Ordway Links

We’ll have more analysis of the Glenn Ordway firing as the days go on, but for right now, here are some other stories on the news:

WEEI ousts longtime host Glenn Ordway – Chad Finn’s story in th Globe also has a video with analysis from Finn.

Glenn Ordway gets ax in sports talk battle – Matt Stout in the Boston Herald has money and youth as big factors in the move.
WEEI fires Glenn Ordway as host of ‘The Big Show’ – Bill Doyle says that these are scary times for WEEI.

Ordway will be missed, but game goes on – Steve Buckley weighs in on his friend.

`Big Show’ bombshell: Ordway out at WEEI – Tom Layman in the Herald talks to Gerry Callahan, Jackie MacMullan and others.

Glenn Ordway out at WEEI – NECN had a segment on the story.

Looking to future 
for next big thing – Gayle Fee has Ordway looking at his future.

Sports radio host Glenn Ordway announces exit from WEEI – Craig Douglas of the Boston Business Journal looks at the impact of the move.

WEEI to Replace Glenn Ordway – Alan Siegal says that this is a step in the right direction for the station.

Was Ordway firing more about ratings — or money? – Dan Kennedy muses on the reasons for the move.

WEEI Statement on Glenn Ordway

“WEEI has decided to part ways with Glenn Ordway, co-host of “The Big Show”.  Ordway made the announcement on-air Wednesday, February 13 that his last day will be this Friday.  Michael Holley will serve as host of “The Big Show” for the foreseeable future and WEEI expects to make an announcement in the coming days about Michael’s new co-host.

“Glenn and I have been together since day one. He is an icon in this business and he helped build WEEI into arguably the most successful sports station in history,” said Jason Wolfe, VP of programming and operations for Entercom Boston. “I am so thankful to have been able to work alongside Glenn for the past 20-plus years and I hope that all Boston sports fans realize how important his contributions have been to this station, to the market and to this industry. He’s a true professional and that was clearer than ever in his comments today.”

Chad Finn Reports WEEI To Replace Glenn Ordway With Mike Salk

mike-salk

From 710 ESPN Seattle’s Webpage

The Globe’s Chad Finn, who has been impeccable in his reporting of these things, has sources telling him today that Glenn Ordway, a fixture at WEEI since it went to the all-sports format, will be replaced by former 1510 and 890 host (and current 710 ESPN Seattle host) Mike Salk.

Sources: WEEI to replace Glenn Ordway with Mike Salk

It’s been common knowledge that WEEI needs to make some major changes. But I’ll admit to being floored by this move. Ordway has been a fixture at the station since it went to the all-sports format, and it’s hard to picture Boston radio, let alone WEEI without him on the air.

During the heyday of WEEI, Ordway was tough to listen to, he really encapsulated all that was wrong with the station, talking over callers and co-hosts, not backing down on any opinion, insulting hockey fans, and mocking anything to do with the internet, blogging or the like.

When Entercom management made the move to pair Ordway with Michael Holley, the adjustment was rough. Ordway dominated the show, Holley seemed reluctant to mix it up with Ordway. But in recent months they seemed to have found a nice balance and were providing a decent counter to the daily dramas and hysteria drummed up on the rival Felger and Mazz show on 98.5.

It’s a curious move from that aspect, especially given the continued beatings that the Dennis and Callahan show take in the ratings. It’s apparent that it was much easier to get rid of Ordway (who had already taken a pay cut) than to dump John Dennis and pair Gerry Callahan with someone else.

For some out there, the schadenfreude is flowing. They’ve awaited the day that Ordway fell. The day is here, and I for one, am a bit puzzled by the move, as I have been by many moves made at WEEI since Jeff Brown took over. Behind the scenes, there are unhappy people everywhere at WEEI, and not just the on-air side.

The addition of Salk is an interesting one. He has the local ties, the show he hosts in Seattle is a popular one, but I can’t say I remember a whole lot about him from his time on the airwaves here. I don’t know what style he will bring, though I can guess. (Think: Felger)

You have to think there are other moves coming, though contractual issues with the morning show might force WEEI to hang onto Dennis and Callahan longer than they’d prefer to.

Q&A with WEEI’s The Big Show co-host Glenn Ordway

One of the longest tenured members of the Boston sports media is WEEI’s The Big Show co-host Glenn Ordway. Since 1975 Ordway has been working in the Boston media, working for all four major sports teams in the process. In 1987, when Ordway was a Celtics commentator the team moved their radio programming to WEEI where he became executive sports director. He was later named program director in 1996 and started The Big Show, not looking back since, adding numerous television appearances and even his own show, New England Tailgate on Comcast Sportsnet to his resume.

Boston Sports Media Watch had the chance to sit down and catch up with Ordway to discuss his career, including the changes he’s needed to make over time as well as talking about some of the coaches he interviews on a weekly basis.

Glenn Ordway has been a member of the Boston media since 1975, working with all four major sports teams in that span. (Photo from the Boston Herald)

Over the years what is the biggest thing that has changed in the sports media, especially radio?

A lot has changed. Believe it or not in the old days we didn’t have the internet so you didn’t have the capacity to go and dig out stories else where. You were dealing with the Globe or the Herald and maybe the Worcester Telegram, that’s what you were dealing with years ago. Nowadays everything is instantaneous, the media is immediate. Stories break in 15 seconds on Twitter.

The two things that were key for doing talk shows years ago were the morning newspapers… In other words, you’d wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning and that’s the first time you’d learn about a rumor or trade. There was no at night, there was no SportsCenter, you weren’t getting any other that. The other thing that would happen is every once in awhile, somebody on Ch. 4, 5, or 7 on TV at night would break a story at 11 o’clock and I’d sit there and say, that’s my show tomorrow.

It’s much different. The sound that is out there, every game is either seen, or you record it — you can watch everything. The preperation for one of these shows is so much easier now than it was, and you can absorb and take in so much more.

What was it like transitioning from the two different co-hosts per day to now having one permanent co-host in Michael Holley?

It is a much different formula with three guys and a flash guy in Pete [Sheppard]. You have a lot of people talking. Yes, I know we were interrupting each other all the time, and it was by design, basically four guys sitting in a bar. That is what you do when you’re with your friends at a bar having a sports debate, you start jumping on top of each other.

On the other hand, for me it was a much different role because I was like the moderator and I had to poke at everybody. I had to jump in with an opinion so I could poke to get opposing views to create some type of entertaining confrontation. Because of that I developed that flip flop reputation and I am guilty as charged, no question about it. That was part of the role that I was in.

The role in this show now, is it is a two man team. So you need player A to have a strong opinion and you need player B to have a strong opinion and it comes out with the both of us challenging each other. I happen to have a partner that I have great respect for, and I think he and I really have found that niche in the show to be able to openly throw our opinions out there and not have to worry about it. It is a much different formula, much different.

How much attention do you pay to the ratings?

You have to. They are not everything because if you have ratings and you’re not driving revenue then you’re not really getting your job done. They go hand and hand. You have to watch ratings, and it’s not just ratings looking at the other sports station, the Sports Hub, you’re looking at what the music stations are doing, you’re watching the trends and trends change throughout the year.

Everybody busts us all the time, why do you take all your vacations in the summer? Because listening habits change dramatically in the summer time. People listen to far more music, people get away from sports, they get into nostalgic music, everything changes. Habits change so much so that’s the book that advertising agencies kind of dismiss. Spring and the fall are the two big books that people really pay attention to. You have to watch everything else that is going on.

Was Bobby Valentine one of the most awkward guys you’ve had on for a weekly interview?

I don’t think awkward would be the way I would say it — I would say the most unpredictable. You’d ask him a question and he was the one guy you never knew what the answer was going to be. I think I can ask a lot of people questions, people I interview on a regular basis, and have a decent idea of how they are going to approach the answer. With Bobby I never had an idea of how he was going to answer. That is why he caught me so off guard so many times.

What about Belichick, sort of the opposite?

With Belichick I kind of know the way he is going to approach it. So, you have to phrase the question in a certain way. You have to be ready to come back sometimes with a follow up. But, Bobby was great with follow ups because once you knew he was going to cross the line with the answer, you knew if you threw him a follow up he wasn’t going to stop. Bobby was not one of those to say, that’s it, I’m not going to talk about that anymore, he always wanted to say more about something. Bill wants to say less about something because he wants to protect his team.

On the other hand, if I were to ask a question to Bill about a play they had on Sunday and compare it to a similar play they ran in 2004, Bill would go back to that play in 2004 with tremendous clearity and he would detail every little thing that happened in that play, why it happened, and every player that was involved. When it comes to history and going into the past tense, because Bill doesn’t want to bring up the present or future, he gives you unbelievable stuff.

There are times when you really listen to Bill on Monday, that if you read behind the lines, there is stuff there, but you have to read between the lines. If he is not answering a question a certain way, or if he does, like the way he answered the question this past week on [Aqib] Talib and how much playing time he was going to get, he gave me the answer, but it was reading in between the lines.

What about the future for you personally, you’ve been doing The Dan Patrick Show nationally lately, do you like that?

I love it. Those guys are great — the Danette’s and Dan is a great friend. I like those guys an awful lot, I like doing the show. I love doing what I am doing right now. I’ve got to tell you, this is fun every single day. It’s fun waking up preparing for the show, doing the show, I have no regrets. I could actually have to work someday, this is fun. I have done an awful lot of things in the business, dealing with pre and post with the Red Sox, people forget I worked with the Bruins for two years, and the Celtics for 14. I am having fun right now.

But, there are challenges down the road. There are a couple of projects that I am working on right now that will hopefully come to fruition. So there are a bunch of other things I want to do, you always want to try and find new challenges and things to do. But, this is a blast and working with Michael has been a whole new level of enjoyment for me.

 

Bobby V Goes Off On Ordway, How Much Longer Can He Last?

While his team continues to nosedive and rumors circulate about his future, Bobby Valentine remains combative, as evidenced this afternoon in a defiant, semi-crazed sounding segment on The Big Show.

Here’s the transcript from WEEI.com, but you need to hear it to get the full effect. (You can also download it as an MP3.)

This is the part that will get the most attention:

Ordway: Let’s get it on the table. People back here are talking an awful lot about you, ummm, I understand they make a huge deal, they change the personnel on your team dramatically, a team that is much more challenged to score runs, but you do get the impression that maybe you’ve kind of checked out. Have you checked out of this?

Valentine: What an embarrassing thing to say. You know if I was there, I’d punch you right in the mouth. Haha. How’s that sound? Sound like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing to…why would someone even, I mean, that’s something that a comic strip person would write.

The desire to punch a WEEI host isn’t necessarily an unreasonable nor unnatural one, but expressing it on the air is  not the wisest course of action. A PR-conscious ownership isn’t likely to react charitably to this interview.

Later, Ordway rats out Nick Cafardo as a reporter that wrote that Valentine was “late” for a game (arriving at 4:00 for a 7:00 game.)

Did he really? That’s really embarrassing, Nick. I’ll see him when I get out there. He could have asked me very easily.

Poor Nick. He’s been carrying Bobby V’s water the entire season, and this is how he is rewarded in the end? (He wasn’t even being judgmental in bringing up the “late” incident.)

The media sessions in Seattle tonight should be interesting, to say the least.

I’m no Bobby V guy, to be sure, but the glee with which this meltdown and the meltdown of his team is being met with is slightly nauseating to me. I may have hated the decision to hire him in the first place, but this is a man’s life we’re talking about here, and his career, and we’re seeing it end with a fiery crash. There’s nothing enjoyable about that.

Will The Red Sox Surge or Melt In the Second Half? WEEI Responds To Ratings Claims

The Red Sox get back to work tonight as they begin a series in Tampa with the Rays. What will the second half of the season bring for the Red Sox? Can they pull it together and grab a playoff spot, or is a complete meltdown right around the corner?

Mismatched Sox wearing on Bobby? – Gordon Edes has today’s must-read column, with plenty of griping and back-biting going around the Red Sox clubhouse, most of it centered around manager Bobby Valentine.

Sox need to make a statement – Jon Couture tries to be optimistic about this team, but finds it increasingly hard to do so.

Adrian Gonzalez continues his quest to find the old Adrian Gonzalez – Rob Bradford has the first baseman trying hard to regain his power stroke.

Ciriaco takes chance and runs with it – Peter Abraham has the well-traveled 27-year-old giving the Red Sox a jolt of energy.

Media

Mediocre Red Sox not hurting NESN’s ratings – Chad Finn looks at NESN’s strong ratings numbers, has more on WEEI, and weighs in on Matt Millen’s torturous ESPN appearance yesterday.

McDonough talks and plays a great game – John Molori talks to Sean McDonough about his work at ESPN and his love of golf.

Examining Gary Tanguay’s New Confrontational Style – What in the world is going on with Gary Tanguay? That’s the subject of my SB Nation Boston column this week.

In an email to BSMW, Entercom’s Jason Wolfe disputed the numbers from yesterday’s post, (A sure sign WEEI is doing better, Wolfe has emerged from his bunker.) discarding the standard Arbitron numbers that run from 3-7pm and sending over what he claims are the 2-6pm numbers for the month of June.

He also zinged me with this line:

I know you’re a 98.5 fan and not an EEI fan, that’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re numbers are wrong.

OK. Has he paid attention at all to what I’ve said about Felger and Mazz, either here or on Twitter? A 98.5 fan? Someone over at CBS Boston is getting a good chuckle out of that.

Someone from 98.5 emailed me recently and said:

Maybe we suck. Maybe we’re too negative. Or too loud. Or too whatever. You are entitled to whatever opinion you have.

I sure am glad all the radio people are allowing me to be entitled to my own opinion on things.

Anyway, here is what Wolfe sent me regarding the afternoon drive numbers:

Men 25-54, Mon-Fri 2-6 pm.

Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four
6.9                8.4                7.0                 6.3                  WEEI
5.7                7.6                6.4                 5.7                  98.5

Men 18-34, Mon-Fri, 2-6 pm.

Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four
3.3               2.7                3.1                 2.6                     WEEI
7.7              9.8                 9.6                 9.6                     98.5

Men 18-49, Mon-Fri, 2-6 pm.

Week One  Week Two Week Three Week Four
6.1               6.6               5.8                  5.0                    WEEI
6.0               8.8              7.5                  7.0                    98.5

He also included the 35-54 age bracket, which really solidifies that older listeners prefer the Big Show, while the younger ones prefer Felger and Mazz.

Men 35-54, Mon-Fri, 2-6pm
Week One  Week Two Week Three Week Four
7.5                9.0             7.5                   7.4                   WEEI
4.6                6.9              5.5                   4.7                    98.5

The numbers from yesterday were taken directly off sheets with the Arbitron copyright on them. These numbers provided by Wolfe may well be accurate, but he’s also had a history of being, um, creative with how he comes up with ratings figures.

Yesterday, WEEI also sent over these figures, interestingly, the release contained the line “WEEI saw benefits of carrying both the Celtics and Red Sox game broadcasts.” Um, yeah. :

WEEI 93.7 Arbitron Ratings (rival station The Sport Hub compared in red):

M25-54                 June                                      Spring 12                              Winter 12

6a-mid                  6.8 #3    (BZ 5.5 #4)           7.1 #2    (BZ 6.0 #4)           5.7 #4 (BZ 8.5 #2)                                                                                           

6a-10a                   6.8 #4    (BZ 7.6 #2)           7.3 #3    (BZ 8.0 #2)           7.6 #3 (BZ 9.8 #2)

10a-2p                  5.5 #3T  (BZ 5.9 #2)           6.7 #3    (BZ 6.8 #2)           5.5 #4 (BZ 10.0 #2)

2p-6p                    7.1 #3    (BZ 6.3 #4)           7.9 #2    (BZ 6.9 #3)           6.2 #3 (BZ 9.8 #1)

6a-7p                     6.5 #3    (BZ 6.6 #2)           7.3 #2    (BZ 7.2 #3)           6.5 #3 (BZ 9.6 #2)

7p-mid                  11.0 #1  (BZ 4.6 #6)           9.5 #1    (BZ 5.5 #5)           4.0 #11 (BZ 6.5 #2)

Wknds                  5.8 #3    (BZ 2.6 #11)        5.6 #4    (BZ 3.2 #10)        3.7 #10 (BZ 5.6 #6)

Is your head spinning yet?

WEEI Has Zero Credibility on Jeremy Lin/ESPN Issue

Station Shows Mind-blowing Lack of Self-Awareness

The incident over the weekend in which an ESPN.com editor was fired for using the headline “Chink in the Armor” on a story about the New York Knicks and sensation Jeremy Lin losing their first game since Lin became a starter has been a hot topic everywhere this week.

Naturally the topic has been discussed on WEEI, and while the hosts discussing the issues do manage some thoughtful commentary, it is completely invalidated by the embarrassing lack of self-awareness or just plain willful ignorance the station has shown in ignoring their own history in the same area.

Yesterday, Glenn Ordway was talking about the subject, and how he believes that Anthony Federico should not have been fired, and that media outlets and society in general are too quick to just fire or suspend people when mistakes are made. (I tend to agree.)

Ordway argued that instead of firing or suspending that the time should be taken for the topic to be discussed, and thus educate people on why such things are offensive, and perhaps all could benefit and heal from the lessons learned. Sounds good.

Then Ordway presented his example. He cited when Bob Ryan was suspended from the Boston Globe for a month in 2003 for saying in a discussion about the self-promoting ways of Joumana Kidd, (which included using her son as a TV prop) that someone needed to “smack her.” Ordway opined Ryan was not advocating domestic violence (again, I agree) and that  instead of being suspended and silenced on the matter, that Ryan should have been given the opportunity to explain himself, perhaps in a column, and that dialogue should’ve been opened on the topic, and that discussing the matter would help in healing.

All sounds perfectly reasonable. But why choose to criticize the Globe for its handling of the matter, and ignore his own employer’s handling of a matter that much more closely resembles the Lin matter because it was tied to race? I’m speaking of course, about the Metco incident in which John Dennis and Gerry Callahan were each suspended for two weeks later in 2003, (so after the Ryan incident) for a racially insensitive comment.

At the time of the incident, Ordway and WEEI would not discuss the matter at all. It became a running joke that Ordway would always decline to talk about it because he claimed he hadn’t heard the tapes of the incident, and in fact that the tapes had been “lost.”

So apparently the Globe should’ve allowed the Ryan incident to be discussed and dialogue opened on the matter, but not when WEEI hosts made insensitive comments?In the time that I listened yesterday, Metco was not brought up at all. Perhaps it was, and I didn’t hear it, but in the time I listened, it was not brought up, so it certainly was not a significant part of the discussion.

It says a couple of things about Ordway, either he’s protecting his WEEI colleagues (likely) or he doesn’t put it in the same category as the Federico and Ryan incidents. That too can go two ways; does Ordway believe that what D&C said was not intentionally insensitive? Or does he believe it WAS intentional, but not insensitive?

Either way, to completely ignore an incident that occurred on your own airwaves and instead mention something from another media outlet, is completely disingenuous.

I listened to some of Dennis and Callahan this morning, and their commentary on the matter. They referenced the ESPN Ombudsman column from Poynter, and some of the comments from Stephen A. Smith on the matter (who was actually very good) and generally went with the view that Federico as well as Max Bretos and Spero Dedes, who also used the term, all did so without any malicious racial intentions whatsoever. Their conclusion seems to be basically that this is another example of the politically correct world gone mad. (So those who used the term are the persecuted victims here.)

Even when a caller who claimed to be Asian-American attempted to explain that the term, no matter how it was used was offensive to him, even though he believed it not to be used in an intentionally malicious manner by any of them. He added though, that the people involved should not have been fired, but reprimanded.

Dennis and Callahan basically both invalidated the feelings of the caller and anyone who could claim to be offended by the matter. They insist that no one would ever intentionally use that phrase referencing someone with an Asian background in a racist manner. That it would just be stupid to do so. Which is true. However, what the caller, and other callers tried to explain, (unsuccessfully to D&C) is that even if it the phrase was not racially motivated, it was, at the very least, being used as a double entendre, which means race entered into it, perhaps without actually realizing that it was as offensive as it was.

Intentional or not, using the phrase in the manner in which it was, to reference Jeremy Lin, is not acceptable.

Once again, I did not hear the Metco incident brought up at all, except indirectly by a caller, who stated that he felt that D&C’s stance on this matter was not surprising at all, he then attempted to bring up Metco, and Callahan loudly shouted over him to obfuscate the caller so that he wasn’t heard at all, and then called it a “cheap shot.”

How in the world was it a “cheap shot” to bring up an incident which was exactly relevant to the discussion they were having at that moment, and involved the very hosts of the show?

When you think about Dennis’ comments after the Metco incident (quoted in the article linked above), you can see why the incident is especially relevant. He called it “the single stupidest thing I’ve ever said in 26 years of broadcasting in Boston.”

“I’ve heard people who know nothing about me evaluate my character, analyze my heart, dissect my brain, and pronounce me a lost and despicable soul,” Dennis wrote. “I understand their anger, and, frankly, I deserve much of what I’m getting.”

So why is it so hard for them to understand why Asian people would be angry over the comments made about Lin? D&C would’ve been better served trying to explain how “the single stupidest thing” can slip out at the worst time, but that the anger generated is still understandable and deserved.

Instead, they did their best to hide from the incident and shout over a caller who attempted to introduce it into the discussion.

This gives them, and the entire station, zero credibility when discussing how the Jeremy Lin incident was handled by ESPN.

Friday Megalinks

Due to being at jobsites for the last few days, I haven’t been able post links like I’ve wanted to at either my main page or the Fang’s Bites at BSMW site. I apologize for that. I have tried to be diligent in updating as much as I can.

Let’s get to the linkage.

But first, there’s always the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment planning.

National

John Ourand at Sports Business Journal writes that ESPN will do everything it can to head off NBC/Versus at the pass.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch asks if sports broadcasting and politics should mix?

Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press says the Big 12′s TV contracts helped to keep the conference together for now.

The Nielsen Ratings Wire blog notes that among various TV programming, sports in primetime continues to do well.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy talks with CBS/WFAN/Westwood One’s Boomer Esiason on how the NFL should investigate the Dallas Cowboys’ medical staff for clearing Tony Romo to play last Sunday.

Mike says ESPN is denying any responsibility for the recent college football chaos and says the Longhorn Network doesn’t have anything to do with it. I think Texas A&M, Missouri and other Big 12 schools would beg to differ.

Bob Velin of USA Today writes that CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery program will investigate the mysterious and unsettling death of boxer Arturo Gatti.

Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand of USA Today debate whether schools or TV wield the power in college sports.

John Taylor of College Football Talk writes that Brett Favre gets his first taste of being an analyst next week for CSS.

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that the FCC has ruled that Cablevision-owned MSG Network cannot withhold its HD signal to other cable providers violating program-access rules.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that YES received its second highest rating ever for the American League East Division clinching game this week.

Mike says Golf Channel and NBC Sports are teaming up for a promotion to give a lucky viewer of “The Big Break” a chance to win a trip to see Notre Dame play in Ireland next year.

Tim Nudd of Adweek says the NFL has pulled an ad for its fantasy football product which used a picture of Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles after he was injured last week.

David Lieberman of Deadline reports that Time Warner Cable is planning to offer a low cost tier that will not include ESPN in the lineup.

Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of ESPN sideline reporter Jenn Brown calling Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones something else.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has the sixth and perhaps final installment of New Era’s Yankees-Red Sox Alec Baldwin-John Kraskinski ads. They have been quite good. This latest one may have taken it a bit too far.

Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty reviews the ESPN Films documentary “Catching Hell”, on Steve Bartman and the 2003 Chicago Cubs.

Sports Media Watch talks with the crew of ESPN’s College GameDay.

SMW says despite being on tape delay, Fox drew a decent audience for its first English Premier League game on Sunday.

SMW notes that the ratings for CBS’ 2nd game of its NFL doubleheader dropped from last year.

SMW says the NBA lockout has forced the cancellation of the start of training camp and over 40 preseason games.

And SMW has some various ratings news and notes.

Joe Favorito looks at one imaginative marketing campaign that helped Eye Black this week.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews “Moneyball.”

Darren has some interesting facts on sports participation in America.

Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group looks at how CBS Sports Network was able to bring the Tim Brando Show into a TV simulcast from his base in Shreveport, LA.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has this week’s network TV on-screen typos.

Ben Koo from AA says tomorrow is when Gus Johnson and FX get their real grand opening in college football.

At The Stir, Maressa Brown feels ESPN’s Erin Andrews is unqualified to demonstrate CrossFit.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that WEEI’s Glenn Ordway has suffered a rather severe pay cut due to low ratings for The Big Show.

At SBNation Boston, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen looks at a busy week in local sports media news.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Dale Arnold is pleased to be back with NESN after leaving in 2007.

Lang Whitaker and Ian Lovett of the New York Times give us an inside look at DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel and NFL Network’s RedZone.

John Jeansonne of Newsday reviews ESPN Films’ documentary on transgendered tennis player Renee Richards.

Newsday’s Neil Best says fans seem to be buying into the New York Islanders’ future.

Claire Atkinson of the New York Post has news that some Time Warner Cable subscribers have been waiting for, that the company appears to be close to a carriage agreement with NFL Network.

Phil Mushnick at the Post can’t stand ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Justin Terranova of the Post says last month’s Russian plane crash that killed 44 members of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl really hit home for MSG Network analyst Joe Micheletti.

And Justin has five questions for Joe.

Lou Lumenick of the Post says “Moneyball” is one of the best baseball movies of all-time.

I’ll break my self-imposed embargo on the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman for a week for this story on the Yankees’ radio rights which are in flux and so are the fates of broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that MSG Network has named Steve Cangialosi to replace Mike “Doc” Emrick on New Jersey Devils games.

And Pete talks with Steve about his new gig.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is not a fan of a new local sports talk show host.

Ken notes that NBC Sports is extending its “Summer at Saratoga” series for at least two more years.

At Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has announced its Capitals and Wizards schedules.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the college football conference merry-go-round could have some legal ramifications.

Jim says the ratings for the NFL in both Baltimore and Washington were very strong.

South

In the Miami Herald, Joseph Goodman notes the irony of ESPN possibly saving college football from massive chaos.

Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel catches up with ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer.

Jeff Sentell of the Birmingham (AL) News says ESPN is not ponying up to air high school games from the region.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that an Astros broadcaster is celebrating 25 years with the club.

David asks readers if they find the idea of the Longhorn Network offensive.

Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says an Oklahoma State wide receiver will be profiled on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Midwest

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Cleveland MLB team radio voice Mike Hegan is leaving he broadcast after this season.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Reds voice Marty Brennaman can’t campaign on-air for his former partner Joe Nuxhall for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award.

Micahel Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press wonders why the DirecTV/NBC series “Friday Night Lights” didn’t do better in the ratings.

Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says actor Brad Pitt saw “Moneyball” as a compelling story.

Bob says the Green Bay Packers will be showcased aplenty in the late afternoon window on both CBS and Fox this season.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship failed to draw viewers away from the NFL on Sunday.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times talks with WMAQ-TV sports anchor Paula Ferris.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders why Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been missing of late.

Kevin Haskin of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal writes that CBS Sports Network was in town to air an NCAA Division II football game this week.

West

Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Big Ten Network won’t allow the local Cox system to pick up Saturday’s San Diego State-Michigan game on a one-time only basis.

The North County Times’ John Maffei writes that unless fans can find a sports bar, they’ll have to listen to San Diego State on the radio.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says it’s too bad Southern California couldn’t see the end of the exciting Oakland-Buffalo game due to silly NFL rules.

Jim says HBO will replay last Saturday’s controversial Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says a bankruptcy court has given the Dodgers permission to change their flagship radio station for next season.

Tom says the NFL secondary market rule needs to be changed.

Tom also has a few notes that he couldn’t get into his Friday column.

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News looks at the Pac-12′s decision to stand pat, TV’s role in the whole thing and where BYU may be headed.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that CBC’s P.J. Stock is regretting his initial comments on Wade Belak’s death.

The Toronto Sports Media Blog is not so fast to forgive P.J.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that CBC has made some additions to its Hockey Night in Canada crew.

And there you have it for your links today.

An Open Letter To Glenn Ordway

With the Red Sox off last night, (playing a doubleheader today) I’m taking this opportunity to respond to some comments made by Glenn Ordway on WEEI yesterday afternoon.

Dear Glenn,

It was with interest that I listened to your comments yesterday afternoon, regarding “those media websites”  and the things that were stated on “them” about The Big Show and WEEI’s extended discussion of the pictures posted by Barstool Sports last week of Tom Brady’s young son.

I can only assume you were talking about this site, and my comments. I haven’t seen much on all those other “media websites” about the topic. In fact, I don’t know of many other sports “media websites” in the Boston area, period, although at least one other blog seems to agree with me.

Let me clear some things up for you. You seemed to insinuate that the criticism here of you and your station was simply because you were condemning the posting of the pictures and the commentary that went with them. If that is what you really think, I fear for your comprehension level. To the contrary, I actually agree with you that the posting of the pictures was a bad idea, and irresponsible.

What WEEI should have done, in my opinion, was condemn David Portnoy for the incident, release a statement that he would no longer be appearing on the station, and then drop the subject. Instead, WEEI went pretty much wall-to-wall with the topic, stirring things up, getting people agitated, driving more traffic to the posts of the pictures, and generally benefiting Barstool Sports with the added attention. It has even resulted in Portnoy making an appearance on the Howard Stern show. You can largely thank yourself for this. Instead of appearing on WEEI, now Portnoy got to go on the national Stern show. Well done.

Had WEEI just condemned and moved on, would this story have gotten as much attention as it did? While plenty of other media outlets did pick up on the story, there is no doubt that WEEI’s incessant banging of the drum increased the visibility of the story.

I heard you state that the extended discussion of the topic had nothing to do with ratings. That is a boldface lie. Everything done at WEEI is for ratings. Are you claiming that this was some sort of selfless public service you were performing here?

The way I see it, you knew this was going to be a slow day for the show in the ratings with the Patriots pregame show starting on 98.5 FM at 4:00 pm that afternoon. You saw this topic, and jumped aboard in hopes of drawing people in. It is a hot-button topic no doubt about it. I’ve gotten people posting comments on this site claiming that I must be a member of NAMBLA because of my post last week about your take on things. People are fired up, one way or the other about this, and you knew they would be.  You couldn’t compete with 98.5 just talking about the Patriots, you needed another hot topic to discuss, and this was practically spoon-fed to you. So you jumped on it, hoping for the ratings (and attention) boost. It worked, as evidenced by this post, and the one I made last week, as well as the attention from other people talking about your discussion.

I also heard you reference comments made on Portnoy’s website, and saying that “even the stoolies” were turning against him. Again the insinuation seemed to be that you believed you were being criticized simply for condemning the actions of Barstool, and used this as an example to show how everyone thought this was a bad idea, trying to muddy the waters and further indicate that I was hammering you simply for being critical of the pictures being posted. 

You are aware of course, that just because someone posts a comment on a website it doesn’t mean that they “belong” to that site? I’m guessing that a lot of people making those comments were not hard-core “stoolies,” but rather “drive-by” visitors, likely brought there after hearing you talk about the site. While some of the so-called “stoolies” no doubt did disagree with the posting of the photos, you can’t take comments from Barstool as ironclad evidence of that.

Finally, you made a comments along the lines of “these media websites have an agenda, they hate WEEI, and that’s fine, they’re welcome to go somewhere else.” That’s the type of arrogant comment that WEEI hosts could make in the past. Now? You are aware of how the ratings have been going, right? Keep pushing people away, and the ratings will continue to drop like a stone.

As far as “hating” WEEI, that’s an easy generalization to make. Anyone who is critical of the great multiple-Marconi-Award-nominated Glenn Ordway must simply be a hater, right? I’m pretty sure I must be doing a pretty good job here, because I’ve had supporters and staffers at both sports radio stations convinced that I hate their station and have an agenda against them, and are in the bag for the other station. A Tweet not too long ago accused me of being a “WEEI fanboy.”  On the other hand, I get angry Tweets and creepy Facebook messages from your buddy Mikey Adams telling me to keep sucking up to Felger. (That’s the edited, family-rated version.)

The funny thing is, that growing up in NH, Glenn, you were someone I admired greatly. We didn’t get many of the Celtics telecasts on TV, so I listened to every game on the radio that you and Johnny Most did. Those are some of my fondest, and earliest sports media memories. To get to this point, where the word “hate” is being tossed around, saddens me.

My hope Glenn, is that this letter clears up any confusion you may have had over what I was actually criticising you for last week, and to ensure you that I am not supporting or defending the actions of Barstool Sports in any way, shape or form. I do believe however, that you are responsible for bringing even more attention to this matter than it deserved, and exposed those pictures to even more people than would’ve seen them had you simply condemned and moved on.

Repeat after me – condemn and move on.

Sincerely,

Bruce Allen
Bostonsportsmedia.com

Mike Adams To Join Big Show, WEEI.com Partners with SB Nation

WEEI announced this afternoon that Mike Adams will be joining “The Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley” effective today. He will serve as the flash guy for the program, will be in-studio, ready to weigh in with a thought from Bill Lee or memory of the 1978 Red Sox.

If they’re trying to appeal to a younger audience, this is the exact wrong move.

On the air, it was mentioned that the Planet Mikey show is not being impacted by this move,  but now that the Red Sox season has begun, most evenings are already scheduled with game broadcasts.

In another move, WEEI.com announced a content sharing partnership with the blog network SB Nation.

Some of the details about the deal, as outlined in the release from WEEI.com:

  • WEEI.com will feature headlines and content from SB Nation websites relevant to all the Boston teams, and SB Nation will bring WEEI.com’s highly-regarded reporting and personalities to its readers in Boston and beyond.
  •  A new feature on WEEI.com called “Behind Enemy Lines” will provide news and commentary from SB Nation’s network of team-focused blogs about upcoming Boston opponents. 
  •  A new, co-branded landing page will include links to SB Nation content appearing on WEEI.com as well as outbound links to national stories within the SB Nation network.
  •  WEEI.com and SB Nation will integrate relevant content within each other’s coverage of Boston sports teams, offering a unique diversity of perspectives on all the local teams.
  •  Content from each partner will appear on dedicated team pages & blogs in widget form for easy-to-use functionality.

Of interest from this desk is the fact that I write a weekly media column for SB Nation Boston. As far as I know, this does not impact me in any way. No one has said anything to me, anyway.  We’ll see.