Callahan was terrific with Michael Felger during the latter’s occasional fill-in days at WEEI before he became the one that got away. He’s very good with Dale Arnold, Kirk Minihane, and so many others who have pinch-hit through the years. A new partner with more appeal in the younger demos would rejuvenate the program. Minihane, an honest, opinionated new voice, might be the answer. Dan Sileo would not.
In afternoon drive, I’m not convinced major change is needed. The chemistry between Holley and Ordway isn’t perfect, but it has improved since the initial arranged marriage, and their ratings were very strong just this spring, when they finished second in the ratings with a 7.9 share, ahead of 98.5’s “Felger and Massarotti’’ program, which was third but since has regained the top spot in the day part.
What would strengthen the show is a regular, daily third voice for all four hours — perhaps Bruschi, who collaborated on a book with Holley, one day, or Schilling, Maxwell, or Tom Curran. I’d love to see WEEI’s relationship with ESPN result in Michael Smith making regular appearances. During fill-in stints years ago, he had tremendous chemistry with Holley, their genuine friendship making for engaging radio.
Whether WEEI’s querying of lost listeners is due diligence or a harbinger of change will be revealed soon enough. However it plays out, here’s hoping whatever happens isn’t the sports radio equivalent of giving Crawford $20 million a year. At its current crossroads, WEEI can’t afford such a mistake.