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How CBS Landed Mike Carey

Jason Barrett

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Sean McManus’ courting of Mike Carey began at a most unlikely place — the CBS Sports production truck at the Augusta National Golf Club.

It was during last year’s Masters tournament where the CBS Sports chairman told the then-NFL referee how much he admired his work as an official over the years. Carey developed plenty of relationships with NFL broadcast staffers during his two decades as an NFL referee and McManus heard good things from his staffers about how Carey conducted himself when the officials met with CBS personnel before kickoff on Sundays.

“I’ve been a fan of Mike’s for years and during games I would often turn to [CBS Sports executive producer and senior vice president of production] Harold Bryant in the studio and say, ‘Boy, if he ever retires, he would be a great in-studio analyst.’ So at the Masters I said to Mike: ‘You have no idea how many times I’ve watched you in our production studio during our NFL coverage and turned to someone and said, ‘I love that guy.’ He’s my favorite referee.’ In fact, I asked Mike to pose for a picture with me, which is something I almost never do.”

That conversation eventually led to further discussion about Carey working at CBS as a rules analyst should he decide to leave the NFL. It was a possibility Carey had not considered before the last couple of months. He was hired by the NFL in 1990 to work as a side judge and was promoted to the referee position five years later.

During his 24 seasons in the league, according to the Football Zebras website, Carey worked 17 postseason assignments including nine wild card playoffs, five divisional playoffs, two conference championships and Super Bowl XLII (famous for the DavidTyree catch), where he became the first African American referee for a Super Bowl.

“I felt very comfortable, felt at the top of my game, and I felt I had years ahead of me in the league,” Carey said in an interview with SI.com on Friday. “But this is a great opportunity to educate the fans and help officiating have a place of recognition that allows people to see the why’s and why nots, what is called and rule specifics. When I was a referee I talked to the fan when I was making the announcement. That was my whole projection.”

Last week, CBS made it official when it announced Carey had retired from the NFL to work as a rules analyst on the network’s Thursday night and Sunday games. McManus said Carey will be at the game site or work out of the NFL Network studios in Culver City, Ca., for the Thursday night game, and CBS’s studios in New York on Sundays.

“On Thursday night, we will insert him into the broadcast when we think it is necessary and when Mike has something to add,” McManus said. “If there was a noticeable or controversial call the previous Sunday or Monday, we will have Mike in the studio to give his perspective on it. It is not an opportunity for Mike just to second-guess what is going on the field. It’s an opportunity for him to explain the intricacies of what the rules might be.”

Carey said that earlier this month as the CBS job became more likely, he spoke with both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL vice president of officiating DeanBlandino to let them know it was a possibility he would leave. On June 20, he told the league he was officially retiring. Carey has no experience with studio television work but he has done countless interviews, delivered tons of speeches, and obviously, has appeared on television over thousands of hours with his game calls.

For the rest of the story visit Sports Illustrated where this story was first published

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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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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