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Under The Radar – April 3, 2017

Jason Barrett

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The sports media news never stops trickling in. Here’s what we have to update you on this week. As always, if you have a news tip, press release or promotion to share, please pass it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

After 17 years at ESPN, producer Jason Romano left an incredible job to pursue his passion of spreading God’s word. In doing so, it led him from behind the scenes to in front of the microphone. As a result, Romano has launched The Sports Spectrum Podcast which explores the intersection of Sports and Faith. The debut episode which features Miami Marlins pitcher Adam Conley and team chaplain Chris Lane debuted on Friday and has been soaring up the iTunes charts. To hear it and subscribe to be alerted of future episodes click here.

Speaking of ESPN, congratulations is in order for Dan Zaksheske who has been named the new producer of First and Last with Robin Lundberg and Mike Golic Jr. Dan previously produced evening programming on the ESPN Radio Network. Lundberg and Golic Jr. are shifting their program from New York City to Bristol, CT.

A little further north of Bristol, WEEI late night host Christian Arcand has announced he’s adding hosting duties at Boston Herald Radio. The extra on-air work won’t affect his shifts on WEEI. Arcand announced on social media that he’ll be hosting the afternoon show for the Herald’s radio channel.

Longtime Cleveland sports radio host Mark “Munch” Bishop is leaving ESPN Cleveland WKNR. Bishop says he’s accepted an opportunity which will syndicate him across the state of Ohio. The company behind the plan is iHeartRadio. No word yet on who will replace Bishop on WKNR.

Congratulations is in order for Joe Castellano who has been added as a play by play announcer for the Pac-12 Network.

Matt Cundill tells BSM that in addition to handling voiceovers for music stations in Canada, he’s expanding his reach by offering his services to News/Talk and Sports/Talk brands in the United States. Cundill additionally hosts the Sound Off Podcast. To hear his work click here.

The lights have been turned off at 940 AM in Bend, Oregon. The radio station had been offering sports programming from FOX Sports Radio. Local ownership said the tower site which they had been leasing has been sold, creating the situation. However, FSR will remain available in the market. Sister station 94.9 FM has agreed to pick up the network along with play-by-play of the San Francisco 49ers and Oregon State University athletics.

Congratulations to Rob Kaloustian on being named the new General Sales Manager of SportsRadio 94WIP, Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Phillies Radio and the Eagles Radio Network. He officially starts in is new position on Wednesday, April 5th. Kaloustian previously spent 18 years with CBS Radio before leaving in 2013 to become a Senior Sales Executive at Pandora Media.

Another talented writer will soon become a free agent due to being a cap casualty at Sports Illustrated. NFL contributor Greg Bedard tweeted out last week that he’s the latest victim of company cutbacks. Other NFL writers Jim Trotter, Don Banks and Doug Farrar have experienced a similar fate previously with SI.

And finally, FanRag Sports has added Ashley Nevel to its sports staff.

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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