Sports Radio News
The February Sports Radio Ratings in Dallas
The February ratings are in for Dallas, and overall it was a really strong month for The Ticket. The Fan has undergone some post-football struggles, but when you look at the way the radio station has performed year to year, they’re delivering at a higher clip than they were previously. ESPN 103.3 meanwhile continues to sit in third place, but continues to have some momentum with their national programming.
Let’s kick things off by looking at the overall performance M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54.
- The Ticket = 6.3 (2nd)
- The Fan = 2.8 (tied for 11th)
- ESPN 103.3 = 2.3 (20th)
*** The Ticket gained a point from January to February, and grew from 3rd to 2nd. It’s clear that their content outside of football season is a major attraction. Interesting enough, they’re up almost two points from the fall, and nearly double year to year. That indicates that they could’ve gained a new meter or two. Whatever the case may be, they’re on fire right now…..for The Fan, it’s clear that the Fall is their high point of the year, the spring and summer see a lift too due to the return of baseball, and the winter is a slower period. That’s consistent with a lot of stations in the format….ESPN 103.3 meanwhile has been consistent the past year, and this is the closest they’ve been to catching The Fan, but that’s more due to The Fan’s dip, not 103.3 rising.
Next up, M-F 6a-7p – when each station’s prime time lineups go head to head.
- The Ticket = 8.2 (1st)
- The Fan = 2.9 (10th)
- ESPN 103.3 = 2.4 (tied for 15th)
*** It’s supposed to be the slower period of the year and a time when the numbers decline, but for The Ticket that’s not the case. They go up nearly two points from their M-SU 6a-Mid to M-F 6a-7p which tells you that their key shows are carrying the radio station. Month to month they were up a point and a half. That’s extremely impressive given that the period after the Super Bowl is usually a tougher one for sports talkers….as for The Fan, they dropped a point, which again, is what happens in many markets. When baseball returns you’ll likely see them pick up momentum once again and make it a tighter race. For now though, The Ticket is comfortably ahead.
Now, let’s dive into the individual dayparts. First up, morning drive M-F 6a-10a.
- The Ticket = 10.1 (1st)
- ESPN 103.3 = 3.9 (5th)
- The Fan = 3.0 (tied for 8th)
*** Before we dissect this daypart, a tip of the cap to The Musers. They’ve been #1 for ten of the past eleven months, and continue to perform like one of the best sports talk shows in the country. The only time they weren’t #1 recently was during the Holiday book, and even then they were 2nd. They are operating on a different level than every show in the market…..For ESPN 103.3 this is a great story. They’ve been in the Top 5 in back to back months. Mornings has been the best performing daypart on the radio station…..for The Fan, they’re inside the Top 10 which is the highest ranking for any of the station’s key dayparts but they’re still paying the price for the winter months. Shan and RJ are a very good show and should reverse this trend in the coming months, but for now, they’re dealing with a short-term setback.
From mornings we shift to middays M-F 10a-3p
- The Ticket = 6.6 (3rd)
- The Fan = 2.5 (14th)
- ESPN 103.3 = 1.5 (24th)
*** The Ticket has seen middays growing strongly over the past few months. They’re up over a point from January, up two points from December, and up three points from November. If there’s one thing for Program Director Jeff Catlin to feel really good about, it’s that this timeslot has been experiencing improvement ever since Donovan Lewis was permanently added to the mix alongside Norm Hitzges. The station’s one concern is that at this point last year, they were turning in high two’s and low to mid three’s, so the focus going forward has to be on maintaining the recent surge, and not losing big momentum when baseball season begins….for The Fan, once again they’re experiencing post-football fatigue, and out of the top 10 for the first time in six months, but the positive is that in one month’s time, they should start to see a bigger lift. At this point last year, the station grew by nearly two points between February and April….for 103.3, this is the weakest performing daypart on the radio station.
To wrap up the weekday prime shows, we focus on afternoon drive M-F 3p-7p.
- The Ticket = 8.1 (1st)
- The Fan = 3.2 (tied for 10th)
- ESPN 103.3 = 2.3 (20th)
*** Once again, another big showing for The Ticket, this time from “The Hardline”. The show gained two points month to month and has improved by almost five points year to year. That’s incredible. However, just as I cautioned not to celebrate early to the midday shows, the same holds true for afternoons. At this point last year, they were in 11th and turning in a 3 share. The key is to keep those meters engaged and not tuning out once baseball season returns….for the Fan, Ben and Skin are in the Top 10 but did lose a little more than a point once football season expired. The challenge going forward is to bring back those people who have taken a timeout from the radio station during the dead zone of February. When the Rangers games start hitting the airwaves, the afternoon show should see a lift. The slot grew between one and two points last year but based on recent performances, the fall is when the boys produce their highest totals. …for 103.3, they’re pretty consistent in the low to mid two shares, and barring any changes, that should continue going forward.
Overall, when you evaluate a sports radio station’s success, you don’t do it on a monthly basis. You try to look at each quarter, the full year’s performance, and you make sure your advertiser’s understand why it pays to stick with the brand through all of its highs and lows. 103.3 doesn’t change a lot over the span of twelve months but in the case of The Ticket and The Fan, they both have peaks and valleys.
For example, in the Fall book, The Fan had a stretch of three months in a row where they either tied or beat The Ticket M-SU 6a-Mid. That’s huge for them. Now though, The Ticket is back in control and experiencing a surge that’s going to be hard to stop until baseball rolls around and The Fan adds Texas Rangers cume onto the radio station.
What stands out again is the dominance of The Musers. Their performance propels The Ticket to the top of the ratings conversation time after time and when you finish #1 nearly every month for the past year, that speaks to the consistent quality of the show and the audience’s trust and admiration for what the program offers on a daily basis. Congrats to all involved with the show on a job well done.
Not to be ignored is how The Hardline delivered an 8 share and the midday programs on The Ticket continue their turnaround. If you’re inside the building at The Ticket, you’re telling everyone who will listen that when play by play isn’t a focus, the shows you provide perform on a much different level than your competitor.
That said, you can’t fault The Fan for wanting to offer Cowboys and Rangers games because they’re a destination for the local audience and a huge draw for advertisers. Any of the three stations would love to have their games on their airwaves.
If you’re at The Fan, you tip your cap to The Ticket this month, and direct your energy into creating a strong baseball strategy to fuel your growth over the next couple of months. You also remind people (clients) that it’s a marathon not a sprint, and the winter is when you slow down a little. If the numbers come up again in the spring/summer as they have in the past, this will be a speed bump, and the two horse race will become tighter again come the fall. If though the Rangers are bad, and/or the shows don’t create some tune-in appointments for the audience during the baseball season, then it’s going to be a challenge to overtake The Ticket.
One positive The Fan has going for themselves is that when you look at their M-F 6a-7p performance on a year to year basis, despite February being a slower period, they’ve gone up in each of the past three years. They were 18th in 2014, 15th in 2015, and 10th in 2016. That’s something to remind clients about. It speaks to the way the station continues to grow, even though month to month they stumbled.
Last but not least, for 103.3 you continue to reinforce to the buying community why Mike and Mike should be on their radar. Top 5 in the market in mornings, likely at a lower rate, is something the radio station can use to help its bottom line. If the station can figure out a way to elevate the afternoon show’s performance to a Top 10 finish, that could really make a difference for their narrative and ability to increase revenue.
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.
Sports Radio News
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.”
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.”
Sports Radio News
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.”
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.
Sports Radio News
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”
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 rank||Market name||Percentage of radio audience that listens to AM radio|
|59||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||56%|
|3||Chicago, IL [PPM]||48%|
|43||Milwaukee-Racine, WI [PPM]||48%|
|253||Grand Forks, ND-MN||45%|
|39||San Jose, CA [PPM]||43%|
|33||Cincinnati, OH [PPM]||42%|
|11||Seattle-Tacoma, WA [PPM]||42%|
|187||St. Cloud, MN||41%|
|75||Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||39%|
|4||San Francisco, CA [PPM]||39%|
|244||Sioux City, IA||38%|
|25||San Antonio, TX [PPM]||38%|
|7||Atlanta, GA [PPM]||38%|
|176||Wausau-Stevens Pt (Centrl WI), WI||36%|
|114||Johnson City-Kingspt-Brstl, TN-VA||36%|
|27||Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo [PPM]||36%|
|202||Cedar Rapids, IA||35%|
|34||Kansas City, KS-MO [PPM]||35%|
|71||Des Moines, IA||34%|
|73||Metro Fairfield County, CT||33%|
|231||Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA||32%|
|13||Phoenix, AZ [PPM]||32%|
|12||Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood [PPM]||32%|
|9||Philadelphia, PA [PPM]||32%|
|28||Sacramento, CA [PPM]||32%|
|15||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN [PPM]||31%|
|2||Los Angeles, CA [PPM]||31%|
|5||Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX [PPM]||31%|
|68||Grand Rapids, MI||31%|
|223||Eau Claire, WI||30%|
|20||Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) [PPM]||30%|
|14||Detroit, MI [PPM]||29%|
|30||Orlando, FL [PPM]||29%|
|10||Boston, MA [PPM]||29%|
|189||Bryan-College Station, TX||29%|
|18||Denver-Boulder, CO [PPM]||28%|
|41||Hudson Valley, NY||28%|
|17||Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater [PPM]||28%|
|116||Ft. Wayne, IN||27%|
|35||Cleveland, OH [PPM]||27%|
|22||Portland, OR [PPM]||27%|
|183||Green Bay, WI||27%|
|6||Houston-Galveston, TX [PPM]||26%|
|54||Hartford-New Britain-Middletown [PPM]||26%|
|175||Sioux Falls, SD||25%|
|180||Lima-Van Wert, OH||25%|
|1||New York, NY [PPM]||25%|
|119||Corpus Christi, TX||25%|
|237||Grand Island-Kearney-Hastngs, NE||25%|
|51||Memphis, TN [PPM]||25%|
|151||Ann Arbor, MI||24%|
|208||Las Cruces-Deming, NM||24%|
|178||Traverse City-Petoskey, MI||24%|
|87||Colorado Springs, CO||24%|
|126||New Haven, CT||22%|
|79||Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA||22%|
|29||Austin, TX [PPM]||22%|
|24||St. Louis, MO [PPM]||22%|
|23||Baltimore, MD [PPM]||22%|
|77||Baton Rouge, LA||21%|
|205||Santa Barbara, CA||21%|
|50||New Orleans, LA||20%|
|19||San Diego, CA [PPM]||20%|
|32||Las Vegas, NV [PPM]||20%|
|37||Raleigh-Durham, NC [PPM]||20%|