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The Latest Sports Radio Ratings in New York City

Jason Barrett

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In the latest spring ratings book in New York both WFAN and 98.7 ESPN NY had reason to feel optimistic. For WFAN, they once again took care of business in the coveted Men 25-54 demographic. ‘Boomer and Carton’ and ‘Beningo and Roberts’ won their respective dayparts, and ratings king Mike Francesa stayed in front of ESPN NY’s combo of ‘Hahn and Humpty’ and Michael Kay from 1p-6:30p with a 6.7 to 3.6 advantage.

However, not all was lost for ESPN NY. In fact, quite the opposite. The brand experienced growth year to year and quarter to quarter with each of their weekday shows. What I want to show you are some signs that I noticed that show the radio station trending upward unlike where they were 12-18 months ago.

For example, Mike and Mike, finished in the Top 10 with Men 25-54 for the spring book. They were 13th at the same time last year. Dan Le Batard who signed on last September, performed higher this spring than Colin Cowherd did last spring. Hahn and Humpty which replaced Mike Lupica last August, finished 12th. That was the best showing in their time slot in over 3 years (they’re up over a half of a point in the past 12 months). And Michael Kay’s show, which added Peter Rosenberg last September, came in 9th. The show was 11th last spring.

The spring book also represented the first time in the history of the Michael Kay Show where the program beat Mike Francesa head to head with Men 18-34. From 3p-6:30p Kay’s program did a 3.1 to Francesa’s 2.9. The difference is even better from 4p-6:30p when Rosenberg enters the mix. Kay’s show during that 2.5 hour block was ahead of Francesa 3.4 to 3.0.

To be fair, Men 18-34 aren’t the money demo that Men 25-54 is, but it shows that the younger listening audience isn’t as loyal to WFAN as others before them have been. That’s an opening that I’m sure Traug Keller, Tim McCarthy and Justin Craig at ESPN New York are looking to take advantage of. It’s an area that I’m sure Mark Chernoff and Chris Olivero at CBS will look closer at next year when figuring out who makes the most sense to replace Francesa.

For now, WFAN’s executives and programming team have to feel quite pleased with their performance. Their sales team should continue to prosper from the station’s powerful performance with Men and Adults 25-54, and their talent are likely enjoying a nice quarterly bonus. The only complaint has to be a dud of a season courtesy of the New York Yankees.

But while things may appear comfortable right now, change is inevitable. With Francesa’s departure less than 18 months away, that has to give CBS officials cause for concern. Replacing Mike’s ratings and revenues are no easy task, especially as the competition continues to gain momentum.

For ESPN New York, they know all about change. They were forced to make a number of moves last summer/fall to improve the station’s performance, and they’re starting to see evidence that those decisions have been viewed favorably by local listeners. The real question is, will more of them be needed? Or will improvements from their current lineup, the Knicks, Jets and Rangers, and Francesa’s departure be enough to cause a drastic shift in the marketplace?

We will learn a lot about the future of both of these brands over the next 18 months. It’s a battle that figures to be very interesting.

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iHeartMedia Extends with Pittsburgh Steelers Through 2028 Season

“We teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Logos for iHeartMedia and the Pittsburgh Steelers

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announced an extension of their audio partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will now include the newly established “Steelers Audio Network” through 2028.

The “Steelers Audio Network” will offer a wide range of content, including game day broadcasts, additional shows, digital audio, podcasts, and social media posts. Fans can access the “Steelers Audio Network” and its programming throughout the year on various platforms such as 102.5 WDVE, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (970AM), the Steelers mobile app, the iHeartRadio mobile app, as well as on the team and station’s websites.

Additionally, 102.5 WDVE will continue to be the home of the Steelers game broadcasts, as they have done since 1999.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of our long-standing partnership with iHeart Media and our flagship station, 102.5 WDVE,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a release. “We’ve teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartSports. “Our renewed agreement, now known as ‘Steelers Audio Network’ encompasses a comprehensive range of audio offerings, delivering an exceptional listening experience for Steelers fans. Additionally, we’re excited to provide promotional support and further brand awareness across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and digital sites. Our longstanding partnership continues to thrive, and we look forward to celebrating many more victories together!”

“iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and the Steelers have had a longstanding partnership,” said Tim McAleer, Market President, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to continue to give Steelers fans access to Steelers audio broadcasts and unique Steelers programing content for years to come.”

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Nick Cattles To Fill In on 98.5 The Sports Hub

“No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photo of Nick Cattles and a logo for 98.5 The Sports Hub

Nick Cattles, who was last heard on the air at the end of June 2023 at Sactown Sports 1140 in Sacramento and has been hosting podcasts, will get a chance to fill in Monday on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Cattles posted about the assignment on his LinkedIn account.

“The wait is over,” he wrote. “It’s been almost a year since the last time I walked into a radio studio. I’m back. This Monday morning from 6a-10am, you can listen to myself, Ryan Johnston, and Kendra Middleton on 98-5 The Sports Hub. No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Cattles was part of the Cattles and Ramie show in Sacramento and upon leaving said, “It’s just, we love our family more. Since moving to Cali, we’ve had to overcome a lot personally. Those challenges have been amplified the last two months. It’s no longer tolerable to be 3,000 miles away. Once we settle the home situation, we’re heading back.” He had started with Sactown Sports in 2021 and also had the program director title for a period of time.

Cattles worked at The Sports Hub from in 2017 and 2018, taking part in The Adam Jones Show in the evenings and hosting on the weekends. Cattles had other stints in Boston, Virginia and with ESPN Radio.

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Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael Celebrate 5 Years Together on 92.9 The Game

“To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.”

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Graphic for Andy and Randy on 92.9 The Game and a picture of hosts Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael
Graphic Courtesy: Audacy Photo Courtesy: Randy McMichael X Account

It was a milestone week for Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael, hosts of 92.9 The Game’s The Midday Show with Andy & Randy in Atlanta. It was this week five years ago they permanently took over the midday slot replacing John Michaels and Rick Kamla who had been released earlier that year.

The show celebrated on remote at a party with several listeners, friends and family members and spent time talking about their time together. “People listening right now, thank you, we appreciate that,” said Bunker. “We wouldn’t be doing this if you weren’t listening and if you hadn’t been listening the last five years…Making it five years on a radio show is not normal. I know it seems normal at 92.9 because we are a radio station that has a lot of stability. Dukes and Bell have been on for 10 years. The morning show that’s on right now is doing great, and the show before them was on for a lot of years.”

Bunker later added, “To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.” McMichael replied, “It has been a fun five years.”

Bunker had been hosting the evening show for three years prior to partnering with McMichael, and had previously been in sports radio in Seattle, Portland and Boston. McMichael had been with the station for about four years at the time, after an 11-year career in the NFL. Prior to that he was a three-year letterman at the University of Georgia.

The show amassed an 8.3 share for the most recent quarter, retaining their fourth place ranking it had in the fall. The show airs from 11a-2p EST.

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