A week and a day after tweeting that he’s taking a hiatus from his daily podcast, Kirk Minihane returned Sunday to record his Monday show for Barstool.
Saturday, Feb. 29, Minihane announced he was entering a treatment program to fight his recent struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. He returned to the airwaves Monday, describing his depression as an “elephant standing on your chest,” unable to breath or move.
Minihane joined Barstool last May after previously co-hosting WEEI’s popular morning show Kirk & Callahan Show in Boston. His brash, unfiltered style helped Minihane build a very loyal fanbase on WEEI, following him to Barstool.
Twice in 2018, Minihane stepped away from the WEEI morning show for mental health reasons. The first time coming in August, when he checked himself into Winchester Hospital after experiencing suicidal thoughts. Following a brief return, Minihane still didn’t feel right and took a second leave of absence. He ultimately never came back to the Kirk & Callahanshow for varying reasons and left WEEI’s parent company Entercom in May 2019, shortly before joining Barstool.
Having dealt with depression for much of his life, Minihane said he recognizes his mental health ups and downs will continue, but right now, he felt well enough to check in on the show.
“I thought it was important to talk to you guys about it because you guys are great,” Minihane said while expressing gratitude for the amount of people that showed they care. “I understand you’re concerned and you have no idea how much that means, I hope you do, I really hope you do know how much you guys mean to me, the show means to me and knowing that people care,” he continued.
Minihane noted how many people reached out, including his former WEEI co-host Gerry Callahan. Since breaking up in 2018, Kirk and Callahan have reunited a few times on each of their podcasts, but Minihane said he told his former co-host it’s better if they don’t talk anymore.
“There’s a toxic nature to that relationship,” Minihane said. “You get stuck in the past and have the same fights over again, it doesn’t do either one of us any good, it’s not productive anymore so that relationship is over and it’s unfortunate, it’s a casualty of war that neither one of us were really guilty in.”
Minihane plans to appear on his Barstool podcast again this Wednesday, Mar. 11, and estimated returning to the show full-time Monday Mar. 23. His two sold out shows at Boston’s Wilbur Theater, Jun. 20 are still scheduled to go on.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.