Today’s subject is WEEI’s Michael Holley.

An Ohio native, Holley worked for the Akron Beacon Journal before joining the Boston Globe in 1997. He was the Celtics beat writer before being moved into the columnist role. At the time, he was also a frequent guest on WEEI, especially on The Big Show, prior to the WEEI/Globe schism.

In September, 2001, Holley left the Globe to join the Chicago Tribune as a columnist. He quickly realized that he had made a mistake, and has spoken of the impact that 9/11 had on him at that time. By January, 2002, he was back at the Globe, and remained there until 2005.

In 2004, Holley was working on television on Fox Sports Net’s I, Max alongside Max Kellerman. He has also done ESPN’s Around the Horn. Locally, he has been a regular on CSNNE, and has been the host of Celtics Now.

In 2005, he was named to replace Bob Neumeier alongside Dale Arnold on the WEEI midday show. In February of this year, it was announced that Holley would be moving to The Big Show as permanent co-host alongside Glenn Ordway.

Holley has published three books – Patriot Reign, Never Give Up and Red Sox Rule.

His fourth book, War Room: Bill Belichick and the Patriot Legacy is due to be released on October 4th, 2011.


29 thoughts on “2011 Approval Ratings – Michael Holley

  1. Approve, overall solid performer. Pretty rational, not as moronic as most of the other WEEI hosts.

  2. WEEI's best talent by a longshot, yet somehow he's been relegated to second fiddle behind that no-talent clown, Glenn Ordway. Would love to see Holley paired up with Curran or Felger (which is why I was rooting hard for him to end up at the Sports Hub).

    As a writer, I don't think he's anything more than average, but he chooses to write about interesting subjects for his books, so they've all been generally entertaining.

  3. Stands out for what he isn't: a late middle-aged right-wing crank who just doesn't "get" Twitter, the Web, and taking a day off when your kids are born. Basic reasonableness masks a not-too-deep sports knowledge. Still seems unduly bedazzled (or thinks others should be) by his Ohio State connection. More Ed McMahon to Ordway's Carson (although Ordway is more The Chevy Chase Show), he's still light years better that Smerlas' angry white guy Tourette's or DeOssie's know-nothing bully act. Mega light years better than bark-biter Stearns or Empty Vest. I appreciate the way that he tries his damnedest not to interact with Mike Adams.

        1. "appreciate the way that he tries his damnedest not to interact with Mike Adams'…….ha-ha….I noticed that too,,,,God, Adams is HORRIBLE. Sent him a twitter message the other day saying i wanted to get into sports brodcasting but had no talent, wanted to know his secret. I guess he didn't think it was funny cause he replied back something not nice about my mother.

  4. One of the most down to Earth, nicest guys you can imagine. Me and my wife asked him for signed copy of one of his books for our charity event. Not only did he give us all three of hs books, he stopped by my apartment to drop them off after work was over

    as far as his radio work: like the posters above said: rational thinker, reasoned arguments, doesnt need to yell over folks. Him being paired with Felger would be absolutely epic. his work on TV is always solid, he comes across as knowledgeable (unlike say, his cohost on the Big Show).

    Liked his pairing with Dale much more than his pairing with Ordway, but that is what it is.

  5. Boring. Despite all the access he had with Belichick, never reveals anything interesting. WEEI's attempt at younger audience is a boring, closed to middle-aged bore, detached from anything people under 40 care about. Did I mention he's boring?

  6. Funny how things change. I was a big fan of Holley when he was doing the Dale and Holley show. I though Holley and Dale Arnold worked real well together. I deplored the Big Show with Ordway, DeOssie, Smerlas et all on EEI and switched to 98.5. However when Dale and Holley were broken up I thought I'd give the Big Show another chance when Holley hooked-up with Ordway. What I found was I didn't like Holley nearly as well as I used to and began noticing some of his warts. I didn't listen much because I switched back to Feler/Mazz but bottom line I liked Holley with Arnold but not with Ordway. I guess Ordway brings out the worse in all his guests but I do think Holley is a talented guy and his larger body of work is impressive so I do approve. Just not when he's paired with Glenn Oddball and Mikey Adams.

  7. Strongly Approve of Michael Holley. Not that it's any shock but the D&H show was my favorite. It spurned conversation that most could enjoy. Rarely was there any shouting, or chest bumping, or "richard" measuring like Dale Arnold once said. I only catch the new Big Show for the last 15 minutes on my way home, during commercials for F&M. I usually don't hear Holley's voice. It feels like Holley has been sent to SportsTalk purgatory, aimlessly floating with nothing to do, just trying to wait it out. I have enjoyed his books, but like CBK mentioned, he is not a great writer. He does select great topics and writes well enough to make them some of my favorite sportsbooks. I feel like Holley is a genuinely good guy, although correct me if I am wrong. I don't recall hearing horro stories ie. Mike Adams, John Dennis, and Pete Sheppard.

    I honestly hope for his sake, and all of us sportstalk listeners, that he gets a new venue with a better cohost, or leaves WEEI for a different position, where we can actually hear his voice, rather than being told he's part of the show.

  8. Holley doesn't do a lot for me. Maybe I can't get over him giving face time to the Randy Moss/restraining order thing during the '07 season. His writing is too simple for me but he's had some good access to key players which makes up for his prose. Haven't had the pleasure of hearing him with Ordway but it clearly is not a match made in heaven. In an arena full of blowhards he's a pretty likable fellow so I approve.

  9. Random post since we are discussing a former Mid-day host. I don't know if anyone else was listening with Zolak and Mike Flynn was really enjoyable today. Maybe I'm overexcited because of how much I despise Gresh, but I liked the combo of Flynn and Zo. Jus curious if anyone else heard/enjoyed it. I know no1 was listening to M&M, judging by the ratings.

  10. Not to repeat myself but…I have no idea what anyone sees in him. I think he is the weakest of all the WEEI hosts save Mike Adams and Larry Johnson (okay he do weekenders count?). For a guy who has unprecedented and unparalleled access to Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization you would think he would know more than the average fan when it comes to football…I am not convinced he knows more than Dale Arnold or Glen Ordway. I think his so-called basketball knowledge is more of a stereotype than anything rooted in reality as he never shows any clear or intelligent insight into basketball in general or the Celtics in particular. By the way…the fact that he went to school with Lebron's mother…does nothing for me and he does not have to keep repeating that. He clearly knows less about basketball that Ordway. His baseball knowledge is of the "I read some common ideas floated by baseball people so now I am going to parrot them and sound intelligent" variety. When the Bruins came around he was clearly overmatched.

    Here is what I think is most damning. Many of us have speculated that WEEI moved mike Adams into the big show flash guy job because they were already paying him and it was a way to get more out of the dollars being spent. I think it was a panic move. I think the powers to be recognized how dumb it was to pair Ordway with Holley but not because Glen is the problem but because it is clear Holley does not have the talent or knowledge to participate in that show. His presence forces Ordway to have to opine rather than mediate (not his strength) and it forces WEEI management to add a third voice to the show just because Holley was so bad.

    One other thing about Holley. He is very thin skinned and temperamental. His flat out wrong attack on Dale Arnold because he thought Dale was saying he did not want to talk hockey when they were partners was bush league…either that or it was a planned bit to start a feud that never took off because it was true. He has taken offense publicly for people questioning his writing style and lack of substance in his books. I am convinced Belichick has no problem with Holley writing books on the inner workings of the Patriots because the guy does not really say anything new. Go back and reread Patriot Reign and then tell me what ground breaking facts he came out with. Nothing. It was one of the fastest 180 page reads I have ever made. There was no substance and nothing to make me think. He is the primary problem for WEEI and the afternoon show and I am not sure how they are going to solve it. If they put Glen back with rotating hosts…his ratings would stay where they always are. WIth Holley they are in free fall.

    1. I'd say your way off base. If you read Patriot Reign and found it boring, then god have mercy on your wife or husband, you must be a peach to enjoy their life with. If you didn't find the draft room breakdown, analysis of the grouping system for college players, how heavily the patriots weight athleticism, "best available", character and how that can make them take or shy away from a player, then honestly what do you honestly enjoy. I swear, I read 95% of your posts, and you depress me. I just don't understand how a human being can despise so much about the Boston Sports Medai Market, yet have such strong opinions about everything. Please never get a job at a suicide hotline!

      1. Oh please…you read Patriot Reign and were impressed by the simplistic prose, the stating of the obvious and the lack of in depth analysis? I read it and thought…I could write this. Simple sentences, almost like I was reading a newspaper account. No meaningful insight, it was great that he was able to describe the draft room…how about some explanation or creative insight to go with his line of sight reporting? Like I said, fastest 180 pages I have ever read. It could have been brilliant and amazing…it wasn't. I read Summer of '49 and Men at Work around the same time I read Patriot Reign…George Will and David Halberstam did two sports books that were insightful, made me think and were written so much better than I could ever do.

        As for me depressing you…might not want to read me then..I don't despise the Boston Media Market. I quite like it much more than NY (I visit often for business) or St. Louis (wife's Family). What I don't like is the complacency we are now getting. We used to demand and get the best in both print and radio content. Today we are almost all in agreement that both sports talker have lousy content from 10-2 and for that matter 2-6. The morning shows are not sports shows so they don't count. Mike Adams evening show is putrid. DA is quite good although he is getting a little Felgerish lately. At the same time the quality of the print publications is awful compared to what they once were. I do not want to wax nostalgic or compare today's reporters to those in the past. I will say look at the dollars being spent on the coverage of the teams. Look at what management of the publications are willing to put up with and I will ask why are you not more critical. There are three non newspaper online sites (WEEI, ESPNBOSTON, CSNNE) that cover the Boston sports market better than the Globe and Herald and any of the three local TV stations. I know the world changes but like I keep saying we have every right to demand excellence. Mike Holley…not excellent…he isn't even good.

    2. I was actually kind of impressed by that exchange (I mean, except for the part where they were having it in public, wtf?). Holley asked what the hell, Dale explained, Holley accepted it, the end.

      *scans down* Oh. I missed the radio part of it. I just saw the Twitter exchage. Oops. That changes things considerably.

      I don't at all agree about your "panic move" paragraph, or rather, I agree to an extent. Ordway /is/ better as a mediator, but it's not Holley forcing him to opine, it's the nature of a two person show. Now, if Holley were a more aggressive personality, that might have occasionally made Ordway shut up, but it would also make me even more likely to turn the channel.

      (And honestly, I don't even know if Holley DOES know less than Ordway about basketball, because Ordway dominates the discussion/interviews so much.)

  11. I don't approve or disapprove. He's not offensive, which I like, but he's boring, and has no interesting points or stories

  12. I think Holley has pretty good takes and analysis once he gets to the subject matter. What he really has to work on is the incessant goofing and joking around before they get to the topic at hand. Michael, when you spend two minutes joking about your co-hosts tie, shoes, haircut, at nauseum it doesn't make you more fun to listen to or watch, it just makes you more irritatng. We want to hear your takes on sports. Nobody gives a damn about your personal life, or Gary Tanguays for that matter. Please, get to the sports topic.

  13. Holley is the only thing 'eei has going for it, all the other acts are old, tired and make for boring radio. He will win the 'eei approval ratings going away. He's thumbs up all the way.

  14. I like Holley. He's not the greatest analyst — remember how Terry Francona took him apart over what managing actually entails?

    But he did stand up to The CHB when the latter had the temerity to compare the RS WS win to the civil rights movement. Then, when Holley called him out on it and the Globe apologized, Holley stood up to him when The CHB accused Holley of going all Carl Everett on him, which was the most ridiculously racist thing I've seen since Bensonhurst.

  15. just because he's not as annoying as the others on 'EEI doesn't garner an approve vote from me. As others have mentioned, his lack of insight despite superior access (at least in terms of the Patriots) is disappointing.

  16. I like Holley a lot. Unfortunately he has become completely lost being paired with Ordway and Adams. It was another example of WEEI management not listening to listeners. It made no sense at all and the ratings prove it. Latetodinner's post I liked even though I disagreed with the majority of it. Late is a very good writer. I do agree with him on one point that somewhat takes away the shine from Holley. I remember the day he went after Dale on talking hockey. I thought it was a bush league move and makes what Holley said to Dale on Dale's last show seem phony. It was the one time I was truly disappointed in Holley.

    1. I missed this particular argument. Do you happen to know if it is available on audio on demand, or anywhere else I could find it? Do you have an idea of the date/time and I could search as well

      1. It happened during the Stanley Cup finals I think between game 1 and 2 (I am not great at remembering times…but almost positive it was in the finals and not during the Tampa series). Dale was third man in on the D&C show and they were discussing the lack of Hockey coverage on the station over the years. Dale said that he had a co-host who refused to talk hockey because he said that hockey fans were either true believers or just stupid. Dale refused to name the person. 6 hours later Holley went after Dale when it was clear Dale was talking about Andelman. Ordway sided with Holley in a one sided fight that Dale was not party to. I just went through the WEEI archives and did not see it mentioned. I bet it is not posted because it makes them look really bad. It was totally unprofessional of Holley. I mentioned it here at the time he did it and few people commented.

        1. I would swear that during the Twitter part, Holley said something about how Jason Wolfe told him about it. …But going back to it, he didn't. (He just said "That's what I get for being lured into talk that u meant someone other than EA.") So I suppose my thought that it was someone trying to get them to actually fight, as opposed to Mike-Adams-Barricading-himself-in-the-booth fake fight, doesn't have actual merit.

          (Also, I should go by wrestling rules. If it happens on the show, it's a work.)

          1. Etak:

            Its funny you mention the wrestling rules…when I first typed up the paragraph I had written that Holley broke Kayfabe…but I thought no one would understand me so I rewrote it. I still think considering what went down 8 weeks earlier it was a classless act on Holley's part…but more importantly it was a clear demonstration of his thin skin. I doubt I am going to change people's mind about Holley. For reasons I can't fathom people like him…I just think he is not nearly as good as people say or think he is.

  17. I approve less than I did six months ago, but he's an OK writer, and I liked the lack of sensationalism that Dale & Holley brought to things.

    Holley and Ordway is just meh.

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