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Bell In, Bailey Out At 92.9 The Game

Jason Barrett

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Morning host Jason Bailey is out and former 790/The Zone afternoon host Mike Bell is in at 92.9/The Game.

Bell came on air at 3 p.m. today to announce his arrival. Starting Monday, Bell officially joins Carl Dukes and the show time will add an extra hour, ending at 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. The show will air from 2 to 7 p.m.

Up to this point, 92.9/The Game has failed to – or resisted – hiring any talent from 790/The Zone. (The 2 Live Stewsanybody?)

Bell –  who was on the Zone for 15 years  until it dumped local programming in May – has been under contract with the station until December, 2015.

His agent Norm Schrutt was able to convince Zone owner Lincoln Financial to let Bell out of his non-compete clause in exchange for not having to pay him fully for another 17-plus months. “Lincoln was very fair,” Schrutt said. “It took awhile but it works out well.” (Schrutt also represents Carl Dukes.)

On air, Bell today discussed with Dukes about how the Braves’ Dan Uggla was finally released. “We both got paid to do nothing!” Bell cracked. The show took calls from very excited, very happy callers, asking him to do signature voices such as the late Cubs announcer Harry Carey and wrestler Dusty Rhodes.

Bailey, who was there for just a year, will be replaced by Marc James, the new afternoon guy with Dukes the past two months since the Game hired James and Mark Zinno for nights at about the same time. (Zinno’s show will run from 7 to 10 p.m. instead of 6 to 10 p.m.)

Bailey came from Florida last year, hoping his self-assured persona would click with the Atlanta audience. His bossTerry Foxx last fall said he hired Bailey because he’s not just a sports guy – he’s an entertainer first and foremost. “He’s not a traditional host,” Foxx said at the time. “He kind of lives on the edge.”

Although the Game’s ratings overall have been disappointing, you can’t necessarily blame Bailey. Listenership for the morning show among 25 to 54 year olds is actually up 47 percent year over year. The previous show featuring Rick Kimla (now in mid days) with Randy Crossaveraged a 0.75 rating over the first six months of 2013. Bailey with Cross helped improve that to a 1.1 rating for the first half of this year.

Besides Jamie Dukes, Randy Cross, CJ Simpson (since gone) and Mitch Evans, 92.9/The Game to date has largely hired on-air broadcasters with no Atlanta ties since it debuted in October, 2012. It has tried to differentiate itself by being live and local 24/7 and providing outsider perspectives. Unfortunately, this has failed to generate powerful ratings given its powerful 64,000 watt signaland remains behind dominant No. 1 sports talk station 680/The Fan, also heard on 93.7 on the FM dial.

But the station is making progress closing the gap with the Fan. As a whole, the Game averaged a 0.75 in overall listeners the first half of 2013 and is now up to a 1.1. I can’t report the ratings for the Fan because they are not subscribers to Nielsen Audio but I can say that their ratings dropped by about the same amount. They still hold a decent lead over the Game.

The battle is by no means over between the two stations.

For the rest of this story visit the Atlanta Journal Constitution where it was originally published

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Sports Radio News

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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Sports Radio News

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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