October 04, 2006
John Molori's Media Blitz
BY: John Molori
- Trupiano travels
Source: Trupiano knew 2006 season would be his last, Perillo peaks, MLS money and Revs’ revenue, Blitz Bits
A source close to the ongoing situation confirms that Red Sox radio announcer Jerry Trupiano will not return to the team’s broadcast booth for the 2007 season. Furthermore, the source says that Trupiano knew all season long that this would be his last year.
This fact belies quotes from Trupiano that have appeared in a number of publications and websites. Trupiano has expressed dismay that Sportsradio WEEI parent company Entercom, WEEI management and the Red Sox have not communicated with him regarding his fate.
According to the source, a person very familiar with the inner workings of the WEEI/Red Sox/Trupiano soap opera, the Red Sox informed Trupiano at the start of the season that this, the final year of his contract, would be his last with the team.
The source also confirms that current Red Sox media relations chief Glenn Geffner, also an accomplished play-by-play man, will join veteran announcer Joe Castiglione next season in the Red Sox radio booth.
“Castiglione is staying,” says the source. “Jerry knew all year that he was gone. This has been handled poorly. (Red Sox VP of public affairs) Charles Steinberg leaked the information to the media.
“Make no mistake. This is the Red Sox’ call. In spite of Entercom paying big money for the Red Sox radio rights, the Red Sox are calling the shots.” A phone call to WEEI programming chief Jason Wolfe has gone unanswered.
In his eight seasons covering the Patriots for “Patriots Football Weekly,” (PFW), Paul Perillo has gained a reputation as a fair and insightful football writer. With his ascension to the WEEI guest A-list, he is becoming a full-fledged Boston media star.
This season, Perillo joins Doug Brown, Steve Nelson and NBCSports.com writer Tom Curran on the new look “NFL Sunday” show (Sundays, 9:00 a.m.) on WEEI.
Perillo and Curran essentially replace longtime Patriot writers and WEEI panelists Kevin Mannix and Ron Hobson on “NFL Sunday.” Early in 2006, longtime show host Dale Arnold decided to leave the program. It is unclear whether Hobson and Mannix also left voluntarily.
A source at WEEI told Media Blitz that in March of 2006, program director Jason Wolfe approached Perillo about joining the show.
According to the source, Wolfe told Perillo that Mannix and Hobson decided it would be a good time for them to leave the show as well. Wolfe has yet to answer a call from Media Blitz.
Perillo would not comment on the timing of his hiring or on any sour grapes from Mannix and Hobson. He did say that Hobson came over to him during the preseason and congratulated him on the new gig.
Says Perillo, “The WEEI show is a lot of fun. I am still doing Patriots.com radio daily. I know Tom (Curran) very well and have always been a fan of Doug and Nellie.”
Before joining PFW, Perillo spent ten years at the Boston Herald as an editorial assistant covering scholastic sports and filing the occasional Red Sox or Bruins story. “It was a difficult decision to leave, but I was an editorial assistant,” he explains.
“I remember in 1999 when the first and second rounds of the NCAA basketball tourney came to the FleetCenter. There were four games that day and then-Herald sports editor Mark Torpey sent me to cover the last game.
“Torpey said he knew I would get it fast and clean. I remember thinking to myself, if I am that good, why are reporters making twice as much as I am?”
Before leaving the Herald, Perillo was assured that, despite being a team newspaper, objectivity would rule at PFW. “I never would have taken the job if (PFW publisher) Fred Kirsch had told me to watch what I say,” he states.
“Fortunately, the team has done well. The Krafts have been very supportive and Bill Belichick treats us the way he treats everyone else. We want it that way.”
PFW, which publishes Media Blitz monthly, has produced some great area writers and multi-media personalities including Bryan Morry, Mike Reiss and current writers Andy Hart and Tom Casale. The paper prides itself on being objective and impartial in its style and tone.
Says Perillo, “No one knows the nuts and bolts of the Patriots better than we do. We take a more analytical look and have 40 pages to fill every week.”
Like many WEEI panelists, Perillo first appeared on the now defunct “ Ted Nation” show with Ted Sarandis. “Teddy was the first guy to have people on WEEI,” says the 38 year-old Perillo.
“It’s smart how WEEI grooms talent. The evening show was a proving ground. A lot of guys started at night, then moved to the ”Big Show.” Perillo brings much-needed credibility and intelligence to the oftentimes predictable farce that is Glenn Ordway’s “Big Show” circus.
Perillo is also a regular panelist on FSN’s “Sports Tonight,” but he knows where his media bread is buttered. “I have a great deal of gratitude toward the Krafts and the Patriots. They have so much vision and understanding.
“I am not blind to the fact that I would not be getting the offers I am getting if not for the success of the Patriots.”
While some ignorant sports lunkheads continue to mock soccer in the United States, Major League Soccer is laughing all the way to the bank. MLS is reportedly getting upwards of $20 million in rights fees from four separate multi-year media deals with ESPN, Univision, Fox Soccer Channel and HDNet.
ESPN will pay the MLS a reported $8 million a year through 2014 for MLS games. In 2006, ESPN2 will broadcast 26 regular-season MLS games and three playoff matches, while ABC will show the season opener, the MLS Cup and MLS All-Star Game.
In a sign that MLS has arrived, ESPN has taken over payment of rights fees, production costs and promotion. Heretofore, the league had to purchase network time and pay to produce the games.
John Skipper, executive vice president of content for ESPN states, "It's a change in the value of the league. We're paying fees because it has value. There are other people willing to pay and we want soccer on our network. It's just pretty simple math."
Several MLS teams have also signed lucrative regional media packages. Locally, Brad Feldman, the Revs’ director of communications and play-by-play man, is once again calling the shots as the team heads for the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
Says Feldman, “The Revs have been in the postseason every year that Steve Nicol has coached. They have played for the conference title four times and the league title twice. This Saturday (7:30 p.m.), the Revolution’s game at D.C. United, will be broadcast live on WSBK TV-38 in Boston.
“It will be the first time a Revolution match has been shown on TV-38. The Revs’ final game (October 14) will be televised on Fox Sports Net.”
This season, 29 Revs’ games are produced in-house by Kraft Sports Productions with three games on E SPN2. Playoff games will be covered by a combination of ESPN2, ABC, FSN, CW56 and TV-38. Feldman is unsure of how the recent sale of CW56 will affect future Revolution broadcasts.
For those readers who have asked, the NFL Network does not currently offer closed-captioning (CC) for the hearing impaired, but according to Network spokesman Seth Palansky, CC will be available for the Network’s live game coverage beginning on Thanksgiving. According to Palansky, NFL Network does not have enough cable penetration to foot the CC bill right now, but plans to offer closed-captioning for all of its productions by the start of the 2007 NFL season.
Also for transplanted readers who have inquired, DirecTV outside New England does not show FSN’s “4 Downs with Felger” and “New England Tailgate” because those shows are only cleared regionally and are available only in New England.
With changes afoot at CW56, fill in anchor John Rooke is banking on versatility. He has signed a college hoops and soccer play-by-play deal with ESPNU and is hosting the "Big East Football Show” produced at WOR in New York and seen in all Big East markets. In November, he begins his 18th season as the voice of the Providence College Friars and does Patriots.com radio during the week while serving as Gillette Stadium PA announcer. Rooke is also filling in at AM 890 ESPN Boston and is teaching a sports journalism class at Emerson College.
Duke Castiglione on his current position at 7NBC: “I have not signed a deal (with 7NBC), and will continue to work for ESPN and channel 7. How long will I work for 7? I don't know. Right now, it's working out very nicely for both parties. Joe Amorosino and I have been friends throughout years. (Executive sports producer) John Zannis, Dave Briggs and producer Fred Nutter are all really nice people. I think that speaks volumes about Joe as sports director.” Wendi Nix, who left 7NBC this summer for ESPN, echoes Castiglione’s praise of Amorosino, an underrated talent and leader in Boston media for sure.
John Molori's columns are published in The Boston Metro, Patriots Football Weekly, ColdHardFootballFacts.com, Boston Sports Review, Boston Baseball Magazine, Methuen Life, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonPressBox.com, BostonSportsMedia.com and BostonSportz.com. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.
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