Although the nation’s capital may be known for its political climate, the appetite for sports radio is very healthy. With 106.7 The Fan and ESPN 980 providing original content and high profile personalities each day, the market is responding by investing time in both radio stations.
In the latest November ratings, 106.7 The Fan benefitted the most, winning the market among Men 25-54. The radio station finished in the top 8 M-SU 6a-Mid with a 4.3. They advanced into the top 7 during prime time programming (M-F 6a-7p) with a 5.1.
When you dig deeper into the local show performances, it’s another strong story for The Fan. The “Sports Junkies” finished 7th in mornings with a 4.8 and “Chad Dukes vs. The World” was 7th in afternoon drive with a 4.5.
Where The Fan really popped was during middays. “Grant and Danny” produced a 6.8 to finish 2nd overall. During the show’s first 2-hours, they’re actually tied for 1st with a 7.0. That’s extremely impressive.
For ESPN 980 there are some good signs as well. The station’s “Inside The Locker Room” program which features Scott Jackson, Brian Mitchell and Doc Walker finished in the Top 10 with a 2.9. The afternoon show which consists of Steve Czaban, Chris Cooley and Al Galdi and airs during a different time (4p-7p) than The Fan (2p-6p), is only separated by a few tenths of a point during the 3 hours they’re on the air. Czaban’s show generates a 2.7 versus The Fan’s 3.1.
One other item that stood out in afternoons and is worth noting, SportsTalk 570 which is owned and operated by Red Zebra Broadcasting (the owner of ESPN 980) and operates ESPN Radio and Yahoo Sports Radio network programming, saw some lift in afternoon drive. Bomani Jones’ show delivered a 1.5 and was the only network program to appear on the first page of the ratings report.
Where ESPN 980 experienced their lowest weekday prime performance was in morning drive. The radio station has since eliminated the “Man Cave” which was anchoring that slot. The next monthly will provide a better indication of how that helps or hurts the station going forward.
For the sake of this conversation though, The Fan has taken control of the ratings in DC for the November book. But as we often see in many cities, there are usually two or three great brands providing sports radio content, and in Washington DC that story is no different.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.
Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”
Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.
“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”
“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.
After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.
Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.
“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.
Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies
“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”
Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.
According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.
Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.
“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”
Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.
He was 72 years old.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.