Fox Restores Advertising To Entercom Stations

Entercom Kirk Minihane Erin Andrews WEEI Fox Sports Advertising

Update 7/30: The Boston Globe reports that Fox will restore it advertising to Entercom’s stations and once again allow its employees to appear on-air following the one-week suspension of WEEI’s Kirk Minihane.

A statement from Fox Sports Senior Vice President of Media Relations Lou D’Ermilio read, “We appreciate Entercom’s recognition and response to the inappropriate comments made by the WEEI host. It is our sincere hope both organizations can now move forward.”

Original Report 7/25: In the wake of multiple sexist comments made by Kirk Minihane on 93.7 WEEI Boston’s “Dennis and Callahan” morning show, Fox is dropping its association with all stations owned by Entercom nationwide.

A letter sent by Fox Sports president Eric Shanks today to Entercom President/CEO David Field was published by Sports Illustrated and the Boston Globe stating:

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.”

I 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.

I 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.

I 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.

The decision to pull advertising will include all Fox properties including the Fox television network and the 20th Century Fox movie studio.

Update: After this story began making the rounds, Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reported that Entercom has suspended Kirk Minihane one week.

Kirk Minihane’s statements regarding Erin Andrews were offensive and deplorable. It is clear by the response from our listeners, advertisers, and employees that Kirk’s efforts to apologize and make this right have been insufficient and ambiguous. We want to make it unequivocally clear that his comments were unacceptable and do not reflect Entercom’s values and standards. As a result, we have suspended Kirk for the upcoming week.

Additionally regional sports network NESN will drop its simulcast of the Dennis & Callahan show when its contract expires in September. Hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan’s contracts with WEEI expire at the same time. Minihane joined the show as a regular co-host in February 2013.

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  1. MattParker says

    Fox is born-again PC all of a sudden? Strange for them to get upset about this given things routinely said by Fox hosts.

    I wonder how much Fox spends on Entercom anyway? And why boycott all the stations for something said by one host on one station? This smacks of publicity stunt.

    Once again, management pushes hosts to be outrageous and then trembles and throws said hosts under the bus when someone feigns outrage.

    Erin’s work has come in for criticism before. Clearly, she was hired for looks, not ability. Gutless, no. Just incompetent and a lousy interviewer. It takes guts to go on the air with such an obvious lack of talent.

    Kirk probably won’t sue. He may think he wants to work in radio again and this would get him blackballed. I wish just once somebody in his position would bring a wrongful termination suit and maybe sue those whose political pressure cost him his job. But it probably won’t happen and Fox can go back to right-wing hate speech and hacking people’s phones.

    1. Nathan Obral says

      You’re thinking of the wrong News Corp department that did the phone hacking. And News Corp is no longer co-owned with 21at Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting’s parent company.

      Besides, if this story was told with a D-level conservatalker instead of Kirk Minihane, and national advertisers like Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola boycotted the show instead of Fox, you would be celebrating the actions taken to silence a practitioner of hate speech.

      You can’t have it both ways here.

      As for Minihane, I would have given him some slack had he not dug a deeper hole in his WEEI op-ed that sounded like a jerk in denial of reality.

    2. Zdauph says

      Work again? He got a 5 day suspension. In July. He’ll be back Monday. That’s nothing to sue over. You know he didn’t get fired, right?

      Fox’s spending with Entercom has been reported to be $1.2 million annually.

      1. Nathan Obral says

        Methinks that Fox rescinded the boycott on the condition that, as soon as Kirk says anything else criminally stupid against Erin or any Fox/Fox Sports staffer, and he will be gone immediately.

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