The Friday before break, Chad Finn reported that Comcast SportsNet New England had announced a shift in its weeknight programming. In place of their main nightly staples, SportsNet Central (a news-based sports update show), Early Edition (half-hour opinion based show hosted by Gary Tanguay) and Sports Tonight (basically Early Edition at 10 p.m. hosted by Michael Felger), CSN announced a new nightly schedule that features an two-hour expanded Early Edition and Boston Sports Tonight, a new three-hour show from 9 p.m.-midnight. The new lineup is slated to roll out April 3 and these shows will be bumped for Celtics coverage as needed.
The change was not out of the blue, however. Finn wrote in December that CSN was planning on moving toward more opinion-based programming and away from sports news shows. With a new line-up, here’s a closer look at each show and some of my questions:
Early Edition (Hosted by Tanguay, Felger and Trenni Kusnierek from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.)- This show looks to be a combination of three of Boston’s top opinion personalities and won’t be short for “hot-takes”. Trenni will be the most sane and rational out of the bunch, but I look forward to seeing how the three work together for two hours. I also hope the show continues to use Kirk Minihane, who has great chemistry with both Tanguay and Trenni, as it does during the half-hour segments. My biggest question for this show is the use of Felger. Felger will finish his daily radio show at 6 p.m. and what will the expectations be? Will he do the show completely remote from 98.5 studios, or will he do a segment and then drive to Comcast studios from Brighton to Burlington during rush-hour? I would think it would be tough for him to prep for the show as well, but who knows, he is a good enough personality to wing it. I believe it would be best to have him in person, but it may not be feasible.
Boston Sports Tonight (Hosted by Tom Giles, Tom Curran, Kayce Smith and Michael Holley)- This show looks to be similar in format, opinion based with what looks like Giles and Smith to set the table for Curran and Holley. With this show I have a couple of questions. First about Smith and how she will handle the Boston market. I am not familiar with her work, but I have seen in the past that the market has been a tough move for personalities. My next two questions are about Holley, who hosts a 2-6 p.m. show at WEEI in competition of Felger. For Holley, it seems the 35 hours a week of talking on air is a lot to handle, I would like to see how he can manage that workload. Also, he does come off as very hypocritical in this instance as he told Rich Keefe, a new member to his radio show on WEEI, that he did not want Keefe to do an extra hour of radio after their program from 2-6 because it would be too much on Keefe’s plate. Holley then goes out and gets a nightly gig for THREE HOURS on top of his four-hour show. Seems like if Keefe has a full plate, then Holley is at an all-you-can-eat buffet.