What does the future hold for Red Sox broadcasts on WEEI?

Fenway Park

WEEI and Entercom’s consideration to turn its Red Sox baseball broadcast into more of a talk-show format — as reported in my Tuesday story on Tim Neverett’s departure, to a generally incredulous response — appears to be still in play.

In fact, one prominent sports broadcasters jobs website Thursday made it sound like Plan A.

Subscribers to the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America (staatalent.com) website receive emails with major job postings. The Red Sox radio broadcasting job was sent out Thursday.

Here are the first few paragraphs from the writeup in the STAA email about the job:

There is an opening on the Boston Red Sox radio play-by-play team following Tim Neverett’s decision not to renew his contract.


The Boston Globe has reported about plans for major changes to this broadcast format. STAA knows these plans to be true. WEEI wants to drop the concept of a conventional radio baseball broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.

WEEI [program director] Joe Zarbano is eager to receive applications. However, he tells STAA he doesn’t want to be bombarded with email attachments.

The rest of the wwrite-upis further specifics on how to apply.

Zarbano denied on Twitter that the station is planning a format change with the Red Sox broadcasts. “The only thing I sent to StaaTalent was a reply confirming that the job was open and people can apply,’’ he wrote from his @JoeZWEEI twitter account.

In another tweet, he said STAA was wrong. He did not respond to further requests for comment via email.

The idea was ignited by WEEI’s frequent mockery this summer of the broadcast on its morning show, then titled “Kirk and Callahan,’’ and it gained some traction with management. One concept was a three-person booth that would sound like a sports-radio show rather than a traditional broadcast while the game was going on.

Whether that meant talking about issues with the team and other Red Sox topics generated by what was happening in the game, or the self-referential discussion that permeates the station now (largely based on the morning show’s success with that approach) is unclear.


I’m skeptical of how the former would have played with its audience; even if a conventional radio broadcast can feel like it belongs in a different era, I’d bet that appeals to more listeners than an edgier alternative. Red Sox ratings were excellent this year as it was.

The approach makes some sense in the way it has been applied on the Patriots’ preseason broadcasts on Ch. 4, but that’s four preseason games, not 162 regular season games. And of course, on television, you have the pictures to tell you what the broadcasters are not.