Eytan Shander isn’t a native of Philadelphia.
But he is the voice of the city he considers home.
Shander, who has been on the radio for 10 years, including stints at 94.1 WIP and ESPN Radio, is back with 97.5 The Fanatic doing weekend shows. He’s been back for a few weeks now and he’s happy to be in the town where he came into his own as a sports talk host.
“I’m on the air in six hours and I’m already headed in,” Shander said. “I’ll just go and hang out at the studio and watch Mike (Missanelli’s show).
“I was on last week and before my show, I was getting the butterflies in the stomach. I was getting nervous, I was starting to sweat and my mind was going so fast, thinking about everything I was going to talk about. I love doing sports talk, but doing it here is something I’ve always enjoyed.”
Shander considers himself a Philly guy in some ways because, despite being from New York, he has always been an Eagles fan.
“I grew up in a Mets house,” Shander said. “But my uncle was a huge Eagles fan. He was from South Philly, and I remember him coming to get me on Saturday nights and we’d watch the Eagles.
“When I got older, late middle school or high school, my mom would always try and get me tickets to preseason games. I was a kid, I didn’t know, and you’d see the stars playing a half or a quarter, so I would get excited. And even after they came out, I didn’t know, I was cheering the uniform. I’ve always been an Eagles fan. I have a picture from my Bar Mitzvah wearing an Eagles hat. That’s concrete proof.”
Being an Eagles fan is one thing, but Shander has now had ties to the Philly area, on and off, since 2004, shortly after he graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. He previously earned a philosophy degree from Gettysburg College.
“I think it was either (Missanelli) or Anthony Gargano who told me that I’ll never be a tier 1 guy because I’m not from here, and I’ll never have stories about growing up in King of Prussia or riding the El,” Shander said. “But I’m a tier 2 guy because I am now here, I’ve thrown myself into the city, I love it here and I’m an Eagles fan.”
Shander’s rise in the eyes (and ears) of Philly fans is easy to explain.
But his path to getting behind the microphone wasn’t your typical story.
After getting out of school with a philosophy degree, Shander worked in various jobs, including working on movies for Hallmark’s entertainment brand. Then he wound up in Washington, D.C.
There, he was behind a microphone, but he wasn’t taking callers. He was spitting rhymes.
“I was a rapper,” Shander said. “I released an album, I did some touring. I wasn’t Eminem or anything, but I had fun.
“Where I lived, that wasn’t a great place. I wouldn’t allow my mom or family to come visit me. If I did, she wouldn’t have let me stay there. I’m talking rats. It was disgusting.”
Upon getting out of the rap game, Shander got a job in a warehouse, and he decided to enroll in the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
He knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“When I was at the warehouse, we all had days where we could pick what we wanted on the radio,” Shander said. “One guy wanted rap, one guy wanted classic rock. When it was my day, we’d listen to sports talk.
“I knew I loved that, so I went to the school and told them I didn’t want to learn anything but what it takes to be a sports talk show host. I didn’t want to learn video editing, although now the two have been combined, but I just wanted to be a talk show host.”
Shander got an internship with a station in Atlantic City. There, he would spend hours at the station, then when his shift would end, he’d head to his home in Philly, but would make a pit stop to take in ballgames.
“My internship would be four or five hours some days,” he said. “So I’d do that, then I’d go to the Phillies game or the Flyers or Sixers. That would give me something to talk about the next day. It gave me credibility.”
Later, he got a job at WIP. There, he started out as a producer. Then he would do some announcing. Finally, he became an on-air personality.
“That was what I wanted, I loved being on the air in Philly,” Shander said. “I learned so much while being there. I was very lucky to have a lot of people take interest and help me.”
There is a long list of people who saw the radio rookie trying to find his way.
Among those who he credits for helping him: Big Daddy Graham, Al Morganti, Glen Macnow, Jason Myrtetus and program directors Ed Palentino and Andy Bloom.
And two of the voices who gave him the best advice are Angelo Cataldi and Michael Smerconish.
“I’ll never forget, twice I was too aggressive with callers and both of them told me to relax,” Shander said. “Once, Michael Smerconish was listening to me while he was driving into work, and I ripped into somebody and he told me to be myself and that I didn’t have to (yell) at every caller.
“Then Angelo was listening to me coming in one day. I was doing a show about worst things and a guy called up and said I was the worst radio host. I buried him back. So Angelo gets in and said, ‘what are you doing? When you get something like that, agree with them. Make fun of yourself. You don’t have to be serious. Tell them the program director is going to take you off during the next break. Have fun!’
“Both of these guys were great for giving me raw feedback. They were great and all of those guys went out of their way to help me.”
For the rest of the article visit the Burlington County Times where it was originally 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.