By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Deposed Bruins play-by-play man, Dale Arnold (or the user posting under his name at the HFBoards site) is engaging in a lively joust with NESN and the Bruins over his dismissal from home game broadcasts on NESN.
Arnold also spoke of the matter Monday during his regular slot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on WEEI 850 AM, reportedly in the 10:30 segment. (Check Bruce Allen’s afternoon update for more on Arnold’s radio comments.)
From the HF Boards posting that was made under the member name, “DArnold850” and titled, “My Side of the Story,” and matched much of what Arnold reportedly said on air, Arnold writes:
[UPDATE: Early Monday night, the webmaster/contact for the Bruins HF Board confirmed to Shots that Arnold is the author. ". . . DArnold850 is former Bruins play by play announcer Dale Arnold. We vet all members who claim to be public figures. Dale's been a member of our forums for about 4 years."]
[UPDATE No. 2: WEEI has posted the audio of Arnold's verbal explanation of NESN dumping him. He introduces his thoughts by saying, "I don't think the NESN press release told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They told the truth [in Friday's press release] in a way that tried to shade it differently than what was real.” The tone is that of a man who has differences of opinions with Joel Feld and others at NESN and who would not accept the “demotion” to studio host.]
"Just for the record --- and you'll note I have note said a single word about this since it first came up --- my work at WEEI had nothing to do with this decision by NESN, despite what they have said to make it seem inevitable. They first approached me, and said they wanted a single play-by-play announcer, and would I accept the Eric Frede role as host for all telecasts. I said that even if I could accept the demotion --- and that is how I looked at it --- I couldn't possibly work that many nights. They then asked if I would serve as host for the home telecasts. I again reiterated that I considered myself a play-by-play announcer, not a studio host. In possibly the most painful moment of my professional life, I told NESN that if I could not continue as play-by-play announcer then I could no longer be a part of their telecasts. I feel that the advantage of having one of two Bruins' announcers also serve as a talkshow host on the highest rated sportsradio station in America outweighs the perceived advantage of a single play-by-play announcer. NESN disagrees. This has been brought up as a possibility in the past and the Bruins have come to my defense in the past. I guess all dreams must come to an end, and this puts an end to mine. All I ever wanted was to be the play-by-play announcer for the Boston Bruins. I always joked that they had to pay me for the day job, but that I would do the night job for free. Now I can't even do it for that.
Wow - who's giving Dale Arnold his PR advice? Terrell Owens? This is sour grapes of the highest order and it is not painting Whiny Dale in a very flattering light. There should be no one who sheds a tear for the amply compensated Entercom Employee. Yes, it may have been Dale's boyhood dream and he got to live that dream. He also gets to steal money for the bulk of his work at 850, where he his mis-matched with the radio riser, Michael Holley.
The sentiment among the HFBoards users seems to be one of sympathy for Arnold and is swaying towards another sign that the Bruins don't take into account what the fans actually want.
The bottom line is that the Bs (who own a portion of NESN) have been cleaning house all summer and this is the continuation of that purge. Happens in business ALL THE TIME, Dale. Suck it up, pal.
But by all means, keep slinging the arrows. Makes for good Shotsing!
. . . Not only does the heartbroken Arnold throw good guy/inncocent bystander, Eric Frede under the bus, he also basically fesses up that with the end of Nate Greenberg's tenure within the Spoked B's walls, he was a dead man walking ever since Nate got pushed out the Causeway Street window, errr door.
. . . This sets up an interesting future for Dale and 'EEi vs. the Bs, as he was most often the biggest Bruins' apologist on the Talk Leader's payroll. If Dale is NESN-bashing on a regular basis, the Red Sox are not going to look favorably upon that kind of treatment to THEIR newtork.
. . .Arnold's not exactly a wordsmith, we'll say that. His line noting "I have note (sic) said a single word about this since it first came up. . ." is hogwash. He didn't speak to the issue directly, perhaps, but his agent did. And Arnold was working back channels in the hockey community as well. He had already put forth the theory that without Harry Sinden, he was on borrowed time and that Greenberg's golden parachute was another ominous sign. Arnold was already bashing the NESN brass at the grassroots level.
. . . If you are Eric Frede right now, you go calmly into the offices of NESN and ask for some time with the head honchos so you can know if you should be getting your reel out to other markets at this late date. NESN's willingness to give Arnold a role on the pre and post game duties either means they want to do just the opposite of what they are doing on broadcasts (one team unity) with the bookend preview/review studio shows OR they are looking to replace Frede or reduce his role. Which, as we all know by now, would be a huge mistake to make with the extremely steady and watchable Frede.
Arnold's "demotion" dig aside, Frede has developed nicely into the Tom Caron of NESN's hockey coverage and to shake up his career would be not only cruel but also quite unnecessary.
. . . This is exactly what we like to see happen when a media mammoth (or mammoth wannabe) like NESN tries to bury news. They thought the news of Arnold getting the heave-ho after more than a decade of service would wash away with the July 4 fireworks residue. It didn't, it won't and the NESN Suits should be ashamed of trying to snooker their fan base.
Arnold, to his credit, does have the good sense to get the talk moving on a Monday after a long Holiday weekend when people are getting re-acquainted with the radio and Internet destinations they were away from most of last week.
Arnold will now be able to control the message, because even a four hour, mostly mediocre, radio show has more REAL cache in this town than the lowly Bs.
. . . A bit of Dale Magic from one of the HFBoards members:
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. And can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmedDOTcom
You can listen to Scott every Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. as he co-hosts the Boston Sports Review Show on ESPN Radio 890 AM with ESPN’s All-Sports Reporter, Mike Salk.