John Dennis is stepping down as co-host of Entercom Sports 93.7 WEEI-FM Boston’s “Dennis & Callahan” morning show.
While Dennis has been off the air in recent weeks due to a reported feud with co-host Kirk Minihane and a deteriorating relationship with longtime co-host Gerry Callahan, the announcement from WEEI states his departure is for medical reasons. Dennis’ contract was set to run until September 2017.
Following a twenty year career as a television sportscaster in the Boston market, Dennis and Gerry Callahan joned 850 WEEI for middays in 1997 and moved to mornings in 1999 replacing Don Imus’ syndicated talker. In 2007 the pair were in negotiations with competitors that almost led to Greater Media’s 92.9 WBOS and Nassau’s 99.5 WCRB flipping to Sports. Following CBS’ launch of “98.5 The Sports Hub” WBZ-FM in 2009, Entercom followed suit with the move of WEEI to 93.7 two years later. Kirk Minihane joined the show in 2013 as a third co-host.
Dennis will keep some involvement at the station in the short-term. He will work WEEI/NESN’s annual Jimmy Fund telethon later this month, continue to work with some of the station’s advertisers, and fill-in on some programs. Callahan and Minihane will remain in the morning slot.
Sports Radio WEEI announced today that long-time morning personality John Dennis will step away immediately from his full-time co-hosting role to address health concerns. Along with partner Gerry Callahan, Dennis has been part of the highly-rated Dennis & Callahan show since 1997. He made the decision on advice from his doctors that he reduce his workload but will continue in a moderated capacity with the station.
Entercom Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary said, “John is a Boston radio icon and will remain an important part of the WEEI family going forward. To that end, we have been working with John to define a new role for his considerable talents.”
In his new capacity, Dennis will work with station advertisers, act as an ambassador to sponsors and community organizations, and occasionally host WEEI programs.
“Most important to him,” said Zachary, “is that John will continue his compassionate work with our annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and will appear in our live broadcasts from Fenway Park, August 29 and 30.”
After that, the WEEI morning show will move forward with Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane, who’s been part of the Dennis & Callahan program since 2013.
Dennis said he and Zachary had been discussing a new role with WEEI that would allow him to follow his doctor’s orders but remain involved with the radio station. He said he’s excited about (what he calls) “this next chapter of my broadcast incarnation,” stating further “I’m glad, first and foremost, for my initial duties back to host the most favored two days of my entire year, the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.”
Dennis went on to say, “Pardon the cliché, but like most morning radio people, I’m really looking forward to finally sleeping in.”