It is not enough to succeed, others must fail.
Which is why I am so reveling in the agony of the wretched bust-out sports talk station WEEI and the company that owns it, Audacy.
I’m not wringing my hands about the national woke overreaction. I just relish watching the entire company, especially in Boston, suffer through the agony of a programming death spiral, on top of the ongoing collapse of their stock price.
You see, not many people know this, but I was valedictorian of the first-ever WEEI Diversity University graduating class of 2005.
I was working for another radio station in the same cluster, WRKO, and had absolutely nothing to do with the “METCO gorilla” scandal. But I was rounded up as one of the usual suspects and ordered to attend some lectures about, well, you know.
Within 30 minutes, I had “graduated” – been thrown out, just as I had planned. My phone kept going off and I would keep leaving the room with great fanfare, much to the increasing anger of the race hustler in the $3000 suit who was running the six-figure grift.
For my disruption of the Rev. Bacon’s white-guilt trip, I was suspended for a week without pay. So I had my union file a grievance with the company.
As part of discovery, I demanded to know how much the company – Entercom as it was known at the time – had paid in “reparations” to assorted community advocates, diversity coordinators, the reverend clergy etc.
Entercom couldn’t let those numbers get out.
A day after my suspension ended, the GM came snarling into my office and threw a check at me – my full pay for what was now not a suspension, but an extra week of vacation.
Which is why I regard myself as the valedictorian of WEEI Diversity University Class of ’05. I graduated early, in record time.
So now we have yet another tempest in a teapot at the World’s Worst Sports Radio Station. This time it involves a pampered puke producer, a Little Richie Rich type named Chris Curtis, suspended for a week.
He is likewise already a graduate of WEEI Diversity University, Class of ’18. That was the class after somebody used an Asian accent.
As you know, Curtis went full-‘EEI this week as the morning-zoo jock sniffers were yapping about the proposal to ban “nip” bottles in Boston.
Curtis said his favorite “nip” was Mina Kimes, an ESPN reporter who isn’t even Japanese. In other words, he screwed up the facts of the slur, then claimed he had been in fact trying to make a sexist rather than a racist crack, about a Ukrainian named Mila Kunis.
Yesterday morning, he said on air, “That’s not who I am.”
Actually that is who you are. You work for Shillville, as I always called WEEI. This is who you are, an ignorant, low-IQ, untalented boob, like everybody else there.
Here’s more of his groveling apology:
“A pathetic, failed attempt not really that funny, sophomoric and sexist… a slur… stupid, lame attempt at a joke. It was dumb and it was silly, a clumsy attempt to bring humor….”
It sounded like an oral history of the entire failed station, indeed the entire failed company.
As you can probably figure out, I despised working there. I tried to escape to a real radio company, but lost a court case. I was forced to spend seven years in radio hell for the crime of not wanting to work for people who were a) horrible human beings and b) totally incompetent.
After I lost my court case, I did everything I could to get fired. I openly stole stuff – toilet paper even. I ratted out the other hosts to the newspapers. I got their mug shots when they were arrested (which was often).
The only place I avoided was the cafeteria, because two WRKO workers had been convicted of fatal poisonings. Entercom is that kind of company.
After I began my 2455-day sentence in radio hell, I kept begging the empty suits to at least put me on FM. In those days, before streaming, apps, social media etc., it was a real detriment to be stuck on AM, a band fewer than 15 percent of listeners ever used.
Besides Shillville, Entercom had other beyond-belief-bad stations in the cluster. One played the worst rock of the last 50 years – WAAF. That was the Beavis & Butthead station. It had ratings lower than whale excrement. So they bought it a second FM stick for $27 million. The ratings remained in the toilet.
One day the suits took me out to the Stockyard and asked me what I wanted. I said I only needed one thing. I asked them to give me one of the WAAF sticks. The bosses were shocked. We can’t do that, they said.
“Why?” I said. “WAAF has zero ratings with two sticks, you can get no ratings with one stick too.”
WEEI had no competition until 2008, when CBS decided to put a real sports station on FM, Sports Hub. I figured it would take a year to knock off WEEI. It only took six months. Entercom made it even easier, by getting rid of the only decent show they had – Callahan and Minihane.
Five years ago, Entercom bought CBS Radio. They had to decide which stations to divest in Boston. One choice was between Sports Hub and WEEI, which is the radio equivalent of picking between the QE2 and the SS Minnow.
Entercom picked WEEI. They also had to choose between WAAF and WZLX. They picked Beavis and Butthead.
Now Entercom stock is in the tank. Last Friday, at 3:58 p.m., somebody unloaded 7 million shares. The share price fell to $.089.
Entercom – call it Audacy if you like – now has a market capitalization of about $15 million. That averages out to about $50,000 for each of their 230 stations. Put another way, the entire company is worth about half of what the company once paid for that second stick for the unlistenable WAAF.
Entercom stock used to sell for about $60. Now it’s a dime. There’s nothing left, nothing. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.
WEEI is as dead as a doornail. Their meal ticket was always the Red Sox. Who watches the Red Sox now on TV, let alone listens on the radio?
If you work for WEEI, prepare for your next career step, an exciting future in the hospitality industry. That’s the bad news.
The good news is, at least there isn’t enough money left for Entercom’s empty suits to send all of you to your own semester at WEEI Diversity University.
Kids, let me tell you something. You didn’t miss a thing.