One of the most iconic names in New England sports is leaving Rhode Island. WEEI programming will still be heard in Providence on 103.7 FM but Audacy is planning to close the station’s offices in the Ocean State.
There are no details available about what closing the office means for WEEI’s sales efforts or strategy in Rhode Island.
Go Local Prov writes that employees learned about the decision this week via email. The site reached out to Audacy but did not get an answer at the company’s office in Warwick, RI.
Audacy was still called Entercom when it acquired the Rhode Island signal in March of 2004. That same month, the company turned off the modern rock format in favor of a WEEI simulcast.
The Providence signal was one of ten that simulcast WEEI throughout the New England area.
Paul Allen: I Don’t Know What We’ll Do if Taylor Swift Says Yes to Announcing With Us
Allen offered to let Swift announce a portion of the upcoming Vikings/Chiefs game with him on KFAN.
It’s been a few days since VP of programming for iHeart Twin Cities Greg Swedberg attempted to get Taylor Swift’s attention ahead of Sunday’s Chiefs/Vikings game in Minneapolis. But Swedberg’s offer for Swift to come to the KFAN FM 100.3 broadcast booth and potentially do some play-by-play with Paul Allen still stands.
Swedberg was a guest with Paul Allen on Tuesday. Allen, the radio voice of the Vikings, asked Swedberg what exactly the plan was for Swift if she happened to see him and say hello.
“I thought she could come in and give you a break on play-by-play,” Swedberg joked.
“That’d be sweet! That’d be great!” Allen responded.
Swedberg has known Taylor Swift since she was a teenager just breaking through on the country music scene. While he said he wouldn’t consider them close friends, they know each other as associates.
Allen asked what would happen if she did show up. She usually rolls pretty deep with security and the like, so the situation in the broadcast booth could be crazy. But Swedberg did say he realizes Swift likely isn’t going to come say hello or anything on Sunday. He acknowledged that it’s possible Taylor doesn’t even show up in Minnesota at all. He just wishes some people would let people enjoy things.
“It’s a bit. Pretty much everything we do here is a bit to a certain extent,” he said. “But, I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s possible.”
“We would make room, wouldn’t we?” Allen asked.
Paul asked Greg the possibility that Swift and Travis Kelce’s family could be situated in a suite near the broadcast booth. Swedberg said if that’s the case, it would make it hard for her to ignore stopping in to say hi.
“If she wants to come in, it’s a quick trip from that booth – I’ve made that little trip myself – into your booth,” Swedberg said.
“It’s an extreme longshot, but hey, you know somebody for 17 years you take a shot,” he added. “And she’s very conscious of PR, and it would be a great scene!”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional 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, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Greg Hill: NFL, Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift All Working Together for Publicity Stunt
“I don’t think Taylor Swift needs the publicity.”
Are Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and the NFL in cahoots to drive publicity for each other? That’s what WEEI morning host Greg Hill believes.
During The Greg Hill Show Tuesday, the Boston-based host led a discussion about whether or not Swift was more popular than the NFL. Co-host Courtney Cox argued that it’s undeniable she is more famous than the NFL on the global stage. Meanwhile, colleague Jermaine Wiggins argued the pop start isn’t even the most popular artist in America.
“The reason this came up is because of the massive fraud, charade that is being pulled on America by all of them,” Hill said. “And that’s Kelce, that’s her, and that’s the NFL. Who is it benefiting the most? I think Courtney is right. I don’t think Taylor Swift needs the publicity.”
Producer Chris Curtis claimed 2.5 million people in Brazil watched Super Bowl LVII, while only 2 million attempted to get tickets for Swift’s shows in the country. Cox argued that was an apples-to-oranges comparison.
Hill maintained the alleged relationship between Swift and Kelce is simply a ploy by the NFL to seek out a new potential fan base with Swift’s massive following.
Jon Jansen: If Taylor Swift Increases NFL Fandom, It’s a Good Thing
“The Lakers have been running this shtick for decades.”
As a luxury suite began to fill over the 45-yard line at MetLife Stadium, many fans in the lower bowl turned around to try to spot Taylor Swift, the Grammy Award-winning superstar who has made headlines in recent weeks for her alleged relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
NBC Sports also had several of its cameras positioned towards the box, ready to capture Swift’s body language and reactions to specific plays, especially touchdowns. Swift was shown a total of 17 times on Sunday Night Football, which reported an average of 27 million viewers and growth across the board in viewership from women.
With a devoted fan base of “Swifties” closely tracking her every move, major broadcast networks know that part of their audience is tuning in just to see her at the game. As a result, they have made it a point to accentuate how they implement her as part of the broadcast – whether that be through playing off her lyrics, explaining the basics of football or outright welcoming them on the air.
“I was on [social media] Sunday night, and there were people I know who are huge Jets fans say, ‘Enough already,’” Mike Stone, morning co-host on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, shared on Tuesday morning. “As a football fan; as somebody who’s watching the game, do you really care that much that they show her in the booth in the suite?”
“I don’t,” replied co-host Jon Jansen. “It doesn’t matter to me [and] it doesn’t affect my viewing experience.”
Jansen, a former NFL offensive tackle, understands that while continuously presenting footage of Swift may not be the most appealing to traditional football fans, it is helping grow the game en masse. Swift’s social media following surpasses that of the NFL, and her presence seems to be broadening the interest in the game aside from her interactions with Kelce.
“If you’re going to bring in a whole new demographic – not that all of them are going to stick around; some of them are there just there because it’s Taylor Swift [and] they’re huge fans,” Jansen said, “[but] ‘Swifties’ – if some of them are going to stick around, great – increase the fandom.”
Later in the show, Stone read several text messages from listeners with remarks varying from the fact that her fanbase would be unable to take over a stadium and the meager puns the announcers were making in relation to her songs.
“The Lakers have been running this shtick for decades,” Stone said. “It’s annoying, but that’s what networks do everywhere they go.”
Another message reversed the situation and asked how concertgoers would feel if Kelce and the Chiefs were brought up every five minutes. By acknowledging the contrasting demographics and differentiating interest levels in each topic, however, it only reaffirmed the point being promulgated by Jansen about the NFL trying to capitalize on the situation.
“Because Taylor Swift is jumping around because of a touchdown, [maybe her fans will think], ‘Well, why is she so excited? Can I be that excited about this?’”