Since November 2010, the first three hours of WEEI’s weekday morning-drive “Dennis and Callahan” program have been simulcast on NESN.
Often, when the program signs off from the television broadcast at 9 a.m., co-host John Dennis will remind listeners and viewers that the show runs for one more hour on the radio side by saying, “Say goodbye to NESN.”
Soon, Dennis’s prompting will have a permanent connotation in relation to the program.
According to multiple industry sources, NESN informed WEEI and its parent company, Entercom, in recent days that the “Dennis and Callahan” simulcast will not continue after their contract ends in September.
Dennis and co-host Gerry Callahan’s contracts with WEEI also expire at that time. They signed five-year deals in September 2007, then had two more years added to their contracts when the simulcast was launched. Negotiations are ongoing.
The third co-host, Kirk Minihane, joined the program in February. His contract is not expiring.
The decision to cancel the simulcast is not specifically related to Minihane’s controversial comments about Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews, according to industry sources.
NESN was considering going in a different direction — possibly with more localized programming featuring its own on-air talent — even before Minihane caused significant backlash last Wednesday when he referred to Andrews as a “gutless b----.”
He made the comment in reference to her softball interview with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright during the All-Star Game last Tuesday.
Minihane again caused a stir when, upon returning to the show from vacation, he apologized for his comments but punctuated the apology by saying that if Andrews were “15 pounds heavier she’d be a waitress at Perkins.”
NESN spokesman Gary Roy said the network’s policy is not to comment on personnel or programming matters. But earlier Thursday, he did provide a statement regarding NESN’s view on Minihane’s comments:
“NESN has absolutely no editorial control of WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show, and completely disapproves of Mr. Minihane’s disparaging statements. Furthermore, we feel it’s unfortunate that his comments aired on our network.”
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