John Dennis is a former sportcaster for WHDH channel 7, and the current co-host of The Dennis and Callahan Show, mornings on WEEI 6:00 to 10:00 am – and simulcast on NESN from 6:00 – 9:00 am.  

A Pittsburgh native, Dennis graduated from Kent State in 1974, and spent three years at WDAF in Kansas City (Where he was the youngest sports director in the history of NBC affiliates) before moving to Boston in 1977. He remained at WNAC/WNEV/WHDH until 1997, having held many different roles – weekend sports anchor, feature reporter and sports director.

In 1997, he left WHDH to host The Dennis and Callahan Show alongside Gerry Callahan. The show launched on October 6th, 1997, originally airing from 10:00 – noon. In September of 1999, the show moved to its current time slot, where it has enjoyed tremendous ratings success.

One sports media observer told me that Dennis is the best in the business at the “tease” leading into commercial breaks, thus keeping the listener waiting for the next segment. His acerbic and biting style are a turnoff to some, but the consistent ratings of the program indicate there is a large audience that enjoys their style of radio.


67 thoughts on “2011 Approval Ratings – John Dennis

  1. What are you early 60's?

    Hated him on TV, despised him on radio, haven't listened to even one second since 98.5 was born.

    A prick's prick.


  2. I was really hoping that you would kick off this week with Meterparel but you decided to go with his long-winded, self-absorbed colleague instead. I can get a pedicure in the time it takes him to ask a guest a question and he spends far too much time talking about golf. He'd be better served avoiding cameras until he dropped a few pounds. I rather see pictures of him with his 70's porn 'stache than the Bombay bloat he has now. Disapprove.

  3. Ok fellow sharks, the blood has now entered the water…let the feast begin!

    I switched to T&R the first day 98.5 went on the air just to get away from Dino’s ‘acerbic and biting style’, so it’s safe to say you know where I stand.

    1. Just curious. Why did you switch to T&R when they went to 98.5? Weren't they on WBCN at the same time slot? Why didn't you listen to them then?

      1. Guess I should've been more specific, Pete – I switched to 98.5 from its inception in part because I was tired of D&C. Stayed with the Sports Hub once I heard T&R for the first time (was not familiar with their shtick on BCN) and realized that you can actually have a laugh or two with your morning sports talk.

  4. I like John Dennis. I do not like the Dennis and Callahan show as much as I used to as I think it has morphed away from sports and more into that Man Show stuff that I think T&R also do. Maybe that is the nature of morning drive…15-20 minute segments as people are in their cars, lots of repetition and no real time to explore topics…so there is not enough material just covering sports…might as well open it up to politics, headline news and entertainment. John Dennis from a strictly radio perspective is quite good…or to put it another way…he has both a face and voice for radio. He moves things along, even when Callahan wants to bog it down with a political or sports related rant, he gets through callers well, he does have an acerbic wit but I like that. Also, I think he is a great interviewer…might be the best of any of the sports talkers in town. He asks good questions, waits for the answers and follows up. For years I have thought the Boomer Esiason interview was the best piece of weekly radio WEEI does.

    Having said that…I think he is extremely thin skinned. I am amazed he still has a job after the Ryan Russillo incident which both humiliated himself and his employer. As he has gotten more "comfortable" in the job he has developed less tolerance for those that disagree with him. At times when he gets a phone call from a "celebrity" caller you can hear the lack of patience in his tone. If he gets a call from someone stating the obvious and not bringing anything to the conversation he is short and curt. Likewise the golf gets to me, the drinking inside jokes annoy me and his fascination with the Farrelly brothers…esp the Three Stoogies sound so forced to me…its like he is taking a break from your regularly scheduled program to sound like a 15 year boy.

    I am sure he will be hugely disapproved in the poll. I approve of him because I think he is good at what he does. He is not Gerry Callahan and as such we need to look at him separately and judge him on his own merits.

  5. John Dennis is one of the smartest people in sports media and if you do not believe me just ask him.

    Seriously, he comes off on the radio as a mean, miserable, wise-ass. As Bruce mentioned, he and Callahan has had to bring in Kathryn Tappen and Dale Arnold in to talk Bruins because their knowledge is so thin. What is very interesting is that this is the first comparison between show hosts. Bruce earlier put in Fred Toucher, 6-10 host at 98.5, for approval. Toucher so far has a 3:1 approval rate. As of this post, Dennis' disapproval rate is over 5.5:1. I know the poll is not scientific but you have to look at both results and start to think that just maybe the April ratings results may start to be a trend.

  6. Personally, I can't stand the guy and I don't know of anyone who does like John Dennis. I do think he is better than his pompous idiot sidekick Callahan but that's not much of a compliment. Definite disapprove.

    1. This reminds me of the quote attributed to the bleeding heart liberal writer, Susan Sontag. After Nixon had won the 1972 election by one of the largest landslides in history, she said that she couldn't believe he won, no one she knows voted for him.

      I'm sure that in your little world, nobody likes him, but he somehow has been on the air in Boston for over 30 years.

  7. From the comments above, ibid.

    Not to mention that the quality of callers, assuming that the "good callers" have all moved to SportsHub because of its quality, are horrible. I honestly hate ESPN, with 5x the advertising, but have to keep it on if I can't get SportsHub.

    If they clearly have a lot of time (it's all paid advertising), why not broadcast SportsHub? T+R took over for D+C, as everyone expected, and more people I introduce to SportsHub convert immediately, not changing the dial all day long.

  8. Dino was always in 3rd place in a 3 station race when he was on Channel 7.

    The only reason the show ever went to #1 was the fact that Stern left broadcast and went to Sirius.

    Enjoys the occasional "Metco Gorilla" joke.

  9. Bruce: It’s not your fault, but I can’t really put a lot of stock in this poll. The WEEI Loathers Club aka SoSH have assigned a platoon of pencil necked geeks to vote against every WEEI personality and for all of the 98.5 guys.

    The comments on Felger were strongly unfavorable, yet his “rating” was 3 to 1 positive. The comments on John DEnnis are strongly unfavorable but the “rating” is going the other way.

    Too bad the nerds ruined it.

    1. Jack – Every vote that comes through has their IP address recorded. I can tell you that what you claim is not true. There is very little multiple voting.

      The difference between the voting and comments is very simple to explain. People are far more likely to post a negative comment than they are to post a positive one. If someone votes in the positive, often that's all they do. Those who vote negative seem much more likely to then go and tell why they dislike this person so much.

      1. I know that they're smart enough to know that.. What you're dealing with is a bunch of geeks who've never kissed a girl or played a sport. They live for the power of their computers. I'm sure that they have a whole network of nerds who all have their own computers, The hatred for WEEI at that website knows no bounds.

        Watch, every WEEI personality will get an unfavorable rating. Is it reasonable to assume that a station with ratings that high is despised?

        1. Apparently, what I'm dealing with is someone with his own agenda. Someone who has posted comments under the following names in the last week or two:

          Did I miss any? Most of the comments are similar – complaining about vote-stuffing, knocking hockey, pumping up EEI, and complaining about what a jerk Felger is. I especially though, enjoy when you comment as one name, and then support yourself with another name. Good stuff.

          1. I'd also venture a guess that Jack the overweight WEEI producer (presumably) doesn't exactly have an athletic career or success with the ladies worth bragging about. Maybe he won the Presidential Fitness Award as a 5th grader or something.

          2. Why, in our society is it still an insult to bag on someone's sexual prowess? I mean, isn't that a little personal and cave-man-ish?

          3. Ha-ha,,,,OWNED…funny how "Jack" or one of his multiple personalities hasn't responded back yet. Poor bastard never even got around to using female names before he was exposed. R.I.P. "Jack and the boys:"

          4. I think I should've directed my blood/shark analogy to Bruce – great job sniffing out the chum on the comment board.

  10. It would be great if Dennis didn't suck. I remember the last time I listened to them was when Sean Taylor was killed. While claiming to carry some sort of torch for NRA type folks they spewed some amazing ignorance about guns. Life is too short to waste one's ears on him and the other guy. Pro-angry, he and his partner are anti-brain.

  11. I like the way he says "-st" (like in the word "first). Always sounds like he's saying "-shht"

  12. Dennis is clearly the superior radio personality of the two on that show…. but that's a bit like saying that Stalin was far less murderous than Pol Pot. As a radio host, Dennis' style, voice, and technique are all more than adequate, if not first rate.

    The substantive content, on the other hand, is a different story. Have to disapprove. Back when I used to listen to them (several years ago), I was always shocked at how normal… and even good… Dennis was when he was paired with a non-Callahan substitute co-host. I suppose he was "playing nice" for the guests. But when Callahan would return, it was right back to obnoxious superiorityland for both of them.

    1. The weird thing is, Callahan is /also/ mildly more tolerable when not paired with Dennis. He and Dale Arnold had a quite nice week together, awhile back.

  13. John Dennis — King of the 4 minute question, 25 minute bathroom break and 56 inch waistline.

  14. i'd like jack to develop the characters a bit more. would it be possible for us to hear more from georgie and freddy but less from stan? thanks

  15. A miserable windbag with little to no knowledge of sports. His pomposity oozes through the speakers every time he speaks. Takes his golf game as seriously as a heart attack, which nearly happened the last time he walked 9 holes.

  16. John Dennis is horrible at his job. If it was Dale & Callahan or Anyone Else & Callahan, I might give it more of a listen. He's more into celebrity and tv than sports. It's pathetic. And listening to him talk about hockey is laughable. I just don't understand what demographic he's trying to pander to.

    1. A faily focused demographic. Whoever is heading Membership Committees at tony golf clubs and whoever picks up checks at Granite Links.

  17. If he was covering something else he might be an approve. JD also seems to get stuck saying or wants to say the sexual one liners which makes him sound creepy or trying get on the Out Channel.

  18. Beaking News:

    It looks like D&C are making a desperate attempt to get younger. They are in talks with Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports to add him in some capacity to the show. It's pretty funny on the Barstool site. Maybe two commentors believe this is a good idea. Portnoy believes that those who read the Stool will follow him to WEEI. Everyone begs to differ.… (NSFW due to Language)

    1. If nothing else, the Boston sports radio wars have never been more combative.

      Can't wait to see how many more sidekicks they add to cut into D&C's talking time.

  19. Back when Bush was still president I enjoyed what Dennis brought to the table. Although admittedly very conservative, he chose to employ critical thought in his debates with Gerry, who marches to the party line always. Unfortunately, it feels like in recent years his notable journalistic abilities have faded, whether by laziness after being king for so long, maybe, who knows. Regardless, now he's got this sort of weird-ish perv thing going on, maybe it's always been there. I still think he's much better at crafting the question as opposed to his partner, who just wants to give you his answer. just sayin'.

  20. Dennis seems like a dinosaur in this day and age of sports media. I'm not sure how he survived the Metco gorilla fiasco (racism is tolerated at WEEI I guess). His radio voice is great, but his brain is rotten from the stem.

  21. Looks like the haters are out in full force to sabotage the voting results for each WEEI personality. All you nerds should stick to posting about geeky OPS stats over on SoSH. John Dennis is an EXPERIENCED radio PROFESSIONAL, unlike those two no-talent bozos Toucher & Rich. Just be honest and say you don't like him because he's a conservative, which is now apparently a crime in Massachusetts.

    D&C continue to run the best talk radio show in New England, despite all the detractors. They have the best interviews/guests and are consistently the first to break big news stories. They are not afraid to cut off callers who try to hijack the show with their uninformed opinions. I enjoy their take on current events, although the political talk seems to have been scaled back over the past year or two, causing the show to suffer somewhat. The old "Headlines" segment was my favorite and was always the highest rated portion of the show. Don't know why it was stopped.

    Big approval from me. Long live D&C! Intelligent talk for intelligent people.

    1. That's not true guest, or should I call you Jack or Eddie? How about Ralph? Maybe Edward or Dave?

    2. Just for the record, I don't frequent the SoSH, and I don't like Dennis because he's kind of a blowhard, not because of his political persuasion.

      More specifically, he's smarmy, oozes all over women (both guests and interns), has a temper problem that sometimes shows up on /air/, let alone off-air, and generally, he just turns me off.

      I mean, I like him better than Callahan, but that's not saying much.

      To his credit, while his questions do go on a lot, he does have good structure to his interviews, and he's quite good with time management (under which I include the teasers). But that's not nearly enough for me to enjoy him.

    3. Help, I'm being oppressed!! Wa-a-a-h, people don't like
      my politics wa-a-a-a-h! That must mean they're a crime wa-a-ah!
      Even though WEEI turned into political talk from 2001 onwards,
      even though Glenn Ordway spent 30 minutes explaining
      why Colin Powell proved there were WMD in Iraq (instead of talking about the Red
      Sox), I don't like it when my politics are no longer popular and I
      don't get to make gorilla jokes and assume black people like Sean
      Taylor were gangsters who brought it on themselves wa-a-a-a-h!

      Fatty and the Forehead are dying. NESN will drop them soon, and
      they will fade into Hot Dog Safari land soon enough. Time to move

  22. The morning crew gets lumped in with the Big Show now: Listening is like gargling Pepto Bismol.

    At least the 10-2 slot is mildly listenable, in a cheese pizza sort of way: Very plain, rather boring, and you get sick of it after consuming too much too often.

    The rest? A joke.

  23. The most arrogant voice in Boston Radio, arguably all of the Boston media. There probably isn't anyone else I'm happier to vote disapprove to in this poll!

  24. John Dennis is an arrogant, pompous guy who knows how to move a morning radio show along through the hours. Teamed with Cro-Magnon Callahan has to be a challenge.

  25. @Guest EEI Employee:

    "They have the best interviews/guests and are consistently the first to break big news stories"

    This might be a fair criticism of the poll. The best part of D&C are the guests and regular segments. Is that a credit to Dennis himself? I don't know. Personally I find him to be a smug a-hole and I haven't listened to him since 98.5 came on the air. However, is it possible that the Dennis & Callahan SHOW is better than each of the as individuals or a pairing?

  26. I wish I had more hands to give those chins four thumbs down! The milk's gone bad!

    One big disapprove to this dinosaur.

  27. Been told various times over the years that he's a dink's dink in-person. Same people also claim Callahan's a good guy, FWIW, so no anti-WEEI agenda from them. "Disapprove!"

  28. Strong approve. There are days when I think Dino is the only sane person on earth.

  29. Bruce, would you rather we comment with an Intense Debate login, or is using WordPress and/or OpenID OK? I think you said (when the site was having issues) that Intense Debate was better, but if you screen all comments by default and have to approve them yourself, including Intense Debate ones, does it matter which login we use?

    1. Kate – if you register with Intense Debate (which is actually operated by WordPress, and I think you can use your WordPress information to create an account) once you post your first comment with that account, any comments after that will go through without needing to be manually approved.

  30. I go way back with JD. Simply put – one of the most intelligent voices in Boston sports radio. Well-spoken, well-prepared, well-informed. Best to you JD and continued success in the cesspool that is Boston sports radio.

  31. Dennis is knowledgeable and has good sports commentary from time to time but I'm going with disapproval because I can't stand his counterpart. The shows right wing political focus is not why I want to listen to sports radio. It's a preference but certainly not unwarranted given it's a sports radio station! Same goes for the afternoon show which put way to much focus on the political debates and I stopped listening and never went back. Bottom line, if I want political news and commentary I will put on a political show. If JD focused more on sports and got out of the slot with Callahan I'd definitely give him a listen again.

  32. Dennis and Callahan is a great show. People hate them because they are conservative and won't suck the callers' dick. If the callers have nothing to say, they say screw off. I'm fine with that. Personally I could listen to them just talk for 4 hours and I would be fine with that.

    And I loved the water cooler format before people started saying "Just talk sports." You can only talk about a Patriots game, a Red Sox signing, or a Celtics trade for so long… you have to mix it up. And I like them even more for never talking hockey; I can't stand the game.

    John Dennis and Callahan are extremely entertaining. They have a lot of huge fans like myself, and a good amount of haters. They are edgy and controversial, so its expected.

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