Jon Rish Resigns From #RedSox Broadcasts, WEEI

**BREAKING**

BSMW has learned and confirmed that Jon Rish has given his notice and will be leaving the Red Sox broadcasts, and the radio business altogether. This is just the latest in a series of personnel changes at Entercom Boston under VP/GM Jeff Brown.

Rish had served as the pre and post-game host on the Red Sox Radio Network starting in 2006. Rish joined WEEI Radio in July 2005 after six years with ESPN Radio in Bristol, CT.

Since 2008 Rish has also filled in during games in the broadcast booth doing play-by-play when Dave O’Brien had ESPN scheduling conflicts. He was in the booth alongside Joe Castiglione this past week as O’Brien did the Red Sox-Yankees game on ESPN last Wednesday and then went on to call the Women’s NCAA Final Four for the network.

Rish is said to have been asked to take a significant paycut, something which is becoming commonplace at WEEI. It says something that a person would give up a position as a radio play-by-play voice for the Boston Red Sox in order to get out of the business altogether.

Instead, Rish has given his notice, and will be available to the station/network until 4/24, but it is not yet clear how things will proceed over the next two weeks.

It won’t be the last exit from WEEI, as sources say that at least three of the top sales executives for the station will be leaving, and long-time sponsor Giant Glass will be pulling out as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

    Wow, this is getting awfully ugly. I’m starting to feel badly for them–it seems like the entire station is imploding.

    • stupid listener

      I would not and don’t feel bad for them. They made their own bed and are paying the price. I wish someone over there would get their head out of their A$$ and just blow it up and start from scratch.

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

        Fair to trash EEI’s business decisions but the fact is that a lot of hardworking folks are getting pushed out or canned. Like when coaches for a losing team get fired–hardworking people suddenly can’t feed their families. It’s not something that makes me smile.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anthrocoon Bob Nelson

        Part of it may be the huge cost of the Sox deal. It was expiring at end of 06 season and Greater Media had a deal on table to partner with Sox on put them on FM: WBOS 92.9. By May of 06 however, Greater pulled out and Entercom won the bidding war (at first putting WRKO as flagship and WEEI with some games. In Aug of 09, they changed it to all games on WEEI–a decision made about 6 or 7 days after Sports Hub debuted… and they then dragged their feet in getting to FM–Sept of 11)

        • dan

          Don’t forget to add that they also resigned Ordway when they could’ve put Felger on the Big Show.
          I am convinced that the Hub doesn’t get off to the great start without Felger. That was a huge move that WEEI didn’t make that they’re paying the price for.

        • mike

          Looks like you really have a thing for the little fella. Always pumping his tires, got seriously offended when it was joked he was marrying Mazz…I think you love him.

  • bsmfan

    Someone on radiodiscussions.com said Drinkwater was not happy with the Ordway news (anyone notice who Drinkwater was sitting next to yesterday? Even Don mentioned it on NESN) and this would be happening.

    • HighWireNickEsasky

      First you link to Bleacher Report, now Ken Fang. Please stop.

  • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andre Dursin

    Regardless of the ramifications of this movie, frankly, Rish isn’t a very good play by play guy. His voice isn’t appealing to listen to, and I’ve found him patently dull paired with Castiglione. He was much better doing studio work and taking phone calls.

    That said, if money is an issue, whoever they get won’t be any better. O’Brien’s ESPN schedule is so taxing it’s like he’s part-time unless it’s the dead middle of the summer.

    • Terry J

      Didn’t Dale Arnold do some Red Sox games a few years back? Could he step in when his Bruins pre/post game duties on NESN are done?

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

        Yes, Terry, Arnold started doing a lot of Sox work the summer after he lost out on the NESN gig (after doing the honorable thing by EEI). I like Dale whatever the venue. And I agree, Andre–Rish’s voice is annoying, almost as much so as Meterparel’s. My feeling is that if you’re not at least a baritone you shouldn’t be calling sports. (Commentary is another thing…but calling the game itself is done best with a deep voice. In my opinion.)

  • Forbin

    not defending EEI at all here, but pay cuts are not only common at Entercom…but Cumulus , CBS and Clear Channel as well. radio is merely real estate any more to ownership. all about the bottom-line and not the quality of on-air product. brutal business especially if you don’t have a contract. gotta feel bad for Rish.

  • The Hey

    Giant Glass pulling out is very telling given that Drinkwater is good friends of Ordway and Dennis.

    • JonB

      Ironic that Ordway was in the Drinkwater/Giant Glass seats behind home plate at the Fenway opener yesterday in light of this news. It’s pretty obvious that sponsors don’t have nearly the same rapport with Mike Suck..err Salk… as they did with Ordway, based on the militaristic approach to commercial breaks now being undertaken by WEEI in the afternoons.

      They’ve been promoting how Salk was going to be meeting the listeners at some bar the past few days – I know it’d take a wholeee lot of free food and drinks to get me to hang out with a guy like Salk. Based on the image of a pompous self-important a-hole I’ve know developed of Mike Salk over his first few weeks, I can only imagine what he’s like behind the scenes. Probably pretty similar based on the insider reports from Finn and others in the know. Even schlubs like Mustard & Johnson have been taking potshots at Salk on the air. Pete Sheppard came real close to flat out calling out Jeff Brown and Entercom management this past weekend after a couple of callers in a row complained about WEEI’s weekday afternoon snorefest.

      Too late to bring back Ordway?

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

        It’s hard listening to Jack Edwards now on the air with those two. It’s plain he doesn’t enjoy his EEI time the way he used to. He sounds like he’s an adult talking to two kids. Never mind their relationships–it’s just his tone of voice which makes that clear.

        • bosox3054

          LOL and making Jack Edwards sound like the adult in the room is not easy

        • Mike

          And I love his goofy broadcasts. He’s a smart guy, he loves being over the top, and he’s not insufferable like a lot of national football and baseball announcers are. His schtick absolutely works with me.

      • Scott

        sheppard on his 2 hours a week gig is going to call people out? Who will hear it? No one cares about mid-day. There is no $$$ to be made.

    • latetodinner

      Drinkwater has been diversifying for a while. He sponsors the 92.9 concert series and is doing more TV. It is all about bang for his buck. If he thought WEEI sans Ordway was giving him the broadest reach for his advertising dollar he would stay. If he has come to the conclusion that it is not money well spent he leaves. His personal relationship to a host is irrelevant to his calculation.

      • bsmfan

        Maybe he’s focusing the $ on direct Fenway advertising?

        Most know the 420′ sign:

        http://i.imgur.com/DqKljw0.jpg and

        http://i.imgur.com/3fiK5OD.jpg

        Saw it there yesterday.

        And, the new? billboards behind home plate that rotate (not sure if they’re the TV-specific like soccer use or these are real.)

        http://i.imgur.com/U1Y8w2p.png

        (I put a little arrow pointing at who can be seen on the telecast.)

      • JonB

        I think it’s telling that, as a long-time big name sponsor with a track record of success in business, Drinkwater has lost faith in the programming and management strategy of WEEI/Entercom under the direction of Jeff Brown et al. This decision could very well become a bellwether in that you may see other advertisers who’ve been on the fence about EEI’s prospects start shifting their advertising dollars elsewhere. Giant Glass has long been a master of radio marketing (name me one person under the age of 7 that doesn’t know the jingle) and doubt people in the industry will be taking such a decision with a grain of salt.

        • latetodinner

          Jon, you are making a different point and one I mostly agree with than you did in your original post thatI took issue with. It is one thing to say that Drinkwater is looking at the numbers and the management team and then decides “I think my money will be better spent elsewhere because I am not confident these people can deliver”…it is another thing totally to believe that because WEEI has had turnover of people Drinkwater personally likes he changed his mind about advertising with WEEI. That was my point.

        • bsmfan

          Both of you guys have points that can be valid.

          Customer is angry with company they work (advertise) with after their contact/relationship leaves or gets fired causing them to change their account? Happens daily.

          Customer wants a different direction on advertising due to shifting market factors? Happens all the time.

          Unless someone comes out, I think it’s safe to say we won’t know. Usually Sports Business Journal or one of the NE-based biz journals has stuff like this in it, unless someone like Bruce or Chad Finn gets a scoop.

          To JonB’s point about Ordway sitting in the front row (I have a screencap in my post below if you missed it): I think there is at least a 1% chance it was symbolic and not just a friend reaching out to another one.

          JonB’s point about the Giant Glass being one of the most memorable jingles? Yup. Next to the “Kars for Kids”, I can’t think of another that you love/hate but know it. That’s called a win.

        • Mike

          Thank you for reminding me of Kars for Kids, and that guy’s creepy-ass voice. Thank you very much, bsmfan.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.kelley.5203 John Kelley

        I’m so glad we have LTD here to tell us a multi millionaires train of thought.

  • bsmfan

    Ken Fang links + shares some thoughts:

    “It is rare for an announcer to leave a baseball while the season is
    underway, even more so as the season has just begun.

    [....]
    WEEI has been having ratings and revenue issues since being overtakenand surpassed by rival 98.5 The Sports Hub last year. Long-timeafternoon drive host and station original Glenn Ordway was sent packing from the station earlier this year and sources have told Fang’s Bites that another host is in danger of losing his job.”

    http://fangsbites.com/2013/04/developing-red-sox-radio-announcer-resigns-amid-pay-cut/

  • Corbin

    You know where I see the Ordway-Drinkwater relationship playing a role in Boston sports-talk radio’s future? I see Giant Glass – as an advertiser/sponsor/partner – underwriting the launch of a “Big O”-branded internet radio presence.

    From the minute news of his being let go by ‘EEI came down, Glenn has emphatically – and repeatedly – stated that he has no plans to retire, that he will work on other media products, and that internet radio is the direction in which the industry is moving.

    Then, on opening day at Fenway Park, who shows up in prime seating behind home plate – to be captured in all his glory by Boston-area television outlets – but Glenn Ordway. Further, he’s seated next to the executive of a company – Giant Glass – that is pulling its sponsorship/advertising dollars from Ordway’s former employer.

    Ordway’s appearance beside Drinkwater at Fenway yesterday was PLANNED. It was meant to send a MESSAGE. And the message is that Glenn Ordway and Giant Glass are about to embark on a business venture together.

    Count on it.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      Yup, though I’m not 100% sure of it being an internet radio show. But when Ordway does resurface, Giant Glass will be with him.

      • mike

        Charles Laquidara said the same thing about Internet radio after he left WZLX in 2000 or 2001.

        • Corbin

          And technological advances and user habits have changed the media industry exponentially in the 13 years since Laquidara retired.

          Internet radio may not be the whole ball-of-wax in Ordway’s return to the Boston media scene, but it will play an integral role in his comeback. Count on it.

          Glenn isn’t coming back just to pad his bank account. If the guy’s had a half-way decent investment advisor/accountant over the last two decades, than he never has to work again. No, a significant part of the reason “Big O” is coming back is to prove – to Entercom, Julie “the Black Widow” Kahn, Jeff “Edward Smith” Brown, Jason “Joe Hazlewood” Wolfe, 98.5 The Sports Hub, the Greater Boston media pundits, the general naysayers, and HIMSELF – that he can do sports-talk in Boston better than anyone. That he’ll forget more about the industry than anyone on the scene in Boston will ever know. That he is capable of shaking-up the way the industry works in Boston.

          Ordway has a looooooooooong memory. Despite all of the niceties about “no hard feelings” that were delivered on-air and in print interviews after he was let go, Glenn wants to deliver a stinging rebuke to the folks he feels wronged him. I mean, Glenn is likely still bristling at having to hand the program director’s reigns over to wet-behind-the-ears “Mini-Me” Wolfe back in the day.

          So, you can bet that Ordway wants to do nothing less than lead a paradigm shift in the way sports-talk is disseminated in Greater Boston. He wants his legacy to be that he was a bona fide game-changer in the industry… a game-changer that the mouth-breathers at Entercom foolishly showed the door. Glenn believes that taking full advantage of what internet radio has to offer will be part and parcel of his establishing that legacy.

        • alex

          “Ordway wants to do nothing less than lead a paradigm shift in the way sports-talk is disseminated in Greater Boston”

          So does this mean more or less Fred Smerlas?

        • Corbin

          More than listeners were getting at the tail-end of his ‘EEI stint.

          Don’t get me wrong… I’m not of the mind that the CONTENT of Ordway’s future broadcasts will be responsible for the aforementioned “paradigm shift”. Truth be told, Glenn’s work on “The Big Show” – particularly during the let’s-see-who-can-bray-longer-and-louder days with the likes of Smerlas and DeOssie sharing the studio – never overly impressed me.

          When I say “Ordway wants to do nothing less than lead a paradigm shift” in Boston sports-talk radio, said shift is going to be in the way the product is DELIVERED.

        • dan

          Meh…No 60 something radio hosts are changing anything about anything.

      • Rick Mc

        Where would it be? On television? Ordway on 1510 would be good for a chuckle.

    • nutcracker

      I don’t think the owners of Giant Glass, Safelite, could give a rats azz about Glen Ordway. That’s what I think.

  • TheWizard

    Unfortunate news. I was actually listening to the game driving home yesterday, and was thinking to myself how I actually liked Rish a lot.

    Dale Arnold makes me uncomfortable with his baseball announcing; not natural to my ears.

  • dan

    To all those who said that “the door is open” for allenge Salk and Holley to top F&M….how you like that now? BWAAAAAA!!!! BWAAAA!!! That show is a trainwreck and the new guy is already despised over there….BWAAAAA!!! F&M rule!!!! :)

    • mike

      What is “bwaaaaa”? Is that a burp? Or a mule’s bray?

      • Carl

        It’s troll-speak

    • Ryan

      It seems like everyone here hates Salk already and we’re what, about 3 weeks in now? In small bursts i’ve enjoyed the show, I tend to like less bombastic type shows but thats just me. It seems like very very few people have given him the time needed to re acclimate himself to the Boston market, the show can still go in either direction, it’s fate isn’t sealed yet.

    • Bob

      You’ve got to be one of those idiot, know it all producers from 98.5

    • Zip

      I like it when celebrity caller MIKEFROMATTLEBORO comes in. His HOTSPORTSTAKES are so spontaneous. Dan, do you know if Mike and Corky have any plans on bringing in other celebrity callers lined. DANNYFROMQUINCY, JACKFROMLYNN, JOEYFROMTHENORTHEND and JIMTHEWRESTLINGGOON would seem a natural fit.

      • alex

        HOTSPORTSTAKES are just the best. It’s like I’ll just be listening to sports talk radio at work and I’ll tell everyone to keep it down because RICK IN A CAR is gonna give me some fresh insight on what the Patriots should do in the draft. LOVE IT.

      • dan

        bwaaaaa! :)

    • Frank

      To anyone who thinks Dan is not a troll, and possibly a TSH employee, I say case closed.

      • dan

        bwaaaa!!!!

        • Frank

          Exactly

  • Tom

    I like Rish, but let’s get a grip. He’s a part time guy who was earning a part-time salary in a struggling organization. He’s got no where to go if this ship sinks so he’s looking out for his family. Smart man. (I said I do like him, but I agree he was sort of a Mini-Castiglione. Can’t have two guys like that on the broadcast.)

    As for Salk, I like him enough to keep listening. Who really cares if Mustard, Johnson and Shepherd don’t. I mean really. Why would they? Jobs are opening at the top of the food chain and they’re not even considered. (No doubt they’re self aware to know that was never going to happen, but no one likes to be told to they’re not good enough.)

    • Corbin

      Mustard, Johnson and Shepherd should thank their lucky stars that they’re collecting checks for the schlock they offer-up on the ‘EEI airwaves. Frankly, I wouldn’t grant them access to air-time on a local cable-access channel. They’re not so much local sports-talk broadcasters as parodies of local sports-talk broadcasters that might be seen in a comedic indy film.

  • JonB

    If there’s anything good to come of this, it’s that you’d have to think John Ryder’s the most logical choice to take Rish’s place. Lord knows he’s earned it, working late nights 6-7 days a week. Not to mention having to babysit Mike Adams on a nightly basis while carrying the entire show on his back. Ryder’s been the most underrated and underappreciated guy on the station IMO, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for his future at Entercom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthrocoon Bob Nelson
  • Pingback: The WEEI Ship Continues To Sink As John Rish Flat Quits Rather Than Take A Pay Cut | My Website / Blog

  • Winning_Again

    Not to be mean or anything, but I won’t really miss Jon Rish on the radio broadcasts. Since the season began I’ve been relegated to listening solely to radio broadcasts (moving and cable has not been setup yet) so I’ve gotten a larger dose than I would usually like on Rish. He’s ok, I guess? His voice is meh, his enthusiasm doesn’t seem real, and it’s just a bunch of “Meh.”

    I think the real issue here is the state of WEEI. Yet another casualty at a company that for years was braggadocious.

    I know its early but S&H haven’t done it for me yet. The two segments they run in the last 20 minutes or so are horrible. A “Whiner Line” impression and ask the question jerk are painful. I’d rather listen to TSH commercials than that crap. Why do they still invite Mikey Adams in the end of shows for that segment, it just makes it worse than it already is. All we get is “I banged her” or some drug/drunk reference. I’ll still check in now or then, but so far no good.

    Random side note: I really enjoy Mazz on the baseball reporters show. He is a complete opposite of “Squeaky YARM” that was created for the 2-6 program. It’s disappointing that he can’t be that way between 2-7 consistently. I guess what Ordway said years ago is true… “We all play characters on the radio”

    • latetodinner

      Totally agree with you on Mazz on the Baseball Reporters. It is the best hour on the radio, in my opinion. I am usually in my car that hour and enjoy that show greatly. I wish they would do a similar show during football season (football focused) have it end the first week on Feb and then start the baseball show the following week as pitchers and catchers report. Let someone else (maybe Zolak) do the football show.