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Benz Signs Off at WEEI

Jason Barrett

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Well, that didn’t take long. Little more than an hour had passed since Tim Benz signed off from WEEI’s “Middays with MFB” program for the final time, and the station Thursday already had tweaked its promos to reference the program as “Middays with Merloni and Fauria.”

That would be the M and the F — holdovers Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria — but no more B.

Benz, who arrived from Pittsburgh in May 2014 to essentially replace Mike Mutnansky on the program (Fauria, a former Patriots tight end, signed on at the same time during the midday shakeup), announced Tuesday that he is returning from where he came.

Thursday marked his final show, and while those promos excluding him might have been updated quickly, he did receive an appreciative sendoff from his co-hosts as the clock neared 2 p.m.

“You and I obviously went at it,’’ said Merloni, who often found himself defending the Patriots when Benz, a Steelers fan, would antagonize listeners with his perspective. “That’s what this is all about . . . It made for good radio.”

Benz came to WEEI from 970 AM in Pittsburgh. He is returning to the Steel City for an undisclosed opportunity that begins next month. But his reasons are personal as well as professional. Benz’s family remained in Pittsburgh the entire time he lived in Boston. That makes for a heck of a weekend commute.

Whether he made much of an impact during his 15 months on the air in the city is debatable. WEEI did see an uptick in its ratings from last spring, when he was hired, to this spring. Last year, the program finished eighth in the market with a 4.5 share among men 25-54. This spring, it earned a 5.3 share, good for sixth.

 

So what — or who — is next? Phil Zachary, vice president/market manager for Entercom Boston, WEEI’s parent company said “at least five candidates were being considered to replace Benz, all local”. The whispers heard at this address include familiar names and voices: Gary Tanguay, Greg Dickerson, Danny Picard (though he has his fans and skeptics at WEEI), and Christian Arcand.

A triumphant return of Glenn Ordway, who was let go after a long and successful run on WEEI’s afternoon-drive program in February 2013, would make a lot of sense if Entercom corporate management would sign off on it. From this perspective, he is the odds-on favorite.

To read the full article visit BostonGlobe.com where it was originally published

 

Sports Radio News

Don La Greca: Jon Heyman Getting Aaron Judge Report Wrong A ‘Borderline Fireable Offense’

“You can’t have a bunch of people relying on your information — as a respected journalist — to throw out that information and then walk it back a couple of minutes later.”

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MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman made waves throughout the baseball world yesterday by tweeting that free agent outfielder Aaron Judge “appeared headed” to the San Francisco Giants. Actually, Heyman had to send another tweet after sending out “Arson” Judge would be headed to the Giants. During The Michael Kay Show, Kay and co-host Don La Greca disagreed about Heyman’s culpability for his erroneous report.

Peter Rosenberg interrupted Kay mid-sentence to read Heyman’s report on the air that Judge would be departing New York. After they discussed the misspelling, Rosenberg asked “Are we taking this as law since it’s coming from Heyman?”

“Heyman doesn’t make that many mistakes,” responded Kay. “I’d bet on Heyman with this stuff.”

After taking a commercial break, the show rejoined with a follow up from Heyman walking back his report, saying he had “jumped the gun”.

“I’m gonna sit this out — because Jon Heyman happens to be a close personal friend — but that’s a bad look,” Kay said. “I’m not gonna drill the guy.”

“I will,” Don La Greca interrupted.

“In a world where everybody has to be first, this is gonna happen,” countered Kay. “And it could still end up being right because Susan Slusser, who works for the San Francisco Chronicle, says the buzz in the lobby is that Aaron Judge is going to the Giants.

“Here’s what I think happened: Heyman heard something that made him think Aaron Judge was signing with the Giants. Then he called the Giants and they said ‘Woah, woah, woah. We haven’t signed anything’, because they don’t want Hal (Steinbrenner) to jump in and say ‘Whatever they gave you, we’ll top it’. (The Giants) wanted to get Judge’s name on a contract before it gets out there, so now Heyman backed off. But we’ll see where it turns out.”

“I really like Jon, too, but there’s a certain responsibility that comes with being a journalist and a reporter,” La Greca rebutted. “And we live in a world now where getting it first is more important than getting it right. And you can just see by his tweet, ‘Arson Judge’, that he’s so quick to get it out there first on this big story — would it have killed him to call the Giants first? You can’t have a bunch of people relying on your information — as a respected journalist — to throw out that information and then walk it back a couple of minutes later. I’m sorry, Michael, but it’s a borderline fireable offense. Honestly.

“I don’t understand the importance of getting it first anyway. What? You’re gonna be first for 30 seconds and then everyone else is gonna jump on it? He’s got the contacts. Follow the story. You’re not a cub reporter. You shouldn’t be just walking around the lobby hungry for information trying to get it before everybody else. I’m sorry. It’s a bad job.”

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Sports Radio News

Jonathan Peterlin Takes Over Night Show On 92.3 The Fan

“”Being the guy that you turn on after a day of listening to Ken and Anthony or Andy and Jeff or Nick and Dustin is truly an honor and a privilege. I won’t take that for granted.””

Jordan Bondurant

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92.3 The Fan in Cleveland now has a permanent host for its nightly show in Jonathan Peterlin.

Peterlin wrote in a post for the Audacy station’s website on Tuesday that his show will be called Overtime with Jonathan Peterlin and will air each night starting at 7 p.m.

“This is a dream job,” he said. “Being the guy that you turn on after a day of listening to Ken and Anthony or Andy and Jeff or Nick and Dustin is truly an honor and a privilege. I won’t take that for granted.”

Peterlin had been the afternoon update anchor at 92.3 The Fan since 2016, even hosting on weekends and on a fill-in basis. Prior to that, he spent three years in a similar role at Yahoo Sports Radio.

He wrote that listeners in Cleveland will not need an introduction or reintroduction to who he is.

“You know me and I know you,” he said. “We’ve spent the past nearly 7 years getting to know each other on a daily basis…We were there for each other. Along the way I hope that I’ve earned your trust. Through the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs.”

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Sports Radio News

Layoffs Hit Pro Football Focus

“The reduction in workforce comes less than 18 months after securing a $50 million investment from Silver Lake.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Pro Football Focus has laid off 16 employees, according to a report from Front Office Sports.

The reduction in workforce comes less than 18 months after securing a $50 million investment from Silver Lake.

The company, which Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth owns a majority, still employs just over 200 people.

NFL reporter Doug Kyed was among the layoffs. Kyed had been at PFF since July 2021.

Additionally, 11 interns were also let go.

While PFF remains popular and profitable from a football analytics perspective, there had been a shift since the Silver Lake investment into attracting more sports betting and fantasy football customers. The FOS report indicated a chunk of the $50 million funding was used to develop an iPhone app.

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