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Jeff Rickard: ‘WEEI Is A Different Level’

WEEI’s new brand manager Jeff Rickard spoke with Alex Reimer from the station ahead of his first day next week.

MIchael Quirk

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Jeff Rickard comes to WEEI in Boston with a resume flush with sports media experience in arguably the most sports-obsessed city in the country. Most recently, he was the program director and a morning show host at WFNI in Indianapolis. The new brand manager for the iconic WEEI spoke with Alex Reimer of the station about his upcoming transition.

“It’s one of the great radio stations in the history of sports radio,” Rickard said. “It’s going to have a tremendous amount of backing with Audacy, and it has a complete list of teammates in front of the microphone and behind the microphone who are going to be really committed to it — like, really committed to it. That’s what attracted me. I was happy where I was, but EEI is a different level.”

Coming to Boston from Indianapolis is a move that sees two franchises to get over the ghosts of historic quarterbacks come and gone. There is some bad blood between the two, however, as the Indianapolis Colts were famously the whistleblowers that started the “Deflategate” scandal centering around Tom Brady when he was a New England Patriot.

“Anybody can ask me: I think it was the dumbest thing in the history of sports,” Rickard said. “In any normal circumstance, altering the football is a $25,000 fine, and you move on. But it became a players’ association vs. NFL battle that nearly went all the way to the Supreme Court. It was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of in my life.”

Rickard had an engaged audience in Indianapolis, and he has seen his fair share across stops at ESPN Radio, Mad Dog Sports Radio, and NFL Radio. Still, he knows that going into WEEI, the city of Boston, and the community of greater New England will be an adjustment, though one he appears to be more than ready.

“What I will tell you is, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t know if I’m the biggest sports fan in the world — I still love sports — but as a radio guy, I’m a fan of the Boston sports fan,” he said. “I love that people melt down during a three-game losing streak. I love that they think they have the greatest team in the world after a four-game winning streak. I love it. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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