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Sports Media Musings: Glenn Ordway’s Salary Cut

Glenn Ordway

Chad Finn’s article last week said according to industry sources, Glenn Ordway was given a choice: Cut his rumored $1 million salary in half, or face the possibility of losing his job at Entercom-owned, WEEI. The Big O’ thought better of it to take the former.

Ordway, who’s role includes hosting “The Big Show” afternoons from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM as well as being a program director, failed to finish in the top three in the coveted 25-54 demographic during the spring ratings book. This, allegedly, gave Entercom an oppotunity to opt out of Ordway’s rather lavish contract.

The timing of the pay-cut is curious and – from an outsider’s perspective – ominous for the former monopoly of sports radio in Boston. I’ve documented in this space before how WEEI’s fall from grace coupled with their adversary – 98.5 The Sports Hub – has unfolded. But I ruminated the possibility of a WEEI bounce-back in the summer books, which are set to be released next Tuesday by third-party Arbitron.

The Bruins Stanley Cup frenzy waning combined with the fact WEEI broadcasts Red Sox games, seemed to point to an oppotunity for WEEI to take back what was once theirs. With news of The Big O’ losings 0′s at the end of his paycheck, one has to postulate Entercom has caught wind they under-performed (again) during the summer ratings period.

Since I’m here, let’s dig a little deeper.

Ordway’s salary cut is appropriate. Obviously this is opinion, but he never should have been making that kind of money to begin with. The guy talks about sports four hours a day. Granted, his show was largely successful. And if you’re the best, you deserve to make the most. But Ordway – along with the rest of the WEEI roster – was the best by default. Never once, while listening to “The Big Show,” was I ever met with an epiphany from an Ordway ‘take.’ I never found myself saying, “Wow, that was a different spin on things I had not considered.”

Things were supposed to change after “The Big Show” changed up the roundtable format with the addition of the affable Michael Holley. However, still, more often than not during “The Big Show”, my ears are met with colloquial conversation that after 20 minutes turns into yelling, and has “celebrity” callers garble more nonsense. The only change seems to be Mike Adams doing his best Ed McMahon impression. I’m not sure if this was a joke that I was not “in” on, or if the program was just a caricature of a sports show. Once Mike Adams became a permanent fixture, I was convinced it was the later.

Perfect Example: Holley (in a sarcastic tone) – “Mike I know you are a hardened journalist — what do you think?”

Adams – “Journalism? I may be a professional at Ururinalism!”

It is unclear whether Adams bombs like “The Situation” at the Trump Roast on purpose or not.

Back to the show. With news of CSNNE’s agreement to simulcast Ordway’s direct competition – “Felger and Mazz” - things continue to look bleak for WEEI. Moreover, the Red Sox collapse combined with the real possibility the NBA season won’t take place means WEEI is forced to talk Patriots/Bruins until the ‘Host Stove’ talks heat up. Only issue is 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for those two teams and carry the games.

Next Tuesday will tell us more. A lot more. But as a personality told me recently, “It is easy to see which station is going up and doing well, and which station is not.”

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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