This was a year in South Florida sports media when NBC-6 inexplicably decided it was better off without arguably its most popular personality, a radio host was arrested for stealing from another station, and some Panthers games drew smaller audiences than Barbecue University, Mystery Diners and ice-crusher infomercials.
Recognizing the notable, regrettable and memorable from the local airwaves in 2014:
### Best personnel moves:
1) Fox and the Panthers hiring polished, respected Denis Potvin as TV analyst five years after dropping him.
2) 104.3 The Ticket pairing Josh Friedman and Chris Wittyngham on evening talk shows. They consistently mix smart, sensible commentary with quirky musings about day-to-day life.
3) WPLG-10 and NBC-6 hiring highly competent backup sportscasters Clay Ferraro and Stefano Fusaro.
4) WQAM-560 luring clever, engaging Marc Hochman from The Ticket for its afternoon drive-time slot.
5) The Dolphins and WINZ-940 snagging capable Greg Likens from WQAM when Jesse Agler left for the San Diego Padres.
6) WQAM promoting utilityman Curtis Stevenson to a prominent role on Joe Rose’s show. “Captain Curtis” deserved a regular gig and engages Rose in substantive conversation.
7) WINZ luring Andy Slater — who works harder to break stories than most talk show hosts — from WMEN-640, and WQAM upgrading by hiring Orlando Alzugaray, though he was much too critical of Ryan Tannehill this season.
8) Sun Sports hiring Ron Rothstein as a studio analyst on Heat games.
### Worst moves:
1) NBC 6 buying out Rose with a year left on his contract — essentially paying him not to work. At least they have a very good replacement in Adam Kuperstein.
2) NBC 6 dropping its 6 p.m. sportscast and Sunday Sports Final (the final episode is Sunday).
3) FIU refusing to grant a credential to Miami Herald sports writer David J. Neal early in the season because of perceived negative coverage, before coming to its senses.
4) CBS-4 refusing to carry the network’s post-game NFL coverage, including the conclusion of other games, following Dolphins games. It’s understandable that WFOR switches to a local Dolphins postgame show, but the station should shift the remaining CBS NFL coverage to Channel 33.
5) Sun Sports hiring Carl Pavano for Marlins postgame shows without giving him proper coaching.
### Best programs:
1) Dan Le Batard on The Ticket and ESPN Radio. Yes, there’s sometimes too much needling of Jon Wiener, but it’s still the show most likely to make you laugh and make you think.
2) “Inside the Heat, Marlins and Panthers” specials on Sun Sports and FSN. Consistently well-produced.
3) WSVN-7’s Sports Xtra. The quintessential wise guy, Steve Shapirokeeps the show light, lively and well-paced. And Drew Rosenhaus delivers quality guests and news tips.
### Best weeknight sportscast:
Shapiro on Channel 7, largely a function of the fact he has more air time than his competitors. But he makes the most of it.
### Best radiocast:
UM football on WQAM. The Hurricanes are the only local team that we would encourage turning down the TV volume to hear the radio call.
Read the rest of the article by visiting the Miami Herald where this story was originally published
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.