Spring Numbers Show Huge Wins For 98.5 Over WEEI

According to a post over at radio-info.com, which has been accurate with these posts in the past, these are numbers from the Spring 2011 ratings book:

MEN 25-54

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 11.6 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 6.0 (3rd)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 9.4 (2nd)

MUTT & MERLONI – 4.1 (10th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 9.5 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 5.4 (6th)

MEN 18-49

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 14.8 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 5.1 (4th)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 11.9 (1st)

MUTT & MERLONI – 2.8 (11th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 10.5 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 4.4 (7th)

MEN 18-34

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 22.3 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 2.8 (11th)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 14.1 (1st)

MUTT & MERLONI – 1.2 (17th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 12.1 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 1.7 (16th)

With the Bruins on their Stanley Cup run, I think we knew 98.5 was going to score a big win this time around, but these numbers are still stunning.

It doesn’t appear that we’ll be hearing anything like this on the 850 AM airwaves this week. We might hear how we’re not reading the numbers correctly, and how WEEI is #1 in the demographic they’re shooting for, or something along the lines of “Everyone knows the spring and summer ratings don’t matter, that’s why we all go on extended vacations.”

  • Doc Michaels

    LOL at the Mutt-Merloni ratings. Even if the Bruins gave a huge tilt to 98.5 as expected, something tells me the 10-2 slot is never going to recover for EEI.

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

    Sure the Bruins run had something to do with these numbers but if you listen to the two stations on a regular basis like I do, it is clear which one is more edgy, topical and relevant. No brainer.

  • JSR

    Overall, I think the Sports Hub is way better. But the fact that Gresh and Zo beat Mut and Merloni by so much proves how important the FM signal is. Both shows are bad, but Gresh and Zo are unbearable. M&M is at least listenable at times.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      I find it really difficult to believe that people would choose to listen to a show they found inferior just because it's got a better signal. They're listening to G&Z because they want to, not because of the signal. There are other stations on the dial, and an on-off knob on the receiver…

      • latetodinner

        Dave:
        When I am driving west of Boston and I can't get the AM signal clear and can't pick up Providence or Springfield (Worcesters signal is worse that 850's) I listen to 98.5. I also don't switch FM to AM that often so I kind of just ride out the 98.5 signal and suffer through Gresh and Zo or switch over to Michael Graham. My point is I don't think it is crazy to think quality of signal effects the ratings some.

      • JSR

        I am one person that does it. When I can't get WEEI AM or FM, I listen to G&Z. I also listen during commercials of M&M. I can't stand them, but I'd rather listen to bad sports talk than crappy music or political nonsense.

  • Beachedwhale

    I think John Dennis needs to shelve his plans for a extra large, reinforced, custom built golf cart and start socking away into his 401k. His contract and Ordway's are anchors now

  • Lance_

    Oh I get the impression D&C are going to try and tell us how the horseless carriage is a brand new socialist invention along with all their other occasionally sports related topics.

    • tl;dr

      I don't. That'd be like you saying that those new-fangled portable phones are a capitalist invention.

  • bosox3054

    This is why it was such a huge mistake to break up Dale/Holey. EEI could have maintained a stranglehold on 10-2 and literally gave it away as shown in these ratings. Fact is they weren't winning afternoon drive regardless. I know Wolfe et al wouldn't want to admit that, but part of being an exec is reading the tea leaves and cutting losses. That they couldn't see this coming at 10-2 boggles my mind. Would have been much smarter to split the difference and win 10-2 by keeping Holley there. Even Mutt and Holley would be better. Mutt and Merloni is a disaster. If Wolfe couldn't see that coming I don't know what to think.

    Funny thing is Jack Edwards and Kevin Dupont on the Big Show actually provided more insightful, educational hockey talk than Mike Felger's constant, agenda driven ranting and raving about Claude.

    • ThwWizard

      Drive time (morning and late afternoon) ad time is much much much more valuable than the midday. That's why the hosts make the big money.

      I agree with your take that WEEI was going to lose no matter what, but the Holley move was an attempt to stop the bleeding. The "logic" was based on the sales' numbers, still a dumb move even considering that though.

  • Jason_Coyote

    In the words of Ted Sarandis at a BC basketball game, WOW! I suppose some of these numbers could be a bit exaggerated because of the Bruins historic run, but if EEI thinks the listenership will do a total 180 for a potential Sox postseason run they are completely delusional. They're even been walloped in their cherished 25-54 demo…I wonder how many more Barstool Sports contributors are available for daily radio shifts?

    It's now official – the days of EEI's dominance are over. The real question is how they plan to respond, both in the short and long term?

    Hope Michael Holley's happy with his new contract, because he certainly can't be happy with much else at his daytime employer.

  • NASCL

    Glenn Ordway:

    Nobody cares about spring ratings books because people are too busy finishing up the school year and planning summer vacations.

    Nobody cares about the summer ratings books because people are away on vacation.

    Nobody cares about the fall ratings books because people are worried about the start of a new school year.

    Nobody cares about the winter ratings books because of the holidays.

    • Jason_Coyote

      To sum it up, Glenn Ordway: nobody cares.

      Four words that go great together.

  • Guest

    As always great insight on the radio battles. Dale & Holley was the one show on EEI I really liked and management blew it up. Stupid move because it actually encouraged long-time EEI listeners to start tuning to other stations – it was only logical the morning and afternoon shows would start to see declines in listeners. Never give your customers a reason to not do business with you anymore! I actually feel a little bad for Holley as his presence in the Boston sports media market has dimmed considerably in only a couple of months. Keep it up Sports Hub.

    • Jim Ed

      My thoughts exactly. Nice post.

  • Beachedwhale

    No one cares about the 10-2 time slot. am and pm drive bring in the $. Holley and Ordway is a trainwreck though. D&C is just stale and needs to be retired.

  • mandb97

    The 18-35 and 18-49 numbers are staggering. It tells me not only did the Bruins help 98.5 but the younger demographic has almost completely abandoned WEEI. Could WEEI get a small part of that back? sure. Will it make a difference? no.

    I would have to believe that there will be some major changes at the management level of WEEI. Jeff Brown was brought in by Entercom to "assist" Julie Kahn. I wonder if he will be assisting her to the door. Jason Wolfe maybe going out arm and arm with her. As far as changes with on-air talent, I think WEEI maybe stuck for a while.They may want to mix up some of the talent. Maybe have Callahan with Ordway. You would have two strong personalities. The problem would be constant shouting over each other. It's just and idea. But this goes back to management, who did not listen to listeners and still signed D&C and Ordway to large contracts, while not seeing a real threat that was quickly approaching. The changes that have been made like ending the Dale and Holley show and putting Holley and Adams in with Ordway has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

    I know I am the only person who has any faith in Mut and Merloni. Why? Andy Gresh. Gresh is still one of the worst personalities around. Yesterday, he thought the Red Sox could let Ortiz go at the end of the season and pick up Mark DeRosa. Really? He also put his Glen Ordway School of Communication degree to good use by yelling over Hardy and Mike Flynn on the officially tired Derek Jeter, all-star controversy. I also believe some of the issues with Mut and Lou deal with listeners who justifiably still do not understand why Dale and Holley was cancelled.

    In hindsight, I believe the one thing WEEI should have done early on was switch D&H with Ordway. Yes, WEEI would have been spending a lot for a midday host and would have to give raises to Arnold and Holley(Holley was going to get paid anyway.) but there is no way the numbers would be this bad. Ordway would have held his own with Gresh and Zo as both shows are intolerable. G&Z would still win but not as much. I firmly believe D&H would at least be even with F&M.

    I think this comment from seobrien at Boston.com sums it up.
    "I'm sure one of the staffers was trying to tell Ordway that the ratings were down, but he just spoke over him."

    • John

      No chance D&H come close to Felger and Maz. Dale is antiquated. One knock on 98.5 is the Zo hiring. He should be replaced w/ Dan Rich, Rich Keefe, Bertrand or Gasper

    • latetodinner

      mandb…Jeff Brown…thank you for the life of me I could not remember his name or find the release that said he was added to the staff.

      As for what Entercom will do…Julie Kahn rightly or wrongly has made them a lot of money…boatloads of money…poophouses full of money over the years. Up until the last 8 months almost everything she did turned gold. We may have complained but the success WEEI happened on her watch and she gets credit. They are running into a rough spot or a buzzsaw…you pick it…but if I was her boss I would give her time to work it out. She did not get stupid overnight. She might have been blinded by her own success and ultimately her ability to keep her job will depend on her recognizing what she did wrong and more importantly the steps she takes to fix it. If you notice I am not mentioning Jason Wolfe in this discussion because ultimately the buck stops with Julie Kahn. Wolfe may be part of the solution or like a baseball team where you can't fire the players he may be sacrificed for new blood.

      Unlike sports, radio is a more traditional business. There are rules, patterns, trends and fashions which have been charted, studied, taught and implemented. Its not rocket science. Entercom is a very successful company. It seems to me they are not afraid to admit to making mistakes and changing things on the fly (hello Janet Prensky). One bad book does not doom a manager considering all the affiliates are still doing very well in their markets and also making a ton of money…especially Providence, Springfield, Portland and the Cape. Honestly I think the simplest quick fix is switching to FM and if they do it with the right signal dumping the worcester affiliate to save money. After that she has to wait out some contracts and address the midday show. She does not have much flexibility currently otherwise.

      I know you have faith in Mutt and Merloni because you, like most of the rest of us, don't like Gresh. The flaw I see in your analysis is that Gresh has one thing working for him that gives him credibility that Mutt and Merloni don't have…and that is his job hosting the Pats pregame screechfest. A lot of people think that if the Patriots organization endorses him then he is somehow good at what he does. I don't ever see Mutt and Merloni as anything other than second stringers. I do not understand why they were hired…on top of that we are in baseball season and Merloni is not adding anything insightful to the conversation….if he is not going to be able to lead on baseball then he has no use whatsoever. So how M&M catch Gresh and Zo is not clear to me. I don't see what alternative they offer that is more credible and better.

      • Jon

        I have to disagree with your take on Julie Kahn. Keep in mind that WEEI owned a monopoly for the better part of the past two decades. When you are the only sports station in a sports-crazy town, you'd have to be comically incompetent not to succeed. Maybe I am being too cynical, but it's hard for me to either Kahn or Wolfe heaps of credit – a chimp could have pulled names out of a hat to program WEEI for all these years and the station would have been wildly successful.

        Over the past two years, Kahn and Wolfe have had numerous chances to right the ship and they not only haven't done so, their decisions (or lack thereof) have made things exponentially worse for WEEI. Which is fine by me, as they completely dismissed and disregarded their listeners (20 minute commercial breaks?) for many, many years. Truth be told, I could care less what they do as this former WEEI lifer is a very happy listener of The Sports Hub.

        • latetodinner

          Jon:

          I am not defending what Julie Kahn has done. I am simply saying, as you point out, she was the chimp in charge of the ship for the last number of years that made her bosses oodles of money. As such if I was her boss I would at least give her the opportunity to right the ship. Maybe she did get dumb over night…I don't know…I think I met her once at a fundraiser maybe 4 years ago and did not say more than hello…so I have no idea how smart or competent she is. The answer to that question will be answered over the next 6 months as we see how she and her staff change and reposition what they are doing to compete better.

      • mandb97

        Late you might be right on Kahn, there was track record of success. But, I agree with Jon that a lot of the success is due to a lack of competition in a city that is sports community. It seems like she and Wolfe had their collective heads in the sand. They did not listen to their listeners who had grown tired of some of the shows. It lead to the famous Chad Finn LCD article a couple years ago. Finn was only writing what a majority of listeners were thinking. Instead of taking to heart what Finn wrote WEEI on-air personalities ridiculed him. I might be wrong but Entercom has also lost some listeners at WRKO as well.

        • latetodinner

          Management is always in a tough spot. They get feedback from 100 negative people and then look at record ratings…. is the feedback anecdotal or representative? Are the numbers correct or an anomaly. In hind sight the anecdotes were more representative but for 10 years it had been the numbers. Hard to fault her for not reacting to a potential problem that the matrix they used to measure success said did not exist.

      • NutCracker

        Re: Julie Kahn – It's one thing to be the market leader when you have an open field and nobody lined up against you as WEEI has enjoyed for several years. All managers look brilliant when you don't have any competition. 98.5's audience share has grown meteorically since they opened shop. The measure of a manager/leader is how they deal with adversity and competition and the moves that Kahn/Wolfe have made to counter 98.5 have produced dismal results. At some point the Fields family who own Entercom are going to see a drop in revenue (if they haven't already) and what Kahn has done in the past will mean absolutely nothing – zilch. It's a 'dog eat dog, what have you done for me lately' business and so far, EEI hasn't stepped up to the challenge. I've got to believe these latest results that Bruce posted are going to be analysed and dissected by corporate and I'd bet there are going to be a lot of changes forthcoming at EEI. There has to be – Boston is too big of a market for Entercom to ignore. It may be adding FM or it might be personnel changes but I have to believe something is brewing in PA to stop the bleeding. Stay tuned kids.

  • latetodinner

    I posted this in a different thread about 3 hours ago but think it is more appropriate here. So I apologize for the duplicate posting.

    About 3 months ago very quietly Entercom brought in a senior manager (I went looking for his name but can't find the article) to help Kahn and Wolfe. I have no idea how everyone is co-existing. I think Entercom expected something but certainly not the hurricane that was the Bruins and the resulting bump it gave 98.5. I think it is clear the Mutt and Merloni experiment has been a dismal failure. I also think it is clear moving Holley to team with Ordway has been a dismal failure. Who knows what they are planning. If it was me….

    - I would make a september announcement that WEEI was moving to FM 93.7 starting Sept 15.
    - I would replace Mutt and Merloni with Bob Ryan and Dale Arnold. My plan would be for it to be a two year bridge show as I looked for a permanent long term pairing probably from outside the market. Give Dale an extra year on his current contract (thereby admitting they were wrong in moving him off the air) but not tying him up long term. I would also tell Dale that you supported his move back into TV and make sure he can meet all of those commitments.
    - I think you are stuck with the Big – O. I would fire Mike adams and move Mike Holley to the night time gig where I think he would do better because he could explore topics in more detail. If you are going to leave the Big – O where he is I would go back to the rotating co-hosts. However I would try hard to make one of the two co-hosts every few days (two times a week) someone of national stature…either someone at ESPN, FOXSports, NFLNet, NBAnet, MLBNet, NHLnet or opposing teams play by play guys. This would give an outside the market perspective on the conversation on a regular basis. I would also try and get away from the clown stuff (Fred, the Mayor, Burton and his eating) and get back to more thoughtful talk where Big O s more an interviewer/fence sitter than he is opinion setter/maker.
    - I don't think I would do anything with Dennis and Callahan. I think they have their issues but as we get farther away from the Bruins I am willing to bet the numbers even out. I don't think either morning show talks sports…so the Whitey talk is just as deaf to me as listening to Rich explain that he would be the last player taken on the radio station softball team.

    • SportTalk

      Assuming the two morning shows talk the same amount of sports or lack of, the main difference is T&R are actually entertaining, they make you laugh. I watch D&C on NESN before I leave for work and then go with 98.5 for the ride in. if you disagree with D&C , you're an idiot and get made fun of for the next 5 minutes. T&R just have fun….I want to be entertained on my way to work, I don't want to get pissed off. Hands down 98.5

      • tl;dr

        tl;dr

      • tl;dr

        "the main difference is T&R are actually entertaining"

        Yeah, Morning Zoo low-brow humor is awesome. /sarcasm.

        • BSF34

          It still 100X better than what The Morning Racists featuring Eddie Munster do.

        • BSF34

          Still better than

        • BSF34

          Still better than D+C

    • Moon

      Bob Ryan needs to be on the radio. I love when he fills in. He should be on drive time. I would love to hear him in the afternoon with regular guests like Peter Gammons, Jackie Mac, and others…As co-hosts, not a 15 min segment.

    • SteveFromYellowston

      I totally agree with firing Mike Adams, but I think it wouldn't be wise for Entercom to move someone in Holley who they are surely paying a lot of money to be in a slot that will be cut short in all likelihood over 50% of the time due to Red Sox and Celtics games. I'd simply go cheap with the slot and give it to John Ryder, whose already working nights in some fashion with Adams.

  • Corner Blitz

    I want EEI to go down and every personality associated with WEEI I want to see unemployed and hurting, professionally and personally.

    • latetodinner

      Why? Because you dislike a program or a programming decision you want to see people lose their jobs and livelihood? Sounds awfully personal to me and not sure appropriate for a public message board. Its one thing to talk about public personalities quite another to wish ill on EVERYONE associated. Pretty big piece of Bad Karma you just threw out into the world.

      • James

        A PUBLIC message board is the single most appropriate place to speak such opinions.

        • latetodinner

          To want "EEI to go down and every personality associated with WEEI I want to see unemployed and hurting, professionally and personally."…you think that is appropriate to say hiding behind an anonymous mask? Corner Blitz gives no reason, no explanation but says he wants every person employed by WEEI to suffer professionally and personally and you do not think that is inappropriate? I guess we disagree.

        • StringerBell

          I for one would love to see Gerry Callahan and John Dennis unemployed. They are two miserable human beings who love nothing more than talking down to people. I'm sure JD will take his unemployment check straight to Kitchen Country Buffet to stuff his mouth.

        • latetodinner

          Stringer I have no problem with a statement like this. You are specific and state a reason. My issue is with someone wishing hard working people who are not public figures like the producers, receptionists, or ad execs personal and professional harm for no reason other than they dislike the product that is being broadcast.

  • Beachedwhale

    The only talents at WEEI now, like them or not is Callahan and Holley. The rest of them cant keep up. Dennis, Ordway. Buckley etc are not witty or smart enough to adjust. New management that will jettison them and FM signal is only hope. Otherwise its an accelerated slide into oblivion

  • SnuffySmith

    So, Kahn and Wolfe are still collecting paychecks at Entercom??? We are witnessing radio history here. Has any duo screwed up a successful station more than these two?

    When the ship started taking on water, all they could do is pass out anchors!!!!

    BTW, heard the big show last week, when Ordway was away. How God awful is Mikey as the third (and useless) wheel. Yikes, he contributes nothing but lame attempts at humor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1277060543 Mark Bishop

    my feeling with 986 is that they will still keep the ratings comming irreguardless of whose on a playoff run. its a wash when eei has the sox, and 986 has the bruins. im 26.. i was a fan of eei only for the whiner line.. and once it just started being only the regulars and no one new, i lost intrest. espically when they canned dale and holley. when 985 came along it was like a breath of fresh air. and eei was treating hockey like that ugly chick in high school who turned out to be the hot chick at the reunion. ignored for a long time , then paid attention to when things got hot.

    • Cosmo

      "irreguardless"???? seriously?

  • JG

    Is there any way streaming (through apps or online) is accounted for to add to ratings? I imagine this would still come out in the Sports Hub’s favor, but wonder what the disparity would be.

  • Dave

    Do Boston sports radio listeners really tune in to hear callers? Do you ever listen to ESPN Radio on Satellite where they spend 75% of the time discussing content, and interviewing experts, players, and coaches. Thats the winning ticket for either 98.5 or EEI to adopt. I'm not tuning in to hear a long list of loser callers – I want provocative sports conversation that challenges me. There is so much sports media talent, teams, and players (current and former) that can provide listeners with insight into the day to day Boston Sports topics. Change the format!

    • ben

      Agree on the format change. Will never understand call in radio.

      Not sure who celebrated more yesterday, Ryen Russillo or Edward G. Andelman. EEEI’s decision to ignore Russillo some years back is why they are where they are. Every day an EEEI listener ages out of the target demo and a new 98.5 listener ages in. EEI has no chance to recover. They made the mistake of so many market leaders in industry. Scared to make changes when on top. Relegated to the dustbin of history of history as a result (K Mart, Sears, Grossman’s Lumber among names that come to mind).

      • latetodinner

        The thing is local call in radio would destroy an all interview/commentary show. It would not even be close. Look at the ratings of ESPN game night versus the Mike Adams call in show…it is not even close. People like to think they are part of the conversation as opposed to being lectured, preached or spoken down to.

        • Moon

          Where can I find ESPN Game Night? I'd much rather listen to that then Mike Adams and his mindless followers.

        • APimpNamedDaveR

          Or, to put it another way: Morons love to think they're smart, not realize they're morons.

          Sadly, I think you're 100% correct, even though I would never listen to a caller-based show if a commentary-based show were available.

    • tl;dr

      I do like callers…but I don't like "celebrity callers".

      • HighWireNickEsasky

        I'd say 5% of callers bring any value to the discussion. Generally callers exist to fill air time for lazy and uninformed hosts or to give listeners the false sense that they actually contribute to the show. Almost universally, sports radio hosts are best when they have on an actual expert (writer, commentator, GM/exec, coach, occasionally a current player) to provide perspective that they, invariably, don't have – and certainly the callers don't. Except Mike Adams, who is hopeless in any situation.

    • etak

      I don't really like ESPN shows with no/few callers, though admittedly I'm mostly only listening to things like the overnight shows. So I would imagine the better shows would have actual guests, and not just Jason Smith going on for hours.

      But when there aren't guests scheduled, I enjoy the callers as a break from the hosts, because one or two guys droning for hours gets boring.

    • mandb97

      Caller driven radio can be good if the station allows for good callers and that almost never happens. The Big Show before Holley and for that matter before 98.5 is a great example of the show host wanting some of the worst possible callers he can put on the air. This one example still sticks out. After Mike Lowell was coming back from his hip injury, there was no place to put him in the line-up because he could still not move well. A caller said Lowell should platoon at second with Pedroia because it may not be much of a strain. Yes, that was let on the air. 98.5 does the same thing but not as bad. The reason why it is done so the host can A) mock the caller, and, B) The host can show the world how smart they. All of these shows have a phone screener who could easily say, "Sorry pal this won't do." But the shows still do it and my guess put them to the front of the line. Ordway was the worst. I do not know how he is today because I rarely listen for more then five minutes. D&C is a very close second.

  • PLChartier

    I was never a listener of WEEI. No particular reason. Opie and Anthony was the only talk show I listened to. Then TSH came about and I got into it. I was already familiar w/ T&R and wondered if they could do sports. I'm glad they chose a sports/entertainment mix and don't pretend to be the best sports guys. The show is entertaining though. The first thing I realized was that Tanguay and Zolak was awful. Glad they got rid of GT, he should just narrate novels and give sports up completely. Gresh is marginally better, but still awful. Zolak is bad. G&Z are the reason I EVER switch to WEEI. But on the whole, TSH kills it. The ratings don't surprise me. Hopefully WEEI picks up the pace and starts to compete. Not that I would switch over, (I'm locked in w/ the drive-time shows), but competition would keep TSH on it's toes, and prevent a WEEI-like free fall.

    • mandb97

      PL I think you may have answered Bruce Allen's question as to why T&R numbers are through the roof while D&C's numbers did not go down as bad as the other shows on WEEI. People like you who listened to T&R when 98.5 was WBCN made the switch to 98.5. Add that to people who like sports talk, the Boston Bruins and a general lighter tone helped T&R with that tremendous number.

  • Dave

    I love how these ratings are mostly because of the Bruins Playoff run, There was definiteky no advantage for EEI with the Celtics last year. Even though the Celtics won in 07, the Celtics last year had huge TV numbers. My point!? These numbers were not reversed last year, EEI had a slight advantage. These numbers have a deeper meaning than the Bruins, 985 is on the up and 18-35 is showing the younger crowd has permanently swithed.

  • KINGR

    The bottom line is Dennis & Callahan suck. T&R owns you guys now.

    • tl;dr

      No.

      • Shadow

        Yes.

        • NutCracker

          Yes Dennis & Callahan do suck

  • Funkhouser

    Pete Sheppard must be thrilled that WEEI has officially tanked in the ratings. If only we could hear him rant about it on air…..

    • Guest

      Both Sheppard and Arnold must be laughing their rear ends off. Nice move by Wolfe killing off the hockey guy during the Bruins greatest run in 39 years.

    • mandb97

      Actually Sheppard went on a huge rant against 98.5 on Facebook because they would not allow him to do an ad for a friend. He hates WBZ. As for Dale my guess is that he takes some satisfaction in what has happened to WEEI.

  • Frank

    Somewhere at Papoose Pond a chubby middle aged man is laughing his ass off.

  • sanjay

    Listening to both morning shows yesterday highlighted the difference between D&C and T&R.
    98.5 was highlighting Brandon Merriweather's rap song, which if nothing else,is entertaining and amusing, while D&C, was talking about Whitey. Being 36, I was a suburban high schooler when the Bulger thing came down, so I'm not so vested in it, and being reminded of what he did is just depressing and maddening. I don't need that in the morning as I go to work. I have my own real life crap to think about if I want to be depressed
    Listening to "VIP on the Sholl" is much more entertaining and puts me in a better mood. .

    • NutCracker

      Yesterday Callahan had Steve Buckley on the show because Dennis took a vacation day and the subject came up that they both like The Three Stooges. Buckley said he loved The Stooges and even quoted some of the best lines from past shows and mentioned that he has even gone as far as visiting the graves of The Stooges. Callahan was surprised that a gay guy like Buckley could ever enjoy watching The Three Stooges because in his opinion "The Three Stooges are a MANLY show". D'uh! Callahan was incredulous that gay guys could like all the slapping and hitting. (Meterparel asked Buckley if he brought a bouquet of flowers to the graves.) Then today Callahan was ranting how he hates girls soccer and would never watch it even though the United States would be playing Japan for the world championship. He said the US was heavily favored "even though all the Japanese family members got sucked out to sea." Classic knuckle-dragging Callahan. What a freaking neanderthal.

  • Moon

    Now that 98.5 is recogized as the new sports leader, they have to recognize that they have to get better or they will suffer the same fate. While I like Felger and Mazz, they have an incredible habit of rehashing the same topic over and over and over, much like the Big Show. That has to stop. Mazz did 4 hours of why the Red Sox don't want Papelbon yesterday. Way too much. Too contrived. If you don't have enough content or content strong enough, then talk national sports. Bring in a guest to talk about something else. Keep it fresh or I'm going to change (as I did yesterday).

    • mandb97

      I completely agree. One of the main reasons 98.5 won so handily is because the on-air talent at WEEI has become so dreadful. I can tell you right now if WEEI had Holley and Tom E. Curran show, maybe a Bob Ryan show, I would be listening.

      • Moon

        Just when it looks like things are looking up in the Boston Sports Radio world with 98.5 being a fresh alternative, I'm reminded that maybe all isn't so rosey. I turned on Mazz at 5 pm yesterday, what's he talking about? The kid who caught Jeter 3000 hit. After two minutes I change the channel (do I really want to hear someone debate whether or not he should have given the ball back a week later?). I contnued to check in periodically over the next hour. Same topic…kid, ball, etc. Uhg….and it continued on throughout his Baseball Show. How things change, how they stay the same. I wonder how many others were turned off by this.

        • dan

          I believe single biggest reason for the HUB's dominance is due to an FM presence. On any given day and hour I can listen to either station and the substence and demeanor are pretty much the same when it comes to boston sports talk. The key difference is that the kind of demos that WEEI is trying to pull is just not there on AM radio. Most young people are barely even listening to fm radio anymore because of ipods. I doubt most of these young people even know there is an am dial. WEEI will never recover unless they get an fm signal. Than and only then will they compete again because now 98.5 is getting comfortable and predictable and sounding more and more like WEEI everyday.

        • mandb97

          Dan I think the signal is part of the reason, but the signal was never an issue in the past when WEEI was number one. I believe that on-air personalities have a lot to do with it. Another issue is how WEEI has treated listeners who asked for change. The station became arrogant and mocked all critics. Now they paying the price.

  • johnny rocket

    Mark Bishop, you win the award for most effed-up spelling of a made-up word ever: "irreguardless." Anyway, great job, 98.5! Keep burying those losers at EEI (except Planet Mikey – I like Mike Adams. And DA is kind of a tool).

    • mandb97

      Sorry Johnny, even though I like your post, Mike Adams = Show Killer.

  • Ken

    Love 98.5 and am glad they are doing well. However, now that baseball is here it's very apparent just how awfull Maz is. He has been trying to heard more over the past few weeks and the show has become unlistenable. He is their baseball "expert" but as numerous posters have pointed out, he has taken all of the negative qualities of boston sports media and combined them.

    • Dave

      I disagree – Maz knows baseball and his Baseball Reporters show brings fact-based opinions to the air. I enjoy that show, and McAdam is good in small doses.

  • Classless

    I'm surprised nobody is bringing up the fact that Mike Adams has nearly single handedly killed the Big Show. Name one talent or expertise he has. You can't. At least Ordway was a play by play guy and Holly was a writer. What was Adams? A screw up who pounds the same, tired topics (steroids, "I hate Manny and the Yankees, Peyton Manning eats boogers). He can't have a conversation without making an unfunny joke that Holly and Ordway force laughter for.

    As for Mutt and Merloni, what did anyone expect? A nobody and a local athlete who repeat "you talk about a guy…" ad naseum all day. Simply boring. Nobody cares you got married Mutt. Yep, we know you're from Framingham, Merloni.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Great point about the personal lives of hosts. How come we know that Mutt’s married, Lou’s from Framingham but don’t know anything about John Ryder? Oh yeah, that’s right – Ryder actually talks about sports. How novel.

  • mallen

    How many ex-WEEI listeners (like me) never developed a taste for 98.5? WEEI gradually lost me as they worked away from interviews and (quasi-) analytical conversation and started to develop "personality" cults and wheel in such lame co-hosts like Burton and tearns.
    I remember around 2002 or so, prior to a playoff game with the Steelers, they had Fred & Steve review some coaches' films of Pittsburg. It was actually good–yeah, Smerlas & DeOssie. I learned something and was hooked for the game. Their predicitions were good, too.

    I also remember in the aftermath of 9/11, the WEEI "on-air" breakdown of things was much better than'educated' NPR stations. My training is in intelligence analysis and international relations and I have to say that the sports mind comes closer to understanding conflict than does the NPR-type chattering class.

    Where did all of that go? And why?

    I have "dabbled' w/ 98.5 but, for me, it resembles too much FM Drive-time "sparkling morning DJs" than the old stuff I did like, so I never took to it. WEEI lost its intelligence and 98.5 hits the wrong note for me.

    • Beachedwhale

      Is this a joke? If your getting your post 911 analysis from Glen Ordway, I dont know what to tell you. Intelligence was never part of the plan

      • mallen

        Trying reading it again. This time, pay attention. I said that it was better than the supposedly educated & erudite NPR crowd. "Better" is a relative term. For example–and follow closely here: I may be dumb, but you are dumber.

        Typical. Seize on one portion of a posting, isolate it from context, and slam it. Repeat as necessary. There could be a career in Sports Talk Radio for you!

    • etak

      Yeah.

      I haven't been able to get into T&R, and Felger & Maz just annoy me, as does Gresh. (I've found, during the Bruins run, that I really like Damon Amendolara's stuff, though, so I get to flee Adams, at least.)

      The thing you're talking about though, with, for example, Smerlas & DeOssie being useful, was /rare/. Dennis and Callahan were never any damn good, the mid-day show was ignored and removed, and the Big Show only had that caliber of conversation occasionally to begin with. Smerlas & DeOssie (or Nelson, back when he was on there), and McAdam/Buckley/Maz/whoever else tended to be good bets for that, but the rotating nature of the show meant it couldn't always keep them around. Since they changed to just Ordway & Holley, Ordway's weaknesses are really apparent.

      But I do miss the times when it /did/ work.

  • latetodinner

    I can't wait until tomorrow to comment on this. I just drove from Providence to the Cape…and listened to Mutt and merloni discuss the Clemons mistrial. Merloni argued for two hours that it was a conspiracy. His logic…professionals do not make mistakes or make bad decisions. I tried calling in to ask…"Are the current ratings and their nosedive not a reflection of mistakes or bad decisions?". Unfortunately I did not get through. To mandb…I take it back…the M&M show is significantly less listenable that Gresh and Zolak.

    • Harry

      Did you really think they'd let you ask that question on the air?

      • Jason_Coyote

        They would if the producer was falling asleep at the switch – those folks tend to only listen for profanities or borderline raunchiness so they can press that 7-second delay button in time.

      • latetodinner

        I thought I might be able to get it in somehow…maybe couched in a hypothetical. Moot point…ran into the busy signal.

    • mandb97

      I'll admit when I heard Merloni's argument today on Clemens, it significantly hurt my argument on Merloni. UGH!!!!

    • Winning

      I couldn't agree more. I have been trying to listen to M&M the last 2 weeks because of how annoying G&Z are. I just cannot subject myself to sleep talk radio while at work, I'm afraid I would fall asleep and get fired for sleeping on the job. G&Z wasn't bad with Mike Flynn, but Gresh brings the show down so far, its also unlistenable. I'm still for Flynn and Johnston or some other type of show in that slot. I wouldnt mind Curran and McAdam but Curran has strong ties to Weei. I am a recent WEEI basher due to the fact they just don't listen to their listeners. They cancelled D&H and haven't made changes to the arrogant loud mouths D&C and Ordway. I seriously hope these ratings make them realize drastic changes are needed. I know alot of people dont like Pet Sheppard but I always thought he ran a good show when not associated with Ordway, see Real Postgame show. He seemed to carry himself much better in the host chair as opposed to the railbird flashboy. Im curious to posters thoughts on a Dale and Pete midday show, whether WEEi or TSH would welcome that idea. thoughts?

      • latetodinner

        Winning:

        IIRC WEEI flirted with teaming Pete with Dale post Neumy but there are/were personality issues with Pete and Dale. I was thinking about WEEI's issues last night and I really think the Big Show's issues started when Pete was taken out of the show. He was the voice of the fan that appealed to the younger demo. Like him or hate him he had a role and he played foil to the Big O well. I also agree he did well in the big chair as the Real Post Game and when he filled in for Big O showed. But Pete has baggage. I am still not buying the idea that he was let go for money reasons. His post WEEI radio media career has been bizarre. A brand new sports talker across the street and no spot for him…not even fill-ins. No out of market work, no voice overs. Then he does a Webcast that no one can find and obviously no one listened to. I have always wondered if he was manic or had anger issues or both. In any event I don't think building a show around him would be a wise move. There is plenty of talent out there….I don't see WEEI recycling Pete…for that matter I do not see them admitting letting Dale go was a mistake either.

        TSH should go after Dale for the midday show…but there are two issues…WEEI has Dale under contract for another year and I don't know how TSH can take the Patriots Pregame show Duo off the air. If they do that then I think they have to go looking to redo that show as well. Not sure they think they need to do that.

        • Winning

          I hate speculation, but lets just say their are rumors Pete fancies adult beverages, which would contribute to anger issues.

          After readin your post Late, I agree that pete clearly wouldn't work at either location. You're right about Dale. WEEI would never admit they were wrong, too much pride, hopefully they don't end up like in Se7en. I really wished Holley wasnt' locked up at WEEI because I feel he would fit in perfectly at TSH. If you remember he always debated very well with Felger at WEEI. However F&M have great chemistry, Mike You're RIght!

          It's funny but I actually listend to some D&C this week as D was out, and C was only in a few days. I really with Bob Ryan had a show. Even halloran and buckley are better

        • latetodinner

          Winning….I love speculation :-). I have heard similar rumors…with HIPPA laws we will never know.

          As for Holley…I just don't see it. I think he is awful. I really do not want to argue that point with you because I know you like him and see different things than I do. Maybe he would have been better with Felger, I doubt it because I think he is way too thin skinned (and unprepared) to ever be a good talk radio host.

          I wish Bob Ryan had a show also. He is great. I liked Halloran yesterday…thought he was quite good. Buckley bores the crap out of me.

  • Harry

    What's amazing is that a station that was so highly rated for so long is despised by so many people. It almost seem personal with some people.

    I think WEEI made a lot of bad moves recently, Mutt probably was the most puzzling ……..Why Mutt? I don't get it. They actually haven't lost much in the mornings. T&R have just been very successful. They are not the same types of shows. I can't see them competing for the same listeners.

    What hurt the Big Show most was the laziness or arrogance that allowed the likes of Larry Johnson to appear multiple times a week. As soon as any reasonable competition came along, a big chunk of their audience jumped ship.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Harry, I think Mutt in the middays is all about economics, plain and simple. If you think of Entercom as having a salary cap, the Dennis, Callahan, Ordway and now Holley contracts have pushed them right to the brink of the cap. If they had unlimited resources to spend for 10-2 they would’ve obviously brought in someone else. What gets me is why they didn’t just keep Dale and pair him with Merloni? Lou would have turned into a better co-host as a result.

      I’m amazed Tom “E” Curran is still hanging around EEI with the McAdams and Haggertys already having jumped ship. How much could Entercom be paying Curran to stay? His personality seems like it would be a much better fit at 98.5.

      • mandb97

        Jason, the only reason I can think of as to why Curran is still with WEEI is there may be a future show for him. That is simply a guess though.

      • Classless

        To add to your economics point, I think Mutt was brought in because he's younger than Dale. Probably a misguided attempt to add a young guy and bring in listeners. Obviously, young guys don't listen to Flanders anymore.

        • Jim Ed

          That is completely untrue. I am 34, and Dale and Holley's show was the only WEEI show for years that I really liked (and I am definitely not the only one). Dale did a great job of making Holley better, and he would have done the same with Merloni. Unfortunately, Ordway's dominant style tends to overshadow Holley, and that seems to have happened with the new pairing. Many young people like myself want quality. We don't care what age the host is. Mutt is not terrible — he just does not have the gravitas and credibility that Dale has.

    • Rick

      "They actually haven't lost much in the mornings. T&R have just been very successful. They are not the same types of shows. I can't see them competing for the same listeners. "

      They are. There are only so many people in Boston listening to radios in the morning. More of them listen to T&R. Unless you can point to which other station T&R listeners are coming from, it is clear that people have switched from D&C to T&R. WEEI has gone down in the standings. They are losing listeners.

  • Pingback: A Word Middle Finger to WEEI | Wily Mo Moonshot

  • StephenStarring

    Remember when Rick Pitino said Larry Bird et al aren't walking through the door and if they do they will be grey and old. That's EEI's remaining listeners – gray and old. If eei wants to sell ads for erectile dysfunction drugs, Oldsmobiles, and retirement condos, then their current format is the way to go

    • Frank

      Umm…..They don't make Oldsmobiles anymore.

  • mandb97

    Wily Mo Moonshot, everything you said about WEEI is what I was thinking. Well done.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      I second that.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Moonshot carries!

  • Pingback: Media Roundup: How Can WEEI Bounce Back After Ratings Slip?

  • Suzy

    EEI is rightfully fading badly. Why do they think anyone is interested in their "regular" callers (e.g., the obnoxious and addled Frank from Gloucester) who add absolutely nothing to the broadcast and drive any semi-intelligent listener away? When one of your "stars" (I'm looking at you, Gerry Callahan) actually says at the close of baseball season, "I'm glad that I don't have to pretend I actually care about this stuff anymore," you've got problems. D&C and Flashboy Meter have consistently demonstrated that they do zero show prep–Meter will casually admit that "some guy named so-and-so" is pitching for a team the Sox are playing–memorably, once during the 2007 World Series, he had no idea as to the Cardinals' starting rotation–and they almost seem to revel and take pride in their laziness and lack of preparation.

  • sportsman

    There once was a show called Play action on 98.5. It came on one Sunday and havent heard it since. Can anyone tell me what happened? I thought it was different and entertaining. Maybe Im wrong. IDK Help!

  • Sean

    "Mut & Merloni" is easily the worst show out of both stations. It is at times unlistenable. It's also painfully opbvious that Mut is in way over his head. He is the perfect flashboy or fill in host for the 4th of July weekend but he isn't ready for the big chair nor will he ever be. I'm no fan of Gresh and Zo either but Lou and Mutnansky make them look like Marconi award winners!