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Bishop Enjoying Sports Talk Career

Jason Barrett

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Blaine Bishop made a living for 10 years in the National Football League by chasing down running backs and pass-catchers, building a reputation as one of the hardest-hitting safeties of his era.

His hits now are delivered through a microphone as he talks sports for three hours every weekday on sports talk radio and each gameday for the Tennessee Titans radio network.

Though drastically different, Bishop loves the view from his chair inside the studio of 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, Tennessee.

“As a player you give a ‘corporate’ answer,” Bishop said Saturday during an appearance at the grand opening of Dick’s Sporting Goods. “You can’t tell everybody what you think or feel because it’s not appropriate.

“Now I can give my opinion, and there are no ramifications in the media. I like that. I can’t be fired for giving my honest opinion.”

Bishop made the most of his opportunity to play in the NFL after being selected in the eighth round of the NFL Draft in 1993 after starring at Ball State. He played for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans for nine seasons, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl four times, and finished his career after one season with Philadelphia in 2002.

Giving honest assessments of the Titans on the radio sometimes goes opposite the opinion of players and coaches, but Bishop says he just tries to comment truthfully on what he sees.

Last year, when Titans safety Michael Griffin was having issues with his tackling, Bishop wondered – somewhat light-heartedly – on-air whether Griffin was closing his eyes when he tried to make stops.

“With his athleticism, I think he can be a top-five safety in the league,” Bishop said. “If I had his talent, I could be in the hall of fame. I just thought he could have played better.”

The two talked – Bishop said it was a pleasant conversation – and Bishop imparted some advice to help Griffin become a better tackler through different practice habits.

Bishop used the same approach when his radio crew (Three Hour Lunch, from 3-6 p.m. weekdays) discussed the recent – and ongoing – issue of domestic violence by NFL players.

Bishop said he was disappointed in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s initial two-game suspension of Ray Rice and equally discouraged when that decision was changed to an indefinite suspension.

“He should have got it right the first time, probably (suspended him) half the season,” Bishop said. “As a former player, I question the (NFL’s) leadership and whether I trust what the league will do.

“It will be interesting to see how long (Goodell) will be with the NFL. I don’t think he’ll be there (long term). He didn’t sound good or convincing in his interviews. He didn’t sound trustworthy.”

Bishop also is disappointed with the manner in which all pro athletes and entertainers forget about being responsible when it comes to dealing with social media.

He noted social media “has changed the game” and athletes need to be educated about it at the high school level. It’s too late when they reach the NFL, he said.

“There’s always going to be a group of guys who think they’re bigger than life and think they can use (social media) any way they please,” Bishop said. “There’s always going to be knuckleheads in the NFL or any major sport.

“All you can do is tell players, ‘You represent yourself, your family and the team. You are a brand and you have to think before you press send.’ I don’t think guys think before they press send.”

Credit to the Star Press who originally published this article

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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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