Sheppard sacks WEEI
In what can only be described as a ballsy move, WEEI 93.7's weekend host Pete Sheppard quit on the spot earlier tonight, citing displeasure with station corporate owner's Entercom in the wake of what he felt was a series of bad management decisions over the past few months.
Sheppard who was a 16-year presence during WEEI's hey day was let go due financial cutbacks in January 2010 but brought back as a weekend/fill-in host last March(BRW 3/10/12). His most memorable time at WEEI happened during an 11-year stint as a sports anchor/co-host of the WEEI's very popular afternoon drive Big Show with Glenn "Big O" Ordway. Sheppar has apparently been very upset with WEEI's upper management over a decision to end the Big Show and replace hid close friend Ordway two months ago(BRW 2/14).
On his Twitter feed after tonight's final show, Sheppard said that he'll be heard from again very shortly which signals that he may have a new gig lined up. There's a rumor going around that he and Ordway may be teaming up to co-host a new show.
BRW Notebook :
Rish quits Red Sox gig : Like Sheppard, another WEEI employee is leaving the station on his own terms. Fill-in play-by-play voice, and host for the station's Red Sox broadcasts, Jon Rish, submitted his 2-week notice on Monday(4/8), after being asked to take a pay cut. He had been working without a contract since December. Boston.com's Chad Finn reported that Rish notified WEEI Program Director Jason Wolfe only three hours before the beginning of the Red Sox home opener because he wanted to tell him in person and not by phone. Rish has hosted pre-game and post-game for the network since 2006, and reportedly was asked to take a 30 percent salary reduction, the latest of cost-cutting moves by Entercom, the most notable of which was the firing of afternoon host Glenn Ordway in mid-February. "I will say I could no longer justify working for Entercom," Rish told Boston.com. "It wasn't fair to me and it wasn't workable for my family. It's a very difficult decision to explain to other people because calling Red Sox games is viewed as a dream job. But it was not as difficult a decision for me as you might think. It was not a difficult decision to explain to my wife." Rish, who teamed with Joe Castiglione for a few broadcasts this season with Dave O'Brien calling the women's Final Four for ESPN, has been the fill-in voice on the game broadcasts since 2008. He also has filled in on Wednesdays in recent years when O'Brien has been away calling "Wednesday Night Baseball" for ESPN.
There's apparently life after WEEI and a very bright new future for Rish as he's about to enter a new phase in his professional career as a Ruby on Rails software developer.
Make room for WFNX...well, not exactly : The parent company of WXRV/River 92.5 The River, Northeast Broadcasting. has purchased the legendary Boston Alternative call sign WFNX for their 99.1 frequency out of Athol-Gardner MA, formerly WXRG. The signal has limited coverage in the Boston metro. 99.1 WFNX is currently simulcasting The River.