Pete Sheppard Returns To WEEI On Sunday

The Big Show had Pete Sheppard call in at 5:30 this afternoon to (rather clumsily) announce that he would be hosting a show from noon to 3:00 pm this Sunday, leading into the Celtics/Lakers pregame.

Further shows were not mentioned, though Sheppard in a Tweet afterwards says he is “back” with the station, so future gigs seem indicated.

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At the very least, his foot is back in the door with the station, so this could be the start of the road to a bigger role.

The station has missed Sheppard’s “voice of the fan” since his departure two years ago.

  • Winning

    So what have we learned with Pete coming back:

    1) WEEI admits they were probably wrong in the first place to let him walk seeing as they feel bringing him back improves ratings.

    2) OR WEEI is so dense that they directly correlate firing Pete with a drop in ratings. Rather than improve ratings by getting other “better” talent, then re-tread.

    3) Does the same shuffle occur with Dale and the mid-day show? The stars seem to be aligning for M&M to get axed, with Dale re-upping his contract only to assume his mid-day slot.

    4) If #3 happens, is this another sign of WEEI mis-management. Do the higher-ups realize that decisions are getting made then un-done constantly. Doesn’t this tell you whoever is deciding the talent and on-air content needs to be let go?

    5) When will WEEI realize that recycled goods only last so long. To me they constantly make panic moves and are afraid to look outside their box of ex-talent toys. when one doesn’t work, they reach back in to something that used to/kinda work and will be a stop gap.

    6) WEEI needs to blow up everything top to bottom. Total program re-alignment. Its not easy to overpass TSH in the ratings. The means to which WEEI takes is just awful, which is why TSH still thrives. Its not that people love the TSH to death, its simply theres no other relevant option.

    • Winning

      Forgot one point:

      7) Do they honestly think a Sunday 12-3 slot is this dramatic. The soap-opera shenanigans they used to break the news was a joke. If they are so concerned with the 12-3 slot, then explains everything right there.

      BTW, is Mustard “retiring” to focus on his teaching, or was he let go. Not sure if anyone knows this. Not sure many care, i don’t listen to the show, but jw.

      • Jason Coyote

        Tend to agree with you, Winning. It certainly does look like Dale and Pete are lined up to take over the midday show if needed.

        In response to your Mustard retiring comment, as far as I can see on EEI’s site Craig is still co-hosting on Saturday mornings with Larry ‘Trace’ Johnson. Pete is just taking over a Sunday slot that would’ve gone to someone like Matt Perault.

    • bsmfan

      George Cain covered the lineups, I thought, pretty well:

      http://sportsofboston.com/2012/03/05/sports-hub-once-again-tops-weei-in-latest-ratings/

      Doubt they’d blow it up but they could clearly make better runs at certain demographics that SportsHub owns right now.

  • Mike

    Sunday afternoon? That’s like Tuesday afternoon at the strip club…it sounded like Shep was acting all contrite while Ordway admonished him.
    Like Pete had to crawl back, Ordway giving him one more chance to be a good boy.
    So now they have Sheppard and Dale waiting in the bullpen.

  • Guest

    Looks like Muttnansky should start updating his resume. Have to think he’d be the odd man out in any daytime lineup change. His own co-workers take some not-so-subtle shots at him on the air. The guy never did anything to justify being put in that role. He’s a fan with a communications degree.

    Something I’ve been looking to have answered: What ever happened to the Doc Rivers weekly interview on D&C? He hasn’t been on since at least January and I’ve yet to hear an explanation from anyone at WEEI. I know he still does some quick Q&A with Grande for the pre/post game, but I always enjoyed his extended interviews on the morning show. Was there some kind of contract dispute or something? Just strange. Reminds me of Tedy Bruschi’s disappearance from the Big Show. Never really got a clear explanation on that one either.

    • bsmfan

      I have 0 direct knowledge of either but ESPN is very “wary” of their folks appearing with regular frequency outside the ESPN family of networks. They allow them periodic things but I think that unless you’re one of the “premier guys”, you don’t get much wiggle room here.

  • Beached Whale

    That was pretty awkward. All the hosts that signed contracts for big money shouldnt be buying green bananas. Low cost, work for food replacement is back on Sundays waiting for fulltime gig

    • Doc Michaels

      You know Mutt & Lou are ready to hit the pavement when even my UPS driver — a huge Boston sports fan like most of us here — says to me that he’s stopped listening to the radio between 10-2 because they’re “so awful.”

      I give Mutt & Lou six months before The Dale & Sheppard Show takes over. It’s just a matter of time. No way Dale re-signs with EEI just for fill-in gigs, and even Pete sounded today like there’s more up his sleeve with the “taking it day by day” comment. This could be a try-out, but I severely doubt they’re bringing in Dale and Pete just to become the next “Mustard and Johnson” — especially with a mid-day show that’s about to bite the bullet.

      As far as the “recycled goods” comment Winning made — while I agree with most of his points, I’d take Dale & Pete in a heartbeat over some “new” show like Minihane and Bradford, Gasper, Haggerty, etc. There are far too many wannabe writer/talker hybrids in this town, and most of them are painful to listen to — even in short bursts. Obviously some people aren’t fans of Pete’s but with the right co-host he brings a lot of levity and fun to the table, and most of the time his game analysis is spot on. It was always more astute than Ordway’s.

      • Winning

        I agree on Pete and Dale being better options than those people you mentioned as I don’t think they are made for radio hosting. My premise was more of a general tone. WEEI thought it was wise to get rid of these two to begin with (whether it was actually a good idea is debatable) but then bringing them right back reeks of clueless management. I don’t think WEEI could pry good talent from ESPN but I would like to see them think outside the box.

        Should we expect to see Mustard and Johnson in a year replacing D&C. Or in two years, will mut and merloni be replacing Dale and Pete?

        • latetodinner

          Winning I think you are right on in questioning why WEEI can’t raid ESPN. I can’t believe everyone working at the 4 letter network is happy with their air time/exposure. People have certainly gone from national gigs back to local especially in large markets (Andy Gresh for example).

          Having said that I do think promising Dale whatever he was promised and bringing back Pete shows that someone at WEEI is at least considering that there are problems and is willing to consider looking for plan B. Of course the same people who made the decisions in the first place to weaken the lineup are now looking to go back to go forward.

          Lastly, I still think the two biggest mistakes WEEI made were replacing Dale with Muttansky and letting Sean McAdam walk. We will see how they reprogram the station going forward.

  • http://rumorsontheinternets.org Alpine McGregor

    This publicity stunt was ludicrous. EEI’s management is responsible for the biggest catastrophe we’ve seen in Boston media in an age and their solution is to hype up Pete Sheppard’s return to a Sunday afternoon gig?

    The biggest mistakes EEI made were overpaying D&C and Ordway when they were way past their prime and ripe for a collapse in the presence of legitimate competition. Once TSH showed up and slaughtered them in the ratings — armed with a bunch of guys who used to guest on the Big Show and a couple of morning jocks from the Stern/O&A coaching tree, plus a focus on the Bruins of all things! — EEI was caught completely flatfooted because they can’t change their lineup in the critical morning and afternoon drive segments without eating a TON of cash. In sports terms, EEI is in “salary cap hell.”

    Sunday afternoons and middays don’t make that much of a difference in this game. T&R’s destruction of D&C and Felger and Mazz’s obliteration of the Big Show is the real evidence of Jason Wolfe et al’s mismanagemnt.

  • Listening

    Listening to Dale and Callahan this morning, Callahan was more obnoxious than usual, talking down to people and interrupting Dale and Randy Scott. Maybe he sees the writing on the wall, something like Dale and Pete in the morning in the near future.

  • Bob Nelson

    Admittedly it was the 6+ ratings not 25-54 but one ratings period had Sports Hub’s ratings being 14-and-a-half times as high as WEEI during the midday slot.. At the time I noted the difference was so much, it was like Dirk Nowitzki standing next to a LIlliputian.
    14.6 versus… 1.0.
    And at one time D&C were threatening to leave for a new sports station that would sprout up at 99.5…EEI got them back, and there went any possibility of an FM sports station in that manner.

    >>http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/articles/2007/08/16/dennis_callahan_may_move_to_wcrb/
    8-16-07: “Sources close to the negotiations say a possible new home for radio talkmasters John Dennis and Gerry Callahan is WCRB-FM (99.5), the classical music station that is considering a switch to an all-sports format. ”
    A month later
    >>Sports radio hosts Dennis & Callahan have signed a five-year contract to stay on at WEEI. The station had locked them out during the negotiations.
    (Sept 2007)
    http://bostonist.com/2007/09/10/stuck_between_s_1.php

    A 5 yr deal eh? Looks like Howie C isn’t the only sneaker building employee whose contract is up later this year.

    • Bruce

      Good stuff Bob, thanks.

  • Tiki

    Need somebody to witness and report on the cross-over from Sundays with Dayell to Pete’s show. On one level its 2 guys who both got bumped down or out by the brightlights at EEI – but the notes abvove make me wonder if there’ll be any inuendo about future possibilities – although I’d expect Dale to avoid anything wistful both b/c he’s been classy about his downgrade (both here and dating back to NESN) and becuase the one time I think he legitimately went nuts (ickeybalooey?) was when Larry Ridley made noise about joining Holley on a mid-day dream team during a fill-in stint.

    Agreed with all above that yesterday’s Pete segment was amatuer hour – Felger would have run Pete off on principle for having a crappy cell connection and Glenn treating Pete like a scolded puppy was awkward.

    Noon Sundays… who knows maybe he’ll line up vs Ted Nation on the other station.

  • LJS

    Pete Sheppard? Are you kidding me? So the cutting edge management over at ‘EEI that wallowed in complacency for years, trumpeting it’s ratings in the face of NO COMPETITION, now recylces one of the reasons listeners abandoned in droves in the first place, once a viable competitor arrived on the scene?! SportsHub delivered us all from overblown, egotistical, self-absorbed hosts who amused themselves, subjected the listeners to painfully long commercial breaks, FOGs (friends of Glenn) who pitched their ridiculous steak house and added nothing, fawning interviews with the likes of Brad freakin’ Faxon for mind-numbingly boring, 20 minute long interviews (no doubt John Dennis hasn’t paid for a round of golf in some time…and while we’re on the subject of overblown, egotistical hosts…I absolutely ROAR every time I hear the voice mail he left for Ryen Russillo..who is doing quite nicely, thank you. And the fact that the message would have been left by someone who actually advised professional athletes on the intricacies of public relations…well, it’s just all too delicious), and endless political pontificating by two SPORTS TALKERS…who didn’t get it that if it’s political commentary we want, we’re not tuning int to a sports station for it!!!! Astonishingly arrogant, even for Dennis and Callahan. Sooo…..the moment a well-programmed radio station that began with “radio 101″ (see, it isn’t all that hard, ‘EEI), and then staffed informed, funny, focused and entirely entertaining hosts who didn’t spend their time indulging themselves…hosts almost all who had done a turn or two at ‘EEI….and you add in the Bruins and Patriots, you have an audience for whom WEEI is a faint memory rapidly fading in the rear view mirror. This first-class sports town FINALLY has a first class sports talk station. Hey…EEI…it’s so easy to be the prettiest girl in the room when you’re the ONLY girl in the room. And you’re not the “only” anymore…not number one anymore…not even a pretender anymore. For ‘EEI, the party’s over…time to turn out the lights….

  • nbpt

    Untalented.

    Unlistenable.

    A fool.

    P. Sheppard.

  • MurbsSox

    1. When Pete took over while Orway was tanning, he was actually pretty good. Sometimes he went off the rails, but he played it fairly even and straight. Very different than being Ordway’s foil to mock and ridicule.

    2. Bruce, do you think EEI could get rid of or change the midday show into two 2 hour shows with hosts and see which one gets the most traction before signing them to a longer deal for a bigger timeslot? For example, keep Mutt & Merloni, while adding Dale & Pete or some other incarnation?

    • Bruce

      That would be a bold experiment. I couldn’t really see it happening, or Jason Wolfe having enough imagination to come up with something like that.

      • bsmfan

        Would this change with Entercom management being sick of the #2 spot or only if another station (ESPN) got into the market? There was some speculation with the cash flow but I guess if the numbers stay stable, why change if that is the plan?

  • kfd01886

    Sheppard and Ordway are both unlisteneable. Is it any wonder that 98.5 is ahead?