Chad Finn had the story this weekend that WEEI is finally shaking up the midday program, reassigning Mike Mutnansky and bringing in Christian Fauria to join Lou Merloni, and adding 970 ESPN Pittsburgh host Tim Benz to the program as well.
According to Finn:
Benz will join the program — titled “Middays with MFB” — sometime later in the month after the Penguins complete their Stanley Cup playoff series with the Rangers.
I had heard the Fauria rumors and refused to believe them, thinking that 1) Fauria wouldn’t want a full-time role like this, and 2) that new management would be smart enough to see that the former Patriots tight end doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table other than his NFL experience.
As for Benz, he has ties here, as Finn notes:
He was born in Boston, and his father is Dr. Edward Benz Jr., the current president and CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
We all know how well things went the last time the station brought in an out-of-town talent who had local ties here. Benz’s challenge will be to avoid being Mike Salk V2,
Benz was involved in a bit of controversy last year when he left his spot as morning host of The X Morning show.
Tim Benz Leaves X Morning Show – This link shows a Facebook post allegedly by Benz where he suggests that a drone strike targeted at the listener’s home would be “doing all of us a favor”
A change on the program was well overdue, and while it remains to be seen how well the new parts will work together, you can see some of the logic in how it was put together. In Merloni and Fauria you’ve got baseball and football covered with guys who have played locally and know how things operate and the unique environment that is Boston. In Benz you’ve got a guy who has covered the Steelers and Penguins and can be the host of the show, hopefully playing the strengths of Merloni and Fauria.
As for Mutnansky, it appears that he’s been Dale Arnold-ed. He’ll likely get some fill-in spots and weekend duty. I’m glad they didn’t fire him altogether, but it remains to be seen where his radio career goes from here.