Dale and Holley – Reunited on WEEI Afternoon Drive

dale-and-holley

What was old continues to be made new again in the world of sports radio. Just weeks after Glenn Ordway brought his old gang back together on the Big Show Unfiltered, WEEI is reuniting their old mid-day combination of Dale Arnold and Michael Holley, this time in Ordway’s old afternoon drive slot.

Chad Finn had reported back on March 20th that this could be a permanent move, and Arnold confirmed that yesterday.

It seems clear that after the Mike Salk experience, WEEI was hesitant to bring in someone from the outside, and instead went for the comfort factor of a show with proven chemistry. No, it isn’t the creative or bold move, but it’s something that will at least keep things calm and will give a nice alternative to the afternoon programming of Felger and Massarotti on 98.5. They’re probably not going to challenge, let alone beat F&M in this timeslot, but they’re going to hold their own and have a built-in loyal audience that is glad to see them back together. This also gives WEEI a chance to sit back a bit and plan what they want to do in the future.

I’m OK with the move. We’re spared further invasion of the Felger Youth, at least for the moment, and while Dale has his detractors (I’m not among them.) he knows and understands all the major sports, and with the Bruins set for another extended run, having his voice on the station gives WEEI something it has been sorely lacking during the last few years of the Bruins success.

Arnold deserves credit for being a “good soldier” and remaining loyal to the station despite being replaced rather unceremoniously  three years ago. He’s been rewarded with a position better than what he had when he left. I’m happy for him.

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A few notes from NESN:

Red Sox White House Visit Today at 11:15 AM

This morning at 11:15 AM, NESN will deliver live coverage of the Red Sox visit to the White House.

NESN.com will provide a live stream of NESN’s coverage at www.NESN.com/WhiteHouse

Behind the B

Tonight at 8:00 PM, Episode #12 of Behind the B will debut on NESN.

Red Sox Opening Day Rating up 17%

NESN’s Opening Day game rating was up 17% over last season’s opener with a 10.1 average household rating (24 Share) for yesterday’s 2-1 loss in Baltimore. Last year’s opening day game garnered an 8.6 HH rating for a 8-2 win over the New York Yankees in New York.

That was  Gary Striewski serving  as the game-day reporter yesterday. He’ll be on for the entire opening road series in Baltimore. Elle Duncan will serve in the same role for the home opening series against Milwaukee (April 4-6).

  • OpinionNotFact

    Cool.

    I liked the show when it was on middays and I’ll be more than happy to give it a go when Felger and his Echo get unbearable.

    • Homer Greenz

      “when Felger and his Echo get unbearable”

      It’s actually the other way around during baseball season. And yes, Tony the phony was at his unbearable best yesterday evening (with Bertrand) after the Red Sox game.

      • OpinionNotFact

        I have no Earthly clue why anyone would volunteer to listen to the Baseball Reporters after his silly Sox coverage last year. Oh, and his newfound troll-like love for the Yankees… you know, the less successful franchise over the last decade or so.

        • Homer Greenz

          Going on what I heard during Phony’s intro and the first couple of callers, they listen because they agree with Tony that the Sox are overrated, Farrell sucks, Nava sucks, Cherington sucks. Listening to 98.5, in the afternoon and evenings, you wouldn’t even know what they won the World Series last season.

  • latetodinner

    What did Dale do that he has to again carry Holley? WEEI could not have gotten Dale a better partner? I wish Dale the best of luck. I enjoy him and the way he runs a show. He is a consummate professional.

    While we are discussing odd things. So I listened to last Friday’s Big Show over the weekend as a pod cast (while I finished my taxes). Three things stuck out at me that potentially are going to keep the show from becoming anything other than a poor novelty.

    1) They mention the other WEEI shows as if they are still on the air there. “Did you hear Remy call in to D&C”. “Did you hear Kristin Hill call in to Mutt and Merloni?” It was like the Big Show was an extension of WEEI programming. If they want to create their own identity and their own audience I do not think this is the way to go.

    2) They have to find a better way to do the advertising. Having it during segment breaks as if this is a traditional radio broadcast is a real problem. Most Pod Casts I listen to do not have any advertising. The ones that do have it PBS style “This broadcast brought to you by our friends at…”. 2 minute breaks to hear a pitch for Giant glass or CT school of broadcasting is the fastest way to get me to tune out. Glenn’s old show was criticized for having too little content…this one will get slaughtered.

    3) Quality of guests. I get it Steve Buckley is a loyal guy. He has no gig with WEEI so he is free. But he is difficult to listen to as the only other voice. This format as it stands is not going to work. To few listeners mean the quality of the call ins are bad (they were never great to begin with). Poor quality guest hosts mean it is all on Pete and Glenn. I highly recommend that Glenn get out the rolodex and start doing a lot more interviews. Give people a reason to listen other than hearing Dakota’s latest.

    • bullock

      I like that I think we’re all on the same page that D&H will not overtake F&M in the afternoons, but will at least provide a nice alternatives to their #HotSportzTakes.

      I have already started to check out of The Big Show v2.0. If you can’t listen live, it has no shelf life as a podcast. Regarding your points:

      1) In addition to all the WEEI shows, they have mentioned Felger and Mazz too. For some reason, being “unfiltered” means I guess they’re now the local sports radio ombudsman no one asked for. Of course, they never say anything hyper critical of the WEEI shows, furthering your point that for some reason they think they’re still part of the WEEI lineup.

      2) The other podcasts I listen to (“WTF with Marc Maron,” “Nerdist,” “A Mediocre Time With Tom & Dan,” etc.) all do their advertising as a live read and it takes about a minute or two as well, so the practice isn’t necessarily the problem. In my opinion, the fact that Glenn and Co. sound like they’re shilling for close friends and going overboard with it is sort of grating.

      3) Agree 1,000 percent. He needs better and DIFFERENT guests. As soon as I heard Smerlas and DeOssie I did to The Big Show v2.0 the exact same thing I did in 2007 — I turned them off. They made for terrible radio then, and now they make for a terrible podcast. Buckley, while I’m sure is a nice guy, just doesn’t bring anything new to the table that we didn’t tire of six years ago.

      And it’s a minor point, but that “producer/sound engineer” kid has a voice that makes Jimmy Stewart sound like Frank Sinatra. Don’t let him talk.

  • Cory M

    Good decision by EEI. Probably stops any further bleeding for the afternoon slot, and may get a solid bump with loyal D&H listeners coming back into the fold.

    The midday show is still a total disaster and needs a major fix. Meanwhile, any word on D&C’s contract status? Aren’t they officially up in September?

    • bullock

      Your avatar is the Shockmaster. Sir, you have officially won this board.

      • Cory M

        Thanks. Sid Vicious ruled the world long enough!

  • RicktheStick

    It’ll do

  • jwol16

    “Arnold deserves credit for being a ‘good soldier’ and remaining loyal to the station despite being replaced rather unceremoniously three years ago. He’s been rewarded with a position better than what he had when he left. I’m happy for him.”

    This is exactly how I feel: Dale could have stormed off, done his Bruins/NESN thing, and had nothing to do with WEEI. Instead, he waited it out on weekends, did a nice job with their Sunday football show (which I preferred to the Sports Hub pregame, though I *greatly* preferred the Sports Hub postgame to the embarrassment that WEEI put on), and has now outlived those who removed him in the first place. I hope this ‘comfortable’ move in drive-time means there are shakeups coming at midday and (dare to dream) in the morning, but I doubt it.

  • rsg876

    Knowing that Dale and Holley can’t really beat out F&M. Could this be a reintroduction for the time being in the afternoon drive? We all know that the midday show is not doing well and D&H used to kill it there. Maybe WEEI brings them back in afternoon and then moves them back into midday. All the while build a afternoon drive program that CAN actually go head to head with F&M. To me just doesn’t seem likely that they stay in that spot.

  • Getta Lyfe

    Only on F&M can you get this kind of insight, HE BLOWS, THEY BLOW. Until you can top that kind of insight, Dale and Holley don’t have a chance????

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    I’m glad CSN New England is addressing the important questions of the day: Was Johnny Gomes’ blazer worse than Tim Thomas’ no show at the White House? I’m sure Gary Tanguay will have some well rehearsed, spontaneous outrage on the subject.

    http://www.csnne.com/boston-red-sox/gomes-blazer-white-house-worse-thomas-no-show

  • http://www.omega-level.net Caffeine Powered

    Pretty much feeling the same as everyone else. D&H used to be my favorite show back in the day, despite my acknowledgements of other people’s complaints about both Arnold and Holley. They have a good enough chemistry, and while I can roll my eyes at both generally I feel like their conversations are genuine. I know this is a nebulous feeling, but when people aren’t flagrantly trolling and yelling SUCK throughout the show I’m more inclined to listen.

    Additionally, Arnold seems to bring out the best in Holley. He hasn’t been as outrageously over the top since being paired up with Dale. He must have been as over Mike Salk as the entire region was apathetic to his new partner.

    So while I may only listen to D&H half the time, it’s still going to be more than I listen to F&M.

    However, yesterday I popped on the SportsHub, and caught the “Final Word” and it reminded me of why I used to like the two. Underneath their perpetual, trolling, hand-wringing nonsense (which works for the ratings) are two amusing guys (to me). It reminded me of why I made the switch back when the Hub started, and also conversely why I had grown to no longer tolerate the two.

    • Leo

      Mike Felger without Mazz is a much better show. Spazz left WAAF, and left his radio persona behind. Maybe Felger will insist we call Tony “Spazz” , and Mazz will agree with Mike.

      • dmm1047

        Felger( a jerk) and Mazz(too loud) will fall eventually, as they’ve acquired that “screw the callers” radio arrogance most jocks acquire not long after they’ve been sitting at the mike awhile. I notice Merloni is starting to tilt that way.

        • bsmfan

          I’m not going to defend F+M but, to me, how they handle the calls is how it should be done. No town or show, unless you stick with regulars, is immune from bad calls. And, no, regulars like “Steve from Fall River” or “Danny from Quincy” aren’t ‘regulars’ you want to listen to (they seem to call both stations now). I’m thinking of Dakota on F+M or Mike from Attleboro (figure not everyone likes them but I think they contribute more than most)

          Do you want to sit there and listen to some of the most uninformed opinions? Or the guys who played HS ball but seem to think they can speak for how it works in the pros (G+Z seem to get these guys like no tomorrow). I don’t.

          Can you remember a good call from a non-regular? I can’t. The only show I’ve seen this with is DP Show, and that’s hard to compare because they let maybe one or two non-regulars on a day and are national. Their call screener, who I think is an ‘intern’, clearly knows how to talk them up. Bad ones go through but they do cut these quickly, thankfully.

          Now, when they dismiss anyone who disagrees with them, I’ll give you that. F+M at least let them on. They do shut them out quickly, though. You can knock that all day.

          I chalk this up to someone who has a good take or opinion not wanting to wait on hold for 60 minutes, only to speak for 60 seconds. This is the reality of calling into many shows, if not a longer hold and less time to speak. I get that it turns off people who might want to call in, but I’d rather listen to hosts who can keep a show going than callers who make you want to break your radio.

  • North Attleboro Guy

    While I’ll be listening to The Big Show Unfiltered when I’m at my computer, I now have a reason to listen to WEEI when I’m driving (in the afternoon, anyway). This may not be enough for EEI to beat F&M, but it will bring back some of the audience that they lost during the Mike Salk debacle.

  • the_other_side

    I don’t find most of the ex-jocks as all that entertaining. DeOssie, Smerlas, Merloni? I’d rather have people who can talk intelligently about sports than those with the “cache” of being former players. In the ideal scenario, you have the best of both worlds. Guys like Chatham, Matt Bowen, Tim Ryan, etc.

  • bsmfan
  • bsmfan

    I don’t think I’m stating something new here, but some “ex-jocks” are great. They provide insight and aren’t afraid to call someone out, and I’m not talking about the routine “ESPN bomb throw” where they literally tell the former player that he has to say something that blows Twitter up, winds up resonating all around the ESPN echo chamber. I don’t think there is any way to know without the person trying it out and developing.

    I throw Chatham a lot of love because I either learn something new from his insights or he can pick something out that you would not know being a fan. Unfortunately, it seems like he’s passed over, even in this market. Someone once asked Finn on one of his Friday chats about why Chatham constantly got passed over. His answer, quoting a ‘media executive’ in the area was, “he’s been out too long and wasn’t a flashy-enough player (big name)” to be considered at least for TV, but I assume that meant radio. Really? (to the exec here not Finn)

    We’d never know if he’d work out–at least on the radio–unless he did do something daily, but I can’t help but sigh when a guy who seems to be well liked, not just from me, and who can provide some great insight, seems to be passed over.

  • the_other_side

    You asked what Dale ever played which insinuates that you want people who have experience as athletes.

  • George Verias

    George Verias • 31 minutes ago
    Congrats to Dale Arnold, and to WEEI for making the wise move in choosing substance over flash. Sports Hub’s Felger and Maz act is in rapid decline with their WWF style of programming, with their manufactured opinions, obvious lack of preparation and misinformation is a complete joke will always. Holley & Arnold as a team have a decided edge in expertise on any of the four sports – and that includes MLB in my opinion

  • dmm1047

    Evidently, EEI didn’t learn the first time around with Arnold.

  • dmm1047

    Did I hear Fauria’s name mentioned here and there? God no—please. What an arrogance, mouthy SOB.