As anyone who has listened to Steak Shapiro on sports talk radio over the years knows, he loves food. He would wax romantic about the Palm and even opened a restaurant Stats while with 790/The Zone.
He has also started a food-oriented media franchise “Atlanta Eats,” which includes TV, radio and on-line features about local eateries. And he is now going national as a judge on Food Network’s latest competition show “Food Truck Face Off,” which debuts Thursday at 8 p.m.
“I’m very grateful,” he said.
His life has rebounded nicely since he was ousted last year from the 790/The Zone morning show after that now infamous Steve Gleason ALS bit that went viral in a very bad way and got him,Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini fired. He has been building his food credentials and nabbed a gig at his old enemy sports talk station 680/The Fan late last year.
Food Network was fishing around for new personalities and found a video of Shapiro doing a pre-Falcons show with local chef Kevin Rathbun. They then found his “Atlanta Eats “show. Last year, they shot a pilot for “Food Truck Face Off” for Food Network’s sister station the Cooking Channel.
The reaction was so positive, they moved the show to the Food Network and shot 13 more episodes from four cities: Austin, Miami, Toronto and Los Angeles. Shapiro spent a lot of time on the road while hosting his Front Row sports talks how remotely.
The concept is a bit like “Shark Tank,” Shapiro said. He and two judges take food truck pitches from four teams who want to break into the business. He, Chicago restaurateur Alpana Singh and a rotating third judge pick the best two. They then fly to the city where the teams are from and have them compete for use of a food truck for an entire year. The judges at that point do a lot of coaching.
Shapiro said he is comfortable expressing his opinion after decades of doing so on the radio. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s where Jason Heyward should bat or what the best dumplings are in town. I could talk about Neapolitan pizza, then Matt Ryan.“
He and Singh, he said, are very much opposites. “She has a more sophisticated palate than I do,” he said. She owns restaurants in Chicago and has hosted her own TV show there for many years.
Singh, in a separate interview, said their dynamic is a bit like the old “American Idol” combo of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
“We became fast and easy friends,” she said. “There’s a natural chemistry between us. He sort of looks at me and says, ‘Why are you so harsh?’ ‘I’m not being harsh!’ “
She calls him very intense, very direct, yet “very personable, very curious.” Yet deep down, “he’s a big softie.” She also noticed that he types on his keyboard really really hard. When she made this observation, he said, “There’s nothing soft about me.”
During an episode where an Austin duo were selling food in an edible bowl, Shapiro was skeptical. “What do I care about eating a bowl? I want to eat what’s’ in the bowl and I want it to be tasty!”
Singh also found him to be a great coach for the would-be food truck owners. “He gets out there and pushes them,” she said, “because that’s what he does in his own life.”
The timing of the show is great for Steak, whose fifth season of “Atlanta Eats” debuts this weekend Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on Peachtree TV. He is also promoting the first Atlanta Eats Live event Sunday, October 5 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre featuring an all-you-can-eat deal with one ticket from places such as Kimball House, Muss & Turners and Iberian Pig.
Credit to the Atlanta Journal Constitution 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.