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Media Roundup: Another Week, Another Collection Of Changes In Boston Sports Talk Radio

The more things change, the more things change. Another week brought more lineup changes in the world of Boston sports talk radio, including the debut of WEEI's all new "Big Show." Plus, the banality of the NFL Combine.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Cam Newton runs the 40-yard dash during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Cam Newton runs the 40-yard dash during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Another week, and more Boston sports radio changes ...

The all-new "Big Show" on WEEI debuted this week, with Michael Holley sliding over from the mid-day show, joining Glenn Ordway in the 2-6 p.m. slot on weekdays.

While the show is promising in some aspects, it is definitely still a work in progress. I'm certainly willing to give it more than a week, but if the show is going to succeed, Michael Holley needs to be able to find a way to challenge Ordway in a much stronger fashion. Otherwise, this is the only time that Ordway could be confused with Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Ordway may not quite have reached 23 hours on his filibuster, as Stewart's character did, but he held the floor on the air, so to speak, in a dominant manner that suggested that perhaps he's not quite ready to share the spotlight with his younger co-host.

Ordway said last week that he would no longer be sitting on the fence in his opinions, and explained that he did that on the old show because he needed to have the co-hosts play off of each other. No one could accuse Ordway of being a fence sitting this week. He hates the trade of Kendrick Perkins, and dominated the show with his list of reasons why. Ordway's problem is that he still believes he is right in stating that Danny Ainge broke up a team that was a lock to win the NBA championship, and that losing Perkins is a disaster on the level of the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

During all of this, Holley was surprisingly meek. It might be the first week in a new job with a new co-host, but for the show to have any chance of gaining on their competition, he needs to stand up and challenge Ordway more strongly.

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On Tuesday of this week, 98.5 promoted a "Major programming announcement" of their own, to be revealed at 5:20 p.m., during the Felger and Massarotti show. With the time of the announcement the same as when WEEI usually makes announcements, some thought this might be their way of having a little fun with their rival.

As things turned out however, they actually did have an announcement to make. Jermaine Wiggins, a local guy who played a big postseason role for the Patriots in their first Super Bowl championship, will be joining the Felger and Massarotti show in studio on Wednesdays. The move is a permanent one, and is interesting in a few aspects.

First, just as WEEI decides to scrap the three-man format in the afternoon to try and better compete with 98.5's two-man format, the FM talker decides to go to a three-man format at least once a week, with the suggestion from Michael Felger that this could be expanded, and that others might join the show as well.

Second, Wiggins is a self-admitted and unabashed homer. He is a fan of the local teams -- all of them -- and that is going to come out in his time on the airwaves.

Putting that up against Felger and Massarotti could prove to be interesting.

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Late last Friday afternoon, at a time usually reserved for press releases bearing bad news, WEEI formally announced their new mid-day pairing of Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni. The new show will begin Monday, March 7.

Prior to getting this job, Mutnansky was the afternoon host for WGAM sports radio in Manchester/Nashua NH. With Mutnansky moving on to WEEI, the station announced his replacement last Friday as well.

Andover, MA native Matt Perrault will host “The Hometeam” every weekday from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

Perrault is returning to his roots after leaving New England 11 years ago to start his career in radio. After graduating from UMass Amherst in 1999, his career took him to Virginia, Alabama, Nebraska and most recently, Iowa, where he hosted several highly successful sports talk shows. Matt has also guest hosted on WEEI. Perrault will join co-host Justin Bastinelli and Producer PJ Huot on “The Hometeam”. His first show will be March 14.

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Is there a worse actual sports-related topic for radio, newspapers and television than the NFL Combine? I just don't get it. Outlets send hoards of reporters out there every year, yet the only worthwhile things to come out of it are the interviews with various NFL coaches and executives. Reporting on the results of various drills? Yawn.

I love the NFL and can't get enough of it, but I draw the line at discussion about combine drills.

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Link Of The Week:

ESPN's newest watchdogs - SI.com's Richard Deitsch chats with members of The Poynter Institute, who will take over the ombudsman role for ESPN.