There are a few items of interest from the Boston sports media world from the last couple of days.

First, Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner spoke to Steve Buckley about why they made the decision to replace Don Orsillo with Dave O’Brien.

Tom Werner explains why NESN is parting with Don Orsillo – Steve Buckley

In a nutshell, they like O’Brien better and he was available, so they made the move. Werner told Buckley that they want to “re-energize” the telecasts, and said that O’Brien is “well known for bringing out the nuances of baseball strategy, sharing insights about players…”

I thought the NESN telecasts were supposed to be about entertainment? At least that has always been the perception, that baseball was at times secondary to the broadcast. It seemed accepted that Orsillo was doing what he was asked to do. Now, they’re saying he didn’t talk enough about the nuances of baseball strategy?

Weird.

Richard Deitsch of SI.com writes about the move as well (with links to other articles) in The Noise Report.

I certainly don’t like how the move was handled, but the hand-wringing by other media over Orsillo has been a bit much. I like Don Orsillo, everyone says he’s a great guy, one of the best, but like most things, this type of thing happens every day in corporate America. If the Red Sox want to change broadcasters, it’s their prerogative, life goes on.

It’s funny, when Orsillo was named the full-time broadcaster, there was similar hand-wringing over how Sean McDonough was getting screwed over.

It’s the circle of life in media jobs, and indeed, in real life. Don Orsillo will get another, probably better, job.

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Over the weekend, the Boston Globe decided to look at all the apologies that ESPN has been issuing as of late. Great. It’s a worthy topic, given that the network seems to have abandoned its ombudsman position.

For ESPN, apologies become commonplace – Callum Borchers

Notice anything missing? Only any reference to the apology issued the week before to the Patriots.

That’s kind of mind-blowing.

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Ron Borges, of all people was probably the first to report that Glenn Ordway was going to be taking over the WEEI mid-day show (I’d post his tweet here, but since he’s probably already blocked 3/4 of my readers, most of you wouldn’t be able to see it.).

The station made it official, adding Ordway to the 10-2 show alongside Christian Fauria and Lou Merloni. He returns on September 8th.

Glenn Ordway to join WEEI’s midday show – Chad Finn, who also has a similar, but slightly different piece for Boston.com.

I believe the show will eventually reclaim the ratings win in the mid-day time slot. I just can’t get into Marc Bertrand with Scott Zolak, they just don’t click for me. While it is likely disappointing to some that the station is returning to an old voice, Ordway could be the perfect fit to work with two former players in Merloni and Fauria. I think he’ll bring out the best in them.

As for Gary Tanguay, he shouldn’t feel too bad about getting passed over. It’s just another job he doesn’t have to worry about being fired from.

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29 thoughts on “Monday Media Notes

  1. Agreed completely on the Big O. Merloni and Fauria have been more listenable without Benz (another Salk like disaster) and I think they’ll be improved with Ordway running the show. As for Zolak and Bertrand, 98.5 took off the one solid sports pairing they had in Gresh & Zo during football season and opened the door for EEI to reclaim the midday slot if nothing else. Should be a good boost for them that could trickle over into Dale and Holley. F&M’s schtick is beyond old — they still have their listeners, but the jig will be up at some point for them, just as it eventually was for Ordway after his years of ratings dominance.

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    1. Ordway comes with his legion of shut-ins – if is #s do grow to win the mid-day – how long before eei contemplates a flipflop with pm drive?

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      1. Ordway already attacks F&M more so than the actual show that competes against them. Even D&C goes after them. I love how Kirk just crushes them,especially Tony,on an almost daily basis and the pusses at the Hub don’t fight back.

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        1. They don’t have to fight back. They’re in the lead. When (and ye gods I hope it’s soon) EEI passes them in the ratings, then you’ll see them fight back.

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  2. The Big O used one of my lines during his call with D & C & K this morning, referring to (Mazz, Adam Jones, Tanguay, etc.) people that are terrified of being called Homers and going off the deep end with their phony contrarian hot takes.

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      1. The vid I posted on the previous post with the “Mort Lies” was awesome. I loved how some security guys were pushing him away. ESPN must now hire bouncers anytime they know this must happen.

        Gotta think the producers in the truck and Bristol was like “WTF DO WE CUT!? OR KEEP ROLLING!?”

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        1. Or…you know…it could be because a cameraman and interviewer were killed on camera recently and they’re worried about copycats.

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          1. I tend to agree with you. I can’t believe ESPN hired security to keep people from showing signs. Their whole schtick is to have people crowd behind the live shot.

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          2. Yeah, on GAMEDAY. They know full well how much guys like Sal and Mort and the whole ESPN brand are loathed in New England. This is in no way comparable to college students holding signs for TV behind Lee Corso or Digger Phelps. That’s not even apples to oranges. It’s like spinach to ice cream.

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          3. I bet that factored about 1% into it. ESPN is very protective of their image and it’s taken a huge hit the past 9 months.

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  3. I have no idea why anyone would care if Don Orsillo stays or goes. They guy lost all credibility with me when he agreed to stay and work with Remy. My questions are why isn’t anyone asking why Remy gets to stay and if Dave OB knows that his new partner enabled a wife beater and a murderer? Enquiring minds want to know.

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  4. When it comes to the big O joining the midday Show I wonder if Dale Arnold has a greater sense of personal satisfaction today.

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  5. Irony: John Tomase reporting on a false report:

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  6. Anyone hear Merloni doing play by play on the radio? He was working his tail off. It gave me a new found respect for the ace play by play guys.

    I actually like when Joe C does play-by-play and Lou does the color. I think they play off each other real well. What is the rationale between having two play by play guys on the radio? If anyone could explain the thought process behind that I would appreciate it very much. TY

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    1. Lots of conflicting reports over this Orsillo signage thing last night. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Sox did make an effort to do it but were met with a lot of resistance. I do know that Bruins’ management did, in fact, have all anti-Harry Sinden signs confiscated from the FleetCenter during the final few home games of the 1997 season — their first non-playoff season since Orr’s rookie year, which was characterized by Sinden’s dealing away Adam Oates right after Oates had the temerity to publicly question the organization’s financial commitment to winning (in other words, he called the owner cheap, and got his butt traded away in response). The fans were pissed and they let Harry know about it, but security was told to confiscate all of the signs and to eject anyone who resisted. I know because I was one of the security staff at that time — fortunately, I wasn’t working inside the arena, but merely inside the security office on site. If I had been one of the inside-arena guys, it would have made me sick to have to do that to the paying customers, who had every right to express their frustration with how poorly (and yes, cheaply) the organization was being run back then — and this was still three whole years before Bourque said, “I surrender,” and asked to be traded to a Cup contender before it was too late for him to win one. Some ingenious fan who was tossed out of the first home game of the post-Oates era got his revenge the following Saturday by having a bunch of “Harry Sucks” decals printed, bringing them with him, and the surreptitiously slapping them up on the walls inside and outside the arena. It took the Delaware North minions the entire summer to locate and scrape off all of them…LOL. I think suppressing the fans’ ability to express their feelings about a hot topic, good or bad, is a bush league maneuver, seriously. If the Sox did try something like that last night, they need to grow up and realize that this, too, shall pass. No one will be talking about Orsillo’s absence come opening day next April. For now, just deal with the fallout and take the backlash like grown men, please.

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  7. re: Ordway — Meh. I actually kind of like Merloni and Fauria, in a low-key sort of way. I hope Ordway doesn’t dominate things too much.

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  8. Anyone know where to get the new Channel Media survey Beetle was reading from? It usually leaks a few days later.

    Interesting tweet from the king of all toolbags, Darren Rovell.

    I’ll paste the images directly to save on having to find it.

    7/28 poll:

    Today:

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    1. I sent it to Bruce a little while ago. Let me know your email if you want it before he gets a chance to post it.

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      1. How do you get it? Could you post it up on Google Docs or somewhere public? Otherwise, if Bruce has it, I assume he’ll do a post today or tomorrow with it linked. Thanks for the offer, though.

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        1. I couldn’t get google docs to work. This was the best I could do. Maybe you can save it to google docs so everyone can see it. I don’t know if this worked.

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