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WEEI-FM
WEEI937.png
CityLawrence, Massachusetts
Broadcast areaGreater Boston
BrandingSportsRadio 93.7 WEEI-FM
SloganThe Home of the Boston Sports Fan
Frequency93.7 MHz (HD Radio)
First air dateApril 1960; 59 years ago (1960-04)
FormatFM/HD1: Sports
HD2: Active rock "WAAF"
ERP34,000 watts
HAAT178 meters
ClassB
Facility ID1919
Transmitter coordinates42°31′53″N 70°59′12″W / 42.53139°N 70.98667°W / 42.53139; -70.98667 (WEEI-FM)
Call sign meaningderived from its AM sister station, for Edison Electric Illuminating
Former call signsWGHJ (1960–63)
WCCM-FM (1963–1974)
WCGY (1974–94)
WEGQ (1994–99)
WQSX (1999–2005)
WMKK (2005–11)
AffiliationsCBS Sports Radio
NBC Sports Radio
ESPN Radio
Westwood One
Compass Media Networks
OwnerEntercom
(Entercom License, LLC)
Sister stationsWAAF, WEEI, WMJX, WODS, WWBX
WebcastListen Live
Websiteweei.radio.com
waaf.radio.com (HD2)

WEEI-FM (93.7 FM) – branded SportsRadio 93.7 WEEI-FM – is a commercial sports radio station licensed to Lawrence, Massachusetts, serving Greater Boston and much of surrounding New England. Owned by Entercom, WEEI-FM is the Boston affiliate for CBS Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio; the flagship station for the Boston Red Sox Radio Network; and the radio home of Greg Hill, Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, Christian Fauria, Dale Arnold, Jermaine Wiggins and Greg Dickerson.

The WEEI-FM studios are located in Boston's Brighton neighborhood, while the station transmitter resides in the nearby suburb of Peabody. In addition to a standard analog transmission, WEEI-FM broadcasts over two HD Radio channels, is simulcast on a digital subchannel of WAAF, and is available online via Radio.com. WEEI-FM's weekday programming lineup is also regionally syndicated to a network of stations throughout New England, most of which use the "SportsRadio WEEI" franchised brand.

The sports format currently heard on WEEI-FM launched on September 3, 1991 on the former WEEI (590 AM).[1][2][3][4] The call letters WEEI-FM, formerly on a station in Westerly, Rhode Island, were granted on September 21, 2011 as part of a call letter shuffle. The 93.7 frequency, established in 1960, has carried WEEI programming since September 12, 2011, and has been the primary station for local WEEI programming since October 4, 2012.[5]

History

Early years

In the station's early days as WGHJ and WCCM-FM, 93.7 aired locally based programming that targeted Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley. In 1974 the station evolved into WCGY, an automated Stereo Top 40/oldies station. With a stronger transmitter, it now branded as a full-market Boston station. The call letters were chosen with the owner in mind as Curt Gowdy and his children owned and operated the station until the sale to American Radio Systems in 1994.

In 1983, WCGY flipped to an oldies format playing hits of the '50s and '60s. The station, however, did not perform well in the Boston ratings. Some early to mid '70s oldies were mixed in by 1984, and by 1985, the '50s music was gone. The station by then was called "Superhits WCGY". By 1986, the station leaned slightly toward classic rock while still playing mostly music from 1964 to 1974. By 1987, WCGY evolved to more of a classic rock format and held on to this format until 1994. From 1992 until its demise in 1994, they were called "Rock 93, WCGY".

On September 30, 1994, after the station was sold to American Radio Systems, WCGY became '70s Hits-formatted WEGQ "Eagle 93.7", which then underwent many changes over its five-year existence.[6] Initially, they played music from 1970–79, ranging from classic rock and pop, to disco, novelty and easy listening. As time went on, they added late '60s and early '80s music. The Lost 45s with Barry Scott was moved to WEGQ from sister station WBMX and became a Sunday night staple there before heading to WODS. By 1995, they also leaned toward classic rock. The station's morning show team, Karlson and McKenzie, are now on WZLX.

In August 1998, after American Radio Systems was acquired by CBS/Westinghouse, the combined company was required to sell two of their FM stations, along with three AM stations. WEGQ, along with WEEI, WRKO, and WAAF, was sold to Entercom Communications.[7]

From Star to Mike

Shortly after the sale was approved, at 10 p.m. on March 31, 1999, after playing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones, WEGQ began stunting with a loop of Prince's "1999". At 3 p.m. the following day, the station flipped to rhythmic adult contemporary as WQSX, "Star 93.7". The first song on "Star" was "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" by The Gap Band.[8][9] The format consisted of '70s and '80s-soul music, dance music and rhythmic hit music. This format, however, didn't catch any fire in the Arbitron ratings, but did have a loyal audience and served a small niche in Boston. During 2001, controversial "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch was a morning host briefly.

On April 14, 2005, at 2 p.m., after playing "Last Dance" by Boston native Donna Summer, WQSX became WMKK, with an adult hits format branded as "93.7 Mike FM". The first song on "Mike" was "Tessie" by The Dropkick Murphys.[10] Inside Radio, a radio industry publication, released information that had this change not taken place, Infinity Broadcasting (the group that was prohibited from owning 93.7 itself back in the late 1990s, and is now known as CBS Radio) reportedly would have transformed either WBMX, WZLX, or WODS into Jack FM on April 15.

Following the Boston Red Sox victory in the 2007 World Series, the station re-branded itself as "Mike Lowell FM" after the third baseman for one day. Similarly, the station paid tribute to Michael Jackson in July 2009 by re-branding themselves as "Michael FM" and playing Jackson's songs for the afternoon on the anniversary of his death.

WEEI-FM (2011-present)

On September 8, 2011, it was announced that WMKK would begin simulcasting WEEI's sports radio format on September 12.[11] The switch took place at 6:00 am that day, after the station played Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird". On September 21, 2011, WMKK changed its call letters to WEEI-FM. On October 4, 2012, WEEI and WEEI-FM split the simulcast; the existing local programming and sports broadcasts remain on WEEI-FM, while AM 850 aired a redirection loop for one day before becoming a full ESPN Radio affiliate on October 5.[12]

WEEI promotional booth at a supermarket in Boston.
WEEI promotional booth at a supermarket in Boston.

J.T. The Brick's Fox Sports Radio program returned to WEEI on May 6, 2013.[13] (The program, along with other Fox Sports Radio programming, had moved to WBZ-FM after WEEI began carrying ESPN Radio in 2009, but was dropped from that station following the launch of CBS Sports Radio in January 2013.) On August 20, 2013, WEEI-FM announced that it would no longer carry Celtics broadcasts after being unable to reach a new contract with the team.[14] In early 2014, WEEI-FM again dropped Fox Sports Radio and began carrying NBC Sports Radio's overnight program, shortly after WUFC (now WMEX) dropped its affiliation with that network. SB Nation Radio's overnight show joined WEEI-FM's schedule in 2019;[15] the move came after NBC Sports Radio eliminated its late night programming.[16] SB Nation Radio was replaced by CBS Sports Radio later that year, after WBZ-FM dropped the latter network to rejoin Fox Sports Radio;[17] Entercom had acquired CBS Sports Radio in its merger with CBS Radio.[18]

The station's HD2 channel carries the programming of sister station WAAF (WAAF, in turn, carries WEEI-FM's programming on its HD2); until 2017, the HD2 channel simulcast then-sister station WRKO, with WAAF being broadcast on the HD3 channel.

Following a long history of offensive on-air comments, WEEI-FM suspended its daytime live schedule on February 16, 2018 so all employees could undergo mandatory sensitivity training. The tipping point came when afternoon host Christian Fauria was suspended for five days after mocking Don Yee, the agent for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, with a stereotyped Asian accent.[19]

Teams on WEEI

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox broadcasts are a daily feature of the WEEI Red Sox Radio Network slate from March through October. Each broadcast consists of:

  • "The Pregame Show" is recorded from an air studio inside Fenway Park next to gate C
  • "The Inside Pitch", a segment with a member of the local sports journalism establishment;
  • (optional) A pre-game interview with the general manager;
  • The game intro itself, a compilation of great moments in Red Sox broadcast history;
  • The game itself, with Joe Castiglione broadcasting with either Will Flemming, Sean McDonough or Lou Merloni.[20] Prior to the 2007 season, Castiglione was partnered with long-time co-broadcaster Jerry Trupiano. Prior to the 2016 season, Castiglione's partner was Dave O'Brien who moved to the New England Sports Network to replace the fired long-time TV play-by-play broadcaster Don Orsillo
  • A post-game interview;
  • Post-game statistics (called "totals");
  • A highlights clip for those who missed the early part of the game;
  • A roundup of out of town scores; and
  • A signoff tag.

During game broadcasts, WEEI-FM is also made available through the Major League Baseball web site (for a fee), and (for home games) on XM Satellite Radio (as part of the standard service) for those outside the Boston listening area. The entire 162-game Red Sox schedule also may be heard on an extensive radio network throughout the 6 New England states. Many of the smaller stations have always aired the Red Sox Network regardless of what Boston station originated those broadcasts.

In 2006, the Boston Red Sox signed a 10-year radio deal with sister WRKO (also owned by Entercom) for the broadcast rights for the 2007 through 2016 seasons, worth a reportedly $13 million a season.[21] About 30 Red Sox games a season, including all games on Wednesday nights and all weekly day games were heard on WEEI as part of the deal. As of August 26, 2009, WEEI once again became the flagship station for the Red Sox.[22] This occurred two weeks after the debut of competitor WBZ-FM "The Sports Hub" and was seen as a reaction, focusing all Red Sox games on one station, WEEI, rather than splitting them between the station and WRKO.

During a rain delay, Mike Mutnansky or Christian Arcand hosts a show called "Sox Talk", where he takes calls and texts while the rain delay is in effect.

Boston Celtics

Sean Grande hosted the Celtics Tonight pregame show before each Celtics game on WEEI-FM in addition to providing the play by play for the game. Cedric Maxwell provided color commentary during the broadcast. The broadcast duo called themselves "Grande and Max." John Ryder hosted the halftime show and the Celtics Rewind show following the game.

On August 20, 2013, Entercom announced that it had been unable to come to terms on a new agreement to air the Celtics for the 2013-2014 season.[14] Celtics broadcasts then moved to WBZ-FM.[23]

Programming

Daily shows

  • The Greg Hill Show: Featuring hosts Greg Hill and Danielle Murr, produced by Chris Curtis and Ken Laird.
  • Dale and Keefe: Featuring hosts Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe. What're you doing? Holley replaced Bob Neumeier in 2005 and the show was renamed Dale and Holley from Dale and Neumy. The final Dale and Holley aired in the midday on February 23, 2011 but was then brought back officially on April 1, 2014, taking the 2-6 PM slot previously occupied by The Big Show. Rich Keefe joined as the third host of the show on December 6, 2016 from WBZ-FM. On February 28, 2018, Michael Holley announced that he had rejected a multi-year contract extension and would be leaving the show effectively immediately to focus on his TV career with NBC Sports Boston. The show aired afternoons March 1, 2018 - August 10, 2018 before moving to middays on August 13, 2018.
  • Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria: Featuring hosts Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni & Christian Fauria. The show replaced Middays with MFB. The show aired middays September 8, 2015 - August 10, 2018 before moving to afternoons on August 13, 2018.
  • Evenings the station runs Red Sox First Pitch and Red Sox Review with Will Flemming before and after games.

Weekend shows

  • NFL Sunday — Runs on Sundays. The show is hosted by Rich Keefe, Jermaine Wiggins, and Christian Fauria.
  • James and Hart — hosted by Marc James and Andy Hart.
  • Real Postgame Show — Hosted by Glenn Ordway, Steve DeOssie, and Fred Smerlas. Runs after each Patriot game during the NFL season.
  • Mustard and Johnson — Hosted by Craig Mustard and Larry Johnson. The show was cancelled in 2008 but was renewed and the schedule will vary from week to week. The show is also nicknamed "Yankee Talk" because of the large number of Yankee fans that call into the show.
  • Sunday Skate — a Boston Bruins themed show that airs Sunday mornings during the hockey season, hosted by Kirk and Callahan Executive Producer Ken Laird. WEEI.com Bruins writer Ty Anderson was the show's co-host prior to his decision to leave WEEI in April 2018. Upon Anderson's departure, freelance Bruins reporter Matt Kalman finished the 2017-18 season as the show's co-host with Laird. The show aired on Saturdays during the 2016-17 season, but moved back to Sunday mornings in 2018.

Former shows

  • The Big Show (August 1995– February 15, 2013): sports talk radio program hosted by Glenn Ordway with various co-hosts and guests. One of the show's regular features was "The Whiner Line", which consisted of listeners calling in and leaving complaints on a voicemail system.
  • Kirk and Callahan — Featuring hosts Gerry Callahan, Kirk Minihane, producer Chris Curtis and producer Ken Laird. It has featured a variety of special guests during different parts of the year including Curt Schilling every Tuesday and Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino every Thursday during the baseball season, as well as Tom Brady every Monday during football season. On February 21, 2013, it was announced Kirk Minihane would be the third host of "Dennis and Callahan", an equal voice.[24] John Dennis had been a co-host but semi-retired in August 2016. Minihane departed the show on November 15, 2018 to finish out his Entercom contract under other arrangements, before moving to Barstool Sports in May 2019. Callahan left in July 2019.[25]

Former staff

  • Jon Meterparel: Dennis and Callahan update anchor (2000–2012)[26]

WEEI/NESN Radio-Telethon

Each year since 2002, New England Sports Network (NESN) and WEEI have teamed up to raise money for The Jimmy Fund by holding a Radio-Telethon. For two days every August the event is simulcast on WEEI and NESN. WEEI radio personalities conduct auctions and interviews with cancer patients and survivors, doctors, athletes and celebrities. Since 2002, this event has raised around $45 million for the Jimmy Fund and has received donations from all 50 states.

Simulcasts

WEEI Sports Radio Network logo
WEEI Sports Radio Network logo

A number of other stations in the New England region carry most of WEEI-FM's local programming. The stations are branded as "Sports Radio WEEI", and many carry call letters similar to the Boston flagship station.

WEEI-FM's sports play-by-play broadcasts are distributed separately, though some games originated by WEEI may air on some of the other affiliated stations by way of a separate deal. Some of the stations have picked up play-by-play rights in concert with WEEI after their conversion to the simulcast. Most stations carry either ESPN Radio or Fox Sports Radio when the flagship station carries games or when WEEI-FM is not airing local programming.

WVEI, WVEI-FM, and WWEI are owned by Entercom outright. WVEI originally carried WEEI programming under a lease from Zapis Broadcasting from 1991 until 1994; after Zapis sold the renamed WWTM to American Radio Systems along with WAAF in 1996, it reincorporated WEEI programming into its lineup in 1997, and in 2000 reclaimed the WVEI call sign. What is now WVEI-FM was acquired from Phoenix Media/Communications Group in 2004, and what is now WWEI was purchased from Vox Radio Group in 2006. Entercom's initial plan to syndicate WEEI programming to non-Entercom stations was to place it on stations owned by Nassau Broadcasting in 13 more markets, but the deal between the two companies ended up collapsing;[27] one of these stations, the station now known as WZEI, joined the WEEI network in 2013 after Nassau sold its stations.[28] The first of WEEI's eventual affiliates began airing its programming in September 2008.[29][30] WPPI, one of the first affiliates, initially carried WEEI programming (as WGEI) from September 2008[29][30] until April 2009, when it began simulcasting talk station WLOB; it rejoined the network in August 2011. Additionally, WAEI (910 AM and 97.1 FM) in Bangor, Maine carried WEEI programming from September 2008[30] until January 2010, when Blueberry Broadcasting terminated its affiliation following a breach-of-contract dispute.[31][32] WRCH-HD3 converted to a WEEI simulcast after WRCH's former owner, CBS Radio, merged with Entercom in mid-November 2017; the channel had previously simulcast CBS-owned WBZ-FM, which was divested to Beasley Broadcast Group.

References

  1. ^ Bickelhaupt, Susan (August 3, 1991). "WEEI to switch to all-sports format". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2012. (pay content preview)
  2. ^ Baker, Jim (August 3, 1991). "WEEI bets no news is good news". Boston Herald. Retrieved October 6, 2012. (pay content preview)
  3. ^ Bickelhaupt, Susan (September 2, 1991). "It's curtains for all-news on the radio". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2012. (pay content preview)
  4. ^ "The Boston Radio Dial: WEZE(AM)". The Archives @ BostonRadio.org. March 26, 2005. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Finn, Chad (September 12, 2009). "ESPN Radio's Boston affiliate set to sign off". Boston.com. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  6. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1994/RR-1994-10-07.pdf
  7. ^ "CBS to Sell 5 Boston-Area Radio Stations". The New York Times. August 14, 1998. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  8. ^ "North East RadioWatch: April 2, 1999". www.bostonradio.org. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  9. ^ http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-RandR/1990s/1999/RR-1999-04-09.pdf
  10. ^ "WQSX Steps Up To The 'Mike'" (PDF). Radio & Records. April 22, 2005. p. 3. Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via www.americanradiohistory.com.
  11. ^ Finn, Chad (September 8, 2011). "WEEI to begin FM simulcast Monday". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  12. ^ Finn, Chad (October 4, 2012). "ESPN's 'Mike and Mike' program back on Boston airwaves". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  13. ^ "WEEI Brings J.T. 'The Brick' Back For Overnight Coverage Beginning May 6". All Access. May 3, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Finn, Chad (August 20, 2013). "Celtics will no longer air on WEEI". Boston.com. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "Eytan Shander To Host Overnights On SB Nation Radio". All Access. March 7, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  16. ^ "NBC Sports Radio To Drop Several Shows, Emphasize AM/PM Drive And Hourly Updates". All Access. November 30, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  17. ^ Venta, Lance (July 9, 2019). "98.5 The Sports Hub Adding Fox Sports Radio". RadioInsight. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  18. ^ Villani, Chris (February 2, 2017). "WEEI parent company buys CBS' Sports Hub, WBZ in massive merger". The Boston Herald. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  19. ^ Hayley Glatter (February 15, 2018). "WEEI Employees Will Be Attending Mandatory Sensitivity Training". Boston Magazine.
  20. ^ Staff, BSM. "WEEI Announces New Red Sox Broadcast Team". Barrett Sports Media. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  21. ^ "Red Sox, Entercom reach long-term radio broadcast agreement | MLB.com: Official Info". Boston.redsox.mlb.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  22. ^ Tom Singer / MLB.com (August 25, 2009). "Red Sox returning to WEEI radio | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ Finn, Chad (September 26, 2013). "It's official: Celtics heading to The Sports Hub". Boston.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  24. ^ http://www.boston.com/sports/touching_all_the_bases/2013/02/xxxxxxxx.html Kirk Minihane added as third host to WEEI's 'Dennis and Callahan' program
  25. ^ Finn, Chad (July 12, 2019). "Gerry Callahan announces he's done at WEEI". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  26. ^ Silva, Steve (October 12, 2012). "Jon Meterparel leaves WEEI's 'Dennis and Callahan' show". boston.com. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  27. ^ "Entercom-Nassau Deal Falls Through". Radio Ink. January 4, 2008. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  28. ^ "WEEI adds new affiliate to the largest sports radio network in New England" (Press release). Entercom Communications. January 3, 2013. Archived from the original on January 6, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "WEEI to air in Maine September 1". Portland Press Herald. August 19, 2008. Archived from the original on August 26, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
  30. ^ a b c "WEEI Sports Radio Network expands to Portland, Bangor & Keene" (PDF). WEEI. August 20, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 6, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  31. ^ Heslam, Jessica (January 14, 2010). "Lawrence pastor 'proud' of Conan O'Brien". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2010. “Unfortunately, our affiliate in Bangor chose to end its contract with us (Tuesday),” said WEEI program director Jason Wolfe.
  32. ^ Neff, Andrew (January 16, 2010). "Bangor stations drop WEEI". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved January 17, 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 February 2020, at 05:51
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