Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Kirk Minihane Show, Minihane's "Ban," Mut & Callahan, and More

Yesterday evening it was announced that Kirk Minihane will host his own show on the app and that Mut & Callahan will now be a full time show. Also, Richard Deitsch released a podcast with Minihane where they discussed the last two months of Minihane's time off the air. There is a ton to cover, so lets just take it piece by piece: 

Minihane's Mental Health

First and foremost, Minihane said he is doing well from a mental health perspective, and he sounded like he was doing well on the podcast. He said that he took some time to relax, he is taking his meds (a combination of cocaine and heroin, as he said to Deitsch), and that he is in a much better place than he was. He sounded rested and was very positive when discussing his time off and his new opportunity.

Why Minihane Wasn't Allowed to Return to WEEI

Last week Minihane updated his Twitter profile to say: "Took a medical leave on Sept 9. Was told I needed to present a Dr. note to return to work. Did just that on Oct 12. No idea why I haven't worked since. Go Sox!!"

It turns out that he truly had no idea why he wasn't working. He said as much in the podcast. There was a lot of speculation from fans that Sam Kennedy and the Red Sox were doing their best to keep him off air. This skepticism and blowback towards the Red Sox was, quite frankly, completely deserved.

Dig Boston, a small local publication, ripped WEEI and Minihane over their coverage of the Adam Jones incident in June of 2017. Zineb Curran, a spokesperson for the Red Sox, provided comment for the article, saying “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox. We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line. At times, we feel the same way.” 

Following the Christian Fauria/Don Yee incident last February, Sam Kennedy said regarding WEEI, "“We have had a growing level of concern, and we’ve expressed that very clearly to their management."

Naturally comments like these in the past in conjunction with Minihane hinting that it was the Red Sox made people assume that it was the Red Sox and only the Red Sox keeping Minihane off air. 

Now it seems as though it was a combination of issues the Red Sox, issues with WEEI's relationship with the Globe, issues with local politicians, issues with the relationship between WEEI and Brady, issues with local activists,  ISSUES

Mark Hannon took over as the new Entercom Regional VP in the last year. With new management comes new initiatives. It seems as though Hannon's (and likely those above him) initiative is to stay out of trouble. 

With Minihane on morning radio there would be controversy. Whether the right or wrong decision, it seems like it was just time for WEEI's morning show to move in a different direction and away from the issues. 

Minihane's New Solo (or not?) Show

The biggest unknown is everything surrounding this new show. Minihane tweeted out the following last night:
At the time I am writing this the tweet currently has 537 replies, so I think it is safe to say that people are interested.

Minihane said in the podcast that the show would cover the same stuff that Kirk & Callahan would cover. If its a good story to discuss and its something that people will be interested in, they'll talk about it. He also said that he is excited to build something from scratch and that the "unknown" is exciting. 

Passion for the new show and passion for what he is discussing is what will make Minihane successful. 

The reason Kirk & Callahan became the best show in the market is because the guys discussed topics that they were passionate about. This ranged from Trump, the Patriots, media, Ken Laird's bizarre outfit on his trip to Montreal, really topic that either made them laugh or that they disagreed on. 

Just because this will be a national show does not mean that Minihane will stop discussing local topics. If a topic in Boston is the most interesting thing that day, that's what he will talk about. If its a national topic is the most interesting thing that day, that's what he will talk about.

I am skeptical about the idea of developing a show from nothing on a platform that is not readily available on the dashboard of a car. The average person listens to radio in their car. A lot of old guys won't listen to a show on some app that they have to get on their phone. That being said, if you told me five years ago that everyone I know would listen to podcasts everyday, I wouldn't have believed you. 

If Entercom gives Minihane the tools to build this I think there is a good chance that it is successful. By tools I mean that the shackles have to be completely off. No dump buttons, no topics that can't be discussed, just unfiltered Minihane. It also helps that Minihane has hundreds of fans who have been extremely vocal on Twitter over the last few weeks about their desire to have him back. This passionate base is a great cornerstone for the new show to build upon.

What remains to be seen is who the co-host will be. I have trouble with this one. Minihane worked great with Callahan. I often preferred just Kirk & Callahan over shows with a casting couch member. Callahan isn't an option. Mut will now be on in the mornings and also he is terrible. Where do you go from there? 

Tomase, Reimer, and Drellich are all options for a show here or there but are clearly not full time options. Tanguay and Minihane have great chemistry but Tanguay has zero work ethic. Trenni is the absolute worst. 

If Entercom is trying to build a national show then whoever comes on needs to obviously have good chemistry with Minihane but also has to be willing to be a clear second-fiddle. The big names in all types of national talk radio (Stern, Dan Patrick, Dave Ramsey) didn't become big names because of their co-host.

The show will most likely have success on a national level if it truly is 'The Kirk Minihane Show feat Kirk Minihane starring Kirk Minihane.'

Time of the New Show

Unannounced. Per Minihane's tweets, it will likely be three hours, maybe two live hours and a one hour podcast. Plus he'll have a column, though it hasn't been announced how often he will be writing.

I say have the show from 10-1. Catch the lunch hour crowd who are more likely to be on their phones. Plus Ben Shapiro doesn't come out until 1PM, so that would bridge the morning gap in content for me.

What Happens to the Producers

Curtis and Ken are two of the best producers in the market. Curtis is a dog when it comes to researching and finding new stories. This was especially true last spring, when he helped Minihane dig into Kevin Cullen's journalistic history, asking hard hitting questions such as "sawbase Kevin Cullen?" Ken is always spot on with his drops, plus the new Alex Jones-Laird character he has been playing with his conspiracies about the Patriots and Red Sox has added to Mut & Callahan over the last few weeks. 

I'm sure we will get more information on the future of the producers on tomorrow's Real K&C Podcast, coming exactly 3 months and 25 days after the last Real K&C. Considering up until the last few weeks I have basically published one blog per quarter, I guess I can't judge. 

Mut & Callahan

The Mut & Callahan pilot has been going on for the last eight weeks. From Entercom's press release regarding the new show: The WEEI morning show is being re-envisioned as a more sports-centric show consistent with the station’s brand and position as Boston’s sports leader...Going forward, the morning show will focus predominantly on sports and be led by hosts Gerry Callahan and Mike “Mut” Mutnansky, along with a rotating cast of Boston’s most charismatic and intriguing sports personalities.

Under the previous WEEI regime, Dennis & Callahan opened their show the day after the 2012 elections by discussing the biggest sports "gut punches" in Boston Sports history. They didn't mention Obama's name once. They did however do a terribly boring segment on Cody Ross. If you wanted to hear a 'STICK TO SPORTS' show, this was it. 

I think that when people read Entercom's press release, they expect that they are going to get an all sports all the time show like the old 2012 shows. I don't think that is the show that Mut or Gerry want to do, nor will do. Dennis & Callahan tanked in the ratings when they were interviewing boring guests like Barry Peterson, Mike Lupica, Darren Pang. Mut failed in middays by doing a boring sports show as well. Neither of them want to do that again.

I expect the Mut and Callahan show to continue to rip on other shows. I expect them to discuss politics and other major events if they are good discussion topics. I expect Callahan to rip the Globe and rip democrats. I expect a lot more sports talk, but I don't believe it will be 20 hours of nonstop sports. When I read "the morning show will focus predominantly on sports" I translated that to "the show will talk about sports and other topics but will have significantly less controversy"

But will this work? 

First off, I don't think the last eight weeks of Mut & Callahan have been terrible. It has received a ton of blowback on Twitter, but I think this was more the result of people's anger about being left in the dark about Minihane. The show has not been appointment listening like Kirk and Callahan was, but it is still a good show. The show will not have a ton of crazies who listen to all four hours of the show everyday, but that's not your average radio listener. I try to think of the average guy in the car who listens to 20 minutes of radio on his drive in to work. If the guys are free to both talk about sports and continue to discuss current events, do segments like battle of the brainless, let Gerry go on an occasional rant about the migrant caravan, etc., they will still be able to have success in the mornings. 

If the show does go all sports all the time expect it to drop in ratings and be completely blown up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kirk Minihane will have his own app. Mut and Callahan is now full time in the morning

It has just been announced in a press release that Kirk Minihane will have his own show on a app. According to an Entercom press release, the show will air daily. In addition to the show, Minihane will have a podcast and column on the app.

Mut and Callahan will now be the permanent show from 6-10AM on WEEI. Per Entercom, "The WEEI morning show is being re-envisioned as a more sports-centric show consistent with the station’s brand and position as Boston’s sports leader...Going forward, the morning show will focus predominantly on sports and be led by hosts Gerry Callahan and Mike “Mut” Mutnansky, along with a rotating cast of Boston’s most charismatic and intriguing sports personalities." Interesting...I'll write about this at a later date. 

My guess is that WEEI wanted to announce this on their airwaves before it is discussed on Richard Dietsch's podcast, which is scheduled to drop around 8PM tonight. Minihane will be on Kirk and Callahan (well, Mut and Callahan) tomorrow morning at 8AM.

Although he has been off air for the last two months, Minihane is still under contract with Entercom. The show on the app will keep him under the Entercom umbrella.

Check back later tonight as I will have follow up commentary after Dietsch's podcast is dropped.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A look at insufferable sports media reactions to Jim Acosta's suspension

Jim Acosta is not a journalist. He is an activist. He doesn't go to the White House to gather information and distribute it to CNN viewers. He goes to the White House to push his personal agenda and grandstand so that democrats can say how much they love Jim Acosta.

Don't believe me? See the thread below:
The Trump Administration was right for suspending @Acosta. It was completely inappropriate for him to push away the intern who was trying to take the microphone from him. It does not matter if the intern was a man or a woman. He was told "that's enough" multiple times before the intern tried to take the mic. He wouldn't shut his mouth until Trump finally walked away from the podium. Even then he wasn't done. He continued to yell at the President after he moved on to a question from Peter Alexander. This wasn't about journalism, this was about Jim Acosta.

To relate this back to sports, lets take a look at the "everythings," aka the sports reporters who are "woke," "brave," and yes, you guessed it, "everything."

"Finger to the Wind" King felt the need to stand up for Acosta. Don't worry, we'll hear more from Peter King in his "10 things I think I think" section of his MMQB column on Monday.

Side note, yes, I am continuing to call it MMQB. Why the hell did Peter King have a funeral tour when he left Sports Illustrated? He acted as though he was retiring for MONTHS only to move over to NBC to write the exact same column.

But thank god we have Peter King to start the #Isupport@Acosta hashtag. A broken Twitter hashtag will surely protect the freedom of the press.

Mr. Everything himself Bruce Arthur weighed in. He only had one tweet responding to the suspension. However, I'd like to use this to point out what a douchey tweet his pinned tweet is.
This stuff is why people hate the media. A profession filled with people who act like they literally go to fight in a war everyday while most of their job is typing someone else's quote into a computer. Whenever someone is mean to a journalist all of the other Big J Journos 'stand and unite.' The only other professions that do this are police officers, firefighters, military members. You know, heroes? People who risk their lives for the betterment of others.

On a local level the biggest douche in the Boston sports market, Kevin Paul Dupont, was tweeting away. This one stood out to me the most:

It is not an intern's job to get the microphone "when the reporter is ready to hand it back." Trump had said "that's enough" four times before the intern grabbed the microphone. If the intern waited until Acosta was ready to hand over the microphone we would still be sitting here listening to his grandstanding.

Jesus Christ. Haggerty should stand up at one of Bruce Cassidy's press conferences and shout questions at him. Then when someone tries to take the mic from him he should push them away. That's journalism right? Asking the tough questions? I'm not going to say 'stick to sports.' Instead I'll stay stick to tweeting emojis at players who couldn't care less about you:

Last but not least is Richard Deitsch:

I actually like Deitsch. He is probably the most read media columnist in the country. While I may not agree with a lot of what he says, I think he is very good at covering the media, a topic that is very well read. Plus he gave us the greatest sound of all time in the form of the Chris Curtis podcast a few years ago. Also, he's not afraid to go back and forth with little guys like me on Twitter, which I respect.

But come on man. Other White House reporters are not next. If they grandstand and withhold the microphone from interns they will be next. But if they ask hard questions and actually try to gather facts they won't be suspended.

I was very disapointed to see that Peter Gammons has yet to tweet about the situation. So I'll end this blog with one of my favorite tweets of all time:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Fuck it, I'm on the David Price bandwagon

No one has been more critical of David Price over the last three years that me. I've constantly been bitching and complaining about how not only had he been an underachiever, but he had been a complete dink about his performance when discussing it with the media. From my perspective as a fan, his disgruntled demeanor with the media made it seem like he despised Boston.

Along with countless critical tweets, I blogged not once, not twice, but three times about how Price was soft and an underperforming.

Not only was David Price outstanding in the playoffs, but he was a blast to watch. He was both dominant and confident as he turned around and nodded to himself after every strikeout. His desire to be on the mound every game, whether it be as a starter or a reliever, was captivating.

On the biggest stage of his career, Price was composed in post game interviews. As I noted after his start against the Astros and his game two start in the World Series, he said all of the right things in his interactions with the media. All of his focus was on doing what was best for the team.
Now of course, Price gave it right back to the media following the game 5 World Series clinching game. “I can’t tell you how good it feels to hold that trump card,” he said. “And you guys have had it for a long time. You’ve played that card extremely well. But you don’t have it anymore, none of you do, and that feels really good.” 

Good for him. He's right. The media and fans have held the "you can't win a postseason game" card for the last three years. And they had the right to play that card. But now Price has the trump card. And until he regresses from his late regular season and post season form, he'll continue to hold all of the cards. 

David Price has had three difficult years in Boston. Some of this was self imposed, but nonetheless his tenure in Boston has been a rocky one. But if he is ready to opt in with the Red Sox, and he's ready to opt in to Boston, I'm ready to forget the past and look forward to him continuing his dominance. I suspect that a lot of #RedSoxNation, who he thanked in his tweet earlier today, feel the same way. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This "Twitter applause" take about sports radio is absolutely ridiculous

I'll start this blog off by saying don't attack Sara on Twitter. She's a beat writer for the Carolina Hurricanes, she has never been a host on sports talk radio, and she has limited experience in the industry. She doesn't seem like a bad person by any means (we'll get to a real asshole in a minute).

Here was her tweet following the Red Sox World Series victory on Sunday night:
The only way this tweet could have gotten more Twitter applause is if she found a way to criticize Trump.

One of the best things a sportswriter can do to get a bunch of Twitter 'attaboys' is to tweet out how awful and toxic sports radio is. The twitter crowd will flock to these types tweets like moths to a flame. You'll see 40 or 50 replies all saying something along the lines of "thank you, I just can't listen to that negativity anymore." The fact is, this is just not true.

In the fall 2017 ratings book, WEEI and the Sports Hub had a combined 20.5 share in the coveted male 25-54 demographic. The Boston sports morning shows did a combined 26.3 share.

The idea that fans deserve better is nonsense. There are plenty of homer podcasts out there for fans to listen to. But why don't these podcasts gain a massive following like sports talk radio has?

Take a look outside of the sports media world. Cable news ratings and newspaper subscriptions have skyrocketed since 2016 because of the drama that Trump has brought to the politics. The Kardashians became self made billionaires simply by broadcasting their drama filled lives to millions of eager brainless viewers.

One thing stands true across all forms of media. People crave negativity. People crave drama.

Remember I said we would get to an asshole? That would be everybody's favorite, Globe beat writer Pete Abe:

Bravo, stick tap, +1,000,000,000.

For Pete Abe to act like he is above being a pessimistic dick and that sports radio is "a stain on the city" is completely and totally hypocritical.

Take some time to dig through Abraham's replies to Red Sox fans on Twitter. He is constantly a dick to fans who ask him genuine questions about the team.

Pete also called a fan a "grand wizard," aka the leader of the KKK because the fan said that the Red Sox are better off without David Price.

In addition to responding to any criticisms of the Red Sox via a tweet, he has been known to direct message some pessimistic tweeters. I'll let the messages below speak for themselves:


Abraham used to do a weekly radio hit on the Sportshub. That was of course until he called the guy a grand wizard. Was sports radio not pessimistic then?

But wait, there's more! Abraham works for the same rag of a newspaper that employs Dan Shaughnessy. Some people like Shank, some people hate him, but he is widely known for his pessimistic takes on sports teams.

I think all of this is a bit more of a "stain on the city" than some radio host saying that the Red Sox bullpen stinks.

Correction: Sara Civian is a beat writer for the Hurricanes, not the Predators. I messed this up because I know nothing about hockey.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Explanation why there WAS fan interference on the Altuve near Home Run

At this point you have seen the near amazing home run robbing play by Mookie Betts. If you haven't, watch it here:

Altuve was called out due to fan interference. The following is an explanation of the controversial call.

Here we can see that, from left to right, the man in the blue and the man in the orange come into contact with Betts' glove. We can also see that the man in the white on the right's right hand is approximately in line with the man in the blue and the man in the orange's hands.

Here is the play from another angle. If anything, the man in the white shirt's hand is closer to the stands and closer to being out of the field of play than the man in the blue and the man in the orange's hand:

In the following two photos, look at the man in the white's LEFT hand. It is gripping the wall. His right hand is closer to the field of play. Because his left hand is in the field of play, as it is gripping the wall, his right hand is in the field of play as well:

Since the man in the white shirts's right hand is in the field of play and even with the other two fans hands, and their hands hit Betts' glove, we can conclude that they hit his glove in the field of play. As a result, this was appropriately called an OUT.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Blast from the Past: Dennis and Callahan audio from the day after the 2012 election

November 6, 2012. The day after the 2012 election. The day after Barack Obama was elected to his 2nd term as president.

Over at WEEI Jeff Brown was the market manager. Kirk and Callahan listeners have heard the stories about these days. NO POLITICS! STICK TO SPORTS! If the hosts began to discuss politics the producers were instructed to dump the audio.

Dennis and Callahan followed the boss's orders. They opened the post election day show by discussing "gut-punch 101," the biggest gut punches in Boston Sports history, Paul Gallant's name, the definition of the word "gallant," and even teased a weekly interview with Greg Bedard.

Listen Here:

Link to the video above or the audio on WEEI for mobile: (follow the link and click "download")

If you like this audio or want to hear other old Dennis & Callahan/Kirk & Callahan, give me a follow on Twitter. I'll be posting blogs like this again in the future.