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Learfield & DGital Media To Deliver College Sports Podcasts

Jason Barrett

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College sports podcasts are about to increase in volume, courtesy of a new partnership between collegiate sports rights holder Learfield, and audio-on-demand provider DGital Media. The two companies will team up to highlight many of the nation’s most recognizable collegiate athletic programs. Among the programs included are the Alabama Crimson Tide, North Carolina Tar Heels, Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys. Others are also expected to join the lineup.

The podcasts will focus on behind-the-scenes insight, guest interviews and conversations from local radio sportscasters associated with the teams. They will not involve play by play. New episodes will be released each Tuesday and Friday on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play.

This is the first entry into the podcasting space for Learfield, which owns play-by-play rights for 120 college and university sports programs and arenas, including the Big Ten and other college athletic conferences.

“The major college sports marketplace in the United States is insatiable when it comes to consuming content, and this partnership is a great example of where we can help many colleges go by creating a compelling and engaging on-demand audio platform for their millions of fans,” Chris Corcoran, chief content officer, DGital Media, said in a news release. “All the platforms we engage on are the exact ways in which college fans, especially younger, engaged millennials, are consuming media, so we know this has huge potential.”

With 72% of millennials listening monthly to digital audio and 46 million overall podcast users in the past 30 days, the podcast space continues to grow and Learfield says this was an obvious next step for its company and partners. “Not only can they (podcasts) extend their reach with fans week to week with added value for that overall experience, but it’s content they won’t get anywhere else,” said Tom Boman, Learfield’s VP of broadcast operations.

Sports Radio News

Mike Francesa Ranks The Top 5 Sports Moments that Had Biggest Impact on WFAN

Mike Francesa says of all the sports moments in New York, the 2000 Yankees World Series was a “dud”.

Jordan Bondurant

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Mike Francesa

Mike Francesa is no stranger to being behind the microphone talking about some of the biggest moments in New York sports.

But one of the big moments that have happened over the last two decades didn’t have the impact that some would think, according to the WFAN legend.

Francesa on his podcast this week was asked by a listener to rank five New York sports moments that had a big impact on radio in the city. Those moments: The 1996 Yankees winning the World Series, the Giants winning Super Bowl XXV, the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup in 1994, the subway series World Series in 2000, and the Giants upsetting the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

He said the 2000 World Series was incredibly underwhelming.

“That laid an egg,” Francesa said. “It never had the impact in this town in New York, and on the radio, influence in the media, everything. It was a dud. It was severely disappointing.”

The Yankees that year won their fourth World Series in five years that year, sweeping the Mets and clinching at Shea Stadium. Francesa said the fact that there was so much anticipation for the series only for the Yanks to cruise to another title made it disappointing.

“Waited for the Subway Series forever, and when it happened it did not fulfill its promises,” he said.

Francesa ranked the 1996 Yankees at number one in terms of impact. He talked about how even in September of that year when the team tailed off a little bit before the playoffs.

No. 1 by far on the radio was the Yankees 1996 run leading up to them winning their first World Series.

“The Yankees hit the skids in September, but they never fell out of first,” he said. “The impact of that on the radio was enormous.”

The 1994 Rangers Stanley Cup run, coupled with the Knicks playoff run that spring as well also stood out to Francesa.

“I never took a day off that entire spring,” he said.

The two Giants Super Bowl victories ended up ranking third and fourth on Francesa’s list.

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Sports Radio News

Ryan Hoppe Joins Beckles and Recher on WDAE 95.3 in Tampa

Ryan Hoppe announced that he would be joining WDAE as the new executive producer for Beckles and Recher.

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Ryan Hoppe

On Thursday, popular Tampa podcaster Ryan Hoppe announced that he would be joining the iHeartRadio team as the new executive producer for the station’s afternoon drive show, Beckles and Recher.

95.3 WDAE confirmed the news in a retweet with a welcome message.

Hoppe is also the host of popular local podcast, Hoppe Hour which was nominated for Best Local Podcast. Hoppe has been nominated for Best Radio Personality as well by The Best of the Bay magazine.

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Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: There’s No Way Dennis Eckersley is Retiring

“There’s got to be some sort of gig waiting for him. And to be quite honest, maybe NESN was just small potatoes for a guy like Dennis Eckersley.”

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On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that this season would be his last with NESN, the Boston Red Sox and in baseball broadcasting. However, some in Boston don’t think Eckersley will truly be done once the season ends.

On Toucher and Rich, co-host Rich Shertenlieb said this can’t be the end of the broadcasting career of Dennis Eckersley.

“He’s way too young to be truly retiring, I think,” said Shertenlieb. “This can’t be it for him. There’s no way this is it. He’s too into it, he loves it too much, he’s good at it and he’s not old.”

“It’s a lot of travel, that’s the thing,” added co-host Fred Toucher.

Shertenlieb chimed back that he could have options in regards to his schedule.

“You could be somebody that’s just doing home games,” offered Shertenlieb. “You could also be someone who could be at a desk.”

Shertenlieb was adamant that Eckersley would have a chance to make it somewhere else, somewhere perhaps more national.

“There’s got to be some sort of gig waiting for him. And to be quite honest, maybe NESN was just small potatoes for a guy like Dennis Eckersley,” said the Toucher and Rich co-host. “Maybe he’s just outgrown it and he’s just too talented to only be at a regional network.”

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