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Portland Plans For Cowherd Exit

Jason Barrett

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One of the longest-running sports radio voices in the Portland market will be moving to a new home.

Colin Cowherd, whose sports talk radio career started at Portland’s KFXX (1080 The Fan), is leaving ESPN, the network’s president, John Skipper, announced Thursday.

Despite ESPN’s attempts to keep him, Cowherd will apparently move to Fox, the Big Lead reports. His role in the company, which could include a daily presence on Fox Sports 1, is unclear.

Cowherd’s radio show, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” has been broadcast nationally on ESPN Radio, including weekdays from 7 to 10 a.m. on KFXX. In a way it gave KFXX a continuous voice in the time slot for almost 15 years.

After coming to Portland as a TV sportscaster for KGW, Cowherd really made his name in sports talk radio with a local version of “The Herd” that started as an afternoon show on KFXX in late 1998, then moved to a 6-9 a.m. slot in 2002.

Cowherd has been in that slot since. When he signed with ESPN in 2004 to do a radio show in place of the departing Tony Kornheiser, KFXX simply picked up the national feed for “The Herd.”

If Cowherd does a radio show for Fox, it’s unlikely KFXX would be able to carry it immediately because of its association with ESPN Radio. Another Portland all-sports station, KPOJ (620 AM, also known as Rip City Radio), carries Fox Sports Radio content.

KPOJ is the lone Portland-market sports radio station that airs a locally-produced morning show, “Rip City Mornings,” hosted by Taylor Danforth and Andy Bunker. KFXX, however, considered “The Herd” to almost be essentially local because of its origins and listeners’ familiarity with Cowherd.

“I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision for Colin, or ESPN,” KFXX program director Jeff Austin said via e-mail. “All of Colin’s radio moves have made him a Fan host. It’s too soon to know how this one will conclude.”

Credit to OregonLive 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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