Jerry Remy Done For The Season, WEEI Still Not Happy At Globe

NESN and Jerry Remy announced last night at the Red Sox analyst will not return to the booth this season as he deals with the aftermath of his son having been arrested for murder.

JERRY REMY TO REMAIN WITH HIS FAMILY THROUGH THE REST OF THE SEASON

August 29, 2013 – Beloved NESN broadcaster and Red Sox Hall of Famer Jerry Remy will sit out the remaining games of the 2013 season to be with his family.

“I am full of grief for the Martel family,” Remy said. “My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to them. My wife and I are sick about this senseless tragedy. It’s clear this isn’t the time for me to return to broadcasting Red Sox games. It’s my hope that I can do so in the spring. I thank NESN and the Red Sox for their support through this nightmare.”

“We met with Jerry and conveyed our support,” said NESN President and CEO Sean McGrail, “and when Jerry feels the time is right, we will welcome him back. All of us at NESN and the Red Sox once again express our deepest sympathies to the Martel family for their terrible and tragic loss.”

It’s for the best. I still have my doubts as to whether Remy will return at all, despite the statement above that he will be welcomed back whenever he feels the time is right.

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The WEEI morning show again spent a good chunk of time today refuting the Boston Globe story from yesterday. Kirk Minihane also wrote a rebuttal column about it:

New low for Boston Globe with amateurish takedown piece on WEEI

It really is rather strange that the author of the story used two friends/acquaintances as the only “listeners”  to provide quotes to support his premise. As we’re in full disclosure mode, he did contact me, and I gave him quotes, and information, some of which was posted here yesterday about my views of Entercom’s expectations for the station going forward. None of it was used in the article. I did say Dennis and Callahan dragged the station down, which makes for a poor lead-in to the rest of the day’s programming, but my focus was more on Entercom.

Dan Kennedy also has a look at the entire situation, including the salvos launched from this site:

Globe, Herald at center of multimedia sports battle

A good look from an unattached outsider of the various battles going on within the Boston sports media at this time.

NBC eager to kick off ‘Sunday Night Football’ – Chad Finn has his weekly sports media column, which looks at real football kicking off next week, and various other local notes.

Reiss: “I have lost control over the tone and direction of the Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com”

If you’ve visited the ESPNBoston Patriots blog recently, you’ve probably noticed some changes. In addition to the material from Mike Reiss and Field Yates, now, every single time the Patriots are discussed on any ESPN platform, there is an entry on the blog for it.

Reiss addressed the changes in his chat today, and I was surprised by the tone from the mild-mannered Reiss:

max (my cube)
Mike,I don’t see the “Patriots blog” section on the ESPN Boston homepage anymore. Has it been removed for some reason?
Mike [via mobile]
Can you get rid of all the extra links that have been popping up on the blog lately? I don’t need a link to a clip of any ESPN show that mentions the Patriots. Most of it is overlap with information you have already posted.
Mike
 (12:26 PM)
Max and Mike, I see quite a few comments similar to yours in this chat. I think over the last four years, we’ve established a community that is straight-forward and honest, so I’m going to shoot you straight here: I have lost control over the tone and direction of the Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com. Since I started a Patriots blog back in 2003-2004, back at the MetroWest Daily News and then at the Boston Globe, I’ve always had control, for the most part, of the tone and direction of the blog. Over the last three days, that has changed as ESPN has introduced its NFL Nation project. Based on the personal investment I’ve put into it, there are a lot of emotions that come with that, and still a lot of questions ahead as to how things will unfold going forward as it relates to the tone and direction of the blog. I’m going to stay positive at this point, knowing that any time there is change there is some level of patience involved.

As a BSMW member put it: That’s the Mike Reiss equivalent of coming into the office and shooting the place up. He’s furious.

For what its worth, I agree with Mike. He’s established a proven formula for success in this market. He’s got a right to be upset that these changes are being forced upon him and his own work is being diluted in the process. Add this to the recent change to Facebook comments, which really angered a lot of regulars, and we’re seeing some real blowback at ESPN here.

The Globe Writes About WEEI, Continued Fallout From Rolling Stone Piece

Before getting into the Boston Globe piece on WEEI, it needs to be noted that despite the struggles of the station, the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-telethon raised over $3.3 million for the Jimmy Fund. That’s outstanding. It’s just a notch below last year’s total of $3.4 million.

Congratulations to all involved. There isn’t a more worthy cause out there, and this event means so much to it.

Questionable moves hamper once-dominant WEEI

The article is fairly light in its criticism of the station, largely relying on the testimony of a few listeners to make its points. Rather than diving deeper into the business side of things, and the thinking of parent company Entercom, the article seems to place blame on the programming.

The comments from Entercom chief David Field sort of confirm my own thinking on the subject of competition with 98.5:

“We have two very successful sports stations with huge audiences that are both doing great work and are very effective for their advertisers,” Field said. “That’s really the big picture, when you frame it from a business perspective. We’re going to continue to fight for the crown, but we’re both thriving.”

In my mind, Entercom is not really interested in competing with 98.5, at least not in the ratings area. They may well be content being a smaller, second-rate sports radio station in the market, operate cheaply, get middle-of-the-pack ratings, perhaps only on AM which may be enough to keep them making a little money and their shareholders happy. Is that their plan? It’s hard to say. Looking at Entercom’s other sports radio stations, the only other really major market they’re in is San Francisco, with 95.7 The Game, but that station is number two in the Bay Area behind the powerhouse KNBR. Other Entercom sports stations are in places like Kansas City, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Wichita, and Milwaukee. What they did here in Boston with the big salaries and huge numbers in a major sports market seems to be something of an anomaly for them.

The author probably also should’ve noted that he interned for WEEI at one point too.

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On Twitter and elsewhere, camps are lined up on opposing sides of the Rolling Stone feature on Aaron Hernandez.

What Rolling Stone got right, wrong on Aaron Hernandez – Ben Volin runs down what he thinks was accurate and not-so-accurate in the story.

The points in that piece were attacked by Borges’ colleague at the Herald, Jeff Howe on Twitter today. Others in the media also came rushing to Borges’ defense, a curious move given the man has disgraced their profession on more than one occasion.

Borges is doing the victory tour on radio today, having appeared on both WEEI and WBZ-FM. He admits Frank Mendes is a friend of his. Thus the nice words and insinuations in the article.

Borges was challenged by Kirk Minihane on his repeated statements that the Patriots claim they are better then everyone else. Asked when Belichick has ever said such a thing, Borges turned around and asked how can you be sure Belichick never said it. Great debate skills there.

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Speaking of media rushing to other’s defense, we’ve got Fred Toucher rushing the defense of little Bert Breer.

Apparently Bill Belichick was a big meanie to Bert earlier this week – watch here, about two minutes in – “same thing, every day” which apparently enraged the sensibilities of the former rock music DJ to the point that he felt the need to go on CSNNE last night and rail against the bully coach.

Who the hell are you?” Toucher asked “You’re coach of the Patriots. I’m a grown man and you’re talking down to me, you’re patronizing me.”

Pathetic.

Fred likes to talk about the lodge of writers, but there is apparently one for the on-air people as well. Or maybe Fred is just upset at the treatment his Jets are getting from their local media and needs to take it out here.

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In Red Sox news:

chbThanks, Dan.