At 44 years of age Daryle Johnson is living the life he only imagined living. In April 2012 he was announced winner of the Lucky Break contest for 95.7 The Game. Johnson, known as the “Guru” is a sports fanatic and native of Union City, Calif.
The Lucky break competition featured 150 contestants who were evaluated weekly, on an assignment to deliver the most entertaining sports subject, similar to American Idol. After years of persistent sport call-ins, he has gotten his foot in the sports entertainment industry. His game time ambition has lead him to a victory.
Johnson signed a 1-year contract with 95.7 The Game back in 2012, which included a cash reward. He renewed his contract this year; the program director was pleased with his skills and asked him to stay. Over the past two years the “Guru” broadcast increased the ratings for this show.
The main job of a host is to come to the studio early to organize and prepare their opinions about local and national team levels. Johnson is responsible for covering baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.
“It’s a job, and it’s not just shouting into a microphone. I was blown away at the prep, which this job entails. It is amazing to see how prepared one had to be to have a great show,” said Johnson.
Johnson credited his love for sports to his father Norman Johnson. As a boy he was intrigued by three major sports. “He would take me to see the A’s, Giants, Warriors, 49ers, and Raiders games. I was then a sucker for sports,” Johnson said.
Radio host Zackariah Slenderbroek gave his kudos to Guru for renewing his contract. “He was good enough that he’s still there and getting regular air-time,” said Slenderbroek. “That’s not because of the contest, that’s because he has talent.”
Johnson had plans to pursue a psychology degree, but realized sports were the only topics he was enthusiastic towards.
“After going to college and not really being passionate about anything other than sports I prayed to the Lord that somehow I could get a shot to get into the business,” said Johnson.
As he approached his mid 20’s he listened and paid close attention to various sports hosts, and studied their techniques. “Stephen A. Smith is my favorite sports host, he is professional well spoken and a role model,” Johnson said.
Johnson had confidence and believed he could be a potential sports host, but felt he lacked a strategic plan to achieve his goal. After realizing he needed a better approach to jump-start his career, Johnson became a regular sports caller. He would call several radio stations, national and the Bay Area.
“One day I looked at my iPhone and had 10 text messages. After reading the texts from different friends telling me this is my big break, I had to enter. At this point in my life I was kind of ho hum,” Johnson stated.
If it was not for his friends encouraging him to enter the contest, he admits he would not be on the show.
For the rest of the story visit The Pioneer where this story was published
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.