Glenn Ordway is serious about his future role on Boston radio
Glenn Ordway told us we’d be hearing from him. Now we know where.
The longtime sports radio personality hinted that he had projects in the works ever since he was fired by WEEI in February after a 27-year run at the station.
Thursday, one of those projects became a reality when Sirius XM Radio announced that Ordway will be a host on its Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.
There may be also something closer to home in the works. Ordway said he has something brewing on the radio locally beginning in January, but couldn’t divulge it.
His Sirius XM program, titled The Big Weekend Show with Glenn Ordway, will air every Saturday and Sunday from 8-11 a.m. He will debut Saturday.
“I’m probably going to kick it off by finding out how jealous the rest of the country is of Boston with its eight championships in 12 years,’’ Ordway said. “And 12 finals. Rile it up a little bit. If you’re living in Cleveland right now, how do you feel? Chicago even.”
Mad Dog Sports Radio, Channel 86 on Sirius XM satellite radio, is built around Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s afternoon drive program. The Dan Patrick Show, on which Ordway has filled in as the host, also airs on the channel.
“The format that I really love is the Dan Patrick format. I love doing that show, and I love the format where you’ve got the other people to feed off of. It’s more conversational, as opposed to just sitting there pontificating.”
That format plays to Ordway’s strengths as a host/ringleader. It’s also not terribly far from the “Big Show” roundtable format that was successful for so many years when Ordway reigned in afternoon drive for WEEI. He said there are no immediate plans to use familiar Ordway-affiliated personalities such as Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie on the Sirius XM show now unless a specific topic warrants it. But he will be surrounded by other voices.
“I want people to take me on and challenge me,’’ said Ordway, who will be joined by current Mad Dog Sports Radio host Scott Wetzel regularly on the program. “We’re going to add some pieces along the way, some people along the way. It probably won’t be heavily guest-oriented because it’s on the weekend and that’s a hard thing to do. And there will be a lot of football talk because we’ll be leading into those games.”
Ordway has remained on the edges of the sports media consciousness since his departure from WEEI, filling in on Comcast SportsNet New England and hosting its New England Tailgate football show. But the Sirius XM role is his most prominent foray back into sports radio . . . at least until January, perhaps.
“I’ve been going kind of crazy, other than filling in here and there, with Dan’s show and stuff,’’ said Ordway, who had been in discussions with Sirius XM for a while about signing on. “And then in January, I get to go back on the air locally.”
And where and when he be found on the radio dial then?
He pauses, and laughs.
“I can’t say. There are few things that need to play out. But I’ll be back in January, I can tell you that.”
Hub is first again
If Fred Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb, co-hosts of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s top-rated “Toucher and Rich’’ morning drive program, were ever to be tempted to fall into the age-old radio rut of self-congratulation, now might be the time.
Their program has been ranked first in the men 25-54 demographic in the Boston market for the past 14 months and four three-month Arbitron rating books. Their success was rewarded with contract extensions Tuesday by parent company CBS Radio Boston.
While neither Toettcher nor Shertenlieb would divulge the terms of the deal, it’s fair to presume the remarkable ratings success has led to a more lucrative deal than the one they signed in April 2010, roughly seven months after the Sports Hub launched as a genuine challenger to WEEI.
“We’re free to indulge in whatever life has to offer,’’ deadpanned Toettcher when asked if he makes enough to, say, whimsically purchase a duck boat like Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy did. “We’re on easy street.”
The truth is that part of the program’s appeal is that the hosts don’t act as if they are on easy street, and there’s no victory lap planned. Shertenlieb said there is a conscious effort between them to make sure the show doesn’t get stale and predictable.
“It’s fear of looking like hypocrites,’’ said Shertenlieb. “That’s something we kind of prided ourselves on in the beginning, that we would never get lazy. And now if we did get lazy, God knows our listeners would call us on it.
“There was a lot of uncertainty when we started,’’ said Toettcher, who has been on the air in Boston with Shertenlieb since 2006, when they were at WBCN. “The success that the station had was quicker than people figured it would be. It’s very rare in the business to have any security. Boston feels like home now, and it’s really nice to have that kind of secure feeling. “
Then, the deadpan returns: “At least for a while. Until something goes wrong.”
Bob Costas meets Bobby Orr
It seems improbable that Bob Costas, who has decades of prominence in sports broadcasting, had never met Bobby Orr until three weeks ago. That’s when the two sat down for an interview that will air on NBC Sports Network’s Costas Tonight program Tuesday at 11 p.m. after the Bruins-Rangers game.
But it’s true. And Costas’s in-person first impression jibes with the general perception of the uncommonly generous and accessible Orr, who remains as beloved in Boston as he was during his hockey heyday 40-plus years ago.
“I really liked him,’’ said Costas. “If it’s possible be both proud and humble, and I think it is, he’s both of those things simultaneously. He’s quick to deflect praise, but neither does he dishonestly reject it. He wants to move on the next thing, but if you say to him, ‘You didn’t just excel at the game, you changed the game,’ he gives an intelligent and thoughtful answer, but he gives it as concisely as he could.”
Correction: In a previous version, this story mistakenly said the NBC interview with Bobby Orr would air on Friday, Nov. 22. It will air Tuesday, Nov. 19.