It’s official, Moe is on the show.
T.J. Moe, who was an impact receiver at Missouri and has had tryouts in the NFL with the Patriots and Rams, has been working alongside Jim Edmonds and Tim McKernan in recent days on their show at WGNU (920 AM). And now he’s being made a full-time member of the program, which airs from 4-6 p.m. weekdays.
The “Edmonds and McKernan Show’’ adds “Moe’’ to the title effective today.
It’s been a winding path into broadcasting for Moe, who played at MU from 2009-12 and had been an occasional guest on the station. Those appearances led to him expressing interest in broadcasting and that word got to McKernan, whose insideSTL.com company controls WGNU’s weekday programming (and this week reached an agreement to continue to do so through 2015). Then came Moe’s trial period with Edmonds and McKernan.
“Since I knew he was good (as a guest) I thought, ‘OK this could be interesting,’” McKernan said. “Jim and I had been discussing that we wanted somebody with football experience to be part of it.’’
Moe played at Fort Zumwalt West High before going to MU, then was signed by New England last year as an undraftedfree agent. But he suffered a torn Achilles tendon during offseason workouts and had surgery, wiping out his season. He was released this March before the Rams brought him in, but cut him in August.
“It makes all the sense in the world (to add Moe) because he’s a St. Louisan who played at Missouri and who was with the Rams,’’ McKernan said. “Those are three things you can’t teach — you either have it or you don’t. On top of that, from a broadcasting standpoint, he’s an absolute natural.”
“I hated it,’’ he said. “I was terrible.”
However, he never could get away from journalists as he became a go-to guy for interviews about the MU football program because of his candor.
“I never liked the cliché answers,’’Moe said. “It didn’t make sense to me to memorize a certain list of things you were supposed to say, because I could say something intelligent and insightful without crossing any lines. I didn’t ever want to make it not personal for whoever was interviewing me. I wanted to give them something to write about — I understand it’s a difficult job and a lot of these guys are like, ‘Could somebody please say something to write about?’ … Even something that’s not a story to me is really interesting to people who don’t know the ins and outs of the sport. So I was always very candid with my answers.”
As his MU football career blossomed, so did his profile.
“I became somewhat of a fan favorite,’’ Moe said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever said ‘no’ to an interview if I was available to do it. So after my sophomore season they brought me to Big 12 media day and (the next year to) SEC media day. That was the place I kind of took off.’’
Then early this year, when the debate about paying college athletes was sizzling, Moe sent some tweets in which he was not in favor of unionization of student athletes. Those caught the attention of MSNBC, which brought him on as a guest on its “UP” program to discuss the matter. He also wrote a commentary about it for The Huffington Post.
His opinion was becoming valued — and sought. So in August when his pursuit of the NFL ended, at least temporarily, radio became a natural.
“A lot of it is connecting the dots.’’ Moe said. “And some of it is people taking an interest in my opinion. Whether they like it or not, I guess they are interested in my opinion.’’
And Edmonds, 44, said the opinions of Moe, 23, can attract younger listeners.
“He brings a whole other dynamic, the different age group,’’ Edmonds said. “We’re starting to figure out how to work in more everyday stuff (on the show), and he’s very up-to-date on a lot of issues and very active on social media. He brings a lot of young knowledge that Tim (who turns 38 on Saturday) and I are missing. And he’s also a qualified football personalty who really knows his stuff about Mizzou and football in general.”
That was a big selling point to McKernan.
“He’s able to convey his experiences at Missouri and his time with the Patriots and Rams but also the mindset of a coach or a player in ways that somebody who never has experienced it flat can’t do,’’ McKernan said.
To that end. Moe likes to offer detailed analysis of plays.
“I really took an interest into the intricacies of football while I was playing, so I learned the ins and outs,’’ he said. “That’s what’s interesting for the listener, when I can break down a play.’’
He cited an interception MU’s Maty Mauk threw early this season against Toledo, when fans complained that it was a terrible throw. But Moe explained how the receiver ran a bad route.
McKernan said it is important to add a MU football presence to the station because of the way interest in the program has increased locally in recent years.
“On top of that, he’s an outstanding talent and it continues a theme of wanting to give new voices and opportunity to see if it works,’’ McKernan said. “He fits all of the criteria — great guy, great talent.’’
Moe hopes he still has the football talent to get another call from an NFL team. That dream remains alive. But he also is realistic.
“I’m still working out. I’m hoping to get picked up,’’ he said, adding when he was pursuing the 920 AM job he made it known that “I need something to do in the meantime — and possibly forever if nobody wants me to play anymore.”
McKernan said if Moe gets another chance to play pro football, there will be no problem at the station.
“The minute he gets a call from an NFL team, he’s gone,’’ he said. “For his sake, it would be great if he got a call.’’
While Moe has been involved in football for years, broadcasting is new to him. And, as expected, not everything is perfect. One knock is that he is too much of a Mizzou homer. He refers to the team as “we” and “us.” And after MU suffered a bad loss Saturday, at home to Indiana, he tweeted that the Tigers can “still win the East and the conference outright. Playoff is still in the picture because we’re in the SEC.”
While technically true, it is unrealistic to think that a team that lost at home to one of the weaker Big Ten Conference teams can at this point be considered a playoff contender. Moe’s words come from the heart, not the head.
“There are little things” to work on, McKernan acknowledged. “There are things I can coach him on.”
And Moe seems eager to learn.
“I have no training in the radio business, I just go off of natural ability — if I even have any,’’ he said. “I just know what I know. I’m learning quite a bit” on the job.
And he says even if he goes to the NFL, “I will do this (broadcasting) at some point. I’m interested in it, it’s pretty easy and fun.”
And he’s fitting in fast.
“He seemed to be comfortable right away,’’ Edmonds said. “He seems to be a confident young man.”
McKernan said Moe has vast potential.
“We stumbled into T.J. — I wasn’t just going to put anybody on (the air),’’ McKernan said. “But when he came on, he was so good. If he wants it, he most definitely has a future in broadcasting.”
Credit to STL Today who originally published this article
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.