SBD/Issue 204/Sports Media

WEEI-AM Begins Website Beef-Up With Hiring Of Two Herald Writers

 
Boston's WEEI-AM has hired Boston Herald Red Sox beat writer Robert Bradford and contributor Michael Felger as part of an attempt to "attract an online following with a new Web site," according to Christine McConville of the BOSTON HERALD. Bradford will edit WEEI.com, while Felger will cover the Patriots for the site. The pair "will contribute to WEEI.com in its current form, but the station plans to roll out the new Web site in January." WEEI.com VP & GM Tim Murphy: "We are going to invest in creating a world-class Web site. ... Our goal is to support and help our phenomenal talent on air and to make their shows as good as they could possibly be." Murphy did not say how much the station is spending on the Web initiative, but a source said that the investment "could reach $4[M]" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/12). In Boston, Shanahna & Rhone noted Bradford, in addition to editing duties, "will also contribute columns." Felger will no longer host "The Mike Felger Show" on ESPN Radio 890 Boston, but he is "expected to keep his duties with Comcast SportsNet." Murphy added that WEEI.com "aims to create 'useful and entertaining' content" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/12).

END AND A BEGINNING? BOSTON SPORTS MEDIA WATCH’s David Scott wrote Felger leaving ESPN Radio 890 "could very well be a death knell for the struggling all-sports talk radio also-ran in the Boston market." ESPN 890 cannot "spin this thing as a positive step forward for the station. Felger is a marquee name in the market." Scott noted Felger's WEEI radio and WEEI.com duties "mean that Felger's near-20-year run with the Boston Herald is over." Upon coming to WEEI.com, "it is believed Felger ... will bring a version of his Patriots Report Card" from the Herald (BOSTONSPORTSMEDIA.com, 7/11). In a separate piece, Scott wrote WEEI.com is expected to "snag other local talents from established media organizations to join the dot-com line-up." Murphy hopes that the result will be a "combination of straight news delivery blended with opinion (blogs) and other, logical extensions of 'EEI's terrestrial audio content (and personalities)." Murphy: "The idea is to distribute our audio content more aggressively" (BOSTONSPORTSMEDIA.com, 7/10).

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