In the most recent episode of Kirk Minihane’s podcast, Enough About Me, the former WEEI morning personality spoke with current afternoon host, Christian Fauria taking the audience behind the scenes in their relationship.
Today the two consider each other friends and it sounded that way during their 75 minute conversation, but Minihane and Fauria’s relationship has been rocky since meeting in 2014, including physical altercations and on-air blowups.
June 26th, 2015, their most public altercation occurred during WEEI’s morning show, Dennis and Callahan which Minihane co-hosted at the time. While Fauria was in-studio with his co-hosts, Lou Merloni and Glenn Ordway for a crossover segment, Kirk told the former NFL tight-end, he was only on-air because of his football career. The discussion escalated into a heated and uncomfortable argument, leading to Minihane being suspended for one show. While rehashing the argument on the podcast, both admitted they sounded crazy, Fauria added he hates listening back to the audio, calling it an embarrassing out of body experience.
Their personalities didn’t mesh well at the start, with Fauria being used to a locker-room mentality of teammates working together and Minihane preferring to test people’s limits. The public ribbing caught Fauria off guard, while Minihane viewed the slander as entertaining radio that benefited both shows. A radio war within a station can be controversial, but it can also push the audience to want to hear reaction from the hosts involved.
A year later, Paul Chartier the producer of Ordway, Merloni and Fauria (midday show at the time) provided Minihane with audio of the trio discussing wanting to be on afternoon drive. The morning show, now Kirk and Callahan, played the audio on-air leading to the next installment of Fauria vs Minihane.
After Kirk’s show ended, rather than walking directly out of the studio, Minihane “snickered” as Fauria walked in. “Next thing I know I am up against the wall,” recalled Minihane.
Others quickly intervened, but not before Minihane said something he categorized as “really dumb,” without sharing what that was.
“My goal was to get in your face as much as possible so you actually gave me an excuse to put my hands on you, so if you would have touched me at all, if you would have grabbed my arm, then you were gonna end up going to the ground,” Fauria said on the podcast while looking back on the incident.
As cooler heads prevailed, Fauria apologized to Minihane the same day of the incident, admitting he overreacted. Minihane apologized for what he said, still not letting us in on what it was, only agreeing with Fauria that it was a cheap shot.
Feeling better about the situation, Fauria went to host his show, believing they moved on from the near fight. While Fauria was on-air, Minihane went to HR, which he admits now was an unfair move, but Kirk still believes nothing in radio should ever get physical. “It’s radio, here’s your weapon in radio…you’re bigger than me, you’re stronger than me, you can beat me up, your weapon [in radio] is your brain and your microphone.”
As Fauria and Minihane began to learn each other’s limits, their relationship developed. The former NFL tight-end realized hosts willing to call each other out can be a good thing. It keeps hosts on their toes and creative, providing ammunition, discussion and debate, Fauria explained while admitting WEEI doesn’t have a radio war dynamic right now.
Minihane was permanently removed from the WEEI morning show last fall after his second leave of absence for mental health reasons. Still an employee of Entercom, plans were announced for Minihane to host a daily show on Radio.com, but nearly five months later its yet to launch.
“You need to be on the air,” Fauria told Minihane during the podcast, adding “I think there is a side of you that knows eventually the opportunity to come back will arrive”
“I don’t think so,” Minihane responded, “I don’t want to do it.”