You didn't think the shakeups at WEEI would end with Glenn Ordway's dismissal, did you? I suspected in an earlier column that John Dennis and Gerry Callahan should be concerned when Ordway was let go.
Now comes news that D&C will now be D&C&M. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe was the first to report that WEEI.com columnist and weekend/fill-in host Kirk Minihane will be joining Dennis and Callahan in the mornings permanently. Maybe they should rename the morning show "The Law Firm."
Minihane is not there to do the sports flashes, i.e. read sports scores and news items once every half hour. Minihane will not be sitting in a separate side booth, allowed only to turn on his microphone when spoken to. No, no, no. Minihane is being brought in as an equal partner, and possible successor.
I listened to most of Friday's show just to get a feel of how the three would gel. I had given up listening to D&C on a regular basis a few years ago. Not surprisingly, the three together were a train wreck.
Dennis and Callahan were their normal arrogant selves. I found it funny how they were amusing themselves (and no one else) by trying to give Minihane a nickname. I found it amusing, not because I thought they were being funny, but because the two seem oblivious to the writing on the wall.
John Dennis seemed to settle on "Third Man In" Minihane. Can Dennis really be this naive and out of touch? Does he not realize that, in a few months, Minihane may be referring to Dennis as "First Man Out" Dennis?
There is no way this trio together can be WEEI's final solution to fixing the morning show. You have to believe it's only the first step in transitioning the show to something which doesn't include a D or C.
Based on the show I heard on Friday, with this current format, Minihane will have a hard time getting a word in. It seems like Dennis, in particular, has a prepared script he adheres to, no matter who is in the booth with him. Callahan always has a long-winded response at the ready. Minihane, who likes to fly by the seat of his pants, felt like a third wheel for most of the show.
Minihane should be the focal point of the show. He is far more contemporary and edgy. Dennis and Callahan seem stuck in the 1990's. If I had to hear Dennis make one more reference to one of the decades-old Farrelly brothers' films ("Dumb and Dumber," "Me, Myself, and Irene" are obvious favorites of his), I was going to smash my computer. I comforted myself when I realized that Dennis may be dependent upon a future check from the Farrelly brothers for yet another ten-second cameo in one of their future films.
Minihane, at the very least, will bring some actual sports knowledge to the show. He will expose the other two for their lack of sports knowledge. The challenge for him, besides trying to get a word in edgewise, will be trying to keep Dennis and Callahan talking sports.
Minihane may rub many listeners the wrong way, much the same way 98.5 The Sports Hub's Mike Felger does. Lest I remind people-- Glenn Ordway is out of a job because of Felger. Radio executives don't care if you love their talent, or hate them. All they care about is if you listen. Otherwise, Rush Limbaugh would have been out of a job a long time ago.
Minihane is not afraid to make bold predictions. His delivery is curt. He doesn't mince words. He tends to be sarcastic and witty.
His one biggest weakness is his interviewing style. There is a fine line between being confrontational and being coddling. Minihane tries too hard, or maybe he does it without it even realizing it, to be confrontational. Maybe it's the not-mincing-words style of his that I noted, but he'll get right into it with a guest with little or no buttering up. Take a listen to his interview with Alan Siegel trying to get him to defend his Boston Magazine article criticizing the Boston media. Minihane also had an uncomfortable on-air interview with Bruins' play-by-play man Jack Edwards. Minihane went after Edwards for his over-the-top broadcasting style, accusing Edwards of making the game more about himself and not the Bruins.
Interviewing style is actually one of the few points I'll give Dennis and Callahan credit for. They may be the best interviewers WEEI has.
Without knowing what Dennis and Callahan's contract status is, I'd look for another move to come in the near future. I mentioned Dale Arnold as a perfect fit for mornings. He has also built a rapport with Minihane. They've worked weekend shows together for a few months now.
Another possibility which crept into my head this past week has been Scott Cordischi. Cordischi worked with The Sports Hub's Andy Gresh at The Score during the all-sports talk station's brief existence in Rhode Island. I always thought Cordischi was far superior to the blowhard, egomaniac Gresh. Of course, the loud-mouthed Gresh has gone on to more success and exposure than the laid-back, subtle, professional Cordischi. That's just the state of the media today.
I think Cordischi's style is perfect for mornings. He is an excellent interviewer. He knows hockey and has been a lifelong New England resident. He has also worked with Gresh in the past, so he would be a perfect straight man for Minihane.
It'll be interesting to see what the next phase of changes at WEEI brings. It's, arguably, more interesting than actually listening to the station.