Holiday weekends have a tendency to keep the news cycle in sports radio a little lighter. Nonetheless there were still a few items of note to pass along. A reminder, if you have news about yourself, your station or your company to share, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
After Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported that tensions were high and the atmosphere around ESPN’s ‘Mike and Mike‘ had turned poisonous, Mike Golic has responded by taking aim at internal leaks. In an interview with the South Bend Tribune, Golic says things have been blown out of proportion and he and his longtime radio partner are fine. He is however frustrated that people working on his show have been talking anonymously about in-house issues. Golic says the biggest lingering issue is the expiration date for the show, which still hasn’t been decided on by ESPN executives.
When the 2017-2018 NBA season begins, the New York Knicks will have a new radio voice. The team has decided to part ways with Mike Crispino who had called the team’s games since 2013, in addition to a separate stint working for the franchie from 2009-2011. Analyst Brendan Brown (Hubie’s son) is expected to return. Knicks games can be heard in New York on 98.7FM ESPN New York.
Congratulations to Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle of ESPN 1000 in Chicago. The popular afternoon team known to local listeners as Waddle & Silvy are celebrating 10 years on the air together. To commemorate the joyous occasion, the duo are broadcasting live from El Dorado Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico for two days. Day 1 took place on Memorial Day. The final remote broadcast occurs Tuesday afternoon. As part of the on-air special, Waddle & Silvy will welcome visits from a few special guests and longtime friends of the show, plus reminisce and share audio moments from various milestones over the past 10 years.
ESPN 700 is making changes yet again to its weekday lineup. Popular local afternoon host Sean O’Connell, who doubles as a UFC fighter, was informed last week that his contract was not being renewed. He is now searching for his next opportunity. You can reach him by clicking here. Expect 700 to make a formal announcement about the future of its afternoon show soon.
In Miami, WQAM has adjusted its drive time shows. The afternoon program which featured Marc Hochman, Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz, is now a two-man affair with Hochman and Crowder. Krantz moves into mornings opposite longtime market veteran Joe Rose. With Krantz changing shows, Rose’s former on-air partner Curtis Stevenson has exited the radio station. Sensing an opportunity to strengthen its programming, local competitor 790 The Ticket brought in Stevenson for a few shifts this past weekend. No word yet on if the station is carving out a role for him.
92.9 The Game is taking a look at Doug Stewart for its vacant evening shift. The former member of the 2-Live Stews will host this Thursday and Friday night from 7p-11p ET.
A new weekday program is being added to SB Nation Radio‘s weekday schedule. Starting June 5th, “The Sports Bosses” will take over the 10a-12p timeslot. The program features Miami-based radio hosts Jim Rodriguez and Brad Johnson.
Henson Media is bringing ESPN Radio back to the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. The new station is expected to launch in June and will include ESPN Radio programming, Matt Jones‘ Kentucky based show, a 1-hour local afternoon show, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and more. The brand will be positioned on the air as “The Ref.”
Former University of Arkansas defensive lineman Geno Bell is returning to his alma mater to serve as the sideline reporter for Razorbacks football on the IMG Razorback Sports Network. Bell replaces Quinn Grovey who was elevated to the lead analyst spot on the broadcast opposite play-by-play voice Chuck Barrett.
NHL writer Craig Custance announced on social media that his final day working for ESPN was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He had worked for the network for the past 6 years. Custance says that the decision to leave was difficult but his next opportunity was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He expects to make an announcement in the near future.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.