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WEEI is in the process of hiring a replacement for Jon Meterparel for the morning sports flash position on The Dennis & Callahan show, but who will the choice be?
It's rare that WEEI has openings for everyday positions, so when they do become available, they are highly coveted and the station understandably uses the opening as an opportunity to attract attention.
The recent departure of Jon Meterparel from the Dennis and Callahan Morning Show has led to weeks of auditions and tryouts, as well as speculation about the position. WEEI program director Jason Wolfe has told Chad Finn of the Boston Globe that there is no timetable for a replacement to be announced and they want to find "the right person." In reality, they probably know who they want to hire already, but they can't resist drawing out the process in order to keep people talking (and writing) about it.
To me, the choice seems to come down to two people - Pete Sheppard and Mike Adams. The others who have auditioned, including local sports reporter Jen Royle and comedian Graig Murphy just don't seem to be the right match. Royle has her fans, though her appearances seemed to simply bring out the lewdest side of John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. Discussions quickly degenerated to crude, painful discussions of male anatomy.
Kirk Minihane was another who has been on the show, but I don't consider him a true candidate for this position. (More on him in a minute.) Former 1510 The Zone and ESPN 890 host Kevin Winter, who now works for ESPN Radio has also been in, but I'd almost consider it a step down for Winter if he were to take the job.
Personally, my choice would be for Pete Sheppard get the job. The former Big Show flash announcer would provide a much-needed jolt of reality to many of the discussions that the two hosts tend to get into. Their style of bully elitism combined with schoolmarm chastising tends to get nauseating after a while. They're rarely challenged by anyone, and when they are, Callahan's sarcastic whiny-baby voice is unbearable. In several of his appearances Sheppard blunty called some of Dennis and Callahan's arguments and points "dumb" and "stupid" - which they were.
Dennis and Callahan, like other radio voices in town, tend to go off on the Patriots, whether it is for not winning games impressively enough, or for running up the score. Having Sheppard on hand would be a nice check to that kind of unreasonable discussion. Whether or not Dennis and Callahan actually want someone who will stand up to them is another story.
Mike Adams on the other hand, has great chemistry with Dennis and Callahan, and they don't have to worry about him challenging any of their notions. When he's on with them, he is nothing but a friendly goofball who tells funny stories about the 1977 Red Sox and reads the sports flashes.
Adams, of course, already has his own show on the station, hosting nights when neither the Red Sox nor Celtics are playing a game. Would he be OK giving up his show to join D&C? It's one thing to get up in the morning occasionally as a fill-in, and another to have to do it every day. Adams has already had his own morning drive show, at the old 1510 The Zone. It was a disaster, complaints that Adam being unprepared and showing up at the last possible second. Working nights seems much more suited to his lifestyle.
If Adams can commit to the morning schedule, moving him there might be WEEI's most appealing option. By freeing up the evening show, they can put Kirk Minihane there, and with that sporadic schedule still be able to utilize him on the print side on WEEI.com. They want to find an a prominent on-air spot for him - as evidenced by naming him host of their Red Sox Hot Stove program on Thursday nights.
There have been rumblings of interest in the position nationally, though that also could be WEEI propaganda aimed at generating perceived interest in the position. It seems likely that the spot will ultimately go to someone who is familiar to the Boston sports radio listener. While this listener would prefer Pete Sheppard, a move of Mike Adams to the morning with Kirk Minihane taking over the evenings seems like a more natural move.
Bruce Allen is a Media Columnist for SB Nation Boston. Twitter: @BruceAllen.