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DaLuz: 5 reasons why K&C won the spring ratings book

WEEI
July 13, 2017 - 5:21 pm

By Kyle DaLuz

It was announced Thursday that the Kirk and Callahan morning show on WEEI, hosted by Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan, had a record-breaking spring ratings book, taking home No. 1 in several key demographics, including men 25-54, adults 25-54, men 35-64 and men 18-plus. The ratings period had plenty of memorable moments, including Battle of the Brainless, Pirated Pete Sheppard and the NCAA-Hole tournament.

There are more than a few reasons why the show has achieved such success since its origin and leaves its fans tuning in every morning. I’ve done my best to highlight why that’s the case:

Casting Couch

The Casting Couch model follows the old rotating co-host format that worked so seamlessly for current midday host Glenn Ordway when he hosted ‘The Big Show.’ Minihane and Callahan have utilized that formula to much success and each guest brings something different to the table, helping to keep things fresh. Trenni Kusnierek brings an interesting perspective being the only female co-host, while fellow liberal John Tomase can drop the gloves with Gerry and battle it out over preferred politics. Red Sox pre and postgame show host Mike Mutnansky is WEEI’s unofficial horse racing and Kentucky Mule extraordinaire, and Gary Tanguay can give an exotic reading from his Taray Garrison collection. The group all brings something unique to the table, helping make each morning appointment listening.

The Real K&C

How could the city of Boston survive without Chris Curtis setting the dialogue every morning at 6 a.m.?

Curtis and fellow producer Ken Laird really help make things churn in the production room and having interned and filled in for a week-plus with Ken while Chris was on vacation in Italy, it’s pretty impressive watching Laird incorporate all sorts of different drops and sound and have them at the ready to play at the opportune time. Whether they be drops from the guys, former co-host John Dennis, Donald Trump or from movies or shows, Laird tends to push all the right buttons and adds a whole new element to the show.

No other sports show in the market has a post-show podcast like Curtis and Ken with ‘The Real K&C,’ which helps fans keep up on the show and gives a behind the scenes look at the Kirk and Callahan show. Ken typically edits the pod down to 20 or so minutes and incorporates plenty of his laugh out loud drops to the uncut, mini-version of the show as well.

Peeling Back the Curtain

What Minihane and Callahan and the Casting Couch wackpackers do better than anyone in the market is talk about anything that happens to them in their lives and they try to make it as real as possible. You can tell right off the bat that the show is not scripted or manufactured, except for the occasional fake-Mut outrage.

If Kirk is upset that Trenni didn’t go to the services of his late father, he won’t be afraid to talk about it on the air. If Gerry is mad at Ken or Curtis or Casting Couch fill-in Jon Meterparel for not returning his calls or texts, it will be discussed. Or if there is an issue between shows at the station, rather than keeping things in-house, those emotions will likely come out during the course of a show, which is completely unique to WEEI. The added drama mixed in with the sports, pop culture and political talk adds another element that makes listeners tune their dials to the morning show.

Self Deprecation

The more laughs the better, and each member of the team isn’t afraid to make fun of themselves and have thick skin. If Curtis is stumbling and muttering on the air, he can poke fun at himself for being so anxious. Minihane has no problem admitting he is a recovering addict, or even finding some humor with the passing of his parents, telling Tanguay that having to listen to his show with Meter was worse than burying both of his parents. Mut has no problem admitting he likes betting on horses and Tanguay will certainly let you know he doesn’t care that he shows up at 6 a.m. on the dot and doesn’t read any of the stories printed out for him by Curtis. It’s that kind of raw content that is extremely rare across talk radio in general.

The President and Vice President

Minihane said Thursday that he is the president of Kirk and Callahan and Gerry is his Mike Pence.

However you would rank or look at the duo, it’s tough to argue that both are very good at keeping listeners tuned in with unique and creative content and typically mock the ordinary, “Sporty McKenzie” sports talk segments on who should play right guard on the offensive line for the Patriots or where Andrew Benintendi should hit in the Red Sox line-up.

Instead, they prefer to talk about issues and topics of interest, like David Price’s spats with members of the Boston media, baseball’s problems with the younger generation or debating the difficulty of playing in Boston. It’s a formula that has been mocked, but the numbers bare out that it works. The combination of talking points segments and a real inside the scenes look at each member of the show makes listeners and fans connect with the guys more than the typical talk show and has helped shape Kirk and Callahan into arguably the best sports talk show in the market.

Kyle DaLuz is a part-time producer at WEEI.