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This may come as a shock to all you listeners of the “Big Show” on WEEI weekdays from 2-6. A fixture on the show, Pete “The Meat” Sheppard, who handled sports flashes as well as co-hosted with Glenn Ordway, was let go by the station in a cost-cutting move. Sports flashing positions at WEEI had been outsourced to save money, and Enterc0m, who owns the station, decided that Sheppard’s position was no longer needed. Entercom released a statement on the decision:
“As we continue to operate in challenging economic times, it is with regret that we announce today that we have eliminated Pete Sheppard’s position as sports anchor on the Big Show. We’d like to thank Pete for his outstanding work with WEEI over the last ten years. He played a major role in our growth, and helped “The Big Show” become one of the top radio shows in the country. We wish Pete the best of luck in his future endeavors and remain extremely grateful for all his contributions over the past decade.”
Ordway didn’t waste any time discussing Sheppard’s departure, tackling the issue early in the show on Wednesday. He said that the harsh realities of the current economy had a lot to do with the decision. Sheppard had been with the station in a full-time capacity since 1999 (he was a part-timer from 1994-1999).
“We learned last night that the company was going to eliminate the position held by Pete Sheppard over the last 10 years and they are going to outsource the flashes during afternoon drive like they do from certain hours over the course of the day. Obviously we were disheartened to hear that. I spoke with Pete at length last night. Pete does understand the economics of it,” said Ordway.
Sheppard reportedly has not been in contact yet with WEEI’s rival, 98.5 The Sports Hub, according to the Boston Globe.
What’s next for Sheppard remains uncertain. According to Mike Thomas, the program director at The Sports Hub, Sheppard has not been in contact. Thomas added via e-mail, “If he is interested in working here, he would have to contact me. Although we have a full staff right now.”
Is this a sign of the times? Yes. Has 98.5 The Sports Hub proven to be tough competition? Hell yeah. Could Sheppard be back with WEEI? Maybe. I’m willing to bet that The Sports Hub will make some room.