Kirk Minihane wants his voice to be heard again. That much is clear. The WEEI sports radio host has insisted on Twitter that he wants to return to radio, but the station has not allowed him.
So what’s the holdup?
Minihane is still under contract with the Entercom-owned radio network, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Both requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about Minihane’s contract on the record.
However, Minihane is unlikely to return to the station’s radio waves, according to one person, despite the station still having a morning show with his namesake, “Kirk and Callahan.”
Minihane took a break from work in August after experiencing suicidal thoughts. After checking himself into a hospital and missing less than a week of work, Minihane made a brief return before realizing he needed to attend to his mental health in a more substantial way. He has been away from work for almost two months.
If he wants to work again and WEEI isn’t allowing him, could he join another outlet?
Barstool Sports has openly recruited Minihane on Twitter. When the site’s founder, David Portnoy, was asked by direct message if he wanted to expand on any of his tweets courting Minihane, Portnoy responded, “He’d be awesome here and I’d love to have him.”
It stands to reason, however, that because Minihane is on contract with WEEI, he and the station would have to work something out before he could join Barstool. Minihane is currently being paid on leave, according to one of the people with direct knowledge of the situation.
That’s why Minihane’s response to Barstool’s announcement Wednesday should turn heads, especially after Barstool blogger Jerry Thornton, who jumped from Barstool to WEEI and back to Barstool, playfully offered to carpool with Minihane. Barstool revealed they would be creating new shows, including the time slot in the middle of the day that was vacated by Pat McAfee.
Along with the website, Barstool has a handful of radio shows on Sirius XM and a collection of podcasts, some of which are the most popular in the country. At times, Barstool operates like a reality TV show by developing their bloggers and radio personalities into characters that develop loyal followings. And as shown in this saga, Minihane doesn’t shy away from drama. In fact, Barstool stirred up drama with WEEI when the company attempted to poach Red Sox blogger Jared Carrabis. Portnoy was none too pleased.
Minihane and Barstool may also be a fit because Minihane has never been afraid to offend his listeners. Both he and Barstool have come under fire for their brash approaches to delivering content, though Barstool has experienced far more blowback than Minihane.
Barstool has poached several Boston media members. Perhaps Minihane will be next.