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Under The Radar in Sports Radio – 7/18/16

Jason Barrett

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The sports radio world has been busy lately and if you don’t keep your eyes open you could miss something. Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered with this week’s installment of ‘Under The Radar’. A reminder, if you have a news tip to share you can send it along to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • The spring book in Philadelphia saw 97.5 The Fanatic defeat WIP yet again. The Fanatic won the Men 25-54 battle M-F 6a-7p, M-SU 6a-Mid, as well as in middays (Harry and Rob), early evenings (DeCamara), and in afternoon drive where Mike Missanelli has taken a commanding lead over the past few months over Josh Innes. WIP did win the head to head matchup in mornings, and in evenings (7p-12a) which is when they feature Phillies baseball.
  • In Dallas, The Ticket is on a major ratings roll with Men 25-54. The radio station saw all of its key weekday shows record double digit 1st place finishes, led by the Musers who were above a 14 share in mornings. The station was also 1st M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid. Jeff Catlin and his crew are knocking it out of the park in the money demo and building a strong case as one of the top sports radio brands of 2016. Meanwhile, 105.3 The Fan also enjoyed a successful month. The station was 3rd overall M-SU 6a-Mid, and 5th in prime M-F 6a-7p. Ben and Skin finished 3rd in afternoon, G-Bag Nation was 5th in midday and Shan & RJ were 7th in mornings. The story is even stronger for The Fan with Men 18-34. They defeat The Ticket head to head in most categories. One thing is for certain right now in Dallas, advertisers can’t go wrong in investing in either one of these brands.
  • After ending a spectacular run with ESPN last September, Colin Cowherd has been working hard to establish his program under the FOX Sports Radio, Premiere Radio Networks umbrella. That hard work is starting to pay dividends as FSR has announced that Cowherd’s program has now grown 100 affiliates strong. Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott says “The reaction to Colin’s show over the past 10 months has been incredible – we’ve surpassed every goal we set for the first year of the program. The rapid success of The Herd is a testament to Colin’s unique voice in the world of sports media and his ability to engage millions of fans across numerous platforms.  We look forward to reaching many more milestones together.”
  • Gow Media is giving its Yahoo Sports Radio network an identity change. The company will rebrand itself as SB Nation Radio, starting August 1st. It’s part of a new partnership with VOX Media. Gow Media had operated as Yahoo Sports Radio since August of 2011. The Yahoo company is currently up for sale. CEO David Gow tells BSM that SB Nation reporters will make appearances on the radio network, and the goal is for the two companies to work together to create more exposure for each of their respective platforms.
  • Last week we reported that Eric Dickerson had talked to the Los Angeles Rams about becoming their radio analyst but the two sides could not reach an agreement. We were told the two parties were divided over compensation, leading the running back to explore an opportunity with AM 570 LA Sports Radio, and the team to take a look at Jim Everett, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Jerome Bettis as potential analyst candidates. Then a story came out on Friday stating that Dickerson would take the position with the Rams after all. One source I spoke to said “The Rams have said one thing and done another over the past few months so nobody is sure at this point. They’ve told talent they were in the team’s plans only to learn through other channels that they weren’t. The communication has not been good, and it has to be extremely frustrating for their new play by play partners and advertisers.” No official deal with Dickerson has been announced but that doesn’t mean one won’t be. For now I’m going to take a few extra Advil and let others have fun sorting out the mess.
  • KNBR 1050 has a brand new Director of Content. Program Director Jeremiah Crowe has added former colleague Daniel Ogden who recently left 95.7 The Game. Ogden will be tasked with helping strengthen the KNBR 1050 brand and producing a new morning show. He starts in his new role on Monday July 18th.
  • Congratulations is in order for Scott Masteller and the folks at Hearst broadcasting in Baltimore. The company’s news talk station WBAL has reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens to continue serving as the team’s radio home for six more seasons.
  • ESPN Memphis 92.9FM is doubling up its football presence this NFL season. The station confirmed last week that it will become the Memphis radio home for the Tennessee Titans AND the Dallas Cowboys.
  • Matt & Scot, WJOX in Birmingham’s evening show has been cancelled. The duo were with JOX for the past 3.5 years and made the move to Alabama after showing promise in a PT role with The Ticket in Dallas. Scot plans to stay in town despite the setback. Matt is open to relocating if that’s what it takes to land his next opportunity. Cumulus Birmingham Market Manager David Walls says “Those guys are a class act, and I want to thank them for 3½ good years. We’re just going to take the station in a new direction.”
  • In Minneapolis, Andrew Krammer announced via Twitter that he’s leaving ESPN Twin-Cities (ESPN 1500AM) to join the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as a Vikings reporter.
  • Craig Hoffman has landed on his feet after being let go months ago by ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. Hoffman is joining 980’s rival 106.7 The Fan in a PT role. He’ll also be doing fill-in work for Ryan Maguire at WQAM in Miami and for Steve Moore at KMOX in St. Louis.
  • Ted Sobel has joined Fox Sports Radio in PT update anchor role. He’ll also be contributing as a studio host this football season to Sports Radio USA‘s NFL and College Football broadcasts.

Sports Radio News

16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.

The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets

The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.

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Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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