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Philly Sports Radio Ratings Battle Intensifies

Jason Barrett

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Declaring a winner in September in the bitter ratings battle between Sportsradio 94.1 WIP’s Josh Innes and 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli depends on how important you consider digital streaming to be.

According to numbers obtained by Philly.com, Innes and new co-hosts Spike Eskin and Hollis Thomas earned an 8.4 share among traditional radio listeners during the September ratings period (Aug. 13 to Sept. 19) from 2-6 p.m., good enough for first place in the coveted men 25-54 demographic. Missanelli came in second place with an 8.0 share.

But that only tells part of the story.

Missanelli also nabbed enough local listeners from the streaming option on The Fanatic’s website to earn a 1.6 share, which dwarfs the 0.1 share Innes received from streaming listeners. Combining the two numbers would make Missanelli tops in the market among all listeners in the sought-after demographic.

That 1.6 digital share is a huge number for the Philadelphia market and could be a game-changer for Missanelli if he sustains it, especially thought the popular Eagles season. Radio stations sell advertising on radio and streaming seperately, and a growing digital audience could open up new revenue potential for The Fanatic.

But Innes isn’t buying that conclusion.

“Mike can cling to whatever metric he wants. The reality is that my show has never lost to him in the only metric that matters,” Innes said. “We won with Tony. We are winning with Tank and Spike. Why has Mike never brought up streaming before? Including the streaming is a desperate attempt to skew reality.”

For the month, The Fanatic had impressive local online streaming ratings for all three of their daytime programs among men 25-54. From 6-10 a.m., Anthony Gargano brought in a 0.9 share, compared to Angelo Cataldi’s 0.2 share. Rob Ellis earned an impressive 1.9 share from streaming listeners between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., while midday competitors Michael Barkann and Ike Reese brought in a 0.3 share.

The Fanatic’s streaming ratings for the previous two months were on par with WIP, so it remains to be seen if September’s numbers are sustainable or just an aberration. It is important to note the ratings have improved since the station overhauled their website and noticeably improved the audio quality of the stream.

Despite the streaming numbers, Innes topped Missanelli in the market for the second straight quarter among men 25-54 during the summer ratings book (June 18 to Sept. 9), one of four quarterly measurements of a show’s popularity that usually determines a host’s bonus. For the quarter, Innes earned an 8.2 share, placing him second in the market behind 93.3 WMMR. Missanelli finished just behind him in third place with a 7.4 share.

In other ratings news, The Fanatic’s Gargano kept things close with WIP’s Cataldi, though both were out on vacation a significant numbers of days during the ratings period. Cataldi finished the month with a 7.1 share, good enough for second among men between the ages of 25 and 54 from 6-10 a.m. Gargano finished just behind him in third with a 6.4 share, but if you add the streaming numbers both hosts would be tied with a 7.3 share.

Gargano has been narrowing the ratings gap in the morning between The Fanatic and WIP, so all eyes will be on next month’s ratings, with both hosts going head-to-head during Eagles season.

Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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