Here's a quick timeline of the events of the last two weeks at WEEI:
A little over a week ago, WEEI morning show host Kirk Minihane called FOX Sports' Erin Andrews some not-so-nice names and wished that her body would drop lifeless on the ground.
Minihane conveniently had a family wedding to attend and was off the air for a week while controversy brewed over his comments.
Minihane returns to the air this past week and apologizes for calling Andrews some bad names, but doesn't apologize for crticizing her lack of talent. In his next breath he implies that if Andrews packed on a few more pounds (insinuating that she wouldn't be as attractive) that she would be working as a waitress at some random restaurant.
All the while, WEEI management is allowing Minihane on the air. No discipline is handed down.
Then comes word that some of FOX Sports', as well as ESPN's, talent will no longer appear as guests on WEEI. FOX Broadcasting Company then really catches upper management's attention by pulling all advertising from not only WEEI, but all of parent company Entercom's radio stations.
Hours later, WEEI changes course and decides to suspend Minihane for a week.
It's a black mark against WEEI. It shows indecisiveness. It also shows how they make all their decisions based on the almighty dollar. Had FOX not taken their advertising dollars away from the station, WEEI would have carried on as if nothing happened. In fact, they may have relished in the increased buzz.
WEEI is now put in a tough spot. The station has invested heavily in Minihane-- who is a relative newcomer to broadcasting. The station has the reputation of being old and stale-- attracting the less-appealing older demographic. For many years, the on-air talent was dominated by veterans like Glenn Ordway, Dale Arnold, John Dennis, Gerry Callahan, and Mikey Adams. They have struggled to develop new talent. Mike Mutnansky, Lou Merloni, and Mike Salk never developed the way they liked. So far I haven't been very impressed with newcomers Tim Benz and Christian Fauria.
Kirk Minihane has been the lone exception. He has helped improve D&C's ratings -- although Dennis and Callahan would like to take credit. Now people are calling for Minihane's head.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next couple of months.