Kirk Minihane, one of three hosts on WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan” morning program, was suspended for Monday’s show as punishment for an on-air argument Friday with midday cohost Christian Fauria.
During Friday’s crossover — the period in which the hosts banter as one show signs off and another begins — Minihane and Fauria engaged in a compelling if uncomfortable shouting match.
Fauria, a former Patriots tight end, initiated the conflict on-air by reacting angrily to Minihane’s previous assertion that Fauria would not be on the radio had he not played professional football.
It’s unclear why Minihane was punished while Fauria was not.
Phil Zachary, Entercom Boston’s vice president and market manager, said he does not consider it a suspension, though multiple WEEI personnel are calling it that.
“What I told [Minihane] was that due to the awkwardness of how things wrapped on Friday, and since he was already scheduled to be on vacation beginning tomorrow, take off today as well and enjoy the long holiday week with his family,” said Zachary. “There is really no more to it than that. Kirk did nothing wrong on Friday.”
Controversy is nothing new to Minihane, who since joining “Dennis and Callahan” in February 2013 has helped enhance the program’s ratings with a blunt approach that occasionally gets him into trouble.
Last July, he was suspended for a week without pay for comments he made about Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. Minihane referred to Andrews as a “gutless [expletive]” while discussing the sideline reporter’s awkward interview with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright during the All-Star Game.
Minihane apologized for his comments in a statement posted on WEEI.com that night. But upon returning from vacation a week later, he punctuated his on-air apology by suggesting that Andrews’s success is based on her looks rather than ability, saying that if she “weighed 15 pounds more she would be a waitress.”
Entercom and WEEI suspended him then after Fox Sports pulled all of its advertising on Entercom stations nationwide. Fox lifted the ban several days later.