2011 Approval Ratings – Dale Arnold

It’s been a year of change for Dale Arnold, who was bumped off his longtime 10-2 slot on WEEI this past winter, and moved into a “roving” role, where he fills in whenever needed, hosts on the weekend, and is being used more in play-by-play for the Red Sox and Celtics radio broadcasts.

A Maine native, Arnold has been broadcasting games since he was 15 years old. He attended Bowdoin College, and began doing Maine Mariners games in 1979. In 1986 he got the same job with the New Jersey Devils. From 1988-1990 he was the voice of the New England Patriots.

In 1991, he joined WEEI, and in 1995 he started calling Bruins games for NESN, a post he held until 2007. On WEEI, he had a variety of broadcast partners, from Eddie Andelman, to Bob Neumeier to his last partner, Michael Holley.

Dale Arnold 2011 Approval Ratings
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  • Winning

    I know there will be plenty of critics of Dale Arnold for his "hokey, schucks, Ned Flanders" type style but that should be the lest of our concerns. He was on a quality show from 10-2 and has stirred alot of debate since he was given the boot for M&M. I feel that D&H was the best sportstalk show between either station. It contained the 3 things I listen for most: 1)
    Entertainment, many will say they were not entertaining but this is simply my opinion. 2) Discussion/Knowledge, between Dale and Holley they had the 4 sports covered really well. With Dale, you got strong Hockey and Baseball while Holley brought BBall and Football. It's unfortunate the Dale hasn't had his own show during this run, and I feel people would be tuning in.

    Alot of people will criticize him saying he's rude, blah, blah blah. I can just say he doesn't come across that way, unless he was talking to Fred in NH. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Dale along with Holley from 10-2 and since their show departure, I find myself listening to 98.5 or music.

  • Joe

    Taking Dale out of the midday slot was the nail in WEEI's coffin. I haven't turned the dial to EEI once since that day.

  • Funkhouser

    He's not the greatest PBP guy, but he's not as horrible as that attention whore, Meterparel. I felt bad for him after he got the shaft from WEEI but he seems to be doing OK doing a little PBP and filling in for vacationing radio hosts. At least he hasn't had to resort to starting his own network in an abandoned Bertucci's (I'm looking at you, Sleepy Butch) or broadcasting a tin can internet radio show from Fall River. Approve.

  • L3s

    I want to disapprove so badly, but I cannot. I too don't like the AwShucks stuff, but the guy brings some quality and understands how to do a broadcast that keeps listeners, unlike his successors. Plus he seems to be a good man, and that counts for something too. You don't know what you have until it's gone.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    In my time reading BSMW, I've seen people commenting about how Arnold is "condescending" to callers. Having listened to D&H quite a bit over the years, I feel comfortable saying that the callers to whom Arnold is "condescending" not only deserve to be treated with contempt (because they are often offensively assertive in their ignorance), but probably should be prohibited from breeding for the safety and well-being of themselves and humanity in general.

    So I approve.

  • latetodinner

    I don't need the "apathy button" on this one. I think that Dale has consistently run the best sportstalk show in the Boston market for years. He carried 3 different hosts to top ratings. Without getting into discussions of the other personalities and the extenuating circumstances Dale was the constant on all three shows. I disagree with Winning on one point…Dale could talk all 4 sports intelligently. He was always prepared. I never heard a show of his that sounded like he phoned it in (except that first morning show fill-in gig after the "firing"). I always know that when Dale is on there is no sophomoric humor, no topic du jour that will shock, but instead there will be well thought out topics that make for good thought provoking conversation.

    As of right now there is no show in the Boston Market that has these traits. It is a shame WEEI did not see what Dale brought to the table, nor do they see that there is ratings gold in intelligent sports talk when it is squeezed in between the bombastic offerings the stations are now known for.

    HIGLY APPROVE

    • Winning

      I didn't say Dale couldn't talk all 4 intelligently, I just said his strengths were Hockey and Baseball when he was matched with Holley, who has more affinity for Bball and football. I agree Dale could talk all 4, it's why the midday show on WEEI was my favorite by far. 10-2 on WEEI was appointment listening for me, just like LOST and 24 was appointment TV. They treated callers with respect which is why they got mostly good callers. If you notice, most of the idiototic/schtick callers like Frank from Glouschester, Angelo from Everett, and the other morons stick to calling the Big Show, which shows the type of program they run.

      Instead, we are forced to listen ( in my case not listen) to WEEI "Nappy Hours" between 10-2 with M&M. It's nothing personal for me, those two just can't reel me in. I now continue to wander between 10-2.

      It's a shame the arrogance of Jason Wolfe got in the way and ruined the best sportstalk show Boston had to offer.

  • Rick

    I approve. Like anyone he has his detractions, but I looked forward to Dale and Holley mostly because it was the only sports talk program that *discussed* topics and had conversations that progressed during the show rather than the usual "I'm louder than you" arguing that goes on with all of the other daytime shows on both stations.

  • Paul

    I give Dale a thumbs-up. He has handled the situation with dignity in his D&C appearances and on the Sunday show that he hosts. It can’t be easy working with Buckley. Good thing they have two microphones. Dale will land on his feet. If NESN were smart, they would hire him to do pre/post game shows when Katherine Tappen moves to the NHL Network.

  • Siggy

    Dale is thin-skinned like all play by play guys in the world except maybe Mike Gorman, but he seemed to blend well with whatever EEI threw at him. He gets an APPROVE just for putting up with Edward G all those years – god that must have been torture. Kind of a tool, but in a good way.

    Certainly better than what the Used to Be Most Popular Sports Radio Station in America is putting out there now. That station is hopeless right now – it's kind of sad.

  • bettyd

    I approve and I like the awshucks thing a bit too as a contrast.

    I recall Eddie A saying on the air “you don’t know anything about Bosotn real estate” to Dale when discussing the then hot-topic of a new Fenway. It was so demeaning the way Eddie said it and and Dale, always the pro, just moved on. Dale always seems to take the high road, unlike that blow-hard John Dennis!

  • rmont

    Every show Dale has filled in on has been raised a level – both for intelligent sports talk and civil discussion.

    I think WEEI mad a major miscalculation and their ratings seem to reflect that.

  • cakes_are_cooking

    If you like a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a slice of white bread, he's your guy. Conceding that he's a cut above Felger and Ordway, Dale was void of humor. Aside from the aw shucks obvious jokes, he wouldn't know a clever comment if it dropped from the ceiling into his lap.

  • NutCracker

    'You don't miss your water to the well runs dry' – I have to bet JWolfe and JKahn are kicking themselves for giving Dale Arnold the big shaft. In the long run though I think they could end up doing Dale a favor. I found myself wishing Dale well after he got kicked to the street because I believe he was genuinely hurt by the move. Who wouldn't? Dale is a gentleman and he knows what he's talking about (most of the time ) but he really offers great insight into hockey talk. I miss him and Holley together but ironically I can't stand Holley with Ordball on the new Big Show. I won't listen to them –

    • etak

      Mostly I hate the current Big Show because a) Holley seems to take contrarian views for no good reason, and b) Holley still can't get a word in edgewise. Sigh.

  • Callah

    Proof Dale could carry an interview better than anyone at WEEI was the Keith Foulke weekly paid appearances. If it was D and C or the Big Show wouln't know how to handle those they probably would have muted the call half way through and said that Foulke had a weak cell phone connection.

    Another thing I noticed is Dale seems to be more marketable than when he was on mid-days. The weekend show with Buckley, The Baseball Show, Football show in the fall, and Comcast Sports.

    Looks like WEEI rather have guys on their staff who keep saying the Bruins should go after Steve Avery when they really mean Sean Avery. Still Living in the 90's with the Red Sox WEEI.

  • scott

    Like Dale doing sportsradio—he always hosts a good show. Don't like his play-by-play. Pretty good hockey guy—probably better than most. Absolutely horrible baseball guy– doesn't know when to stay quiet;he always throws out stats. Isn't he the only guy to be fired by all pro teams as well?

  • Jason_Coyote

    All of the Dale comments have been predictable – he is a pro's pro with the ability to call five different professional sports and co-host an intelligent talk show with multiple hosts of varying personalities. A definite approve for Boston's first DA.

    I also agree with what's been said regarding the former WEEI midday show; 10-2 was my favorite of EEI's big three weekday programs. Having said that, I will go to my grave convinced that a show of that tenor would have never achieved boffo ratings in AM or PM drive, no matter how much we might wish it so…EEI's pre-98.5 ratings for D&C and the Big O bear that out.

    • latetodinner

      Jason…I am not convinced a Dale like show could not work in mornings or drive. I do concede the format would by necessity have to be more repetitive because of the way people listen to morning and afternoon drive (20 minute drop ins). Jay Severin, All Things Considered and and Sean Hannity all do or in the case of Severin did do well in PM drive. All are thought provoking shows.

      I have thought for a long time that a Sean McAdam/Tom E Curran show in drive would have done incredibly well. Other combinations I would like to see considered…Bob Ryan and Dale Arnold, Mike Reiss and Joe Macdonald. I think we deserve quality. I don't think either of the sports talkers intend to give it to us.

      • etak

        I basically agree. Dale'd have to have someone more sparky/energetic as a partner, and he'd have to serve as the laid-back anchor, basically. (Not anchor in the TV sense, obviously.)

        McAdam and a lot of folks would do well. Though now I'm trying to envision McAdam and Ryan and my brain hurts.

        • Jason_Coyote

          I also agree with both of these points. And LTD, when you say 'we' deserve quality, you're talking about those of us who regularly post here and not the masses that account for D&C's and Big O's ratings. I'm glad to hear that someone else thinks that Curran would make an excellent morning show co-host Perhaps Dale's laid-backness would be the perfect counterbalance to the offbeat zaniness you get from Curran.

        • Winning

          Curran has obvious talent. I have never been so surprised to see him on his CSNNE show that debuted last fall. Quick Slants started off weird for me because I was a little thrown off by Curran, but it has quickly become a great show with interesting format. I agree that Curran, McAdam would make good hosts.
          I'm unsure if Dale and Holley wouldve succeeded in AM or PM drive due to the tenor of the show. I think they would've needed a tweak like previous posters said. Maybe a third man in the booth like Curran to debate Holley, while Dale stirred the ship. I think most would agree that Dale has been good as a third man on D&C in the mornings, when he's been on.
          I admit I have'nt listened often to that show, but what I've heard was good.

  • Chris

    Generally speaking, Dale is a nice enough guy. But also generally speaking, media people have no other skills to fall back on. When they get dispatched or 're-assigned,' they can only muddle around and hope for a soft landing spot…somewhere. Often that means a really mediocre gig in the city they're in, or a similar gig in a much smaller market. Dale was declared to be someone who really 'knows hockey,' but I don't see him any more enlightened than the average fan.

  • etak

    Dale's Twitter stuff frequently makes me want to take his exclamation mark away. And dial down his enthusiasm about 30%. He makes me feel a little like I'm dealing with my next door neighbor who means /really really well/.

    And he's not /always/ the best at being patient with callers, though he's a damn sight better than most of the other folks on WEEI.

    But.

    He's really good at what he does, even if he's a little Suburban Old Guy about it. He can interview well, he can shut up when the need requires him to (unlike certain people named Ordway), and he can actually have a conversation on the radio. And he /cares/. (Oh, and I like the Buck & Arnold Experience.) Plus he made Callahan be sane for a week or so. So I'm definitely on the approve side. Wish he weren't stuck on one weekend morning, and I think the way WEEI did that was a wee bit classless, but at least he's still /there/.

  • NASCL

    Lifetime achievement "Approve!" Smart enough to crib off the board.

  • mandb97

    It is still baffling that Dale can have three partners, work very well with all three of them and Jason Wolfe and Julie Kahn believe that he needed to go. My guess is that those two will be next to be given their walking papers because of decisions like letting Dale Arnold go.

  • tl;dr

    Big DISAPPROVE from me. Sure, he may be a good interviewer and knows his hockey but I find his voice grating and hate the way he over-enunciates words (like saying Patriots "PAY-tree-OTS").

    • Winning

      Get a life! I hate the way your name is spelled, I disapprove you

      • tl;dr

        This isn't about me. Sorry you're all butthurt about not everyone luv, luv, luving your favorite sportscaster. To me, Arnold is unlistenable…and isn't having a good set of pipes the key to being a good broadcaster (i.e.- Dave O'brien)? Dale's voice is grating.

      • tl;dr

        I'm sorry your feelings are hurt Winning. But Arnold grates on my ears and nerves. Oh, and I don't like the way you spell your name either.

        • Winning

          Lol, I simply was replying using sarcasm which is clearly over your head. Disapprove your heart away! My feelings are just fine. You're sound like the type of person who complains that summer days are too hot, winters are too cold, and food is never cooked just right. I bet your a blast to be around.

        • tl;dr

          So just because I don't like an announcer because I find his voice annoying and grating means, that I like nothing in general? That makes no sense.

  • Guest

    I simply believe he is boring. I know what he will say before he does. His Baseball play by play is horrific and his hockey play by play while sometimes insightfull left me feeling like I was watching a teenage girl talk about her BFF…..

    • Ken

      My feelings extactly! Thought his radio show was ok but hated him on both sox and bruins play by play.

  • mallen

    I always thought that Dale was a good solid stable foil to sit opposite a livelier personality. When you play that role, you are always overlooked until removed.

    • Siggy

      Once EEI ends the 10-2 trial run of M&M they can reignite the magic with a public mea culpa along the lines of…'we listened to our fans and decided to form our own midday supergroup'…(cue Odd Couple theme)…'One is an out of work hockey announcer ("shoots he scores!!!"), and the other is a professional poker player ("I'm all in!!")'…and launch The Dale and Meat Show. That would be so great.

  • Classless

    It's really bizarre people overwhelming approved of Dale. The last few years on this site, all I read was critical comments about Dale, yet once he's removed from his post, LIKE EVERYONE WANTED, people all of the sudden love him. Same thing happened to Pete Sheppard on this site. I wonder if the word "fraud" applies more to the commenters on Boston Sports Media then any one of these media guys.

    I'm sticking to my guns. I didn't like him then, I still don't like him now.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      All you read were critical comments because only critics take time to post. (That's the First Rule of the Internet.) If they're actually in the minority, it doesn't matter how often or how loudly they criticize… they're still in the minority. If THOSE posters are now approving Dale, then you can cry "fraud" all you like and be 100% justified in doing so.

      • Siggy

        I think the prevailing dislike for anything WEEI trumps the animosity toward Dale himself. Thus when EEI turns on Dale, we side with him in a kind of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sympathy. And when Dale gets another show somewhere we can go back to bashing him. Got it?

    • latetodinner

      I never disliked Dale, and never wanted to see him go. I think Dale clearly falls into the category of not understanding what you had until it is gone. He has always been the closest thing to Chuck Wilson in this market and I still hate WPRO for that day that got rid of him.

  • Guest

    Brings very little to the table. Can't keep my interest whther a announcing or a talk show. Not bright, not personable and not articulate. Other than that he's ok!

  • majorMudd

    While there is so much to post about the potato farmer from Maine, my least favorite memory of this weak willed man was his interview style. Granted, interviewing semi literate athletes is generally not the road to a Pulitzer but his overall fawning topped off with his insincere laughter at unfunny jokes is truly mind boggling. " Love me, psuedo famous, love me. I'm a fat DJ without a lick of creativity". Such a sad sack. He is the Boston version of JT the brick.

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