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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

 

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Sports Radio News

Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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