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Sarandis out as host of 'Nation'

''Ted Nation" is minus its leader this morning.

WEEI (850 AM) announced yesterday afternoon that Ted Sarandis, who presided over ''The Nation" from 7 p.m.-midnight since 1992, ''will be leaving the station to pursue other ventures."

''Ted has been a great contributor to the growth and success of the station during his long tenure with us," said WEEI director of programming and operations Jason Wolfe in a statement. ''We have tremendous respect and appreciation for him and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

WEEI said Sarandis would retain his position as play-by-play announcer for Boston College men's basketball, one he's held since 1995.

''All I can say is I feel for my good friend Ted Sarandis," said BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo. ''He's been a tremendous proponent of college basketball in this town, and a tremendous proponent of Boston College. If I have anything to say about it, Ted will be doing basketball for BC."

Sarandis has been excited that BC will be playing its first season of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball.

''He loves all sports, but he's exceptionally fond of basketball and about our first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference," said DeFilippo. ''He was happy when Craig Smith made the decision to come back for his fourth season."

No successor to Sarandis has been named at WEEI, but there is no shortage of candidates both within WEEI's studios and in the Boston market. WEEI ranked No. 1 in Boston in all four ratings books last year among both men and all adults 25-54.

It's a position that friends say WEEI seemingly wanted Sarandis to vacate. Sarandis had been working without a contract in recent years and served a two-week suspension two years ago for playing a taped interview in the final segment of his show and leaving early.

Sarandis had staked out his turf as the station's moralist, often coming across as straitlaced in a business that strives to appeal to the young and hip. His ''Ted Nation" nickname came courtesy of Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, a takeoff on Red Sox Nation.

Friends and guests described the past two years as a trying time for Sarandis, realizing that he wouldn't be staying on indefinitely and feeling squeezed out at the station. His show was the only one at the station whose guests received gift certificates instead of being paid.

WEEI said a variety of hosts would be filling in during the coming weeks. Over the past week, Jon Rish, host of the Sox pre- and postgame shows, has increased his duties, doing pennant race and sports updates during Sox game broadcasts.

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