— WEEI (@WEEI) November 14, 2018
Earlier this week, Kirk Minihane teased that a big announcement regarding his future was coming. He’d been off the air for about two months, and there had been lots of speculation online about when (and where) he would return to the air. Just hours before his highly-anticipated appearance on the the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch dropped, WEEI announced that Kirk will be leaving the “Kirk and Callahan” morning show on WEEI to start his own show on RADIO.COM in early 2019.
There was a lot of speculation online that Minihane was headed for Barstool Sports. Minihane would be a perfect fit for Barstool and Barstool Radio but as he pointed out on Deitsch’s podcast, he’s got a contract with Entercom (parent company of WEEI and RADIO.COM) that runs through 2021. Still, his new position at RADIO.COM sounds awfully Barstool-esque:
Kirk Minihane will launch a new radio show, podcast and column on RADIO.COM, the fastest growing digital audio app in the United States.
Selfishly, I’m glad he’s not going to Barstool Radio (yet). If Minihane went to satellite radio that would be another $20 a month out of my pocket because he is must-listen radio. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he’s been the most interesting sports-radio personality in Boston the last few years.
Far too often sports-talk radio has fallen to the level of mindless DJ banter, an endless exchange of radio clichés.
What’s worse than that is when hosts discuss topics they obviously have no real interest in. I turn off 98.5 when I hear Mazz breaking down the Bruins third line. At least Minihane doesn’t bullshit listeners into thinking he cares about the Bruins third line or production out of the Celtics bench. For the most part, Minihane covers the topics listeners find interesting.
Minihane made the argument on Deitsch’s podcast that sports-talk radio has reached its ceiling. Recaps, previews, controversies, repeat. If you watch any of the Mike Francesa clips posted on Twitter by Ƒunhouse, or remember listening to WEEI between the time 98.5 launched and when Minihane joined “Dennis and Callahan,” it’s hard to counter that argument.
By his own admission, Minihane moving to RADIO.COM isn’t quite like Howard Stern moving to Sirius in 2006. It will still be interesting, though, to follow Minihane as he works to shake up the sports-talk radio format in a new setting. This is not going to be another “Big Show Unfiltered.” He might not have the same number of listeners he had on WEEI, but Kirk Minihane unfiltered will undoubtedly still have an impact on the dialogue of Boston sports fans.