John Dennis, a mainstay on the Boston media scene since the late ’70s and a co-host of WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan morning program since 1997, has stepped down from the program, effective immediately.
The station confirmed Dennis’s departure from the show, the pending nature of which was reported in this space two weeks ago, in a press release Thursday night.
The statement said Dennis, who has been on vacation since early August, has been advised by doctors to reduce his workload but will continue in “a moderated capacity” with the station.
Kirk Minihane, who joined the program in 2013 and has had an often contentious on-air relationship with Dennis, will join Callahan as the co-host after the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Aug. 29-30.
Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary said the station intends to have a third host in place by October.
Said Zachary: “John is a Boston radio icon and will remain an important part of the WEEI family going forward. To that end, we have been working with John to define a new role for his considerable talents.”
In his new capacity, Dennis will work with station advertisers, act as an ambassador to sponsors and community organizations, and occasionally host WEEI programs. He also will be part of the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
According to sources, Dennis, whose contract is up in September 2017, threatened to quit two weeks ago after a Twitter war of words regarding Minihane. WEEI management wanted him to stay on because of his appeal to certain advertisers and sponsors.
Said Dennis in a statement: “Pardon the cliché, but like most morning radio people, I’m really looking forward to finally sleeping in.”