Kirk Minihane, former co-host of the top-rated "Kirk and Callahan" morning-drive talk show on WEEI, says it was a “difference of opinion” that led to his leaving the show for a new position with Radio.com.
“There was just a philosophical difference between the station — Entercom, the ownership — and me,” Minihane told Jim Braude when he joined him on Greater Boston Monday. “They wanted to go one way. I didn’t want to go that way.”
Minihane said there was a document that station executives asked him to sign to remain on the show, but he ultimately refused.
“It basically said you can’t be interesting, you can’t be mean-spirited, you can’t take chances, you can’t rip the Red Sox, you can’t rip The Boston Globe,” said Minihane. “And I said, 'I’m not going to participate.'”
Minihane said Entercom offered him a new national radio show, podcast, and column at Radio.com — an offer he is excited about.
“It’s going to be great,” he said.
Minihane also discussed his frustration with The Boston Globe and, more specifically, Interim Editorial Page Editor Shirley Leung. Last week, Leung wrote a column in which she praised Entercom for its decision to move Minihane, which Minihane referred to as a “hit piece” and questioned why Leung did not reach out to him about it before publishing. He also questioned her choice to call him racist without providing examples.
“I just felt like I needed to deal with Entercom directly rather than with Kirk directly,” Leung told Braude and Margery Eagan onBoston Public Radio last week. “I mean, you should check out my Twitter feed …. Racist, sexist comments from followers of Kirk Minihane …. Not from Kirk. I don’t know who these people are, but certainly they’re fans of him," said Leung. "Not to say that he directed them, but he has certainly unleashed trolls on me, and for months.”
Leung had also previously written several columns about WEEI’s handling of various controversies involving its on-air personalities — including a call for advertisers to boycott the station in February, after a different host used a stereotypical Asian accent to mock Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, who is Chinese American. Leung personally called advertisers about the issue.
“When I talked to her on the phone a few months ago, after I took down Kevin Cullen,” said Minihane — referring to his own questions about the factual accuracy of a column Cullen wrote about the marathon bombings, which resulted in Cullen’s suspension — "Shirley Leung said to me on the phone, ‘I’m going to get you for that’ …. and congratulations, Shirley. You won.”
Greater Boston did invite Leung — who is also a WGBH contributor — to join Minihane for this interview, but The Boston Globe declined, stating she was already interviewed on this topic on Boston Public Radio on Friday.
When asked if he had regrets about anything he did during his time at WEEI, Minihane did say that calling Fox reporter Erin Andrews a “gutless b***” in 2014 was “the stupidest thing [he’s] ever done,” but he also said he has “fallen on the sword five million times.”
As for whether he felt he took too much glee in taking down others or whether it was akin to “dancing on graves,” as Braude put it — Minihane responded simply, “I get paid to dance around.”