Springfield, Cape Cod, Maine… all with the same content.

    I know that a lot of the people who come here are media "snobs", who love to trash everybody, but the exaggerations I'm reading here are puzzling. I'm not a huge fan of the WEEI guys, but to say that the Sports Hub is anything different? I don't get that. D&C vs. T&R, equally obnoxious. Gresh/Zo and the Big Show are annoying and often boring. D&H and F&M are the two best shows, and all four of those hosts have aggravating tendencies. All that being said, I have listened and enjoyed all of those shows in the past. I like both stations. If I had to choose just one, I couldn't

    In my opinion, the biggest reason 98.5 found the audience they did is because of the crystal clear signal. I'm not from Boston, but when I'm up there, I'm amazed that people actually listen to the cruddy AM signal of 850am. The fact that they still compete against the powerful 98.5fm signal is impressive to me. If you look at the Providence numbers, where both stations come in perfectly, WEEI dominates.

    Anyway, Wolfe is just wasting his time with these moves because the signal is what's keeping them from 98.5's audience in Boston Metro. Also, I expect this post to get a lot of "thumbs down", so don't be shy w/ that mouse.

    • Jason_Coyote

      You're not totally wrong, JSR. I don't think it's a complete coincidence that 98.5 is the first true rival and broadcasts in FM in Boston. Also like you said, the format of two hosts with guests and phone callers sprinkled in can hardly be called groundbreaking.

  • mcbird14

    People see m to miss the point.This sounds like a money save by eei.
    EEI spent way too much on Ordway's JD Drew like contract.Thats why sheppard was let go.
    The money is in the afternoon shows and people are sick of ordway and his rotating head ache inducing co hosts.Now the big show will probably just be glenn and holley and no 3rd guy so they save money.
    Mutt will work for chump change and merloni couldnt be too expensive
    EEI learned finally people are sick of smerlas type fill ins who yell and interrupt.
    Dale got a 20 year run at eei and eei messed up big by letting felgy go to sports hub.Felgy is great and is killing eei

  • sum dood

    Seeing that the Merloni-Mutt pairing has been almost universally panned thus far, it's starting looking more and more like a straightup cost-cutting measure. Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit, but Entercom must know that Merloni & Mutt won't generate the same ratings. True, D&H are currently leading in the mid-day slot, but that's the equivalent of winning the NIT tournament. Nice? Yeah, but morning/afternoon drive is the D1 March Madness tourney. It's what you really want to win–far more listeners, therefore far more $$$ to be made. WEEI's willing to concede ground in the mid-day in order to gain ground in the afternoon.

    Listeners = ad revenue, and I don't see WEEI increasing listenership from 10 – 2 as a result of this move. So net-net they probably break even on middays (lost ad revenue = money saved on Dale & Holley's salaries) and gain in afternoons ( [increased ad revenue + money saved on co-hosts] > extension to Holley's contract). This of course assumes that the Big Show does in fact receive a ratings boost. They're trying to get the most bang for their buck and being a business, you can't really blame them for it.

    Entercom looks to be taking more of a bottom-line over top-line growth strategy with all the recent lay-offs/demotions. This never works over the long term. The Holley move's a good start, but at some point EEI's going to have to spend the money and reel in a big fish–I'm talking a Michael Smith, Ryen "Ruttillo", Bill Simmons (more of a stretch) type national-level talent–to regain the market dominance they once had. Just my little financial take on the situation.

    Nice to see competition finally making an impact on Boston Sports radio.

  • Big Fat O

    The one who should have gotten the axe was Fat John Dennis. KKKallahan was actually decent when paired with Chris Mannix on Monday when they talked hoops and not Obama.

    The Big Show premise is good but when all you get are the Fred and DeOssies the show starts to suck. Ordway had plently of good guests over the years but only seemed to last a few shows.

    10-2 is over at EEI. Dale was vanilla but knew what he was talking about and decent to listen to. Mut is nothing but a stat memorizing jock sniffer who thinks that since he's on the radio he's smarter than everyone else.

  • spqr

    dude, instead of studying sports radio, learn how to spell

  • SPQR

    This all goes back to WEEI ignoring the listener for years. They used to have 15/20 minutes of commercials during any given hour. An issue that caused enormous frustration, but with no competition, they could do as they pleased.
    Shortly after 98.5 debuted, they changed that policy.
    They had a decade or more long p#ssing match with Globe reporters, and lost out on some great analysis.
    Shortly after 98.5 debuted, they welcomed back writers like Bob Ryan.
    Almost anyone that listens to Boston sports radio gets frustrated by the constant yelling and chaos, with no organization that took place on the Big Show…
    Well, they've decided to change that…
    As someone who is 32, and grew up most of my like listening to WEEI. I'm so sorry, to little, to late. I'm a Sports Hubber now.

    • BornIn1980

      Agreed 100%

  • mandb97

    I listened to Dale this morning. Dale felt disappointed, angry and betrayed and I don't blame him. Here is a good analogy on what happened to Dale. Larry works for company X. He is one of the first ones in and last ones out. Customers rave about how good he is with them. His reviews are terrific and he goes out of his way to help out others. Moe, who is next to Larry tools around with his Iphone and surfs the net. He tells customers he'll get back to them when he gets a chance and is an all around slacker. Larry's boss calls him into the office and says, "Larry you have done a great job but we have decided to replace you with Moe because it may help motivate him." In summary, because of Glenn Ordway's ineptitude, Dale Arnold lost his job. Dale mentioned his regret about not doing the Bruins full-time. I think play-by-play is truly Dale's love but he felt a sense of loyalty with WEEI. Dale made the mistake of forgetting that he should be loyal to one person, himself.

    Bruce, do you have any idea whether Ordway had a buyout clause in his contract? If he did not then you can chalk that up to another bad mistake by EEI management.

    One of the commenters brought up a good point. He/she said that one of the positives that would come about due to arrival was 98.5 was that it would force both stations to have to continually get better. I thought this would be the case too. Unfortunately, it has not. WEEI has rid themselves of the best show they have in order to help one of the worst. You would think that hiring Holley for afternoon drive time would change Ordway somewhat, but I don't think it will. Think about it. Ordway has had many months to change his format but his ego got in the way and he continually gets beat by F&M. I have a hard time believing that this zebra will change its stripes. My guess is that he will unfortunately rub off more on Holley then Holley will rub off on him.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Your last paragraph sums it up pretty well, mandb. Both sports radio stations pretty much copy each other instead of trying to find their own niche. When 98.5 debuted eighteen months ago, many of us hoped they would be markedly different from EEI, but their only contrasts were broadcasting in FM in Boston and having a morning show based more on humor and less on politics. Now that the SportsHub has edged ahead in the ratings, it is EEI essentially copying nearly all of 98.5's schtick. Why not? If both stations are scoring with listeners, no need to try anything different.

      The fact that the Big Show is keeping its title and Whiner Line closing should be seen as a strong indicator that Holley's presence will be more like window dressing rather than the foundation of something new and original.

      • mandb97

        You're nailed it Jason. Felger and Maz have nothing to worry about because I do not see much difference. Unless Ordway is removed WEEI will continue to stay second. If you can read Chad Finn's story on how Jason Wolfe is spinning the story. I would link it but Boston.com wants me to sign up for an account. Wolfe must be made of 50% smarm and 50% slime.

  • Doc Michaels

    On a sidenote, Pete Sheppard says he's been quiet too long and will post something of a bombshell involving WEEI on Monday. This is from his Facebook page — sounds like there might be something juicy in there…

    "I have been silent long enough…There have been several issues that have come up over the last several days..One thing is certain…"Bleep Me.."…Fine..Then I will "Bleep you"…That is all I can say for now…I will update again on Monday around 5pm…It is time it all came out…..I owe nothing to anyone…I have given everyone everything I can….Sorry for the bad pub that is about to come down on some of you in the Boston market, but you leave me no choice and I want the public to know….They deserve it..They are the listeners who are the demo's paying some of these ridiculous salaries"

  • mamazone

    and wouldn't it be fantastic if Holley outshines Glen, and they can then call the show "Holley"luah, Big O is Gone!"

  • Aaron

    Dale was a gentleman who could could criticize without being mean spirited and was never a homer. He lost two partners to contract disputes….each time he came out of it making the show even better. He wasbest at putting things in perspective. Uunlike other shows he didnt resort to gimmicks like liberal baiting or creating soap opera like characters to entertain.

    I only heard his statement yesterday and not the rest of the show but it was clear he felt betratyed by WEEI, given his "professional responsibilty comment" I think he deserved better and hope it improves his career long term.

    For a jock, Lou Merloni has been a natural as a talk show personality and I think he does a good job. It will remain to be seen whether he can run a show on his own..but anything is better than listening to the obnoxious Gresh.

  • armchairPD

    Holley's contract was set to expire next month. Maybe moving him to PM drive was the only way of keeping him. If WEEI let him walk away, he would have most likely walked over to the Sports Hub, and that would have killed off 850 the rest of the way.

    Between the Red Sox rights and what they're paying Ordway, they simply don't have the resources to put a top notch show in middays. Mutnansky and Merloni are a salary dump. Dale solves the play-by-play, swing talent costs for the next year until his deal is up, then he's gone. They had to do something to counter the Sports Hub, but didn't have the cash to do it right.

    A lot of posters have commented on WEEI's numbers "not changing much" since the Sports Hub signed on. The truth is the last several years D&C have injected more politics into their show, which has attracted an audience that would normally be listening to sister station WRKO. D&C would be a much better fit on 680, but if Entercom moved them, WEEI would be lagging far behind The Sports Hub in the ratings, which also translates to revenue, something Entercom needs desparately.

  • dan

    How can you not be happy? Arnold was a whining bore.

  • Aaron T.

    Now it's time for 98.5 to shake things up. Get new hosts for the 10 to 2 slot. Find a new co-host for Felger. How about Bill Abbate, Pete Brock, Gary Tanguay, Bob Neumeier ?

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