Changes are soon taking place for the talent lineup at WEEI, but last week two of the hosts on their way out from their roles at the Audacy-owned station had a chance to wish each other well.
Lou Merloni and Mike Mutnansky first broke through together at WEEI in 2011. Eleven years later, Mutnansky is leaving the station completely, while Merloni will be transitioning to more of a Red Sox-driven role.
On Friday’s Merloni, Fauria & Mego, Merloni said he was incredibly impressed with the growth Mutnansky has shown in his tenure at the station.
“I’ve seen you kind of move on and do your thing and bob and weave at different positions in this station, and I would say I can’t be prouder,” he said. “I can’t think more of you, I think you are an amazing talent. I think what you do on a nightly basis here, what you do with the Red Sox, moving around whether it’s mornings, middays, afternoons, whatever it was you were doing at this station – you are an outstanding talent, and I have no worries at all that you’re gonna land on your feet because you are fantastic at what you do.”
Mutnansky shared similar sentiments about his former co-host.
“You’ve become a really good host. The way you sort of run a show, two years ago I didn’t think you could do it.”
Mutnansky said the circumstances in which he’s making his exit from the station are not ideal, but thinking about the start he had with Merloni he couldn’t have imagined his journey.
“I think you had a line that I’m gonna steal – excited for the future, not excited it happened this way,” Mut said. “You have goals when you get into radio, and to have one of your goals be like this is how you leave a station, no that’s not on the list. You want to succeed – great ratings, make a lot of money, that’s a big part of it, and some of that stuff we didn’t accomplish. But I look back on those shows that we did, and it was fun to do but we didn’t know anything.”
Merloni noted that morale in the building recently given the announced changes has been terrible. Co-host Christian Fauria added that it’s kind of felt like a wake for a funeral.
“I’m excited about my next move but it sucks because this building sucks today and really the last week,” Merloni said.
When it came to Mutnansky and his skills offering betting picks, Merloni said he thought his colleague had a bright future in the space.
“I don’t think anyone is better at it than you,” he said. “I think there’s gonna be amazing opportunities, because these people that are in on numbers that like gambling aren’t good on the air. They can’t do shows, they don’t know how to do whatever show it might be. And I think you’d be amazing at it.”
“I know good things are coming,” Merloni added, sending Mut off. “They go to good people who work their ass off, and that is you. So I wish you all the best.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Stan Norfleet To Replace N.D. Kalu On SportsTalk 790 in Houston
“My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
Change is afoot at SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Chris Gordy will have a new co-host in middays as N.D. Kalu exits and Stan Norfleet comes aboard for Next Up.
Kalu, a former Houston Texans defensive end, has decided to leave radio behind. Instead, he will focus on his real estate business.
“N.D. is a tremendous talent and one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He will be missed,” said iHeartMedia Houston’s head of AM programming, Bryan Erickson.
Stan Norfleet comes to Houston after most recently being on WFNZ in Charlotte. He is no stranger to Texas, though. He finished his college football career at Texas Southern University. He also worked in the sales departments for both the Rockets and the Texans.
“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” Stan Norfleet said in a press release. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”
In addition to his time on air in Charlotte, Norfleet has also been heard on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and seen on Raycom’s regionally syndicated ACC Network. He is also a former columnist at BSM.
“Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does,” said Erickson. “He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.”
Mark Sanchez Jokes ‘Tom Brady Is Going To Ruin My Career For a 2nd Time’
“I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”
Now that Tom Brady is done on the field, it is only a matter of time before he makes his way to the broadcast booth. Before the 2022 season began, FOX announced that Brady had signed a ten-year deal with the network that will put him in the top NFL play-by-play booth and make him a brand ambassador.
That has created speculation and uncertainty for Greg Olsen, the current analyst on FOX’s top NFL crew, but it won’t stop there. The effects will almost certainly trickle down. Mark Sanchez was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and joked that he knows his place is a little less certain now than it was last week.
“I guess thanks for ruining the trajectory of my career for the second time, Tom,” Sanchez said with a smile. “I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”
Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games during Tom Brady’s Super Bowl drought. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the then-Washington Redskins during his ten-year NFL career.
He began his broadcasting career in 2019. He was first with ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst for college football. Before the 2021 NFL season, he moved to FOX, where he joined Kevin Kugler in the broadcast booth.
With a few years and plenty of reps under his belt, Mark Sanchez is a broadcast veteran. He joked that that will give him some clout over Tom Brady when the GOAT makes his FOX debut.
“Hopefully he doesn’t get too annoyed with the hazing we put them through as rookies here at FOX. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too annoying for him.”
Adam Jones: ‘I Hold No Animosity Towards 98.5 The Sports Hub’
“I think we did a good thing at night for 10 years, but nights are nights, and I honestly was ready for something different.”
Adam Jones left one Boston sports talker for another. Earlier this month, he left his nighttime show on 98.5 The Sports Hub to join Meghan Ottolini and Christian Arcand in afternoon drive on WEEI.
In an interview with Alex Reimer of WEEI, Jones made it clear that there was no bitterness towards his old station. It was just time for a lifestyle change.
“I had done 10 years at night,” he said. “My kid is going to be going to school next year. It’s a good life-work balance, which I know a lot of people probably overuse, but it will be a good life-work balance to be home at night for the first time in 10 years and be able to do dinners at home. And it’s a new challenge. I would like to be in a more prominent day part, and try to carve out a niche there, and try to be successful there. I think we did a good thing at night for 10 years, but nights are nights, and I honestly was ready for something different.”
Jones says he knew that if he wanted to make a move, it likely wasn’t going to happen on 98.5. The station’s daytime lineup has a very successful track record and management likely isn’t eager to do anything to jeopardize that.
“I hold no animosity towards 98.5…I think people wonder that and ask that. I get why you’re not gonna get rid of Fred, or Rich, or Wallach, or Beetle, or Zo, or Hardy, or Felger and Mazz and Big Jim. There are limited opportunities.”
Now, Adam Jones is focused on making things work with Mego and Arcand. He told Reimer that there is plenty to consider and that he and Mego are trying to find their goto hot buttons.
He said they are not trying to manufacture debates. They just want to make sure the show is entertaining and doesn’t bore listeners.
“I guess there’s a journalistic aspect to this job,” Adam Jones said. “I’m not a journalist, I’ve never pretended to be a journalist. I didn’t go to school for journalism. It’s not my job. My job is to be entertaining. People might disagree, and that’s fine.”