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Krukow Battling Muscle Disease

Jason Barrett

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Mike Krukow says the worst part is falling down.

“There is nothing more humiliating than falling in front of people,” says the longtime Giants broadcaster. “The biggest, most stressful thing is thinking about being on the field and falling in front of 40,000 people.”

It seems unbelievable. The former pitcher spent 14 seasons in the big leagues, with stops at Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. A strapping 6-5, 200-pound right-hander, he won 124 games, had a 20-win season in 1986 and pitched over 2,100 innings.

Now he says the slightest stumble can knock him off his feet.

Krukow, 62, has kept his condition a secret, but now he’s ready to reveal that he’s suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called inclusion-body myositis. IBM causes progressive weakness in the muscles of the wrist and fingers, the front of the thigh, and the muscles that lift the front of the foot. There’s no cure and no solid theory for what causes it.

When he got the diagnosis eight years ago, he says, the doctor gave him a medical version of good news/bad news.

“He said, ‘You’re going to need a cane and then you’re going to need a walker,’ ” Krukow recalls. ” ‘And eventually you may be that old dude riding around in a scooter.’ “

The good news?

“You have a muscle disease,” he said. “But it is not life-threatening.”

Still, it was a jolt.

“It pisses me off every day,” Krukow says.

How does a person – especially an athlete, used to depending on a strong body – respond to such news?

Krukow handled it the same way he used to deal with injuries – pretend it’s not a problem and hope it goes away.

“Being the strong, muscular athlete he was, this was very difficult to face,” says Jennifer Krukow, Mike’s wife. “I think he thought, if I just ignore it, it won’t get worse. But it has definitely gotten worse.”

In the past year, Krukow has begun to wear braces on his legs for support. He carries a walking stick for balance. That’s telling, longtime teammate and broadcast partner Duane Kuiper says, because the last thing Krukow wants is to call attention to the disease and become the object of public sympathy.

“You are talking about a guy who used to run the steps at every major-league ballpark,” Kuiper said. “Now he can’t even go up steps. Guys would ask what’s going on, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s my back. Or it’s my knees. I’m just an old pitcher.”

For the rest of the story visit the SF Chronicle where it was originally 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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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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