Jerry Thornton who has been with Boston’s WEEI for the past two years will be making a return to Barstool Sports. Thornton who was hired away from Barstool in November 2014 has announced on his website that the site has lured him back to write and host his own pro football podcast.

At WEEI, Thornton joined the Dale and Holley Show hosted by Dale Arnold and Michael Holley. He was hired to bring some of the Barstool audience to the station and also write for WEEI.com.

Thornton explained why he chose to leave WEEI now when the ratings for Dale and Holley put the show in second place in the summer ratings book:

“You don’t walk away from a job situation like this unless you have an opportunity too good to pass up. And that’s what Barstool has offered me. I’ve always been proud to have been a part of The Stool as we grew from an obscure newspaper to a brand, then an empire and eventually a lifestyle choice. In the two years I’ve been away, Dave Portnoy’s little blog became a corporation. A gigantic media conglomerate with podcasts that top the iTunes chart and a huge, national following. I won’t lie to you; the pay and benefits matter. But the chance to reach that audience again was the deciding factor.”

Earlier this year, Barstool was bought for more than $10 million by the Chernin Group and moved its headquarters from Boston to New York. Its format has remained the same, but it has generated several podcasts that are very popular among its fanbase. The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn says Barstool head David Portnoy was able to lure Thornton back by offering him pay on a par with what he was getting at WEEI:

In bringing Thornton back to the site, Barstool gave him a salary that was more than competitive with what he was making at WEEI. Thornton will host his own podcast as well as write for the site.

Thornton’s final day with WEEI will be on November 18. The station has not stated its plans to replace Thornton on the show.

His final words to his listeners who welcomed him to WEEI were very warm and appreciative:

“To all the listeners who’ve been so ridiculously supportive and complimentary, I don’t have a “thank you” as good as you deserve. But I’ll keep working on it. My career goal since I joined WEEI was to be there when “Dale & Holley Soon to Be No Longer with Thornton” went from No. 2 in the market to No. 1. And I will be. Only now as a daily listener like you, instead of a co-host.

“And to all the Stoolies bros I’ve talked to in bars, parties, tailgates, pubs, campuses and other bars who’ve told me they wanted to see me back at Barstool? See you soon.”

So Thornton returns to the Barstool empire and he’ll be given a huge embrace by his former and now future mates.

[Jerry Thornton/Boston Globe]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.