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Appreciating SVP & Russillo

Jason Barrett

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Scott Van Pelt often asks “How good’s your good?” when discussing athletes and teams. If you apply this trademark question to SVP & Russillo (1-4 p.m. ET), his ESPN Radio show hasn’t just been good – it’s been great.

For the past six years, Van Pelt and co-host Ryen Russillo have created a smart and entertaining show that reflects the kind of conversations you’d have about sports with close friends. Van Pelt and Russillo have brought strong opinions, humor, wit and always an appreciation for the games that are played and the athletes who play them. There’s been plenty of good-natured ribbing among the show staff too – and even some tales of bad beats along the way.

SVP & Russillo’s final show airs Friday before Van Pelt moves onto his new host role on the midnight ET SportsCenter and Russillo kicks off The Russillo Show in the same time slot Monday, June 22. Before the duo signs off Friday, here’s “10 Great Things about ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo“:

1) Rejoin music: The show’s catalog is legendary – Beastie Boys, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Del the Funky Homosapien and more. Playlists are published on Slacker Radio.

2) Pulse of the Nation: Long before Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s “Locker Room Guy” video onJimmy Kimmel Live!, Van Pelt and Russillo channeled wicked Boston accents for Pulse of the Nation set to the Dropkick Murphys.

3) Show staff: From Van Pelt and Russillo to producer Stanford Steve (Coughlin) and board operator Outsider Mike (Constantinou), the show has always featured a close-knit and likeable group.

4) Who’s the Jerk?: An offshoot of Who’s the Nerd?, a segment Russillo devised on a road trip to College Station, Texas, last fall, Who’s the Jerk? was a no-holds-barred airing of grievances between Van Pelt, Russillo, Stanford Steve and former show producer Ray Necci (who now produces Mike & Mike) that shed light on each of their personalities and brought big laughs.

5) One Big Thing: Van Pelt’s signature daily commentary discussed the biggest story of the day, an off-the-radar topic, or even something more personal (i.e., when he announced the end of the radio show). No matter the subject, it’s often the hosts at their thoughtful and introspective best.

6) Chris Long: The St. Louis Rams defensive end has joined the show Fridays this offseason. Whether he’s sharing stories from his NFL Draft experience or talking about plans to attend music festivals, Long is always entertaining.

7) Winners: A staple on Football Fridays, Van Pelt, Russillo and Stanford Steve share their weekend college and NFL game picks (purely for entertainment purposes). The segment concludes with “Carl’s Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week” pick from Cartoon Network Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

8) Tim Kurkjian’s laugh: ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian makes a weekly appearance in-season. After talking baseball, Van Pelt always tried to make his fellow Marylander laugh using a Baltimore accent.

9) The “Third Hour”: During the final (3 p.m.) hour – when there’s no TV simulcast on ESPNEWS, the show can get a little loose, but that often produces some of the best segments. Listeners ask questions during What? and there’s also story time when Van Pelt and Russillo talk about their friends, parenting, weekend plans and anything else on their minds.

10) “The Duke” Raps: Dan “The Duke” Davis is an ESPN Radio original who joined the network in 1992. While his official job was to anchor update segments through the years, the radio legend has a cult following for lending his voice to rap lyrics for SVP & Russillo.

Credit to ESPN Front Row who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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