WEEI sports radio host Kirk Minihane has been suspended for a week by Entercom Communications, the station’s parent company, for disparaging on-air comments he made about Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews during two recent programs.
Minihane’s suspension was announced Friday night by Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field. His statement came hours after Fox Sports informed him with a terse letter it was pulling all advertising from the company’s more than 100 stations nationwide, including WEEI.
“Kirk Minihane’s statements regarding Erin Andrews were offensive and deplorable,’’ said Field. “It is clear by the response from our listeners, advertisers, and employees that Kirk’s efforts to apologize and make this right have been insufficient and ambiguous. We want to make it unequivocally clear that his comments were unacceptable and do not reflect Entercom’s values and standards.’’
Minihane, one of three co-hosts of the morning drive “Dennis and Callahan’’ program, referred to Andrews as a “gutless b—-’’ last Wednesday while discussing the sideline reporter’s awkward interview with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright during the All-Star Game.
Minihane apologized for his comments in a statement posted on WEEI.com that night. But upon returning from vacation this Wednesday – his first day on the air since the original comments — he punctuated a verbal apology by suggesting that Andrews’s success is based on looks rather than ability, saying if she “weighed 15 pounds more she would be a waitress.’’
Entercom’s announcement of Minihane’s suspension came approximately two hours after a letter from Fox Sports president Eric Shanks to Field was obtained by Boston.com. In the letter, Shanks informed Field that all advertising would be pulled and no Fox Sports personalities would be permitted to be guests on WEEI.
“The comments made by Mr. Minihane were boorish and sexist,’’ wrote Shanks. “Further, the “apology: made by Mr. Minihane was juvenile and insincere. To make matters worse, the “apology’’ was posted under a banner (allegedly approved by your Boston VP and Market Manager, Phil Zachary) hailing “The Triumphant Return of Kirk Minihane.’’
“I had hoped by this time we might hear a sincere apology from WEEI, or perhaps someone from your office might have reached out to Fox (which through our film and television businesses is a significant advertiser on Entercom stations),’’ Shanks added. “However, none of that has been forthcoming, and needless to say we are disappointed.’’
A Fox Sports spokesman said it is uncertain how much the network spends nationally in advertising on Entercom stations.
Minihane and Zachary declined to comment.