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A Look At Portland Sports Radio

Jason Barrett

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With two new shows debuting this week, the landscape of Portland sports talk radio got fuller and more local.

On Monday, KPOJ (also known as Rip City Radio) rolled out “Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth,” a 6-9 a.m. show that is the Portland market’s first morning local sports talk show since KXTG shut down “Morning Sports Page” in 2012.

Also Monday, KFXX (1080 The Fan)announced its altered lineup that will debut Tuesday and include three local programs that will fill the station’s schedule from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With KXTG (750 The Game) also with a newer host in its 3-7 p.m. slot, there has been significant makeover in Portland sports radio in the last year.

The market’s two longest-running shows remain rock steady: KFXX’s “Primetime with Isaac and Suke,” and KXTG’s “The Bald Faced Truth.” KPOJ also has a big name in Blazers’ play-by-play man Brian Wheeler.

Here’s how each weekday’s local sports talk shapes up:

6-9 a.m.

“Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth,” KPOJ (620 AM): Hosted by Andy Bunker, who moved from Seattle’s KIRO, and Taylor Danforth, who left KFXX last month, this is the only local show in this time slot. The station hired Icky Rosborough as producer. Rosborough’s father, Mike Rosborough, was a longtime TV sports photographer for KATU.

This show’s competition is syndicated fare, with KFXX airing “The Herd with Collin Cowherd,” the ESPN show that started in Portland, and KXTG airing “The Dan Patrick Show.”

10 a.m.-noon

“Hard Count with Dirt and Sprague,” KFXX (1080 AM): The show is hosted by Andy “Dirt” Johnson and Brandon Sprague, who had a three-man show with Danforth in the noon-3 p.m. spot before Danforth departed last month. Both hosts are young, Portland-raised guys who have a lot of institutional knowledge. They’ll have a local lock on the time slot, going against the “Rich Eisen Show,” which runs 9 a.m.-noon on KPOJ, and “The Jim Rome Show,” which airs 9 a.m.-noon on KXTG.

Noon-3 p.m.

“The Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano,” KXTG (750 AM/102.9 FM):Canzano, a columnist for The Oregonian, has hosted the station’s anchor show since it debuted in 2008, originally as a 3-6 p.m. show, then moving to this time slot in 2012. In recent years, the show has benefited from the steady producing of Noah “Chop” Homsley, who also has become an entertaining on-air sidekick.

“Dusty and Cam in the Afternoon,” KFXX: The station’s newest show has Dusty Harrah, a longtime KFXX jack-of-all-trades who has recently widened his profile as co-host of “Trail Blazers Pulse,” a TV show that is part of Comcast SportsNet Northwest’s post-game Blazers block. Harrah is joined by Cam Cleeland, a former NFL tight end whose own on-air profile has been growing steadily in the market.

KPOJ runs the syndicated “Jay Mohr Show” in this spot.

3-5 p.m.

“Wheels at Work,” KPOJ: Hosted by Brian Wheeler, who is in his 17th season as the Blazers’ radio play-by-play voice. Because of his duties with the team, the show often has a guest host, typically either Ron Callan or Jay Allen, both of whom are Portland radio veterans. Each show has Wheeler on for at least one segment, even if he’s on the road.

3-7 p.m.

“Primetime with Isaac and Big Suke,” KFXX: The longest-running show in the market, with hosts Isaac Ropp and Jason Scukanec having been together since 2006. The show also is televised on CSNNW. Ropp and Scukanec have built a loyal listenership with a familiar format that, as their show’s description says, includes “topics ranging from the Blazers to bark dust and from bacon to movies to hot chicks.”

“In the Huddle with Ragz,” KXTG: The show is hosted by Mike Ragz, who also is the station’s program director. He replaced long-time Portland radio personality Chad Doing in this spot in September. Although he has no Portland history, Ragz came in at a ripe time, during the ascendancy of Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks, as KXTG is Oregon’s flagship station.

Credit to OregonLive.com who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

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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