What Is WEEI’s Next Move?

They went to shorter commercial breaks.

They became an ESPN Radio affiliate.

They simulcast Dennis and Callahan on NESN.

They cut down on the political talk in the morning.

They tried hooking up with El Presidente of Barstool Sports in an attempt to be “hipper.”

They replaced Dale and Holley with Mutt and Lou.

They retooled The Big Show to become Ordway and Holley.

They added Mike Adams to The Big Show.

They moved to an FM signal at 93.7 FM.

They’re still getting whipped in the ratings by 98.5 The SportsHub.

Chad Finn dropped several hints in his chat and column last week that if the mid-day show doesn’t improve, Dale Arnold could find himself back in that time slot. He could replace Mike Mutnansky, with Lou Merloni remaining, or he could be paired with someone like Kirk Minihane – who it appears he’ll be doing a lot of weekend shows with in the coming weeks. (A warm-up period for building rapport before taking over mid-days?)

Could an old face be coming to play a role in this?

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On Facebook, Sheppard said that this announcement would be about his new gig. Finn speculated this morning:

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While Sheppard won’t be leaping into the mid-day show, ( Mutt and Merloni are on the air as we speak, and I don’t think even Jason Wolfe would yank them off mid-show.) I could see Sheppard getting weekend shows, as it seems WEEI is looking to improve the quality of those offerings? Or could it be the long-rumored, even when Sheppard was still at WEEI, overnight show? Or something else entirely?98.5?

We’ll see.

On an entirely different note, has Michael Felger yet suggested that the Patriots, if they weren’t so cheap, should bring in Peyton Manning to light a fire under Tom Brady and give him a challenge, something that he has sorely lacked over his career? I’m just waiting for it.

  • Doc Michaels

    Pete is coming back to EEI….announcement at 5:30 either means he is rejoining the Big Show or taking that overnight slot I’d imagine.

    Though he has his detractors around here, dumping Pete was the first of many ill-advised moves on EEI’s part that helped speed their massive ratings decline (that, axing Dale and Holley, and giving Mutt & Lou their own show).

    I could see if he’s back on the Big Show that it would add an element that’s been lacking with Holley and Ordway — they’re just dull most of the time, and Mike Adams (another bad decision on EEI’s part) brings nothing to the table in that role. If Pete is back there, it’d help. If it’s overnights, it could work, b/c he actually does pay attention to sports (even college sports) most EEI hosts have no/little interest in, and he always used to do better fill-in work than Ordway hosting (faint praise as that may be for some).

    Either way, this helps EEI overall, but as Bruce said, it’s probably the first of many moves to come. Obviously Mutt & Lou will be the next to go. I just can’t see them going back to football season with that useless of a show between 10-2, so it might happen sooner than later, and I totally agree that Dale’s re-signing has some kind of involvement in the midday slot.

    • Classless

      I guess it helps…you go from from an F in Mike Adams to a D+ in Pete Sheppard.

  • Scott

    I don’t mind mut at all and Kirk Minihane drives me nuts

  • Will

    The comment that felger made about Peyton Manning and that Patriots should bring him in is exactly why I can’t listen to this guy. He throws things against the wall and hope it sticks. Now to his credit it’s been working for him but his style is just not for me.Which to me begs the question, Is 98.5 better than WEEI or they benefiting from how much people hate WEEI? To me it doesn’t tell the whole story that 98.5 is better

    • Bruce

      He didn’t actually say it, I was joking – it is the type of thing I expect him to say just to get attention.

      • Will

        I agree.

      • latetodinner

        Except Holley is not insightful. He is void of ideas. For the life of me I don’t understand this love affair with Holley. If he had ideas you would think he would be using them on the Big Show to generate better conversation. He doesn’t have them. He goes with the flow, plays a little devils advocate but in the end has very few insightful moments. Heck all of his books were the same, short quick reads that seemed to be telling me something but when i was done I thought “that’s it”? I think Felger would eat Holley for breakfast and that would be a lousy pairing.

      • bsmfan

        Is Holley insightful? When I’ve listened and seen him on CSNNE, he seems to pick some ridiculous points for no other reason than “lets not say what everyone else says but barely defend our points”. I’d have to go through but he even spent his time on ESPN saying the Lakers would meet OKC in the Western Conf finals this year and possibly be the Western Conf rep in the finals. Skip Baseless wasn’t there but no ESPN analyst wanted to even go there. I get it.. debate show.. have whatever thought you want without really having to back it up.. still, isn’t this absurdness normally reserved for Skip?

  • Will

    Bruce do you think this Pete Sheppard would be a good for EEI? I was never a big fan. I do understand his role though.

  • Siggy

    Bringing Pete back is the best move WEEI has made in my lifetime. Poster above puts his finger on it … EEI has just been plain dull!

  • JSR

    Honestly, I think the best thing EEI could do it put their lineup back to the way it used to be. Move Holley back with Dale middays and go back to rotating co-hosts on the Big Show (only one at a time, instead of two) I used to like hearing different people with different opinions everyday, just hated when they had a shouting match.

  • Tiki

    dunno if its at all related but eei 103.7 ran a show saturday before 9am MnJ – it was a local RI show branded for EEI – called something like “EEI Local Sports” – the host was Steve Heider with Scott Cordishi and per Hyder the “regular” host was to be John Rooke.

    They took calls at a 401 number

    I only caught the 8-9 segment no idea what time they came on the focus was boilerplate RI stuff – no crossover to M/J and the program was only on 103.7 (850 had rerun interviews).

    the program is not on their website

    • latetodinner

      its a paid show. They bought time and keep the advertising revenue. Cordishe needs some way to make money to pay for the pros.

  • Will

    Bruce I don’t think this would work because no one really knows him and he has some negativity to his name but what about Matt Pirrault moving up the EEI ranks? There’s some talent there, but he could suffer criticism the way Mutnansky did because no one really knows him do you agree?

    • Jason Coyote

      Will, not to speak for Bruce, but the answer to your question is yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I don’t even think Perault is any better than Mutnansky, not to mention EEI bounced him from the Saturday morning show with Minihane and Bradford after the Jack Edwards debacle.

    • Doc Michaels

      Its not that nobody knows who Mutantsky was– rather that he has no insight or knowledge thats worth a damn.

  • dan

    Ah…Scott Cordischi, that’s a name I haven’t heard in years.
    I remember when he started on 63 WPRO. He took over for Chuck Wilson.
    Cordischi at one time I thought was really,really good.
    He did his shows solo and he always had excellent monologues and insightful opinions on a wide variety of topics. He could talk intelligently on any sports subject. He wasn’t a one trick pony like a lot of the guys today. And he never went out of his way to trash people for no point at all. So ok…he screwed up big time. Is he supposed to be punished forever? I’d like to be a fly on the wall with most of these other radio guys and see that they aren’t saints either. I think instead of re-treads like Sheppard,WEEI should be giving a guy like Cordischi another chance at showing people that you can do a good sports talk show without being a dink on the air.

    • latetodinner

      Cordischi’s first problem and the reason why I don’t think he should ever be on the air again in a paying gig is that his schtick was claiming the moral high ground on issues. When his problems with paying for sex came to light, he ceased being effective in any conversation where an athlete had off the field “issues”. His ratings dropped and with it any hope that station had to stay alive. His second problem is that his shows always evolved into celebrity caller/insider gab fests. Steve from Fall River, George in Warwick to name a few. He brought them in studio to do segments and guest appearances. It was not good programming or sports talk. I have no idea why you think he could talk intelligently on any sports subject…I found his football and baseball knowledge to be poor. He could talk college hoops and college football…which in NE is dead air.

      Cordischi tried getting work other places on air and to the best of my knowledge got nothing because of his past and his lack of talent. The last thing either Boston Sports Talker needs is him. I would much prefer 4 hours of Andy Gresh solo than 15 minutes of Cordischi.

  • Bob Nelson

    Pete is on now with Big Show. “Tryout” Sundays at noon.

    • Jason Coyote

      What I don’t get is that didn’t Pete rip EEI management big-time right after they let him go? Surprised that bridge wasn’t burnt to a crisp. Is EEI truly this desperate?

  • matt

    I think it’s a good move by EEI…i think Mut and Lou are trending in the right direction. Bruce just wondering if you will get the numbers from Super Bowl Week. I thought the Michael Irvin was the best interview of the week.

  • Doc Michaels

    I’d be watching my backs if I were Mutt and Lou. Chances are their replacements will probably be working on the weekends.

  • Will

    I must admit now that I did miss Dale and his presence regularly on the station. He really is good and relevant still for a guy who has been around a while, and that’s not intended to be a knock on him but we tend to want to get rid of guys that we think have been around too long. Guy is still pretty good. I feel Mut talks too much. Soounds weird to say because it’s talk radio but I think he does.

  • Corbin

    Wow! A guy takes a two-week vacation and returns to Pete “I’ll Work for Food” Sheppard back in the ‘EEI fold? Is that the rank smell of desperation I detect wafting from “Señor Wolfe’s Casa del Mierda”?

    Oh, what is Wolfie thinking? As if negotiating exorbitant contracts for marginal talent such as John “I Think I Just Ingested Kathy Bates” Dennis, Gerry “I Make Glenn Beck Look Like a Mensa Member” Callahan, and Glenn “Sports Hobbit” Ordway weren’t bad enough, he foisted the staggeringly stupor-inducing pair of Mike “Aural Tryptophan” Mutnansky and Lou “Local Boy Makes Mediocre” Merloni on the WEEI listening audience. “Audience” is, quite frankly, too generous a description, as listenership for Entercom’s Boston sports station is fast approaching the point where it could be comfortably accommodated in a Smart Fortwo compact.

    Now, with his back to the wall, the J. Bruce Ismay of Boston broadcasting is hellbent on resuscitating ‘EEI’s fortunes by giving spot-shifts to the sports-talk equivalent of Sloth from “The Goonies”.

    Well, if nothing else, Jason has advanced the efforts of higher education. After all, his alma mater – Syracuse University – will one day be able to teach a course in which his tenure at WEEI will serve as a cautionary example of how a half-a-brain and a whole lot of hubris inevitably leads to failure.

    Broadcasting hasn’t seen a failure this epic since Fred Silverman aired “Pink Lady and Jeff” on NBC. Hey! Maybe Jeff Altman, Mitsuyo Nemoto and Keiko Matsuda are available to take-over ‘EEI’s midday slot?

  • Adam

    All those moves by WEEI are like duct tape on a submarine.  The real issue is lesser talent.  For all the inflated egos on their station it’s time to recognize that the hosts on the Sports Hub are just much much better.

    But WEEI DID take liberties for many many years (long commercials, right wing politics, condescending to callers, over reliance on call-in “regulars”, no Bruins respect, unwilling to criticize local team coaches/offices).  It never cost them when they had a monopoly, but it’s costing them now and it’s a bit too late to play catch up.