WEEI, CSNNE Shaking Things Up

Things continue to be unsettled at WEEI, where Entercom Boston Vice President Jeff Brown departed yesterday for a similar position with Cumulus Media in Atlanta.

Brown and Entercom say that this decision to leave was Brown’s alone. I had heard last week that Brown was interviewing for a position in Atlanta. But sources inside WEEI and in the industry insist Brown’s exit was not of his own choosing.

Regardless, Brown’s exit has caused much joy within the halls of WEEI, where Brown was seemingly disliked intensely by many. Brown was the man behind the firing of Glenn Ordway in February, and of Jason Wolfe in August. He also brought in current afternoon host Mike Salk, a move that is still unpopular among some staffers there. The station has lost many of its top sales people

Chad Finn says that Entercom is expected to name a replacement today, a move that suggests they knew this was coming and had the replacement lined up.

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Comcast SportsNet New England announced their Celtics coverage plans for the upcoming season, and there are several major changes among the announcement.

Gary Tanguay will no longer be the studio host for the telecasts, Greg Dickerson is out as sideline reporter, and Donny Marshall will not return as studio analyst.

In their places will be Kyle Draper (studio host) Abby Chin (sideline reporter) and a rotating panel of studio analysts, not dissimilar to what NESN does on the Red Sox broadcasts.

Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn return on the game call for home games. On the road, Gorman will be joined by several different analysts over the course of the season, including Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge – an interesting arrangement, though not quite like having Red Auerbach in the broadcast booth. Others include Dave Cowens, Cedric Maxwell and Chris Herren.

Replacing Tanguay is a good move. His love for manufactured drama and outlandish statements just for attention are more suited for his Sports Tonight role. Donny Marshall had been viewed as a rising star with the network at one point, and perhaps may be on his way to a more national role somewhere. I feel worst for Dickerson, who battled health issues, but loved the game and his job and did it well.

Here is the full release:

COMCAST SPORTSNET TO TELEVISE EVERY CELTICS GAME

FOR FIRST TIME IN NETWORK HISTORY

Broadcast Duo Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn Return for 33rd Season;

Dave Cowens, Cedric Maxwell, Danny Ainge and Chris Herren to Provide Road Color;

Kyle Draper and Abby Chin Join Telecast Team

CSNNE.com to Provide Social Media Experience Tailored for Celtics Fan and

the Most Online Video and News Reporting

BURLINGTON, MA – For the first time in network history, Comcast SportsNet will televise every single Boston Celtics game during the 2013-14 season. The Celtics regular season tips off on Wednesday, October 30, in Toronto with the debut of new Coach Brad Stevens in his first regular season NBA matchup.

Comcast SportsNet’s schedule is highlighted by now Brooklyn Nets’ Paul Pierce’s and Kevin Garnett’s first game against the Celtics in Brooklyn on Tuesday, December 10, as well as the pair’s first visit to the TD Garden on Sunday, January 26. The schedule features 90 total telecasts – eight preseason and 82 regular season games.

In addition to the Stevens debut and Nets matchups, Comcast SportsNet also has games against former coach Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, December 11, and Wednesday, January 8, among other highly anticipated games.

As part of every Celtics telecast, Coach Stevens will talk exclusively with Comcast SportsNet before the start of every third quarter and immediately after the game.

Comcast SportsNet’s first Celtics telecast will start with the preseason opener on Monday, October 7, which will mark the beginning of Brad Stevens’ tenure as coach and his TD Garden debut with the Celtics.

In addition to a full game schedule, Comcast SportsNet will return this season with an experienced team that features new talent. For the 33rd consecutive season, broadcast duo Mike Gorman (@celticsvoice) and Tommy Heinsohn (@CSNTommy) return as Comcast SportsNet’s primary telecast team. The tandem, the longest running telecast team in American sports and multiple Emmy winners, will call every Boston Celtics home game. This season, Celtics legends Dave Cowens and Cedric Maxwell; Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge; and Fall River native and former Celtic Chris Herren will join Gorman for road games.

Kyle Draper (@kylerdraper) and Abby Chin (@TVAbby) will join the Comcast SportsNet telecasts in 2013-14 as studio host and courtside reporter, respectively. Draper, who joined the network in 2008 as a Chevrolet SportsNet Central anchor, will host Celtics Pre-game Live presented by Ace Ticket, Halftime Live presented by McDonald’s, and Celtics Post-game Live presented by New England Ford. Chin joined Comcast SportsNet in 2013 as a reporter and anchor after serving as Comcast SportsNet Northwest studio host for the Portland Trailblazers from 2011-13 and will be courtside for every game.

Joining Draper in-studio will be Heinsohn, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, Cowens, former Providence College coach Tim Welsh and others.

“Mike is widely respected as the best in the business and absolutely no one is more passionate about the Celtics than Tommy. It is an honor to have them return for another season. Kyle and Abby are familiar faces to Boston sports fans through their work on SportsNet Central. They are exciting additions to our team,” said Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet president and general manager.

Social media will be a big part of CSNNE.com’s coverage of the Celtics. The online home to Comcast SportsNet will feature Celtics Pulse, which is the best way to track all the in-game social media chatter on the Celtics, including Tweets from CSNNE.com Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely (@sherrodbcsn), reporter Jessica Camerato (@jcameratoNBA), @CSNTommy and all Comcast SportsNet talent. Celtics fans can share their comments on Celtics Pulse by using #CelticsTalk. In addition to Celtics Pulse, CSNNE.com will feature all of Blakely’s and Camerato’s reporting plus video news coverage from Chevrolet SportsNet Central and UNOs Sports Tonight.

  • OpinionNotFact

    Feel bad for Dickerson but it was time to move on from him. I really couldn’t be happier about the new team, and I’m excited to hear Herren in the booth. I found Basketball Junkie to be enthralling.
    I don’t know what the general sentiment was on Donnie but I was never a fan. Not too upset he’s gonzo.

  • Collis Jones

    WEEI is making some positive changes. Their 6-8 time slot with Spier and the two other guys last night blew Sportshub’s Squeaky Mazz show out of the water. Everytime Mazz is on the radio it is a shock that he is employed. Just a talentless hack in every respect.

    Listening to WEEI and actually liking what I was hearing last night was a bit of an eye/ear opener. WEEI clearly panicked over the last two years and made terrible decisions. The one move that they absolutely had to make that would have kept listeners would have been to fire Callahan and Dennis or not renew their contracts. Ordway was at least listenable. Dennis and Callahan are a terrible way for that station to kick off the day, made much worse by the addition of Minahane. If they fire them now it is way too late. How bloated can their contracts be that they can’t be eaten?

    • OpinionNotFact

      I enjoyed the little bit I heard of that show last night too. It was much better than being beaten over the head with more doom and gloom because the Sox getting the 1 seed is now somehow going to hurt their chances despite Mazz telling everyone for the last month they needed it.
      I can’t stand his (and Felger, though he’s not as bad at it) constant moving of the goalposts.

    • Moon

      I’m actually a fan of Minahane. I hope they are grooming him for a morning or pm drive show. I think the person(s) they tag with him will be important however. As for the Speier/Bradford show, I completely agree. It’s much better than the Baseball Reporters (odd name now that they don’t include baseball reporters!), and it’s so much better than Dr Demento/Mike Adams. It’ll be interesting to see what they do (if anything at all) with that spot once the baseball season is done.

    • HomerGreenz

      Yes, more Spier, Bradford and Mikey please, it’s a great show.

  • bsmfan

    GearBear must not be happy. First, he loses out on the Patriots gig and now they’ve torn up his green card. Maybe, Meter can call him to offer some support.
    ————-
    For some laughs, someone made a Mike Francesa parody video. Enjoy!

    • OpinionNotFact

      He’ll always have his Celtics PJs and that ring to keep him company on those lonley nights. Maybe even a call to Donnie?

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