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WEEI and the New England Patriots Extend Programming Partnership

“The content partnership treats WEEI to weekly conversations with New England Patriots six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots players on WEEI in Boston.”

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WEEI will once again deliver some of the best football programming in the format thanks to a new agreement between the station’s parent company Audacy, and the New England Patriots. The two sides have struck a multi-year deal to continue their broadcast partnership, which calls for an exclusive continuation of “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming.

The content partnership treats WEEI to weekly conversations with New England Patriots six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots players on WEEI in Boston. In recent years, weekly player appearances have included Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Cam Newton. The partnership between WEEI and the Patriots started in 1995.

“We’re delighted to extend our longstanding partnership with the New England Patriots and continue giving Patriots fans exclusive access to their favorite team every week,” said Tim Clarke, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy Boston. “We look forward to Coach Belichick and multiple veteran leaders providing perspective and game analysis that only they can share every week on WEEI.”

“For more than a quarter century, Boston sports fans have followed the Patriots on WEEI,” said Murray Kohl, Vice President of Sales, New England Patriots. “We are happy to extend our partnership and continue to provide exclusive access to interviews with Coach Belichick and many of our star players. The conversations that our coach and players have with the WEEI hosts each week provide a much different dialogue and insight into the personality than any other sports platform and has become appointment listening for many Patriots fans.”

One change this year from prior years, Bill Belichick will move his Monday appearances from afternoons to mornings. The Patriots head coach will now join WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” featuring Greg Hill and former Patriot Jermaine Wiggins weekdays from 6a-10 ET. The midday show “Gresh and Keefe” with Andy Gresh and Rich Keefe will continue welcoming a rotation of players from 10a-2p ET, including an offensive player, defensive player and a weekly special guest. The afternoon show, “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” hosted by Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and two-time Super Bowl champion and former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria, will feature a weekly chat with the Patriots starting quarterback between 2p-6p ET. “Patriots Friday” will also return with additional team-focused programming throughout the season each Friday.

In addition to creating Patriots-focused on-air content, WEEI has also struck deals with a number of NFL contributors. The station this fall will feature weekly discussions with Michael Irvin, Michael Lombardi, WFAN morning host and CBS NFL analyst Boomer Esiason, ESPN analysts Tedy Bruschi and Keyshawn Johnson, and NBC Sports’ Peter King.

Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: AppleTV+ Shouldn’t Have Answered The Phone For YES Network Trade

“This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week.”

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Craig Carton

A report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post claimed YES Network, owned in-part by the New York Yankees, made several offers to AppleTV+ in regards to its scheduled broadcast of the Yankees and Boston Red Sox as Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. WFAN host Craig Carton was dumbfounded by the proposals.

Carton originally blamed the Yankees greed for the game airing on AppleTV+, before co-host Evan Roberts set him straight.

“Because the New York Yankees sold their rights to everybody with a blank check in front of them, they are now faced with the reality that their greed is gonna result in a momentous, historical moment not being broadcast by their broadcast team,” Carton said.

“If you wanna blame every owner, and say ‘Hey, you all signed off on it’, I understand where you’re coming from on this. But Major League Baseball made the decision to cut a deal with AppleTV+,” Roberts countered.

Carton then pointed out how preposterous the idea was for YES Network to either air the game in conjunction with AppleTV+, or for Yankees television play-by-play announcer — and New York afternoon radio competitor — Michael Kay to call the game for the streaming platform.

“Memo to YES, and the New York Yankees, who own a piece of the YES Network: If I’m AppleTV+ — and whatever that check was that I wrote, it was big — this is the moment for me,” Carton said. “This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week. If you’re AppleTV+, why would you even answer the phone if the YES Network calls?”

“Sometimes a guy calls you in Fantasy sports and says ‘I want your best player’, and you don’t even make a counter offer because you’re like ‘There’s literally nothing on your roster that would make me agree to this trade’,” Roberts hypothesized. “If I’m AppleTV+ — let’s play the negotiation game — is there anything that could be offered to you that would make you give up the exclusivity?”

“No! That’s what you paid for!”, Carton exclaimed. “Great luck! It worked out where you’re most likely gonna have a game on AppleTV+ where something historical is might happen!”

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