For Project 2, I chose to call into WEEI Sports Radio Boston. Airing from 10 AM – 2 PM is the Dale and Holley Show, where they discussed a variety of topics including the Red Sox upcoming season, the Bruins chances in the playoffs, the Celtics being too careful with the Garnett, and who the Patriots are thinking about drafting.
After listening to other callers and Dale bash Jacoby Ellsbury for about an hour or so, I felt obligated to jump into the conversation. I punched in 617-779-0850 on my phone and was immediately connected to WEEI’s media desk. The screening producer asked the reason for my call, my name, where I was from, and told me to use good judgement when I got on air.
I waited on hold for about forty-five minutes, listening to the show through speaker phone. Dale and Holley were mostly taking calls at this point, discussing the Red Sox. Either it was a bad day for callers, or Dale was in a bad mood because he was continuously cutting off people and arguing every point made.
Then, the screening producer came back on the line and said “Your next in line, right after the break.” I admit, I was a little tense as I listened to the commercials, including the “1-800-54-Giant” ruckus that has plagued WEEI for years. I planned what I was going to say, said it aloud a few times, and it was time.
Dale: “Next up is Kevin from Amherst, your on live with Dale and Holley.”
Me: “What’s going on guys? Just wanted to talk a little about the Sox. Dale, I ‘ve been listening to you bash Jacoby for the last hour or so, and I think you forget last year was his first full season.”
Dale: “How could I forget?”
Me: “I understand he doesn’t hit for average, but if he learns to keep the ball on the ground, becomes a better bunter, and continues to steal 50 bases a season, he is an ideal leadoff hitter.”
Dale: “Depends on what your definition of ideal is.”
Me: “If he scores a lot of runs from the one spot, that’s ideal for me. Thanks for your time guys.”
At this point I hung up, and continued to listen to Dale crush every word I said. He insisted I did not know what the word ideal, and is why I did not give a definition.
However, I listened to a few a callers after hoping for some feedback. And, I received some. One of the callers mentioned I made great point about Ellsbury needs to become a better bunter. It was good to hear some reassurance from other callers.
Overall, I felt the experience was extremely useful. It was the first time I have ever called into a radio station, but have always wanted to do it. I was a little nervous when the screen producer told me to get ready, but I collected myself and confidently stated my opinions. After all, that is the job of each caller to state their opinion.
My feelings about the the hosts of radio stations have been reinforced. I have always felt these hosts intend to create arguments and controversy, and Dale reassured my belief today. Listening to him for over an hour, there wasn’t one time I can remember him agreeing with a caller. Perhaps it is best to create arguments, because it keeps callers interested. Nobody wants to listen to a host that is compliant with all the callers.
My next thought was, how do I become a screening producer? I have no idea how much money they make, but from what I saw, it is the easiest job ever. The way I picture it is like this: They sit at a desk, hear the phone ring, pick it up, ask for a name and location, why the call, and tell me to be polite on air.
Ultimately though, this will not be the last time I call into a radio station.