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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Changed Entercom's Mind on Minihane


Minihane's original Erin Andrews rant was, at first, embraced by Entercom's Boston cluster. Upon the hosts return from vacation, the WEEI-FM website read, "the triumphant return of Kirk Minihane." Minihane compounded the problem for Entercom by insulting Andrews again on hist first day back instead of just letting the matter go. "I think if she weighed 15 pounds more, she'd be a waitress at Perkins." On Friday Entercom was no longer bragging about Minihane's triumphant return after Fox Sports president Eric Shanks (pictured) stepped in.

Shanks sent a letter directly to Entercom CEO David Field (and Sports Illustrated), letting him know that Fox would no longer be advertising on any Entercom stations and Fox' talent will not appear for any interviews. With radio experiencing flat growth, when every hard fought dollar counts, that just wasn't going to fly, and lead to Minihane's suspension. Here is the entire letter Shanks sent to Field...

By now you are no doubt aware of the incidents that occurred on-air at your Boston station WEEI on July 15 and again on July 22, I am referring to the obnoxious comments made by Kirk Minihane on the ?Dennis and Callahan? show regarding one of our Fox on-air personalities, Erin Andrews.

As we have previously stated to various media outlets, the comments made by Mr. Minihane were boorish and sexist. 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.?

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).  However, none of that has been forthcoming, and needless to say we are disappointed.

have discussed this issue with our senior management and our various senior marketing executives. At their recommendation, I am writing to inform you that going forward Fox?s entertainment and sports businesses will not be advertising on your stations for the foreseeable future.

regret that we need to take this action, but as one of our executives reminded me, ?sometimes you need to vote with your feet.?

I trust you will discuss our decision with your staff at WEEI.

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