Monday, January 5, 2009

Power Play : WEEI's Ordway gets a new 5-year deal

Update : Official press release on Ordway's new contract is below

Like many free agent big name pro athletes he talks about on his daily show, Glenn Ordway once he again proved that everyone has their price. In his case, the price's right.

Glenn Ordway has signed a very lucrative five-year contract to continue as host of WEEI radio's afternoon "The Big Show" according to the exclusive report in the Boston Herald this morning. According to the report, Ordway is expected to make a $1 million per year.

The signing came with Ordway's previous deal expiring on December 31 thus enabling him to explore other opportunities outside of WEEI. Ordway has been No. 1 for five years among the station's target demo of men 25-54 as his Big Show celebrated 13 years on the air this past fall.

The Herald's report mentions that as part of the Ordway's new pact, WEEI's video version will air on a regional sports TV network - either Comcast SportsNet or NESN. Ordway already hosts a weekly New England Tailgate show on Comcast SportsNet during the NFL season.

Ordway's tenure at WEEI predates the sports format. He's been at WEEI since 1987, when he was executive producer and broadcaster on Celtics telecasts and served as analyst with the legendary Johny Most. When the station went all sports in 1991, he was a midday host while continuing his Celtics duties. Ordway was WEEI's program director from 1995-97.

While signing off the Big Show in mid-December as he was about to go on his scheduled holiday break, Ordway warned his listeners that he didn't know whether he'd be back behind WEEI's mic after his his contract expires.

Here's the official Entercom Boston release :

Glenn Ordway Re-Signs Contract with WEEI

BOSTON (January 5, 2009) – Entercom New England today announced that it has re-signed WEEI Sports Radio host Glenn Ordway to a new multi-year contract. Ordway is host of WEEI’s The Big Show, a perennial powerhouse among talk radio programming.

The Big Show has ranked number one among men 25-54 in every ratings book since the spring of 2003, and has also ranked number one with adults 25-54 in every ratings book but three over the same period of time. The show originally aired from 3 PM – 6 PM, but shifted to 2 PM – 6 PM in September of 1999 where it remains.

Ordway has been a presence on the Boston sports broadcasting scene for over two decades. Prior to joining WEEI as Program Director in June of 1995, he was a commentator for Boston Celtics radio broadcasts for thirteen consecutive years, including five as play-by-play man. The Big Show was among the new programs he created upon joining ‘EEI and he has hosted it since its inception. At the same time, he also created the ever-popular Whiner Line, which has become the highest rated fifteen minutes in Boston radio today among both men and adults 25-54.

Today, Ordway’s influence transcends the airwaves. He has hosted The Whiney Awards to honor the top callers to the Whiner Line for the past six years. The event began as a small gathering of 150 people at Davio’s in Boston and grew to upwards of 3,000 attendees at the Wang Theatre in 2008. The event benefits a different non-profit organization each year.

Ordway’s extensive charitable initiatives have helped raised millions for numerous local non-profits, including The Jimmy Fund, Champions for Children, The Rodman Ride for Kids, The Genesis Fund, and The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, to name a few. In 2005, he was honored by the Jimmy Fund as the recipient of the annual “Jimmy Award”, an honor bestowed upon a media member who goes over and above to support and raise funds for the organization.

Ordway has also been nominated for three Marconi Awards (2006, 2007, 2008), which are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards in the radio industry.

“Glenn is a very special part of the WEEI "Magic"; having been one of the architects of the station and the only nationally recognized Major Market Personality by the Marconi Awards in the Boston market, three times in recent years,” said Julie Kahn, Entercom New England Market Manager. “His show is a must listen to destination for breaking sports news in America's best sports market."

“Glenn and I have been together since the beginning. He has played an enormous role in helping grow WEEI to the legendary status we currently enjoy, and I’m thrilled to be able to continue to work with him for the foreseeable future,” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s VP of AM Programming and Operations. “I’ve been privileged to work with some of the very best broadcasters in the business in the seventeen years I’ve been at WEEI, and Glenn is at the top of that list.”

“We have had a phenomenal run with The Big Show on WEEI and I am thrilled that we will have the opportunity to extend that run for years to come on America's number one sports station,” said Ordway.

Entercom is one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasters with operations in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Norfolk, Buffalo, New Orleans, Providence, Memphis, Greensboro, Rochester, Greenville/Spartanburg, Madison, Wichita, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Springfield and Gainesville/Ocala.

BRW Notebook :

WBZ's additions : As mentioned in Friday's update(1/2), WBZ cut its longtime Saturday night and overnight show personalities last week. Over the weekend, the new replacments were introduced. The self-proclaimed "Digital Goddess" Kim Komando's nationally syndicated show will now occupy the 8-11pm slot on Saturday nights(...on a 10-hour tape-delay). As for Steve LeVeille's overnight replacment, St.Louis-based talker Jon Grayson launched a new "Overnight America" show on four CBS Radio news and talk stations including WBZ in Boston. Grayson's show will be heard on WBZ from 1am to 5am.


dbvader said...

That is a raise, correct?

Amusedbutinformedobserver said...

Ordway isn't paid what he is paid because he is a great air talent. He is paid what he is paid because he is a very good programmer who happens to be on the air. The suits did't invent the current WEEI on-air persona, Ordway did. His execution of the afternoon show is not about sports gab, it's about grabbing listeners in one quarter hour and dragging them to another quarter hour, and it's about creating a reason for people to come back day after day. It's not about his brilliance as a commentator.
Keep an eye on a clock or your watch (does anyone wear them anymore?) and listen and see how he does it. You will see that the show with Ordway on it is always moving forward and always making you stick around through the :00, :15, :30 and :45 points. He's almost as good as Whitley at this. Don't think the WEEI afternoon show was invented by consultants or salespeople-turned-executives or producers-turned-programmers. His value to the station is not as a tune-in factor as much as it is as someone who knows that radio is about demographics, cume and quarter-hour share and knows how to present hte product to make the most of each of these.

Anonymous said...

Great point, Amused. Another ability WEEI pulls off is the radio equivalent of Las Vegas. There's a reason they don't have clocks in casinos, and it's the same reason they never mention the time on EEI. If you don't know what time it is, you don't realize how much time passes and you'll keep listening, like you said.

I have to ask another question. Can someone look into WODS' current 'Encyclopedia of Music' promo they started this week? Why would Oldies 103 suddenly start playing some songs they haven't played in ages? My guess is they're cleaning out their music library to prepare for a format change. That frequency was rumored at one time to go all sports. Would that still be considered now that Ordway has been locked up by EEI?

sc said...

Happy 2009 Mark!

Once again dumbed down radio has won again!! I guess WEEI is the only station that is making any $$ for ENTERCOM, how else can you explain Ordway's deal? The "layoffs" at ENTERCOM are onlt tablestakes as the talent continues to rake in the dough while the show is just awful!
Although XM/Sirius has ruined satellite, I still enjoy it although its only a matter of time it becomes like regular radio just to survive.
Jason and Julie contnue to run amok and no-one stops them.
Keep the lowest common denominator happy! Call the whinner line and oh I forgot: "Yankees Suck" Such thought provoking radio!