Less than a week after Michael Wilbon cited an interview with Dale & Keefe as one reason he no longer goes on Boston sports radio station WEEI as a guest, ESPN’s Elle Duncan joined the same show to discuss the racism she experienced during her time working and living in the city.
From 2014 – 2016, Duncan worked as an anchor, reporter and host for NESN, but as her contract came to a close, she made the decision to leave Boston even without an offer from ESPN. Last week, when Wilbon addressed instances of racism at Fenway Park, Duncan responded on Twitter that she chose unemployment over working in Boston, “because of the hate and racism” there.
“It was a lot, I’m not going to lie,” Duncan told WEEI’s midday show hosts Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe.
“We certainly were no strangers to micro-aggressions, some aggressions, what racism looked like or what it felt like,’’ Duncan said. “But in Boston we experienced it at a rate that at some point we had to start laughing about it, saying it’s almost like movie-script racism.”
While accounts of racism in Boston is not a new topic, it’s been highlighted after the Red Sox publicly released a statement acknowledging Torii Hunter’s detail of racial abuse suffered at Fenway Park as “real.” The Red Sox admission of racial incidents that occur at Fenway was viewed by many as an important step in building toward social equality, similar to NASCAR finally issuing a ban on the Confederate flag.
“No one wants to be accused of being a city filled with racists,” Duncan said on WEEI. “I fully understand that, but what I would say to you is, how can we all be lying? How can Adam Jones and Mike Wilbon and me and Torii Hunter and the countless other African Americans who have said they’ve experienced this issue in Boston, how can we all be wrong? Why would we lie about that? I certainly wouldn’t lie and welcome what my mentions have looked like over the last couple days.”
“All of us have just happened to come across the same handful of racists? Come on, guys. Does that seem more plausible than the fact that maybe there’s an issue there? Maybe it’s not the most welcoming place? And while there’s so many incredible and amazing people that live in Boston, there’s enough that give it this reputation.”
During the interview, Duncan detailed multiple incidents of racial abuse she and her husband experienced during their time in Boston.
Boston Globe media reporter Chad Finn supported Duncan’s admission that she chose unemployment over remaining with NESN in 2016. According to Finn, her contract with the network expired in April 2016, but throughout the five months prior, she continuously declined offers to stay with NESN even without having a new job lined up.
“It was painful. I don’t like reliving this,” Duncan told Dale and Keefe. “It was a terrible time for me and my husband honestly. It sucked. I don’t want to have to be on here and defending myself to people. But I think we’ve moved into a time in this country where people more than ever are listening.”
Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte
“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”
Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.
Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin.
“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”
Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.
“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”
Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.
Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football
“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”
The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.
“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit.
Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about:
As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.
“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”
Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan
“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”
John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.
Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.
“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”
Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.
The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.
“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”