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The Fan and The Ticket Tie For 1st in Dallas

Jason Barrett

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With the Texas Rangers looking like they’re the team to beat in the American League, and the Dallas Cowboys returning for training camp, Dallas sports stations are enjoying strong listener interest in their local programming. In the August ratings book, both 105.3 The Fan and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket had reason to celebrate.

While the focus of this piece is to analyze each daypart and how the stations performed in numerous categories, what should really be highlighted is the fact that two sports stations are riding high atop the Men 25-54 category in the nation’s 5th largest market. We often praise the strong performances of brands in northeast markets, and rightfully so, but don’t lose sleep on what’s happening deep in the heart of Texas. Both The Ticket and The Fan are rolling out great lineups and content, and their consistency is a big reason why this matchup has become fun to watch.

In sizing up the local brands, here are the key takeaways for the month of August. The numbers below are in the Men 25-54 demographic and represent the over the air ratings. No additional streaming numbers were added to lift one station at the expense of the other.

M-Su 6a-Mid

  • The Ticket = 6.3 (tied for 1st)
  • The Fan = 6.3 (tied for 1st)
  • ESPN 103.3 = 1.9 (21st)

Two sports stations tied for 1st in the ratings for the overall week speaks to the power of the sports format in the Dallas market. A job well done by the staffs of The Ticket and The Fan.

M-F 6a-7p

  • The Ticket = 8.4 (1st)
  • The Fan = 5.9 (4th)
  • ESPN 103.3 = 2.1 (tied for 17th)

When they’re head to head in weekday prime hours, The Ticket continues to lead, but that advantage has shrunk in recent months. Just three months ago, the Ticket was nearly six points higher than The Fan. During that time The Fan has increased its share by 1.4 while The Ticket has lost two full points. None the less, The Ticket still remains ahead.

6a-10a

  • The Ticket (Musers) = 10.8 (1st)
  • The Fan (Shan & RJ) = 4.1 (6th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (Mike and Mike and 1-hour of Dan LeBatard) = 3.2 (tied for 10th)

*** The Musers continue to distance themselves from every morning show in the market. They were two solid points ahead of the runner up (a Mexican station) and have a commanding 6.7 share advantage over The Fan. That said, Shan & RJ are up nearly a full point over the past three months and they were just three tenths of a point away from being inside the Top 5. Mike and Mike have held steady over the past few months but remain the third top brand during the spring and summer months. It’ll be interesting to see if their heavy football focus leads to gaining ground during the fall.

10a-3p

  • The Ticket (Norm/Donovan and BaD Radio) = 6.6 (3rd)
  • The Fan (G-Bag Nation) = 6.4 (4th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio and Dennis & Friedo) = 1.2 (26th)

*** This race has really tightened in recent months and although The Ticket holds a two tenths of a point lead for August, this has to be an area of concern heading into the fall. Over the past three months, The Ticket has lost 2.5 points while The Fan has gained 1.8. Even more impressive is that G-Bag Nation have gone up and gained in the ratings during each of the past seven months. For ESPN 103.3 they’re a non-factor during this daypart, and have actually lost two tenths of a point during the past three months.

3p-7p

  • The Ticket (Hardline) = 8.3 (1st)
  • The Fan (Ben & Skin) = 6.7 (2nd)
  • ESPN 103.3 (Cowlishaw and Mosley and ESPN Radio) = 2.2 (18th)

*** This is another competitive daypart between both brands and for The Ticket they have to be pleased with the continued success of The Hardline. The show has not been under an 8 share since January, and has finished 1st during every ratings book in 2016. Their one challenge though will be the Fall which was where they experienced a drop last year. Meanwhile for The Fan, they’ve got to be pleased with Ben & Skin who are only 1.6 behind The Ticket, and who have gained a little more than a point over the past three months. Last fall they beat The Hardline in the September, October, and November books, so if they can create a repeat performance it could help the radio station close out 2016 in strong fashion. Once again ESPN 103.3 is a distant third.

7P-11p

  • The Fan (Texas Rangers/K&C Masterpiece) = 9.6 (1st)
  • The Ticket (Ticket Top 10/Ferrall On The Bench) = 2.4 (20th)
  • ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio) = 2.0 (22nd)

*** Want to know if the Texas Rangers are making a difference? Look at the disparity during the evenings between The Fan and their two competitors. Rangers baseball is absolutely delivering an impact, and playing an integral role in helping the station perform strongly not only at night, but during the entire M-SU 6a-Mid battle. For The Ticket and ESPN 103.3 they’re way down the ladder in evenings.

There are many ways to spin the numbers from The Fan and The Ticket’s perspectives, but what should be front and center is how important it is for advertisers to buy BOTH stations. They each connect strong (but with different demographics) and given the performance turned in by both stations, if a client wants to maximize their potential in reaching Dallas sports fans, it’s smart business to invest in both stations.

When you look at it from The Ticket’s perspective, they’re going to concentrate on M-F 6a-7p because it’s what their brand does best. They win all three key dayparts head to head during the week against The Fan, and hold claim to two of their shows ranking 1st. They also tied for 1st during the overall week despite not carrying play by play. That’s outstanding. Adding to their story is the fact that they perform well with the older part of the 25-54 demographic. That can be used to their benefit when talking to clients who are trying to reach the decision makers in various households.

If you’re inside the offices of The Fan, you’re going to highlight your overall M-SU 6a-Mid performance where you’re tied for 1st overall in the market. You’re going to use the power of carrying the Rangers and Cowboys to your advantage, and you’re going to point out that two of your three weekday shows are rated in the top 5, and the other is in 6th and only two tenths of a point away. That’s another impressive story to share. When you add in that The Fan is 6th overall with Persons 25-54 (ahead of The Ticket who finished 8th) and tied for 1st overall with Men 18-34 (The Ticket is 14th) you can build a case that the brand is not only built for the present, but is in stronger shape for the future.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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