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Volume 24 No. 200

Media

Fauria (r) joins Kirk Minihane and Alex Reimer as WEEI on-air talent to be suspended in the last year
Photo: TWITTER

Boston-based WEEI-FM has "suspended host Christian Fauria for five days" after he mocked NFL agent Don Yee by "using a racially stereotyped Asian accent" on his Friday program, according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. WEEI in a statement Friday night said Fauria's comments about Yee, the agent for Patriots QB Tom Brady, were an "insensitive and ill-conceived attempt at humor" and that it did not "support or condone" his words. Fauria mocked Yee while "discussing reporter Ron Borges' erroneous story in Friday's Boston Herald." Borges was "pranked via text by a sports radio listener pretending to be Yee." The texts between the fake Yee and Borges "became public Friday morning," and Fauria and his co-hosts "decided to do a dramatic reading of the texts on their program." Fauria said, "I'm gonna be Don Yee. For me, I don't know why, Don Yee sounds like an Asian guy" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/11). YAHOO SPORTS' DJ Dunson wrote nobody at WEEI had the "maturity or awareness" to reel in Fauria until a co-host "pulled up audio of the real Yee speaking." WEEI later "doubled down on their lack of self-awareness by posting the skit's audio on its Twitter account before removing the audio link." Not only was the accent "offensive and over the top, Yee doesn't even speak with a Chinese accent" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/9). In Boston, Shirley Leung writes sports talk radio is "notoriously offensive, but even for WEEI a line has been crossed with an ever-growing list of on-air talent tagged with suspensions," including Kirk Minihane, Alex Reimer and now Fauria. WEEI hosts are "obnoxious for a reason." Their bosses "know it's good for ratings and the bottom line." Real change will come only when management and ownership do "more than pay lip service to offensive remarks made on the air." If management "can't set the right tone, that means advertisers need to step up and take their money elsewhere until the culture changes" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/12).

FALLOUT FROM HOAX: The GLOBE's Finn noted the Boston Herald on Friday afternoon in response to Borges' bogus story issued the following statement: "A column by Ron Borges in today's Herald regarding Patriot Tom Brady's salary discussions were based on information which proved to be false. The Herald apologizes to Brady, his agent Don Yee, and the Patriots, and to our readers for this erroneous report. Borges' column has been suspended pending further review" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/10). In N.Y., Corey Masisak noted Borges spent 24 years as a writer with the Boston Globe, but he was "suspended for two months for plagiarism" in '07 and then "left the paper two weeks after his reinstatement." He "joined the Herald staff as a columnist" in '08 (NYPOST.com, 2/9).

In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote more than a month after replacing Mike Francesa, WFAN-AM's new afternoon drive-time show is "not working" and "needs help." The team of Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott "radiate a palpable awkwardness -- group discomfort -- with no change anticipated." Scott seems "lost to platitudes when not talking football." Gray knows her stuff, but "too often rattles off names and numbers as if trying to prove she knows names and numbers." Carlin, with the most radio experience, has to "shoulder the load, often trying too hard to make self-effacing comedy that’s too transparent to be even marginally clever" (N.Y. POST, 2/11).

NOTHING TOO EDGY: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote, "Don’t look for Joe Girardi to be too candid during his new gig on MLB Network." When he worked for YES Network and Fox Sports, Girardi "rarely criticized players." It is clear Girardi "wants to manage again." This will make him even "more reluctant to criticize anyone, including other managers, GMs and team owners." It will be up to one of his studio partners to "bring the 'worst' out of him" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/11).

BACK IN THE GAME: In Pittsburgh, Elizabeth Bloom noted former MLBer Michael McKenry will become a Pirates studio analyst for AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, joining Stan Savran, Rob King and Dan Potash for "pregame and postgame shows." McKenry will replace Kent Tekulve, who "retired from his analyst position at the end of last season" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/10).

NOTES: ESPN senior writer Andrew Marchand announced that he is returning to the N.Y. Post to "become the paper's sports media columnist." Marchand "spent nine years at the Post before joining ESPN" in '07, primarily on the Yankees beat (THEBIGLEAD.com, 2/10)....The San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee has become the paper's "new Padres beat writer" after Dennis Lin left last week for The Athletic (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/11)....Former MSG Knicks sideline reporter Tina Cervasio has been named N.Y.-based WNYW-Fox "lead sports anchor/reporter as well as the host of its Sunday night sports show, 'Sports Xtra'" (NEWSDAY, 2/11).