Entercom and WEEI suspended morning co-host Kirk Minihane for a week, but only after pressure from FOX, which informed Entercom that it was pulling all sports and entertainment advertising off of the company’s airwaves. That includes ALL stations, not just WEEI.
FOX talent will also not be appearing on any WEEI program.
It was only after that move that Entercom suspended Minihane.
To me, this just compounds my frustration with the whole situation. I certainly disapproved of the comments and of the lack of seriousness with which WEEI appeared to take them (“The Triumphant Return of Kirk Minihane?”).
Fox noted this as well. In the note to Entercom was this:
To make matters worse, the “apology” was posted under a banner (allegedly approved by your Boston VP and Market Manager, Phil Zachary) hailing “The Triumphant Return of Kirk Minihane.”
On the other hand, I wasn’t sure a suspension was in order, either. I just would’ve liked a bit more sincerity from Minihane.
But if WEEI was going to suspend him, they should’ve done it when the remarks were first made. Now it’s clear they condoned his comments and only now suspended him because it is costing the company advertising dollars. Maybe they thought this whole thing would just blow over, but it couldn’t because Minihane and his on-air colleagues wouldn’t let it. They talked about it repeatedly on-air, and Minihane wrote his column this morning childishly attacking those who have been critical of him, essentially saying Yeah, I screwed up, but you’re no better! You’re out to get me!
I’m stunned to find that I actually agree with Dan Shaughnessy on this.
Either suspend the guy or stand by him. Now they look spineless. If his comments were so offensive, why didn’t they suspend him when he made them?
(Note: Dan Shaughnessy regularly appears on WEEI competitor 98.5 The Sports Hub and thus has an agenda in this issue.)
Minihane suspended for comments against Fox’s Erin Andrews – Chad Finn
WEEI suspends Kirk Minihane over Erin Andrews flap – Boston Herald.
The Herald post has a quote from Entercom CEO David Field:
“Kirk Minihane’s statements regarding Erin Andrews were offensive and deplorable. It is clear by the response from our listeners, advertisers and employees that Kirk’s efforts to apologize and make this right have been insufficient and ambiguous,” Entercom CEO David Field said. “We want to make it unequivocally clear that his comments were unacceptable and do not reflect Entercom’s values and standards. As a result, we have suspended Kirk for the upcoming week.”
It still seems a little late for action.
Finally this post from former WBZ-TV Sports Reporter Alice Cook is worth a read. It’s honest, enlightening and intelligent.
41 thoughts on “Kirk Minihane Suspended For One Week Over Andrews Comments”
In a couple of weeks DC&M will be interviewing SA Smith. They will be discussing the rescinding of the 19th amendment. They will all be in agreement.
so Fox’s message is apparently: you can’t insult our female reporters.
but we can put them out to pasture when we think they’re too old (Pam Oliver)
Isn’t WEEI an ESPN affiliate? I don’t think I ever have heard anybody from FOX Sports on the air. So what weight did that threat carry??
Yes and no. When ‘EEI cannibalized Mike-FM for the 93.7 signal, they worked out an agreement with ESPN for them to use the 850 signal. ESPN’s original foray into the Boston market, ESPN890, had atrocious signal quality. So, more partners than an affiliate relationship.
Verducci and Rosenthal were regulars for many years on ‘EEI. I’ve heard Glazer on before too. But this move as I read it means everything is gone from every Entercom station. Commercial buys, guests, etc. That’s significant weight.
They’re not an affiliate. They just buy some overnight feeds from them, if memory serves.
WEEI doesn’t look spineless in this situation, Bruce. They look . . . GUTLESS! ZING!
I don’t fault WEEI for doing something about Minihane. He deserved more punishment than a stern finger waving followed by pats on the back from his coworkers. But now? Seriously? I get that Fox probably does lots of business with Entercom and that account being pulled probably cost the company millions in ad revenues plus the loss of FOX-affiliated guests, but they look awful here. What can we expect on August 4th? The triumphant re-return of Kirk Minihane? WEEI looks amateur, an adjective one would think would not need to be applied to a station on the air for as long as they have been.
Are they still allowed to talk about the episode of 24 from the night before?
Stuff like this is why I don’t think they can beat TSH. These guys can’t help themselves.
The irony here is beautiful: angry, fake conservatives taken down (hopefully) by the media conglomerate that operates their favorite angry fake-conservative news network.
This guy said “hearing six figures” as the size of the account:
(Says broadcast guy and had some RT’s by people who follow, but I don’t know if it is credible.)
Does FOX advertise on 98.5? No station turns down money for anything, for the most part, but stations sometimes get territorial and won’t advertise with each other. I only ask because I’m normally on via stream, flipping away during commercials, so I don’t hear them or get the radio ($$) side.
I actually heard Felger’s voice a few months ago on EEI for a Comcast promo of some sort. Since EEI is affiliated with ESPN, Comcast doesn’t advertise much there, but they do occasionally.
After reading the Alice Cook column I think I have come to understand Minihane’s motivation in all this: he is actually a jealous bitch.
Everyone there is quite ‘effeminate.’ Especially Johnnie Denis, who seems most effeminate of the bunch.
Oh yeah and can we now start the internet trolling that Kirk was put up to this by EA to boost her career a bit further? When the barstool guy stops fapping over the peephole video, perhaps he can start thread.
I’m just pleased to see the carnage engulfing WEEI’s financial situation and reputation. Even better…it’s all self-inflicted. No fingers for them to point.
In the past I would write a few paragraphs on how bad WEEI’s management is and how they allowed a stupid on air comment to mushroom into a business feud with a one of the largest media companies in the country. Instead my observation has to do with Fox’s threat/promise. They did not pull advertising and appearances from WEEI they pulled them from ALL Entercom stations. Entercom, according to their website owns 141 stations. Between fox TV stations, their sports stations, and their news stations there is a lot of advertising and licensing and other cooperative agreements. I am thinking that Entercom misread this particular situation and did not expect Fox corporate to be upset or even aware of Minihane’s comments. Fox’s reaction to the lack of action by Entercom was pretty harsh and severe, but perfectly warranted. If Entercom is going to condone one of their on-air talent degrading one of Fox’s on-air talent then Fox is not going to associate or even support Entercom.
I think the suspension was too little/too late. It will be interesting to see if Minihane’s suspension mollifies Fox. Entercom spent years developing that relationship only to have it ruined by some third wheel in Boston who thinks apologizing means only digging a deeper. We often wonder if the real world crosses over into the glamorous. fictions world of broadcast media. It did in this case and I don’t Minihane ever thought he would learn this one…if he did at all.
I agree with everything you said but I get the impression this is more of a ‘f-you’ show of power. If anything, it’s a nice way to get a discount on your current ad rate.
Normally BSM I would agree with you but not here. This is brand protection through and through. Fox has a bunch of money tied up in Erin Andrews. The last thing they need is some morning show hack in a large media market, running her down to a rather large audience. Fox paid good money to bring Erin Andrews on board. They knew who she was…but more importantly they know all about her fan base. Minihane took a cheap shot at a multi- million dollar brand, Entercom tacitly approved, so Fox reacted.
Something to think about…this was not Minihane taking a veiled shot at someone else’s politics (What Oberman does) or at a local rivals show (what T&R do). This was an unwarranted, and unprovoked personal attack on a Fox property with no context to explain it away. The more I think about this the more amazed I am that Minihane has a job.
Yeah, I see why they would literally imply he’s gotta go or they’ll maintain the ban and stop advertising.
WEEI is small but Entercom is big[ger], no? I had asked about their ads on WBZ because, if they want this market, they could go right to a competitor. I don’t know about other markets.
But, I just wondered because News Corp is no stranger to this ‘pull ads’ strategy (decades now). Throw the threat, wait until Entercom’s relationship/sales manager says “we’re really sorry and would like you back… how does 25% off for the next 3 years sound?”. The same people who hated the network(s) before go back to doing the same thing. Life goes on.
That’s why I suggested it.
If they don’t? It’s for all the reasons you suggested.
Here is the other thing that compounds this issue for Entercom. Minihane and Entercom had an out. All Minihane had to do was say “I made some horrendous remarks about Erin Andrews as a person that were unfair and looking back on it completely inappropriate. I apologize to Erin publicly and I called her earlier today and apologized personally. I do not have a personal or professional relationship with her and as such attacking her as a person, wishing her dead and all of the other misogynistic comments lacked professionalism. My audience, my wife and my children all deserve more.” If he does not make that statement all Entercom has to do is suspend or fire him. Its pretty black and white.
Instead he compounds the issue by saying he stands by what he says, as if words said on the radio equal words said in a bar during a discussion when you are two sheets to the wind. Erin Andrews has a very good libel case although i doubt she pursues it. This is well beyond normal on-air crap. This is a career destroyer. Regardless of what you think about Erin Andrews, she does her job well enough that she gets paid 7 figures a year. Minihane has never met her yet he “hated” her and “wished her dead”. Without an immediate mea culpa from both Minhane and Entercom I am not sure what Fox could have done other than what they did do. If Entercom is going to tolerate their employees negatively attacking a paid advertiser’s brand then they deserve the backlash that is going to come with it.
You’re case is the ‘what should have been done’ (which I agree with).
I’m thinking about the ‘what usually happens’ (business as usual). I’m just taking a stab at it.
Could he still be fired? Absolutely. Fox reps imply it and he’s gone. But, lets say they do come back and it costs them some cash. This now becomes leverage for Zachary to throw at JD&GC for their contracts. “Your new guy [Minihane] cost us money. Take a paycut.” No?
Except D&C would say…get rid of Minihane, we never wanted him in the first place…money problem solved.
What happens inside a company usually stays inside the company. This one blew up publicly because of the forum and then because of the viral nature of the internet and streaming. Entercom handled it poorly and now they publicly have egg not heir face, while privately they face an unhappy customer who significantly contributes to their bottom line with both dollars and content. When you think about it this is pretty salacious. This is 10x worse than what Anthony Cumia did and the Opie & Anthony show is no more after 25 years or something and they were on Satelitte Radio…no FCC. Anthony’s twitter rant was against a private citizen and not a public celebrity but there are parallels. He was speaking his mind, giving his opinion. The landscape is littered with carcasses of self important media personalities who forget advertisers pay the bills. Again I ask…why is Minihane still employed.
LTD, I’d also point out that Fox specifically called out an individual in WEEI management. That’s…. fairly unprecedented in something like this.
If I was an Entercom Corporate bigwig, the EEI studios would be neck deep in gore from the bloodbath I’d unleash. Everyone connected at any point in the chain would be gone, from the GM of the station down to Minihane. It will be interesting to see what actually happens.
Lest we forget dick, Dale & Kirk were paired up on a weekend show for a few months after the KM’s 2011 Jack Edwards incident for the sole purpose of Dale practically forcing Kirk how to be more professional behind the mic. After it was thought he passed the test, Kirk then joined D&C to try and attract a younger demo to that show.
Guess the teachings of one Yoda Arnold failed as Anakin Minihane turned back to the dark side, apparently bringing all of the Entercom Empire with him.
“Finally this post from former WBZ-TV Sports Reporter Alice Cook is worth a read. It’s honest, enlightening and intelligent.”
“Was Andrews “gutless” because she didn’t ask a tough question? Come on, this is the MLB All-Star game, not the Watergate Hearings.”
You nailed it, Alice. The most entertaining thing about D & C & K is when they act as if or intimate that they think what Sports Talk Radio hosts, sports columnists and sports beat reporters do is (or should be) the equivalent of investigative reporting. I don’t pretend to know if they really believe this and it’s unintentional.
I agree with Alice Cook’s post. I also enjoy how T&R are killing D&C for playing “characters.” I feel like T&R are beating D&C without trying. Entercom is spending big money to get Tom Brady on weekly spots and T&R are playing 90210 trivia with Wallach and having Adolfo interview geeks at the Comic book store. IF T&R start to feel heat from WEEI, I think they’re take the gloves off, and probably goad John Dennis into his bi-yearly Twitter meltdown that he will delete 6 hours later.
And also, it is borderline hypocrisy for somebody on WEEI to bash a female media member, when they work for a company that was signing paychecks for Jen Royle for months.
There are no two bigger frauds in the Western Hemisphere than John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. Callahan once proudly exclaimed on the radio that he doesn’t write books because it’s “too difficult,” this is a man who spends all day everyday impugning the lives and work of others, a man who chose as his profession “journalism” and finds that which would mark him (writing a book) as a hard worker and someone near the top of his profession “too difficult.”
It was one of the most amazing admissions I’ve heard from someone and ever since it’s been obvious that Gerry is just projecting all day every day. He’s a lazy washed up never was hack writer with no talent.
John Dennis was is a similar no talent hack. You can’t be a has been when you never were anything to begin with.
Now that the big guns have been fired they will retreat like the cowards they are. Let’s see them rush to Minahane’s defense now. They won’t because they two gutless bitches. They’ll hide behind their charity work full time no doubt.
All those years they thought their ratings were high had something to do with them and not everything to do with the success of the local teams coinciding with Howard Stern going to satellite, if Stern had remained on terrestrial radio they would’ve been dumped for low ratings long ago.
I share your dislike for the two of them, Collis, but it’s hard to agree with everything you wrote. Callahan’s a good columnist, and the pompous donkey Dennis can actually run a snappy show. That does take skill. (If you don’t know what I mean about running a show efficiently, check out some old videos of Lawrence Welk–horribly boring music and format by modern standards, but he didn’t waste a single second of airtime. Not one.) As for the Boston teams carrying them? During the 90’s, the Celtics were never good. Not once. The Red Sox mostly stunk, flirting occasionally with being competitive without ever challenging realistically for a title. And the Patriots, under Kraft and Parcells, became a very good team. But that wasn’t until the late 90’s, by which time D&C had been successful on the air for quite some time.
If you want to know when a Boston team’s success really did buoy sports media members? Try the 80’s Celtics. Not only were they perennial championship contenders, but the ’86 squad is frequently mentioned as the best NBA team ever. And that was when writers like Bob Ryan–who would have shined at any time, in any market–became positive rock stars. (He’s even written a column or two–properly wry, of course–to that effect. I remember, more or less, a quote from one of them, pointing to his days when the Celts were all that: “I was a Boston sportswriter. I ruled.”) Lots of other excellent writers and reporters worked in, or at least had come from, Boston, too: Leigh Montville and Will McDonough come to mind.
Nobody in Boston broadcast has ever reached that kind of prominence, not Dennis, not Ordway, not Bob Lobel, not even Tina Cervasio : ) . And certainly not Felger. But D&C have been Boston radio mainstays regardless of the success or failure of the teams. I’m loving their graceless floundering now as much as anybody, but at least give them their due.
I agree with some of what you say here but D&C debuted in 1997, right as the Patriots were becoming perrenial playoff/Supebowl contenders. Also, Pedro was traded to the Sox in November that year, adding a wow factor to Sox nation. I think they benefitted from the relative success of the local teams, just as all the shows on WEEI did at the time.
What really set them apart was the fact that Rush Limbaugh didn’t air at the same time and that radio listener had a place to go in the morning. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that their rating have seen a bump since the “no politic shackles” have been taken off…
Lawrence Welk reference…and a 1 and a 2 and away we go… outstanding!!!!
As for the rest of your response I would simply add in a media market as large and competitive as Boston you do not last 17 years by accident. I have never been as down on the D&C show as others. It could be because I share a lot of the politic views but I like to think it is because for the most part they are the only morning show that talks sports. T&R is what it is. It would succeed on the old BCN or for that matter if they replaced Carson and Kennedy on the new 104.1 (please don’t…Can’t Beat Kennedy is my daughter and mine most guilty pleasure at 7:45 am ever morning) as well as it does on 98.5. I wonder if a straight sports show counter programmed would do as well against D&C. I don’t think so for a variety of reasons.
WEEI is CLEARLY milking this for all it is worth. Suspending someone AFTER getting advertising pulled makes no sense. Clearly, they had no intention of suspending him. In the advertisers minds suspending him after promoting his return is more of a slap in the face.
Only reason the suspended him…to keep this story in the news AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!!
I admit I am as cynical as the next guy…but I think you are wrong. I think he was suspended as a direct response to Fox announcing (not threatening but actually announcing as it was picked up by both the Herald and the Globe) that they were pulling all advertising and shared content from ALL Entercom’s properties. I think at that point Minihane’s status became a corporate decision in PA as opposed to a local station or even working group decision in Boston. Further I think the suits want this story to die. It has gone beyond the place where all PR good or bad is good PR. It is now completely embarrassing to the organization not necessarily because of what Minihane said but because of how poorly it was handled by Boston Entercom management.
I understand what you are saying, but my point is that WEEI’s (Entercom) opinion on what was said shouldn’t change based on how advertisers feel about it. What he said hasn’t changed. Suspending him now AFTER glorifying his return is like the father who applauds his son for knocking out the kid at school but then grounds him once mom finds out.
Fox didn’t set a condition on their folks returning, they are gone, have left and won’t be returning anytime soon. This is no more embarrassing now than it was when it happened. WEEI to me, is looking at this to keep the pot stirring to keep people talking about it.
I think where we disagree is in the nuance of the difference between the management of WEEI and the oversight by Entercom. WEEI’s managers clearly see things your way. I think the decision to suspend Minihane after the fact was done corporately by Entercom over the head of WEEI’s management team. It was done both to mollify Fox (which it may or may not do) and to show WEEI’s management team how the situation should have been handled and what is expected of them in the future.
Something else to ponder. Some on this board have alluded to glee or joy in watching WEEI fail. I think WEEI struggling is very bad for Sports Media in this market. I think just as Boston needs two papers and 2 sports only cable networks it really needs two vibrant sports talkers. At times when WEEI was the only game in town the conversation was tedious and reaction to criticism non existent. Today management is responsive…maybe not timely but they are listening. If 98.5 were left as the only player you would have the same issues we used to have with WEEI. Competition is good. I think change needs to come to both stations.
At WEEI I am coming to the point where I think they need a sports centered morning show. I do think Dale Arnold should be one of the hosts. Maybe he should do it with Rob Bradford so the on line arena (which WEEI.com does very well) could be incorporated. The midday show I think would be much better without Utility Lou. Tim Benz is growing on me. Fauria is good now because it is football season. Not sure what he will be like next Feb. They need to try something completely different in the afternoon…Holley has to go. I could go on and on about replacements but my please fall on deaf ears. SO let the suits figure it out. At night I am trying something new…. I love Mike Adams! Greatest show evah!!!! Is my reverse psychology working? It was worth a shot although I feel absolutely filthy for typing anything positive about Planet Mikey.
On WEEI, I think Gresh and Zo should be replaced but if you look at their numbers next to what they are reported to be paid I can’t see any change coming there. T&R aren’t going any where…neither is F&M. I would add a football hour (the Football Reporters) starting in July after the Baseball reporters and once baseball season ends slide it into that slot and have it hosted by Chris Gasper with a similar format to the Baseball Reporters.
Adam Jones is only slightly less annoying that Mike adams so I listen to John Bachelor at night.
I don’t understand why people advocate for somebody to get fired and lose their job. Can’t you just not listen? Isn’t that easier for everybody? I love Gresh and Zo, especially during football season. Nobody better. i don’t like T&R at all but i simply don’t listen. No skin off my back if they continue to have a show.
I think there are degrees to this discussion. In general I agree with young one should advocate that a person lose their job, all of these people have families and have a right to make a living. At the same time, they chose to make that living in the public sphere on public radio waves, where they have a public forum to espouse their personal views unchecked and unfiltered in public. As such the standards for asking for someone to be fired are different than they are for someone anonymously works a retail job, or in an office. The difference comes down to the public’s tolerance of a personality’s else’s view point, behavior, demeanor and in the end “like ability”.
I think Kirk Minihane should get fired because what he said was reprehensible. As much as I dislike Gresh and Zo and think they are glorified yahoos from central PA, they have done nothing recently to warrant losing their jobs. Mike Holley’s boss agrees with this with regards to his employment…I think his consistent ratings failures without accountability should be enough to get him, if not fired, then reassigned to something less high profile than the afternoon drive show.
I’ll take a little of both the points made.
Over the past week, the number of “they don’t deserve a job” posts across the entire Internet has been vast. Between Minihane, Dungy and SaS, that’s usually 3 months of media members saying bad stuff all compressed into one. I get that each is different but I guess I’m even alarmed at it.
LTD: You make the salient point, “fired are different than they are for someone anonymously works a retail job”.
You’re absolutely right. (YARM!) But I wonder that if we keep going down this road, don’t you think we’re entering into some darker territory? I’m borrowing from Ordway here but I wished that, on Monday, ESPN had put Beadle on with SaS so that they can discuss what he said. It’s a debate show. Both Beadle and SaS are paid to offer up insight and opinions. Instead, ESPN opts for the same route they usually do, by sweeping it under the rug, hoping to avoid the ‘Streisand Effect’ that the NFL is going through with the Ray Rice situation.
I tried posting something similar on a different board and got a ton of negative feedback. Why I enjoy Bruce’s commentary and posting here is that I find we can have good conversations, even if we disagree, unlike many places. Ever see the Globe or Herald comment threads? There also seems to be a bit of diversity here, whereas many forums (Reddit, but it depends on the sub) have “Hivemind” that dominates.
Your first point brought up competition. I’ll advocate it all day. I’d rather the diversity, like the two morning shows, or the 3 options in the afternoon, than having one or all options sounding the same. If I don’t like a show? I don’t listen. If that show is doing better than the one I listen? Such is life. I exercise that every day with all forms of media.
I hope my point is made across, since I wasn’t sure how to turn pages of thought into something smaller like an op-ed without dedicating thesis-level time to it. No show that spends 4 hours calling people bad names and saying offensive things should do well but the number of professionals who seem to want to cancel everything concerns me, as well. Shouldn’t we let the market (ratings, listeners and advertisers) determine all of this?
BSM…I understand your point…I think for the most part your observations are similar to mine. There are 2 points that I either disagree with or need further thought: on your point of ESPN putting Beadle on SAS’s show and have them discuss/debate the incident I think we disagree. I look at SAS the same way I look at Kirk Minihane. He had a chance to come clean but instead he dug his heals in on twitter. The apology he finally made had to be pre recorded…meaning ESPN did not trust him to do it right. SAS has issues. Putting someone who has a history of domestic abuse on a segment with him to discuss his views on the women’s role in causing domestic violence would have been a train wreck. ESPN knew and they smartly avoided it. Having said that, ESPN could have had Beadle guest host in SAS’s absence, she could have had on experts to discuss domestic violence and why on the edge athletes may be more prone to committing domestic violence (the numbers say they aren’t but it would be a good conversation). Instead they put SAS on suspension and as you say sweep it all under the rug. For that I say Shame on ESPN.
As for letting the market decide..I am all for it. The questions become: when has the marketed decided and when it does who makes the decision to go in a new direction and when? Are there instances where morality tops ratings? Who is the arbiter? Are their topics/statements/words that are black and white use/don’t use? Where are the lines and when they are crossed isn’t it managements responsibility because radio stations use public airwaves to step in and be the adult in the room?
Its all fodder for future discussions.
Good post. And I agree with the diversity comment. My biggest problem is both radio stations seem to be chasing the 18-25 male demographic. As a middle-aged woman, most of this turns me off. All programs in all time slots are geared to the same thing. I like Dale because he at least doesn’t spend all his time shouting. Of course, not all programs should be aimed at my demographic either, but a little more variety would be nice. I would love a sports centered morning program. I just switched over to Mike&Mike again. ( I turn them off during the winter due to the refusal to cover hockey)
Who do you call when your windshield is busted?
Since NESN pimps everything out, I’m wondering how I don’t see a big “GIANT GLASS” ad on the screen after this:
(This is from the ESPN feed, but NESN had an identical shot.)
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