Boston sports radio station WEEI has signed a deal with NESN to put its morning show, polarizing Dennis & Callahan on television. John Dennis & Boston Herald columnist Gerry Callahan are quite popular with Massachusetts conservatives as they spout Republican and right wing philosophy on their show. Most of the time, they complain about the Democratic Party, President Obama and the Kennedy family. When 24 was on the air, they talked about the show incessantly. And sports talk has mostly become a back seat.
They were suspended in 2003 for a comment that was perceived to be racist. D&C, as they’re often called, have also raised the ire of the Gay and Lesbian community for comments that are perceived to be homophobic. Figure skater Rudy Galindo was a frequent target of Callahan’s wrath during the show’s infancy.
So you can see what the show is, but it is quite popular and often in the top five in the men 25-54 demographic in Boston. NESN will simulcast the radio show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. not only in New England, but also on its NESN National channel which is available in the Carolinas and Florida.
Here’s the press release.
October 19, 2010 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, and WEEI Sports Radio, New England’s top rated sports radio station, announced today that they have entered into a programming partnership to simulcast The Dennis and Callahan Show on weekday mornings live from 6 am to 9 am. Beginning November 16, 2010, The Dennis and Callahan Show will be available on NESN in New England and across the country on NESN National.
“This programming partnership brings together the two most popular sports media companies in New England in a way that we think complements the strengths of each organization,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “We have worked closely with WEEI for several years to produce the annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. We now look forward to working with WEEI on a daily basis to bring The Dennis and Callahan Show to our television audience.”
“We’re excited because this is the next logical step in our progression as a powerful brand, giving us the ability to provide our great content far and wide,” said Julie Kahn, Entercom New England’s Vice President, New England Market Manager. “We’ve built an unprecedented regional radio network, we stream our radio content worldwide via the web, we have original web content, mobile streaming…and now we will be available regionally and nationally on TV Nobody in our business offers what we do the way we do…and this NESN partnership impressively expands on that.”
“When they see them on TV, people may be shocked to learn how handsome John & Gerry are,” added Kahn.
“Dennis and Callahan have achieved tremendous success in morning drive on WEEI, and this new partnership with NESN provides the perfect opportunity to expand their footprint across the region. NESN is the ideal partner for us given the incredible power of its reach across New England, and the combination of our two networks will make this new project an instant hit.” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s Vice President of AM Programming.
“This is a natural fit for NESN. Dennis & Callahan is the ‘go-to’ show in the morning for sports and entertainment,” said Joel Feld, NESN Executive Vice President, Programming and Executive Producer. “Passionate hosts, loyal fans and no holds-barred discussion. NESN viewers get that with our Red Sox, Bruins and other sports and lifestyle programming so this is a logical way to enhance how we entertain our audience.”
NESN will install four remotely controlled HD cameras in WEEI’s studio in Brighton, MA and fiber the feeds back to the NESN HD Television Center in Watertown, MA where NESN will direct the four feeds and add graphics. In addition to the live simulcast every weekday morning, NESN will also replay The Dennis and Callahan Show in primetime on NESN National. A one-hour “Best of Dennis & Callahan” is also planned for late night. The partnership also includes regular appearances by WEEI personalities on NESN’s Red Sox pre-game shows and other sports programs.
Dennis and Callahan were paired together on WEEI in October of 1997 from 10 am to noon and after immense success, were shifted to morning drive in September of 1999 where they’ve been ever since. The show made an immediate impact in the market and has consistently been the #1 rated morning show in Boston.
The show will start simulcasting in November.