In part of the buzz around the new 98.5 The SportsHub, some wondered the future status of the Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programming, as well as the primetime NFL games through Westwood One.

WEEI announced this morning that they have extended their current deals to keep all that programming in place at WEEI.

WEEI has inked a multi-year extension with the Patriots to continue the top-rated Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday programs for the foreseeable future. The two shows provide listeners with the most comprehensive and insightful pre and post game analysis, and consist of top-flight interviews with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and a host of players. Past participants have included Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork and Tedy Bruschi.

The network will also continue its exclusive local programming of NFL Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and NFL playoffs through its partnership with Westwood One. The contract has just been extended another two years.

“Patriots Monday and Patriots Friday are staples of the WEEI lineup and are appointment listening for New England fans,” said Entercom New England Vice President of AM Programming Jason Wolfe. “The Patriots are tremendous partners and we’re thrilled to continue this can’t miss programming while expanding our relationship with the team.” Wolfe continued, “The Patriots are primed for another Super Bowl run, and that will put a much larger emphasis on the games, league wide. WEEI is proud to be Boston’s only home for the NFL’s primetime lineup for the next two years.”

Smart move by WEEI to protect some of the most valuable aspects of their programming.

Update: This is weird. WEEI sent out a correction to say that the extension for Patriots Monday and Friday was was actually signed LAST YEAR. I’m trying to determine why they chose to announce it now.

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25 thoughts on “WEEI, Patriots, Westwood One Extend Deals

  1. Good move by WEEI. I don’t think the HUB can take ESPN programming b/c they won’t put Mike and Mike on in the morning. So I guess they’d be stuck with replays overnight or Sporting News Radio.

  2. EEI correctly concluded if they lost these two events they would be jeopardy of losing significant ground to WBZ-FM. This would not on its own be fatal, but this along with other quality programming and Celtics could in total mount a significant challenge. Entercom had to no doubt write a large check to extend the deal and we’ll see what CBS’ response is. Kinda nice having more than one option…competition is a good thing as it generally improves the quality of the product, let’s hope.

  3. I don’t think the new station will hurt WEEI. Felger tried before and did 0.0, Tanguay is a bore, and Toucher & Rich (whom I never heard of) are on mornings now, I think, and D&C are number 1. What’s going to change?

    If ‘EEI perceives a threat I hope they clean up their programming and dump some deadwood. Larry Johnson, Fred Smerlas, Butch Sterns and a couple others should be dropped. Also a bunch of the celebrity callers should disappear. Frank from Gloucester, Steve from Fall River, Tony from Bridgewater, Scheechy from Quincy, Jack from Lynn, Ray from Lynn, and a few others would raise the level at WEEI.

    1. Is Schreechy also known Danny from Quincy, who’s voice gets higher the more he talks. By the end of his call, only dogs can hear him!

      1. That’s who I mean. You know, I think he told someone on the air that he went to Connecticut School of Broadcasting. With a voice like that he actually wanted a career in broadcasting. I guess CSB will take anyone’s money. I hear his voice and I go for the button.

    2. The SIGNAL is the big change,Dick. This station will have a MUCH stronger signal. You do have some good points though. I don’t see these Toucher & Rich guys being a big hit. Felger is Felger and Tanguay is average at best. I’m willing to give them a shot but I need to see the rest of their lineup….as of right now, I’m not that impressed

    3. This is huge for WEEI. Keeping the Patriots Monday is a big slap to the face of WBZ. I agree with Dick that some of the deadwood should be dumped. Larry Johnson, Bill Burt and Butch Sterns should only be on during the weekends when nobody listens to the radio.
      As for the Morning and Midday shows. I dont think WEEI will have any problems because Toucher and Rich wont be able to steal any listeners from D&C and Tanguay, in my opinion, really cant carry a comparable to Dale and Holley. If the Big Show can get its act together, Felger will be back at WEEI within a year and a half

      1. JTK I agree with you 100% with everything you said with the exception of Felger who I think will have a very good chance of beating Ordway. Once in a while Ordway will have a decent show but for the most part it’s screaming over each other. Felger, I believe will not have that nonsense.
        I also believe that this challenge will keep WEEI honest. This move hear shows that they are on their toes already. The major issue with the past challengers was that the only way you can hear them is with a tin can and string. I think this could be eventually the last you hear of the likes of Fred Smerlas (who I used to like) and Butch Sterns who brings absolutely nothing to the table. The consumer will not put up with them.

        1. I think somewhat lost in all has been the real point of keeping EEI honest, like you said mandb97.

          Let’s face it, most of us complain about EEI but in the end we still listen, and I don’t think that’s entirely because there’s no legitimate alternative. EEI does some things well, and if bringing in a strong FM competitor gets them to start busting their humps instead of just resting on their laurels then the change is good. Getting rid of the ‘deadwood’ would be a nice start, but my feeling is some of these personnel decisions will be made more out of necessity, i.e. the fallout from the new sports media alliances, if there are going to be any.

          Otherwise if every writer/analyst type is a free agent and can choose their own station, then it will get interesting.

  4. I think the weakest period for WEEI–no matter the feathers–will be from roughly Labor Day to Memorial Day. When the sun rises later and sets earlier, their signal is impotent. This is when folks will try out the new WBZ-FM, and it will be curious to see what sort of long-lasting effect that interim period may have.

    1. The posters over at Radio-Info.com are pretty sure that WEEI is going to simulcast on one of their FM signals or 99.5.

      1. I agree that’s the play for Entercom, but they’ve been forced into it. With one bold move by CBS–which Entercom ‘claims’ they saw coming–WEEI is now seen as a follower by reacting to what someone else does. So while an FM version of WEEI will be nice, this probably isn’t the way Entercom wanted it to play out. It begs the question: why didn’t they go FM a long time ago?

  5. Is this an exclusivity agreement? What is to prevent the HUB from putting similar programming in the same time slot? With broadcasting rights to the Pats games you think they couldn’t put together a show with similar guests? While the Monday and Friday shows at EEI are an establish commodity, you mean to tell me the HUB couldn’t steal some of their thunder if the put together a team consisting of ex-Patriot players and say Felger? It has been scientifically proven that listening to Fred and Steve kills brain cells by the minute. You throw Shepard in and it is almost unbearable.

    1. I could easily envision a Felger/Zolak/Reiss crew on his Monday and Friday afternoon shows, with Tanguay continuing to work Pats pre and postgame on Sundays.

  6. Appreciate your point Chris, but I think EEI’s weaker signal in metrowest will be rectified when they swap out AAF’s simulcast on 97.7 FM and make that frequency another member of the EEI network.

    Dick, I don’t think it will be possible for WBZ-FM to get a 0.0 rating, if only because T&R will maintain some of their listener base from BCN and also draw those EEI fans who switch away from D&C in the mornings.

    Speaking of ‘celebrity’ callers, has anyone heard ‘Paul from New Bedford’ recently? He was an older gentleman who used to loyally call the Baseball Show every Sunday morning. Not obnoxious or anything, just a plain good guy (one of the few regular callers who is). Hopefully he’s still around listening.

    Good move for EEI to lock up the Pats/WWO programming. I too am curious how much extra they had to pay to extend their agreements. By doing that they also keep SportsHub from ever getting into the bidding. Both Kraft & WWO are probably thinking that even with BZ-FM lurking out there, a bird in the hand is better given the current economy.

  7. I’m going to assume that these extensions were options in the original contract otherwise both would have been put out to bid. Given that WBZ-FM has the Patriots radio rights I think it’s safe to say that these will be the final two years of Patriots Mondays and Fridays on EEI. The same is probably true for the Westwood One deal, although their ties to CBS radio aren’t what they once were.

  8. EEI can keep these shows. If the new HUB gets Globies: Reiss and Gaspar, as part of a co-host rotation to talk Patriots, the rats will finally abandon EEI’s “Football Donkey” and “Pink Pachyderm” ship. The Taco Guys will be mumbling and bumbling their way thru a show with no listeners.

    EEI needs to lock up McAdam (raw knowledge and ability to convey it convincingly) and Buckley (even if you don’t like him, he is fun) to talk baseball all summer long as part of their co-host rotation. If EEI loses the Red Sox talk, then just call it a night, Gracie.

    Thanks to competition that was essentially weak, both literally (broadcast power) and lacking known personalities, EEI has never really had serious competition. Isn’t there a newspaper or two in Boston struggling to survive with people who can express their tough with intelligence and coherence.

    Whichever management team gets moving to help transition some talented people will have the leg up going into the next decade.

      1. er, thought “with intelligence…”

        Dang, I picked the wrong night to quit sniffing airplane glue…

    1. could not agree more with that. If 98.5 can get Reiss on the air to talk Patriots that would be HUGE. He might be the most respected sportswriter in Boston at the moment. A rare breed who speaks without yelling or screaming. Without talking down to people, without playing the “comtrarian” at the drop of a hat….very rare indeed

    2. Apparently you’ve all been sniffing glue this week. No wonder I can’t find any.

      All kidding aside, your points are all on the money. Did I hear this past week that EEI was trying to make an exception with their Globe boycott so they bring Tony Massarotti back as a guest analyst? I might’ve even read it from a poster here but I don’t know if it was fact.

      Probably easy for EEI to rationalize regarding Mazz because he does the majority of his work for boston.com and not the Globe, although I believe technically he gets his paycheck from the Globe/NY Times Corp.

      Boston.com has always been this strange entity because I believe we all think it’s just an extension of the Boston Globe, but I’m not completely sure that it is entirely. Always found it interesting the Globe never registered the domain name bostonglobe.com unless they went with boston.com intentionally because it would be easier for people to remember.

  9. What you Einsteins seem to be missing is the overall NE coverage of EEI’s signal, multiple frequencies from RI to Maine , nevermind the streaming from its website.

    Isnt it good business for the Pats to have that kind of coverage?

  10. If I can do nights again on ‘BZ, then it will most surely be Mikey on ‘EEI. Count on it.

  11. I will listen primarily to WEEI but I am glad to tune out the pathetic borish lunatic Gerry Callahan in the morning. His one trick pony agenda towards anything with a D in front of it has grown old and stale. I can’t listen to his rants and cheap shots for more then 10 mins at a time anymore. I will continue to listen to more of Toucher and Rich and less of those 2 out of touch old codgers.

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