Thursday, December 13, 2001
Andelman quits WEEI
By John Molori
Eagle-Tribune Media Writer
BOSTON -- It's like Babe Ruth leaving the Yankees or Wayne Gretzky leaving the Edmonton Oilers. For 10 years, Eddie Andelman has been synonymous with Sportsradio 850 WEEI. This week, the station and its legend have parted ways.
Andelman's departure was immediate. He was not on the air with Dale Arnold today.
"The only thing I can say is that Eddie's done a great job for WEEI," says WEEI program director Jason Wolfe, "He was a huge part of helping to build the station."
It was former program director and current Big Show host Glenn Ordway who created the Andelman-Arnold A-Team. He comments on Andelman's decision.
"Surprised is not the right word to describe my feelings," says Ordway, "My relationship with Eddie is not at the point where I'd discuss his reasons with him. Eddie and I don't spend quality time together."
Indeed, Ordway and Andelman have been at odds since the A-Team was established.
"He wasn't happy," admits Ordway, "When I came in, the station was failing. I wanted to create a high-energy, odd couple of radio, two people who were totally different. Eddie didn't believe in that philosophy. If you are driving the train solo, you don't want to split the shift. When I became the boss, it hurt our relationship, but the show got phenomenal ratings."
Rumors of resentment and rivalry among hosts run rampant at WEEI. Big money and big ratings can make for some big-time paranoia.
Andelman and Dale Arnold are not the best of friends. On the air, it was clear that both Arnold and Andelman were happier and better when the other was on vacation.
Says Wolfe, "We hoped to work out a deal with Eddie. It was always the station's position to construct a new deal for Eddie. He's made this decision. That's it."
Wolfe would not comment on a replacement for Andelman, but former WBZ radio and television personality Bob Neumeier is rumored to be the front-runner. Other possible options include current WBZ-TV sports director Bob Lobel.
Sources tell Media Blitz that Lobel has been itching to get back into a regular talk radio gig.
For now, a series of temporary hosts will occupy Andelman's seat.
"Jason Wolfe will ultimately make the decision on a replacement," says Ordway, "But Dale knows the business and his feelings will be important."
Neither Arnold nor Andelman returned phone calls from Media Blitz, but on the air, Arnold said, "There is no more A-Team at WEEI. It's been a pleasure working with Eddie. This show worked because what you heard on the air was real. He was passionate and I wish him the best."
As for Andelman, a natural landing spot would be AM 1510, WWZN, The Zone. Andelman would provide a formidable challenge to WEEI as a midmorning lead-in to WWZN's "The McDonough Group." Calls to WWZN general manager Mike Kellogg went unanswered.