Celtics Hatred Catches Up With Michael Felger

In the latest ratings numbers for the month of May, WEEI enjoyed a strong bounce-back month, fueled by the playoff run of the Boston Celtics. Chad Finn has the breakdowns per show, but the essence is that while Toucher and Rich defeated Dennis and Callahan yet again, Mutt and Merloni came out ahead of Gresh and Zo and Ordway and Holley defeated Felger and Mazz as well.

There’s no doubt that Felger’s incessant bashing and ridicule of the Celtics is directly responsible for his show losing this month’s ratings, just as WEEI’s total dismissal of the Bruins led to their own downfall last year.

Now, I have little doubt that as the summer goes on, the 98.5 shows will regain the top spots, as the Red Sox stumble around in last place and the Patriots start up training camp at the end of next month, but it’s interesting that Felger was essentially willing to take a ratings loss in one month of ratings to simply satisfy his own predilections, and didn’t care about the possible repercussions to his station and sponsors. That’s an Ordway-like ego at work there.

I found myself listening to Ordway and Holley much more in the last month, not so much because they were offering great insight (Though Michael Holley seems to have finally hit his stride on that show.) but to escape the constant barrage of Celtics hatred in that timeslot up the dial. I clearly wasn’t alone.

The Mutt and Lou success is fairly shocking. I didn’t think Gresh and Zo were doing much in the way of Celtics bashing – they were OK – but I think Mutt and Lou trotted out some strong Celtics/NBA guests during the month which really helped them enjoy their first successful month.

This is only a one-month snapshot, it should be interesting to see what the quarterly ratings look like when they come out next month.

Some items of interest:

Which way should the Red Sox go?  – A blog post from Peter Abraham yesterday which I applaud heartily. This team needs a major shakeup. I’m onboard.

Kevin Youkilis about good to go – Michael Silverman has Youkilis sounding like he’s ready to move on.

Voices line up for Red Sox announcer job – Beth Teitell in the Globe talks to some of the candidates.

Situation must be right if he is going to return – Steve Bulpett has sources close to the Kevin Garnett/Celtics situation saying that KG could be open to a return, but wants to see what pieces Danny Ainge is able to put together first. KG would like to know who he’s playing with before committing to a return.

Celtics in good hands with Doc – Jackie MacMullan says that whatever the Celtics roster looks like next season, they’ve got the right coach in place.

Joseph Addai fills important role – Mike Reiss has the former Colt already stepping into a leadership role with his fellow running backs.

Looking at the Ballard move – Greg A Bedard warns us not to overreact to the Patriots claiming Giants TE Greg Ballard, but I love it – it’s such a Belichick move to make.

Tuesday mini-camp observations – Andy Hart provides his usual thoroughly detailed recap of yesterday’s Patriots practice.

NHL could be looking at a shortened season – Joe Haggerty reports on what could be another ugly labor fight for the NHL starting on September 15th.

105.5 WEEI FM Springfield has announced an exclusive partnership with the University of Massachusetts (UMass), making it the official home of UMass football and men’s basketball.   The five-year agreement kicks off with the 2012 UMass football season, which begins on August 30th at the University of Connecticut.

  • Mishnorv7

    It is pretty shocking that Mut and Merloni came out on top in midday slot. I do listen but only because I don’t like G&Z. As far 2-6 time slot, it’s true Felger did this to himself with the Celtics hate but I do think this is where that show is trending. That show is all “schtick”, Fact not opinion, Cap is crap, Green teamers, BBWA, Belichick is cheap. That’s all you get from Felger and the Whiner, and sooner or later boys we’re  gonna have to talk some real sports and I don’t think that team has the stammina to stay with the Big Show(put our dislike for Ordway aside) for years to come because Felger refuses to do research on sports he does not like, and I knoe EEI did it with hockey but they never bashed the sport. Felger is talented, he’ll bounce back but let’s see how much.

    • norwoodzip

      When the flyers were busy dismantling the penguins in the 1st round – felger went on and on about how flyers management knew what a disaster Carter & Co were in the flyers locker room and look at the flyers flourish without them.  Dry Island.

      Flash forward to the Kings getting into the finals and winning the cup.

      “that’s how the bruins should build their team.” 

      As usual, tony sat there buffed mike’s nails and fixed is hair and said nothing, because e knows nothing.

      When tony’s little baseball show started it was very good – good guests, writers like mcadama and visiting team beat guys and club personnel.

      It’s now just a continuation of his 2-6 “character”.  Everything SUCKS!  Good pitching beats good hitting.

      Mazz is like one of those little fish who swim under the shark’s mouth hoping for a morsel of food.

      • Mishnorv7

        I agree, that’s what I’ve been calling lazy radio for months now. Bruins success and Randy Moss rants were what got him good ratings, I realize that but now the schtick has gotten tired, and he’s now forced to talk sports, period, and he can’t do it. Isn’t true talent displayed even when you don’t like a sport you still talk about it objectively?Do some show prep and inform the listeners thats what we’re looking for. In EEI’s defense, they never talked hockey for a long time because it was not relevant for a long time but they never bashed it. Those guys, F&M are one trick ponies and that’s why they’re exposed right now. When it’s time to just talk sports and analyze, they just are not able to do it.

        • Winning_Again

          Correction, WEEI did bash Hockey. Specifically Glen Ordway, see Hockey Talk segments that were used to mock the Bruins Fan.

        • Mishnorv7

          No they did not bash hockey. EEI did what they also do when a sport was not popular, they fun of it by talking about it in breif segments. I never heard anyone of those shows on EEI come out and they hate the NHL the way Felger comes out and repeatedly says he hates the NBA. He’s on record with that. So big difference there.

        • Winning_Again

          You are wrong Mishnorv7. They bashed Hockey! Ordway routinely had “Hockey Talk” segments where callers phoned in got 2 seconds to make their Bruins point, and Ordway would hang up. Dale tried to talk intelligent hockey, but then Holley created his mocking “Holley-Hockey-Minute” which usually turned into man-love for Phil Kessel.

          You’re wrong!

      • tl;138

         “Mcadama”?  From the show McBattlestar McGallactica?

  • bsmfan

    Wow. I’m also not surprised. As much as many of us “bash” WEEI, I think many of us also have some reservations about how arrogant, specifically Felger, has become. It’ll be interesting to see if this goes back and how the stations cope/deal here.

    On other “ratings” notes:

    The NBA has them for its final; the NHL didn’t. Just look at the ratings.
    Final
    numbers for the Stanley Cup finals were the lowest since 2007. The Los
    Angeles Kings-New Jersey ratings were down 33 percent from last year,
    averaging 3 million viewers per game.

    Meanwhile, Game 1 of the NBA
    Finals did an 11.8 overnight rating, the highest ever for a game on
    ABC. And it only figures to get bigger if LeBron James and company can
    win a few games in this series.

    http://shermanreport.com/stanley-cup-final-could-have-used-a-gretzky-game-1-ratings-soar-with-lebron-durant/

    ————-

    Gotta wonder if we start seeing something on the “calls” if the Thunder do the same thing they did last night. Calls were 19v16, 3 more for the Thunder. But, none of the calls really made a difference.

    ——————–

    Adam Schefter and many others are labeling the move as “typical Patriots” (ie: good) move. In fact, some are already speculating about what a “3xTE,1xRB,1xWR” set might look like using him. He’s the biggest of all there (oddly enough) and also the guy who caused the Week6? loss when the Giants were @ NE.

  • bsmfan

    I wonder just how the NHL lockout will be covered because it seemed like everyone but NBC could careless about the Stanley Cup and Hockey.

    ESPN is leading this charge very well.

    See how they’re devoting time to and loving the Euro 2012? When ESPN wants to love or hate something, there is no doubt on which way they do.

    I wonder how this will affect how the media covers it, if you have only one national network and a handful of cities with large hockey-bases “caring”.

  • Winning_Again

    Bruce, glad you brought this up. I, along with many others mentioned this awhile back. Felger did to basketball what WEEI did to hockey, except he went even further. I had a post months back regarding comments Felger made on-air regarding this topic. He basically announced that he enjoys doing this to basketball because “people” and he specifically indicated EEI, relegated hockey to the background. So he takes pleasure in using his forum to do that to the NBA, and Celtics, both which he hates.

    It appears this stuff is cyclical. One station has taken one stance, while the other goes South. Classic Hatfields v McCoys here. Ball-washers vs Bashers, Homers vs Haters, etc. Unfortunately for us, the listener, we can’t get anything quite down the middle.

    I do think the trend in ratings is only a temporary dip. But, those at TSH should take eye to how people are perceiving and receiving Felger, and too a lesser extent, his parrot.

    The mantra of F&M has been “we are critical of the home team, we aren’t going to eat what they feed like WEEI.” It’s well beyond critical. Negative, attacking tactics they use elicit human response. No-one calls in to talk radio to let Felger and Mazz know that they like when “Patriots are playing well I like the shotgun set and when the defense goes to Nickel packages.” That’s boring stuff. So what we do is create “facts” based on fictional takes like the CAP is CRAP, RONDO SUCKS, NBA is full of poor sports while hockey is full of gentlemen….

    • bsmfan

      Won’t the next two demos be the real telling ones here? I have to assume that this is the first real scare, esp for G+Z and F+M.

      I still think that D+C/T+R are so fundamentally apart that there isn’t much either can do to budge. When I’ve listened to both, the difference in callers (age) is so stark, how could either really chop into each other? Plus, people seem content on their formats and what they cover (political bias, as well). So, beyond a few of us bringing up how/what they cover, I doubt that would change.

      Does Arbitron or any of the other ratings agencies sample listeners for comments?

      For those who have followed Felger longer than I have, is this just him?

      For those who aren’t fans of the teams or don’t want a homer angle, they’re right home with him. However, if they tune on for “something different”, I think they’re in for a shock. Also, as I’ve said before, I don’t know a single person under 35 who listens to WEEI. I attribute this to their personalities and programming on the station. Two I talked to yesterday didn’t care nor did they change their habits, so I wonder who/what moved over, esp with 10-2 and 2-6.

      I was gonna bring this up on a separate post but Deadspin, who, again, makes nothing hidden about their wrath for ESPN, esp Skip Bayless, recently did a very large post on the ratings. It tied together a Twitlonger from Dietsch @ SI (who absolutely hates Bayless) and a LATimes article about how ESPN’s First Take is basically Skip Bayless’ show for 2 hours. They hired the Sport Nation producer who is very comfortable with branding and advertising the troll and exploiting every last rating. However, they’re all in on Skip and have done nothing but embrace his ego (like Felger).

      Will it pay off? Well.. First Take has already started dropping in ratings and continues to.

      Now, it is so hard to compare due to different mediums and networks, but I think the parallel is interesting between the two.

      http://deadsp.in/HAVOiq

  • tl;138

    I think Felger’s starting to lose it…or at the very least is letting his already inflated ego get to an even bigger level.  Last week at caller was fiddling with their hands-free device and instead of just letting the guy finish fiddling, he lets out this primal scream on the air that was unprofessional and disturbing to say the least.  I know he doesn’t like bad cell phone connections but it’s part of the job of the call-in radio talk show host to work around it.  Letting out an animalistic yell because someone’s cell doesn’t sound perfect is a sign of mental illness.

  • NEPatsfan

    In general I actually enjoy F&M, but they have at times gotten on my nerves recently. For two guys that have constantly complained about fans who blame officiating/umpiring for losses, all they do is complain about officiating in the NBA. I know for me personally, this has caused me to turn off the show a few times in the last month or so.

    Also, Felger, we know you think hockey is the greatest sport and that basketball sucks, but guess what? The entire country disagrees. No one watched the NHL playoffs and the NBA ratings are killing it. Learn a lesson from that, or your ratings will continue to slide.

  • NutCracker

    Felger’s shtick is getting a little tired; he better be careful. I left WEEI when 98.5 first came on-air but lately I find myself listening again to The Big Show. The Big Show is much better with Holley on board while Felger has become too cocky, abrasive and condescending for my tastes. Ordway and Holley can carry-on an intelligent discussion or debate about a topic but on F&M it’s Felger screaming about one thing or another and Mazz telling him how much he agrees with him. If Ordway stays away from the politics (no Deossie, Smerlas) he is much more palatable with Holley. Wake-up call for Felger and Mazz.

  • bsmfan

    Wow!

    If this isn’t 2400 inbound ICBMs headed to the US for sports talk:

    @stucknut David Stern interview – Ends awkwardly after Rome asks about lottery being fixed http://takebox.stucknut.com/?id=1856

    Stern asked if Rome still beats his wife.

    THE COMMISSIONER OF THE NBA!

    Not kidding at all. It’s amazing–borderline flooring–how arrogant Stern is.

  • Nsbombers

    First of all those Panet Mikey ratings are flawed.With the whiner line crossover he’s lucky if he’s on the air for ten minutes.

  • Kingkelly

    Spot on, George.  Sure, Felger has an undercurrent contrarian thread goin’ of  ‘Oh, yeah?  Hockey is TEN times better than what passes for Pro Basketball these days’ — which is okay.  A region with our density of sports media can stand one of those.  But the incessant, deafening overkill over the last several months is just a seasonal variant on Lazy Boy Bash Radio, where there’s no research required and no heavy lifting as long as your vocal cords are well oiled and your neck veins are bulge-worthy.  It really is shlock.

    I caught the first ten minutes of today’s show.  He opened with Pete Abe’s blog musing from yesterday (see BruceLink above) about fan support for blowing up this ‘unlikable’ Red Sox team.  MF’s theme of the day was shaping up as —  ‘I want to know why Henry didn’t blow the team up IN  JNAUARY,  Yeah, right.  After a one month swan dive from the high perch of entering September on a 100 win pace.  What a squash head… 

  • Srose411

    Isnt Ordways contract up this summer? Felger needs an opponent, not stew fish. Belichick wins the offseason and Coughlin wins the titles.

    • tl;138

      Meh, call us back when Coughlin gets three titles.

      • Srose411

        If Coughlin gets belichick again, history repeats.

  • Danmateus

    I think it’s very simple why WEEI is surging and now the Sports Hub is declining. It’s the same reason why people turned off WEEI when the Hub came around. These two stations became stale and predicable with their talking points. When your goal is only to be a contrarian and bash almost everything that is going on just to be different from WEEI than it gets just as old and boring and worst of all PREDICTABLE than when WEEI would just kiss the ass of the Pats,Celts and Red Sox. What at first was a nice balance of opinions on the Hub has now turned into it seems like a contest of who can be the next Felger. And his co-host Maz is the worst one. This was the same guy who used to take Ordway to task all the time and now he acts like a guy who is just happy to have a gig and just agree with what ever his boss says. Pathetic…

  • Danmateus

    I think it’s very simple why WEEI is surging and now the Sports Hub is declining. It’s the same reason why people turned off WEEI when the Hub came around. These two stations became stale and predicable with their talking points. When your goal is only to be a contrarian and bash almost everything that is going on just to be different from WEEI than it gets just as old and boring and worst of all PREDICTABLE than when WEEI would just kiss the ass of the Pats,Celts and Red Sox. What at first was a nice balance of opinions on the Hub has now turned into it seems like a contest of who can be the next Felger. And his co-host Maz is the worst one. This was the same guy who used to take Ordway to task all the time and now he acts like a guy who is just happy to have a gig and just agree with what ever his boss says. Pathetic…

  • mandb97

    I agree with what others have said about F&M. It is boring and predictable. A few weeks ago when Felger was being heavily criticized by callers and texters, he said, “I’m grateful that I work for stations that allow me to be critical of the home teams and not be a “green teamer”. I wonder if those stations feel the same way. Here is what Felger does not understand. He is not critical, he is a biased basher. He freely talks about his hatred of the Celtics which makes any opinion he has on them useless. It is one thing to have a legitimate criticism like Brandon Bash going out past the top of the key to guard LeBron James and open the lane for easy drives, it is another to constantly say Garnett is a fake tough guy, Rondo is moody and you can’t win with him, (even though the Celtics have), or Pierce is a diva. It is old and tiresome and I think a lot of people have become sick of it. The only thing Tony Massarotti adds still is a loud, piercing and parakeet voice that shows no sports knowledge at all. As far as Glenn Ordway goes he still stinks but he has been the lesser of two evils. How is that for damning with faint praise?

      

    • bsmfan

       Actually, he doesn’t just hate “Green Teamers” (which I think stems from his hatred of the team) but the entire sport. I’m also not a fan of the sport, so I think its useless to go and analyze something. Still, if you’re gonna be on the radio and not let someone fairly host, how can you cover something? He said, before, that he gets heat from CSNNE (well why wouldn’t they with their investment) but not so much from SportsHub. I’ve got to imagine that they’re going to change this.

      I’ve said before that I think it’s stupid to cover something you have 0 interest in. However, he’s on from 2-6, and needs to cover it at some point, so.. what to do? I’ve got to assume he’s gonna have to bite his lip at some point and just suck it up.

      • Guest

        I don’t understand why such a big deal is being made about 98.5 having some “great” guests on lately. Aren’t these the same guests that appear on WEEI?  i.e. coaches and management from all the pro teams (excluding the Bruins). Doc, Wyc, Danny, Theo, et al. have all been regular, if not weekly, guests on EEI over the past several years.

        Say what you will about the contrasting personalities on the two stations, but quite frankly WEEI blows TSH out of the water when it comes to the quality of guests they have on their shows.

        From what I was able to gather from their respective websites, here was each station’s interviewees over the past 2 weeks:
        TSH:NBA (10) – Chris Mannix,  Gary Tanguay, Ian Thomsen, Keyon Dooling, Mike Gorman, Greg Likens, Sid Rosenberg, Wyc Grousbeck, Jake O’Donnell, Tommy HeinsohnMLB (9) – “Oil Can” Boyd, Peter Abraham, Sean McAdam, Jon Heyman, Dan Shaughnessy, Peter Gammons, Theo Epstein, Mike Port, Tim Wakefield NFL (4) – Kevin Faulk, Jeff Howe, Jermaine Wiggins, Chris GasperNHL (3) – Peter Chiarelli, Joe Haggerty, Cory Schneider PGA (1) –  Michael WhitmerOther (2) – Taylor Stevens (porn star), Jack Meyers (the “Good effort, good job!” kid)TOTAL = 29 guests/interviewsWEEI:NBA (26) – Scott Raab, Ric Bucher, Chris Mannix, Mike Breen, Adrian Wojnarowski, Wally Szczerbiak, Ian Thomsen, Bob Ryan, Sean Grande, Doris Burke, Tim Legler, Doc Rivers, Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau,  Malcolm Huckaby, Jackie MacMullan, Brent Barry, Dan LeBatard, Michael Wilbon, Chris Broussard, Brian Windhorst, Cedric Maxwell, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge, Stephen A. Smith, Paul Flannery MLB (10) – Theo Epstein, Jerry Remy, Ken Rosenthal, Ben Cherington, Buster Olney, Kevin Millar, Sean Casey, Pedro Martinez, Bobby Valentine, Rob Bradford NFL (3) – Troy Brown, Rodney Harrison, Christopher PriceNHL (1)  –  DJ BeanOther (2) – Michael McCann (Sports Illustrated legal expert), Lenny MegliolaTOTAL = 42 guests/interviews

        • bsmfan

          I didn’t mean that they did better on the guests, but it looks like my comment implied it. I also stated that

          I didn’t go and look at the totality of each list, which you did, so I’ll stand corrected there.

           It looks like WEEI had not only more but was a bit more exhaustive. How did you compile the list? Via Twitter? A+ work on that.

          It’s not some metric you can apply a 1:1 for but don’t a majority of listeners tune-in to specific programs, local and national, due to depth of guests?

          That’s one thing I really enjoy about Dan Patrick’s show.

  • Andrew33

    I don’t find it at all shocking that M&M topped Gresh & Zo. G&Z have long proven that this market will listen to whatever is put on the airwaves… all Mutt & Lou needed to do was become the least reprehensible option to win the ears of those who will choose to listen to sports radio regardless of quality of product.

    Really, it can’t be that hard to provide a more paletable option than Andy Gresh for a myriad of reasons so obvious that I needn’t list them. If either station would put a mediocre to decent progam in that timeslot, it would devour the current competition.

  • Ben

    Were the Celtics that hot a prospect for talk radio in May such that it would have “no doubt” impacted the afternoon show ratings?  Seemed like interest didn’t pick up until Memorial Day.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      Ben, you must not have listened to Felger at all the entire month. The entire month was Celtics hatred on his show. Whether it was KG is a fraud, Paul Pierce is an injury faker, Ray Allen is pissed at the franchise, Celtics fans (green-teamers) are more loathsome than Montreal Canadiens fans or Doc Rivers isn’t a very good coach, the Celtics were by far the biggest topic on his show.

      • bsmfan

        Could any of the “drop” for F+M be due to the simulcast?

        • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

          The simulcast has been on for months. I don’t know how it would suddenly impact them in the month of May.

  • Mishnorv7

    There are two things to celebrate here if you are a EEI and if you are a Boston sports fan in general: 1) For the Boston sports fan, congratulaions for not settling for “bash athletes and bash ownership sports talk”. You showed that you wanted more, and we deserve more than what those guys give. 2) For the WEEI fan, rumors and predictions of WEEI’s total downfall will have to wait a liitle bit longer. Regadless of what happens in the next rating numbers, it shows that people are still consider them to be right in the race. Sure we can talk about Celtics numbers but let’s forget about Bruins numbers down the dial last year. We can dislike D&C and Ordway all you want but they’re players. Let’s be honest, no one saw this coming even with the Celtics run.

  • newbie

    Does any here feel that the weekend hosts on 98.5 are more listenable and enjoyable than the weekday guys? I’m thinking of people like Mike Flynn.

    • Danmateus

      No…I think Trup is a disaster and Flynn is not knowledgeable enough on other sports especially baseball for my liking because he comes off as pretty arrogant of what he thinks he knows. Gaspar is the only one worth listening to. And never mind the horror that is Sheppard, Heard him for the first time yesterday and I could only stand 2 minutes of his dribble. He’s still the same rambling bumbling moron that he was before. He sucks! He sounds even more “lubricated” on the weekend.

      • bsmfan

        Besides the 9-12 show that WEEI does on Sunday with Rob Bradford and Buckley, I’ve not listened to anything beyond Gasper w/Beetle (8-12 on Saturday) on the weekends. Gasper’s show is more “general sports” and I think Bradford/Buckley are more baseball but I enjoy both pairings.

    • Pinkyprin617

      Play Action Sports was the best but it was on a “community radio”  lol but they were absolutely the best!

  • Zorro

    Yes, when will all the Felger bashings catch up with him? Do the fans enjoy all this hatred?