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Karraker Toes The Line With Rams Address

Jason Barrett

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It was impassioned. It was pointed. And it sure seemed to be from the heart. But was Randy Karraker’s emotional speech Tuesday night — at the public forum the NFL held in St. Louis to address the team’s possible move back to Southern California — proper?

The session, at which he took shots at Rams owner Stan Kroenke and stuck up for St. Louis interests, was supposed to be for the general public — not members of the media. And Karraker is a prominent sports-talk show host at Rams flagship radio station WXOS (101.1 FM).

But Karraker, who has worked at other high-profile local stations over the years, doesn’t hide his St. Louis fandom on the air. And he said he took the microphone as a fan, not a sportscaster, saying he has been a season-ticket holder since the team arrived in town in 1995. And it was an emotional moment for him when he was called to speak.

“You can see the passion, I am a passionate football fan,” he told the committee members as he choked back tears and his voice cracked. He quickly gained his composure and went on to talk about Kroenke’s absence locally, how it has been nearly four years since Kroenke last addressed the team’s followers. He contrasted that to the public activities of Blues owner Tom Stillman and the Cardinals’ Bill DeWitt Jr.

“His detachment is a big reason … he’s trying to make it a bad football market,” Karraker said. “This is not a bad football market, it is a speculator football town.”

He added that St. Louis is in better financial shape than when Kroenke took control of the team in 2010, hinting that the LA plan already might have been in Kroenke’s thoughts then.

“If the market was so bad, why did he take a bad deal?” Karraker asked. “He’s a great businessman. … The market is less challenging now.”

Karraker also detailed some of the items in the NFL’s policy on teams moving and said the Rams “don’t meet 90 percent of relocation guidelines.”

His parting words were pointed:

“All we can ask for as fans is a chance and an opportunity from you, the league, because clearly we aren’t getting that from our owner.”

Karraker, in an interview, looked back at his night in the spotlight and said it was “complete luck” that he was called on to talk after he met a friend at the meeting, which was held at Peabody Opera House.

“Within minutes NFL people came to our section and asked if anyone wanted to speak,” Karraker said, adding he was surprised. “I went there with the idea I probably wouldn’t be able to speak. I was prepared for that, I was actually shocked when they came and made the offer.”

But was it right for him to accept? There’s a big difference between having an opinion on the air and becoming an activist, which could lead to listeners questioning his objectivity — and that of the station in general, which has a lot of its programming based around the Rams.

Karraker emphasized that he was speaking strictly as a fan.

“I made it a point to not even request (media) credentials,” he said. “If I didn’t get in as a fan, I wasn’t going to go. That’s why I introduced myself (at the podium) as a charter PSL holder. I went there with the idea that I wasn’t the guy who sits in the ‘Fast Lane’ chair every weekday from 3-7. I went there as the guy who sits in Section 413, Row A, Seats 10-11 every Sunday.”

On the air Wednesday, Karraker said he feels the fans’ frustrations.

“We are all in this same boat,” he said. “I’m glad they recognize I love them.”

But not everyone was impressed. KXFN (1380 AM) sports-talk host Kevin Slaten called Karraker a “crybaby” and unprofessional on the air. He added that it isn’t as if a relative had died, and belittled the entire tone of the event in which many fans spoke, some rambling. He said it made St. Louisans look like they were displaying a “hillbilly hoedown” atmosphere to the NFL.

Karraker, meanwhile, said the emotional start to his speech was a reaction to the energy in the room generated by Rams fans.

“The moment hit me,” he said in the interview. “I was thrilled at the response that Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz got. (They lead the movement to keep the NFL in St. Louis.) To feel the passion in that room, from those fans from so many different walks of life, it did hit me. Then when they started chanting my name — I’m not that big of a deal — that really hit me.”

 

To read the rest of the article visit STL Today where it was originally published

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Chase McCabe Named Director of Operations & Sports Programming at Cromwell

“Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team.”

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Congratulations are in order for Chase McCabe. He is adding a new title to his already full plate at Cromwell Media in Nashville. He has been promoted to Director of Operations & Sports Programming at the company.

“I’m very fortunate to have been to be able to grow into this opportunity under one roof,” McCabe said in a press release. “Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team. I am forever grateful, but none of this could have happened without the great group of people we have here at Cromwell Media.”

McCabe has spent his whole career with 102.5 The Game and its sister station, now called 94.9 The Fan. He was named Program Director and Brand Manager of the stations in January of last year. He has maintained an on-air presence as well. He hosts Chase & Michelle weekdays at 9 AM on The Game.

In his new role, Chase McCabe becomes the number two man in Cromwell’s Nashville building. Shawn Fort was recently named the cluster’s general manager.

“Chase and I have developed a great working relationship in the two and half years since I’ve joined Cromwell Media,” Fort said. “We share similar visions on how to create compelling sports programming all while driving revenue growth. I’m excited to have Chase as my right-hand man as we move forward together with this new chapter of leadership at Cromwell Media Nashville.”

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Mark Schlereth: People Outside of Denver Aren’t Paying Attention to NBA Finals

“There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”

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The Denver Nuggets took to the National Basketball Association’s largest stage on Thursday night as they defeated the Miami Heat for the organization’s first-ever NBA Finals victory. Early reports reveal that the game had a 2.21 demographic rating between people ages 18-49, attracting a total of 7.62 million viewers on ABC. The figure is considerably lower than the audience for Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors last year – which averaged 11.9 million figures across ABC and ESPN2. Ratings for the alternate NBA in Stephen A’s World broadcast Thursday night on ESPN2 have not yet been released by Nielsen Media Research.

Sports fans in the Denver market have felt as if the play of the Nuggets was largely being neglected by the national media throughout these playoffs. Now that the team is the last one standing in the Western Conference, there is no one else to focus on and their play is beginning to be realized by basketball fans throughout the country. It is a narrative that Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan’s Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans felt was especially obvious by watching the press conferences after the game. The duo was able to deduce as such through the questions posed to Nuggets players and head coach Michael Malone by members of the media cohort.

“The national media – it’s like, ‘Oh, wow. We’re just kind of becoming aware of how these guys play,’ and they keep asking the Nuggets about their unselfishness and how everybody is willing to share the ball,” Evans said. “Nikola Jokić [is] being asked about not taking a lot of shots, and they’re all just kind of shrugging their shoulders like, ‘Yeah, this is who we are. We’ve been doing this for a long time.’

Schlereth was curious to find out the ratings from the game last night because he watched the game from a sports bar in Chicago. He is away from Denver, Colo. to help his son’s family move there for the summer and surmises there were about 50 people in the bar with him. What he noticed was that their interest was fixated elsewhere.

“I’m the only person that was watching the Nuggets,” Schlereth said. “There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”

“Their loss,” Evans pithily replied.

Denver ranks 19th on Nielsen Media Research’s metropolitan market size list, but the Nuggets have been a contending team for the last five seasons. Most media analysts expect diminished ratings for the NBA Finals this year because of the lack of a storied franchise, even with the Miami Heat as the team’s opponent.

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Nielsen Releases List of Markets Where Most People Use AM Radio

“In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis”

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Amid concerns regarding the future of AM radio, Nielsen Media Research has unveiled a list of 141 markets where at least 20% of consumers regularly listen to programming on the medium. The list is reflective of the percentage of monthly total radio listening being funneled to AM as opposed to total radio listening as a whole. The top three markets are all in the Great Lakes region, and Westwood One has found large proportions of these listeners are derived from the upper Midwest. 

Buffalo-Niagara Falls leads the list with 56% of its audience tuning into AM radio in a month. It is a figure that makes sense based on the variety of AM stations, including leading news talk outlet WBEN and leading sports outlet WGR. The city of Chicago is ranked second, complete with 670 The Score, WGN and WLS. Nearby Milwaukee, Wis. ranks third on the list, another city with various AM stations such as WTMJ and WISN.

In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis – a measurement that equates to one-third of AM/FM radio listeners as a whole. Fifty-seven percent of the audience listens to stations in the news and/or talk format, utilizing the public service the outlets provide to learn of breaking news and other concerns.

There is a wide variety in market size represented throughout the list, but a trend of markets with undulating topographies tends to have larger shares of AM listeners because of the challenges the landscape presents to FM signals.

The full list compiled by Nielsen Media Research can be found below:

Metro market rankMarket namePercentage of radio audience that listens to AM radio
59Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY56%
3Chicago, IL [PPM]48%
43Milwaukee-Racine, WI [PPM]48%
245Sheboygan, WI45%
253Grand Forks, ND-MN45%
241Bismarck, ND44%
39San Jose, CA [PPM]43%
33Cincinnati, OH [PPM]42%
11Seattle-Tacoma, WA [PPM]42%
192Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN41%
187St. Cloud, MN41%
160Lincoln, NE40%
130Macon, GA40%
196Danbury, CT39%
75Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA39%
4San Francisco, CA [PPM]39%
137Youngstown-Warren, OH38%
244Sioux City, IA38%
83Boise, ID38%
25San Antonio, TX [PPM]38%
7Atlanta, GA [PPM]38%
60Rochester, NY37%
186Columbus, GA36%
65Dayton, OH36%
176Wausau-Stevens Pt (Centrl WI), WI36%
114Johnson City-Kingspt-Brstl, TN-VA36%
62Tucson, AZ36%
159Rockford, IL36%
55Louisville, KY36%
27Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo [PPM]36%
202Cedar Rapids, IA35%
34Kansas City, KS-MO [PPM]35%
70Albuquerque, NM35%
88Spokane, WA35%
16Puerto Rico35%
67Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY34%
124Morristown, NJ34%
204Duluth-Superior, MN-WI34%
71Des Moines, IA34%
53Richmond, VA33%
145Eugene-Springfield, OR33%
252Jackson, TN33%
149Shreveport, LA33%
52Monmouth-Ocean, NJ33%
73Metro Fairfield County, CT33%
231Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA32%
13Phoenix, AZ [PPM]32%
12Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood [PPM]32%
9Philadelphia, PA [PPM]32%
96Reno, NV32%
28Sacramento, CA [PPM]32%
209Rochester, MN32%
15Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN [PPM]31%
178Anchorage, AK31%
199Salina-Manhattan, KS31%
2Los Angeles, CA [PPM]31%
89Madison, WI31%
5Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX [PPM]31%
68Grand Rapids, MI31%
223Eau Claire, WI30%
74Allentown-Bethlehem, PA30%
86Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA30%
20Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) [PPM]30%
249Brunswick, GA30%
139Appleton-Oshkosh, WI29%
14Detroit, MI [PPM]29%
239Harrisonburg, VA29%
30Orlando, FL [PPM]29%
10Boston, MA [PPM]29%
189Bryan-College Station, TX29%
106Lexington-Fayette, KY28%
154Montgomery, AL28%
136Reading, PA28%
18Denver-Boulder, CO [PPM]28%
188Kalamazoo, MI28%
41Hudson Valley, NY28%
17Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater [PPM]28%
228Pueblo, CO27%
230Monroe, LA27%
116Ft. Wayne, IN27%
35Cleveland, OH [PPM]27%
22Portland, OR [PPM]27%
183Green Bay, WI27%
227Bloomington, IL26%
190Waco, TX26%
6Houston-Galveston, TX [PPM]26%
193Binghamton, NY26%
201Topeka, KS26%
81Stockton, CA26%
54Hartford-New Britain-Middletown [PPM]26%
200Tuscaloosa, AL26%
175Sioux Falls, SD25%
100Syracuse, NY25%
44Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket [PPM]25%
195Manchester, NH25%
180Lima-Van Wert, OH25%
1New York, NY [PPM]25%
119Corpus Christi, TX25%
237Grand Island-Kearney-Hastngs, NE25%
51Memphis, TN [PPM]25%
142Canton, OH25%
151Ann Arbor, MI24%
90Columbia, SC24%
208Las Cruces-Deming, NM24%
178Traverse City-Petoskey, MI24%
111York, PA24%
87Colorado Springs, CO24%
218Columbia, MO24%
140Savannah, GA23%
163Evansville, IN23%
121Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, NH23%
247Williamsport, PA23%
221Joplin, MO22%
197Charleston, WV22%
126New Haven, CT22%
120Modesto, CA22%
234Sussex, NJ22%
69Sarasota-Bradenton, FL22%
79Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA22%
29Austin, TX [PPM]22%
24St. Louis, MO [PPM]22%
23Baltimore, MD [PPM]22%
127Jackson, MS22%
77Baton Rouge, LA21%
66Fresno, CA21%
206Chico, CA21%
104Huntsville, AL21%
205Santa Barbara, CA21%
166Poughkeepsie, NY21%
157Peoria, IL21%
224Muskegon, MI20%
63Honolulu, HI20%
50New Orleans, LA20%
19San Diego, CA [PPM]20%
236Parkersburg-Marietta, WV-OH20%
32Las Vegas, NV [PPM]20%
37Raleigh-Durham, NC [PPM]20%
115Worcester, MA20%
207Laurel-Hattiesburg, MS20%
95Akron, OH20%
117Lancaster, PA20%
Source: Nielsen Nationwide Fall 2022 Metro, P12+, Monday – Sunday 12m-12m

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