Dale Arnold, a staple on WEEI since it switched to a sports format 30 years ago, announced Thursday that he is retiring from the station. His final show will be Friday.
“I’m going to retire from the radio business,’’ said Arnold, who turns 65 later this month. “I am not going to be coming back after tomorrow’s show.”
Arnold, currently the co-host of the midday “Dale and Keefe” show, said the decision has been in the works for several weeks. He will continue in his studio host’s role on NESN’s Bruins broadcasts.
WEEI is expected to name Andy Gresh as the midday co-host along with holdover Rich Keefe on Friday.
“Some of you know this and some of you don’t,’’ said Arnold at the end of the show, “My wife had to retire from her employment in September, she’s had some medical issues. And you start thinking about things.
“You start thinking about, you know, ‘I’d like to spend some more time with her. I’d like to have one full-time job instead of two. I’d like to have summer months to go back to my home state of Maine and enjoy myself more.’
Arnold estimated he has done 29,000 hours of sports-talk radio in his 33-year career in the Boston market.
“And I’ve had enough,’’ he said.
He said he declined an offer to do some part-time hosting work on the station, but said he will return occasionally to call Red Sox games this summer.
Arnold is the second personality this week to depart WEEI, which has struggled in recent years in its ratings battle with sports-radio competitor 98.5 The Sports Hub. Morning show co-host Danielle Murr announced Wednesday that this is her final week at the station.
“No one has the expansive experience covering this town’s sports landscape than Dale Arnold,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President, Entercom, in a statement.
“A consistent presence in middays on WEEI and in the broadcast booth for several teams including the Red Sox and Bruins, Dale has informed and entertained Boston sports fans for three decades.
“He embodies the spirit of WEEI and his presence on-the-air will be greatly missed. We wish him nothing but the best as he moves into the next stage of his career.”
Arnold has been a host in several different roles through the years at the station since first arriving in September 1991 when it flipped to an all-sports station.
He has primarily hosted midday programming, first with Eddie Andelman, and then with Bob Neumeier and Michael Holley. Since August 2018, he has been paired with Keefe in midday.
During his 30 years at the station, there was only one brief stretch from 2011-13 when Arnold was not a full-time daily host. In February 2011, Arnold and Holley were broken up as the midday program, with Holley moving to afternoon drive with Glenn Ordway, and Arnold moving to a fill-in/weekend role.
Arnold was reunited with Holley in afternoon drive in March 2014 after Mike Salk, who had replaced Ordway, left for a job in Seattle. Keefe was soon added as a third voice. Holley eventually left for a full-time job at NBC Sports Boston, and Arnold and Keefe were moved to middays in August 2018.
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