Are you kidding me? What demographic is EEI trying to reach, the recently deceased?
For the foreseeable future, WEEI is going back to the future.
Michael Holley and Dale Arnold, a well-rated and received tandem on the sports radio station’s midday program from March 2005 until February 2011, will reunite in afternoon drive for the next several weeks — and perhaps beyond.
“They sound good together, Dale brings out the best in Michael and vice versa,’’ said Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary, who revealed that the show will also include a rotating cast of third hosts. “What I hear now coming out of those speakers is good radio. It’s very easy to listen to. The response from listeners and advertisers has been very strong.”
Arnold has filled in alongside Holley several times since co-host Mike Salk abruptly resigned last Wednesday to return to Seattle as the program director and host at ESPN 710. Salk, a Sudbury native, came to WEEI from the Seattle station in February 2013 after longtime host Glenn Ordway was fired.
When Jeff Brown, the former market manager of WEEI’s parent company, Entercom Communications, split up Holley and Arnold in February 2011, Holley, whose contract was expiring, went to the more prominent spot in afternoon drive, where he was paired with Ordway. Arnold, who has been at the station since 1991, was demoted to part-time and fill-in duty, and eventually took on a more prominent role at NESN.
“Dale is a different talent. To my ear, what comes out of the speakers sounds good,’’ said Zachary. “It sounds upbeat and energized. I think being on the bench for a while can make you appreciate the game when you do play. I think Dale is rejuvenated, has a great locker-room presence, and Michael has great chemistry with him. I think that’s contagious and comes through the speakers to the listeners.”
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years at the station. Brown, who departed Entercom in September, did not leave behind a legacy of savvy personnel decisions. While Zachary doesn’t outright say that mistakes were made by his predecessor, he acknowledges he did speak to Ordway about returning (it was nixed by others in Entercom management) and believes retracing some steps to find out if the right decisions were made is a worthwhile exercise.
Zachary paused for several seconds when asked if he believes the “Dale and Holley” program never should have been broken up in the first place.
“It’s hard to say. I think there were so many things happening at once. There were a lot of decisions that were made that in retrospect may have warranted a second look,’’ he said. “That show is comfortable. It’s like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. It’s comfortable. Not every sports radio listener wants every little thing challenged and exaggerated and dramatized and confronted. That show is different. And I think there is a place for that show on our station, whether it’s afternoon drive or wherever. Without suggesting that this is going to be our five-year plan, it warrants another look in a different context, and that’s what we’re doing now.”
Regarding WEEI’s other programs, Zachary said he is very comfortable with the morning “Dennis and Callahan [and Minihane]” show, which remains the only program among the three morning and afternoon shows that is registering solid ratings.
“I wish I could clone Kirk Minihane because he’s made such a great difference on that show,’’ Zachary said. “That’s not easy, walking in to two strong personalities like Dino [John Dennis] and Gerry [Callahan]. Kirk has not stood down a single moment. He’s been very, very good in there. I think if we’ve done anything in the last 4-5 months it’s to validate Kirk’s presence and not make him an ampersand at the end of Dennis and Callahan.”
Zachary said he plans to add a rotating third voice to the midday program, featuring Lou Merloni and Mike Mutnansky as well. He was asked, given the subpar ratings of the program, whether the two hosts would remain a part of it.
“Right now that’s our plan,” he said.
While there will be a third host in afternoon drive as well — expect Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, Comcast SportsNet New England’s Tom Curran, and former Patriot Christian Fauria to be in the rotation — Zachary is pleased with Holley and Arnold’s on-air affability and approach.
While there is a turn toward a transparently cynical approach on certain other shows — really, the Bruins’ 10-game winning streak isn’t impressive? — Zachary believes there is a place for hosts to be engaging rather than enraging.
“What’s the old adage? ‘Bostonians aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about?,’ ’’ he said with a laugh. “But my mom used to say, ‘Everything in moderation,’ and I think if you build a whole station around that, it could be a mistake. There’s a lot of that in the market. You do have to have those lightning rods, and two of the three day parts will feature that, but it’s not all you need by any stretch. That’s just not what Dale and Michael do, that’s not who they are, and they would be miscast in that role.”
Boston.com – Dale Arnold’s contract at WEEI expired today. But he’s not going anywhere. Arnold, who has been on the station’s airwaves since it switched to an all-sports format in September 1991, will remain at WEEI in a slightly expanded role. Under his new deal — terms have not been confirmed — he will add some Saturday duties to his current weekend role as the host of the morning “Sports Sunday” program, and he will also be the primary fill-in for morning drive hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan and afternoon drive personalities Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley. His decision to remain at WEEI was a mild surprise given the events of February 2011, when Arnold was blindsided by a programming shakeup that left him without a weekday role.
I don’t want to waste too much time with this one but I just wanted to clarify that it’s not a mild surprise at all that Dale Arnold stuck his tail between his legs, swallowed his pride, swallowed his manhood and re-signed with WEEI. I mean he’s not getting a job offer from 98.5. He’s not getting a job offer from me. So what else is there for him besides nothing? He’s a dinosaur on the verge of extinction so he might as well take whatever crumbs WEEI will throw at him. Doesn’t matter whether it’s being the janitor, Jason Wolfe’s step stool or what. It doesn’t matter that they emasculated him less than a year ago. He simply has no choice. Not surprising at all. Carry on.
By elpresidente posted March 1st, 2012 at 10:05 AM
This is rich, the kiss of death!
It's a new season, which means it's time to make predictions. NESN's Dale Arnold, Gord Kluzak and Barry Pederson made theirs on Bruins Face-Off Live prior to Saturday's Bruins-Lightning game.
While none will question the talent and heart that the Bruins possess, Kluzak and Pederson know how difficult it is to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Therefore, they went in a different direction with their Cup picks, going with the Capitals and Sharks, respectively.
Dale Arnold, on the other hand, isn't counting out the Black and Gold. He thinks the B's will prevail over the Sharks in this season's Cup final.
THIS HAS GOT TO KILL DALE!!!!!
by Jonathan Hardacker on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:52AM
With the Bruins' home opener hours away, Jack Edwards appeared on Matty in the Morning Thursday with host Matt Siegel.
During the interview, Edwards reassured listeners that all of the pregame ceremonies from the TD Garden will be on NESN, even though the game is on Versus, so fans in the New England area will still be able to watch the 2010-11 championship banner get hoisted up to the crowded rafters.
Siegel then paused, and tentatively asked Edwards if he would be receiving a championship ring for his work throughout last season with NESN and the Bruins.
"I'm getting mine at 1 o'clock," he said.
"It's an incredible gesture, and it's an instant heirloom, I mean, generations long after I'm dust will be passing this ring around saying, 'Wow, this is really cool.' I can't express my gratitude to the Jacobs family enough."
Edwards was then asked about his thoughts on the Red Sox' September collapse in relation to the new Bruins campaign.
"Because the season is 162 games and maybe 10 days off in that whole span, if you don't include all the travel, it's just, it's a brutal, brutal sport and it often breaks down into indivudual cliques," he said. "Hockey, on the other hand, is a sport where you don't survive for two minutes unless you're totally dependant and cooperative with everybody else on your team. I've often wondered if there ever could be a bridge between the hockey mentality and the baseball mentality."
by Press Room on Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 3:28PM
BOSTON -- NESN, New England's most watched sports network, will drop the puck on the network's 28th season covering Bruins hockey with a special one-hour edition of W.B. Mason Presents Bruins Face-Off LIVE on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. New host Dale Arnold will be joined by veteran analysts Gord Kluzak and Barry Pederson at NESN's TD Garden studio with Naoko Funayama delivering rink-side reports and interviews. The game will be televised nationally on Versus, with NESN returning to TD Garden after the game to deliver complete postgame coverage with Ace Ticket Presents Bruins Overtime LIVE.
The first of NESN's 70 game broadcasts will be an Eastern Conference final rematch against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, Oct. 8. NESN's popular broadcast duo of Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley will be back in the booth for their seventh season together. NESN will also deliver 30 minutes of pre and postgame coverage around every NESN televised game and select nationally televised games.
Lord Stanley's Summer -- Premieres Oct. 5 at 8 p.m.
NESN has partnered with the NHL Network to produce a four-episode series called Lord Stanley's Summer that follows the Stanley Cup around the world as Bruins players and management celebrate their championship season and their day with the Cup. The series will debut on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. with a one-hour special. The remaining episodes will be 30-minute shows highlighting the Cup's travels through Europe, Canada, and New England.
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m. -- One-hour special
Saturday, Oct. 8, 10:30 p.m. -- David Krejci, Tomas Kaberle, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara
Thursday, Oct. 20, 10:30 p.m. -- Cam Neely, Mark Recchi, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron
Saturday, Oct. 22, 10:30 p.m. -- Tim Thomas, Andrew Ference, Shawn Thornton
The Bricks: 2011-12 Bruins Season Preview Special -- Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
Andy Brickley will set the stage for the upcoming Bruins season on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. with The Bricks: 2011-12 Bruins Season Preview. It's a half-hour special that will look ahead to the 2011-12 season and introduce fans to the new Bruins acquired during the offseason. Brickley will also offer predictions about what to expect from the Bruins and the rest of the NHL. Fans can also look forward to midseason and postseason editions of The Bricks later this season.
Big Bad Bruins LIVE -- Premieres Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
30-minute weekly live program that airs before NESN's pregame show
NESN's week-in-review program Big Bad Bruins LIVE Presented by Digital Federal Credit Union will now be produced as a live show beginning Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Dale Arnold, the program will give fans an in-depth look at what the team is doing both on and off the ice and provide expanded pregame coverage of that day's game.
The Instigators LIVE -- Premieres Oct. 27 at 10:30 p.m.
30-minute weekly live program after NESN Daily on Wednesday/Thursday Bruins game nights
The Instigators, entering its fourth season on NESN, will also move to a live format. The Instigators LIVE Presented by Cadillac Village of Norwood will air on various weeknights after Bruins hockey coverage beginning on Oct. 27 at 10:30 p.m. Hosted by NESN's Tom Caron, the program will feature the opinions of several different hockey experts as they debate the hottest hockey topics in Boston and throughout the NHL.
Ryan Durling BostInno Staff
Anyone who tuned into the NHL Network last night noticed a new, familiar face behind the NHL desk: Kathryn Tappen, former NESN studio show host for their Bruins coverage.
Tappen left NESN in July and began her work with NHLN at the beginning of this month. Today, a Boston.com report today confirms the speculation that many have had during the course of the summer since rumors surfaced that Tappen was leaving: Dale Arnold will be replacing her.
NESN also has a vacancy that it’s looking to fill on the desk of NESN Daily, its evening sports news show, since Jade McCarthy departed the network to return to Philadelphia with her husband earlier in the summer. It’s rumored that the network may be in need of a sideline reporter for its Red Sox coverage, too, as Heidi Watney’s contract is up at the end of the season and it’s uncertain if NESN and the University of San Diego alum will be able to work out a deal to bring Watney back to the dugout at Fenway Park.
Arnold has been with WEEI since the station’s inception in 1991, where he spend 20 years on the midday show before being moved off of it in February of this year. Arnold, who called Bruins’ games for 13 years, will be returning to the team he worked with before he went full-time to WEEI.
Arnold is a two-time regional Emmy Winner.
UPDATE: Watney reached out to inform us that there is a mutual interest between she and NESN in regards to bringing her back for the 2012 season.
I wonder if he told Naoko Funayama his earthquake joke!
Aug. 23, 2011 Barstool Sports
DaleEArnold Dale Arnold
Saw an Asian gentleman (Japan?) completely panic and start to run.
39 minutes ago
DaleEArnold Dale Arnold
Lost 3 followers since the quake but trying not to equate the two events! #thisWASajokeBTW
32 minutes ago
Signals that ‘revised’ duties not palatable
By Jessica Heslam/Boston Herald
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Squeezed-out WEEI sports radio yakker Dale Arnold was blindsided by the station’s decision to strip him of his midday hosting gig, saying he was “shocked” to learn he was losing his show.
“I had no idea,” Arnold told MediaBiz yesterday. “I was shocked. I had no idea that it was even being considered.”
February 15, 2011 By Bruce Boston Sports Media Watch
This afternoon Glenn Ordway was touting a “major announcement” to be made at 5:20. Most of these “major announcements” are little more than announcing a new weekly guest to the program, or something along those lines.
Today’s announcement however, is legitimately big news. After years of having the format of Glenn Ordway and two rotating co-hosts, Ordway announced that starting February 28th, the Big Show will add Michael Holley as a permanent co-host alongside Ordway. The name of the show will remain the same, and there will still be a whiner line. It is unclear whether there will be a third rotating co-host each day, as Ordway simply said that others “will be in and out of here all the time.”
The question was left then – what will become of the Dale and Holley show? This was not announced on the show, but The Inside Track at the Boston Herald reports that the duo will be replaced by former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni and weekend WEEI (and WGAM AM) host Mike Mutnansky.
The track reports that Dale Arnold will be relegated to “fill in duty.”
These moves are clearly in reaction to the ratings gains made by 98.5 The SportsHub in the last year. The odd thing is, the Dale and Holley show was the only one that was still consistently beating their 98.5 competition.
WEEI was hamstrung however, by the salaries of their talent. They couldn’t make a move in the morning, with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan making big bucks, and Ordway is a fixture in the afternoons. I believe Holley’s contract was due sometime this year, so this move seems to be a promotion of sorts for him.
These are some big moves. I can’t wait to read all of your reactions to them.
"If I may, I would like to do one thing, and that's take issue with the guy who follows you in the morning, the Mr. Dale Arnold who suggested that somehow I was the person who had a conversation with Bob Lobel and said certain things to him. I just want to say to Dale, so that he doesn't mislead the public, I haven't talked to Bob Lobel in weeks. And I certainly didn't talk to him... the comments I made about my call to Nomar were made directly on Saturday in response to a question, in fact a series of questions about when I talked to him, and what I talked to him about... We try to be accessible and we try to respond to questions and that's what happened there. So Dale, I guess we should cut him a little slack, he was in California for the whole weekend, and a little bit out of the course of events here. So I don't know where he picked up his erroneous information, but if you get a chance, you might want to straighten him out." -- 8.5.04 Red Sox President adn CEO Larry Lucchino with WEEI's Dennis & Callahan.
Nomar's "I love Boston" Honeymoon Call into Dale Garciaparra and Nomar Neumeier (Lucky Bob gets out of Dodge while Dale Gets Run Over By a Freight Train of Truth on Thursday)