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Minihane Returns to WEEI, Discusses Hospitalization

Brandon Contes

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Kirk Minihane

WEEI morning co-host Kirk Minihane returned to the airwaves Friday morning after announcing on Twitter he was hospitalized for “suicidal thoughts” last week.

“I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so.  Last Thursday night I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts.  I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week,” Minihane wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

Minihane continued, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it. But I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. And we’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it,” referring to Friday’s show.

During the second hour of Friday’s Kirk & Callahan Show Minihane opened up to the audience about his fight with depression and suicidal thoughts.  The conversation between Kirk and Callahan was so candid that as a listener, I had to remind myself what Minihane dealt with was reality.  Callahan approached the situation from a rational standpoint, asking Kirk questions about how could someone with young children leave their family?  To which Kirk responded by saying it’s a sickness, luckily he wasn’t as sick as those who actually took their life which is why he’s still here.

Minihane said he started thinking about how he would do it (referring to suicide) and the best way to do it which led him to focus on trains.  He rode the train a few times and walked the route, but Thursday afternoon Kirk went to watch the train go by.  He checked the schedule and found himself waiting for the train minutes before it came.  Kirk said “I was lying to myself, I think…in saying that I’m just going to go look.”  He began walking around for a few minutes and knew he didn’t want to die, but was struggling with what he was feeling.

“I felt for the past couple weeks that I was having a heart attack almost all the time, I was having a heart attack breathing and then I was also playing this character..A, on the air who was feeling good around my family, who was feeling good talking to my brothers, who was feeling good and joking and doing that, meanwhile sort of dying on the inside.  I said I simply cannot live like this anymore.  I have to give over, I have to give up whatever power I have and I drove the car to Winchester hospital, walked up to the emergency room woman and said, I’m having very dangerous thoughts.”

Minihane later said while he feels better now, he understands depression and anxiety is still something he will continue dealing with.

“The important thing for me is to recognize that I have these down times and tell people right away as opposed to hiding it and hiding it and hiding it.  It doesn’t benefit me at all and it all comes from childhood stuff like everything else, I have to figure that out, but right now I feel okay, I feel pretty good, I think I sort of have a temporary high right now because I’ve been able to talk about it.  Two weeks from now, three weeks from now, I’m sure I won’t feel great for a while and I just have to be honest about it.”

He acknowledged loving his job, his family and the support group he has to rely on moving forward.

Minihane also mentioned a lighter note that occurred shortly after being in the hospital.  “The security guy was a very nice guy, he was probably in his late 20s or early 30s.  I’m in there for about an hour or so and I’m a mess.  He comes up to me, shakes my hand he says, I just want you to know I’m a big fan, but I gotta ask you a question, what’s Portnoy like?”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio

“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”

Jordan Bondurant

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San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.

RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.

San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.

Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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