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Michael Kay Beat Mike Francesa In The Month of June

Jason Barrett

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Down goes Francesa. Down goes Francesa. Down goes Francesa.

Ok, maybe a win in the New York ratings book doesn’t capture the world’s attention the way Muhammad Ali did when he knocked out Smokin’ Joe Frazier. However, when a sports radio icon dominates the ratings the way Mike Francesa has on WFAN, and points out frequently how strong the show’s performance has been, and then suffers a head to head defeat against a local sports radio competitor for the first time ever, it’s a big deal.

For the June book (May 25-June 21), the Michael Kay Show on 98.7FM ESPN New York beat Francesa between the hours of 3p-6:30p ET. Kay finished with a 5.2 to 5.1 advantage among Men 25-54. Francesa was not on vacation during this time and WFAN did have the benefit of airing New York Yankees baseball.

Another impressive note worth pointing out, over the past 12 months, Kay’s show has gained ground in the ratings. The program has added seven tenths of a ratings point and three ratings positions. Francesa’s program during that time has declined by eight tenths while slipping from second to fourth. The separation in daily cume between the two stations was also very minimal for June (6,600). It’s usually 20-30 thousand higher in favor of WFAN.

The June ratings win marks the first head to head victory for the Kay Show since it began airing on 98.7FM ESPN New York in 2002. The show has consistently rated in the top 10 but hadn’t been able to unseat WFAN’s afternoon ratings king.

Making the accomplishment even more interesting is the timing. Earlier this week Kay talked to Bob Klapisch of The Record. When asked about his program and how it measured up to Francesa’s he said, ““Our show is quantifiably better than Mike’s. It’s funny, not one guy bloviating. It’s three guys (along with Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg) and laughing, having a good time. We don’t dread it and that comes across to our listeners. We’ve made unbelievable inroads. People are noticing.”

Kay continued, “I used to listen to Mike and Mad Dog all the time. It was innovative and fun; you had to listen. But I defy anyone who listens to our show to say it’s not better. There’s no way that if Mike started today, he would be No. 1 in the market.”

Although Kay has reason to celebrate June, the news wasn’t all bad for Francesa, In fact, his show did finish ahead for the spring book (April-May-June). During that three month stretch, WFAN generated a 5.7 between the hours of 3p-6:30p which was good enough for 4th place. Kay registered a 4.9, placing 6th.

The latest ratings news have to be concerning for WFAN officials because it’s a position they’re unfamiliar being in. They may point to Mike’s show remaining strong from 1p-6:30p, which is when it airs in its entirety, but never before have they finished behind Kay during the heart of afternoon drive.

With Francesa exiting in the next few months it’s natural to wonder how long the audience will stay faithful when they sense the end of the show is near. The timing is also problematic because Francesa is off for the majority of the summer for vacation. That provides Kay with an opportunity to steal a few meters and build on his recent momentum.

Given the latest developments, the pressure CBS Radio New York executives are under will only intensify. They’re tasked with finding a dynamic afternoon show that has the potential to replace Francesa, and excite New York sports radio listeners in 2018 and beyond. Adding to the challenge is undergoing a massive lineup change while the competition rides the highest wave of their broadcasting existence.

For now, Michael Kay, Don LaGreca and Peter Rosenberg have earned their moment in the sun. June was a memorable book for the talented trio. Now it’s their job to stay there a while and prove it wasn’t a one month fluke. In the words of Jim Ross, business is about to pick up!

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Chase McCabe Named Director of Operations & Sports Programming at Cromwell

“Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team.”

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Congratulations are in order for Chase McCabe. He is adding a new title to his already full plate at Cromwell Media in Nashville. He has been promoted to Director of Operations & Sports Programming at the company.

“I’m very fortunate to have been to be able to grow into this opportunity under one roof,” McCabe said in a press release. “Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team. I am forever grateful, but none of this could have happened without the great group of people we have here at Cromwell Media.”

McCabe has spent his whole career with 102.5 The Game and its sister station, now called 94.9 The Fan. He was named Program Director and Brand Manager of the stations in January of last year. He has maintained an on-air presence as well. He hosts Chase & Michelle weekdays at 9 AM on The Game.

In his new role, Chase McCabe becomes the number two man in Cromwell’s Nashville building. Shawn Fort was recently named the cluster’s general manager.

“Chase and I have developed a great working relationship in the two and half years since I’ve joined Cromwell Media,” Fort said. “We share similar visions on how to create compelling sports programming all while driving revenue growth. I’m excited to have Chase as my right-hand man as we move forward together with this new chapter of leadership at Cromwell Media Nashville.”

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Mark Schlereth: People Outside of Denver Aren’t Paying Attention to NBA Finals

“There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”

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The Denver Nuggets took to the National Basketball Association’s largest stage on Thursday night as they defeated the Miami Heat for the organization’s first-ever NBA Finals victory. Early reports reveal that the game had a 2.21 demographic rating between people ages 18-49, attracting a total of 7.62 million viewers on ABC. The figure is considerably lower than the audience for Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors last year – which averaged 11.9 million figures across ABC and ESPN2. Ratings for the alternate NBA in Stephen A’s World broadcast Thursday night on ESPN2 have not yet been released by Nielsen Media Research.

Sports fans in the Denver market have felt as if the play of the Nuggets was largely being neglected by the national media throughout these playoffs. Now that the team is the last one standing in the Western Conference, there is no one else to focus on and their play is beginning to be realized by basketball fans throughout the country. It is a narrative that Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan’s Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans felt was especially obvious by watching the press conferences after the game. The duo was able to deduce as such through the questions posed to Nuggets players and head coach Michael Malone by members of the media cohort.

“The national media – it’s like, ‘Oh, wow. We’re just kind of becoming aware of how these guys play,’ and they keep asking the Nuggets about their unselfishness and how everybody is willing to share the ball,” Evans said. “Nikola Jokić [is] being asked about not taking a lot of shots, and they’re all just kind of shrugging their shoulders like, ‘Yeah, this is who we are. We’ve been doing this for a long time.’

Schlereth was curious to find out the ratings from the game last night because he watched the game from a sports bar in Chicago. He is away from Denver, Colo. to help his son’s family move there for the summer and surmises there were about 50 people in the bar with him. What he noticed was that their interest was fixated elsewhere.

“I’m the only person that was watching the Nuggets,” Schlereth said. “There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”

“Their loss,” Evans pithily replied.

Denver ranks 19th on Nielsen Media Research’s metropolitan market size list, but the Nuggets have been a contending team for the last five seasons. Most media analysts expect diminished ratings for the NBA Finals this year because of the lack of a storied franchise, even with the Miami Heat as the team’s opponent.

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Nielsen Releases List of Markets Where Most People Use AM Radio

“In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis”

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Amid concerns regarding the future of AM radio, Nielsen Media Research has unveiled a list of 141 markets where at least 20% of consumers regularly listen to programming on the medium. The list is reflective of the percentage of monthly total radio listening being funneled to AM as opposed to total radio listening as a whole. The top three markets are all in the Great Lakes region, and Westwood One has found large proportions of these listeners are derived from the upper Midwest. 

Buffalo-Niagara Falls leads the list with 56% of its audience tuning into AM radio in a month. It is a figure that makes sense based on the variety of AM stations, including leading news talk outlet WBEN and leading sports outlet WGR. The city of Chicago is ranked second, complete with 670 The Score, WGN and WLS. Nearby Milwaukee, Wis. ranks third on the list, another city with various AM stations such as WTMJ and WISN.

In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis – a measurement that equates to one-third of AM/FM radio listeners as a whole. Fifty-seven percent of the audience listens to stations in the news and/or talk format, utilizing the public service the outlets provide to learn of breaking news and other concerns.

There is a wide variety in market size represented throughout the list, but a trend of markets with undulating topographies tends to have larger shares of AM listeners because of the challenges the landscape presents to FM signals.

The full list compiled by Nielsen Media Research can be found below:

Metro market rankMarket namePercentage of radio audience that listens to AM radio
59Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY56%
3Chicago, IL [PPM]48%
43Milwaukee-Racine, WI [PPM]48%
245Sheboygan, WI45%
253Grand Forks, ND-MN45%
241Bismarck, ND44%
39San Jose, CA [PPM]43%
33Cincinnati, OH [PPM]42%
11Seattle-Tacoma, WA [PPM]42%
192Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN41%
187St. Cloud, MN41%
160Lincoln, NE40%
130Macon, GA40%
196Danbury, CT39%
75Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA39%
4San Francisco, CA [PPM]39%
137Youngstown-Warren, OH38%
244Sioux City, IA38%
83Boise, ID38%
25San Antonio, TX [PPM]38%
7Atlanta, GA [PPM]38%
60Rochester, NY37%
186Columbus, GA36%
65Dayton, OH36%
176Wausau-Stevens Pt (Centrl WI), WI36%
114Johnson City-Kingspt-Brstl, TN-VA36%
62Tucson, AZ36%
159Rockford, IL36%
55Louisville, KY36%
27Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo [PPM]36%
202Cedar Rapids, IA35%
34Kansas City, KS-MO [PPM]35%
70Albuquerque, NM35%
88Spokane, WA35%
16Puerto Rico35%
67Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY34%
124Morristown, NJ34%
204Duluth-Superior, MN-WI34%
71Des Moines, IA34%
53Richmond, VA33%
145Eugene-Springfield, OR33%
252Jackson, TN33%
149Shreveport, LA33%
52Monmouth-Ocean, NJ33%
73Metro Fairfield County, CT33%
231Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA32%
13Phoenix, AZ [PPM]32%
12Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood [PPM]32%
9Philadelphia, PA [PPM]32%
96Reno, NV32%
28Sacramento, CA [PPM]32%
209Rochester, MN32%
15Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN [PPM]31%
178Anchorage, AK31%
199Salina-Manhattan, KS31%
2Los Angeles, CA [PPM]31%
89Madison, WI31%
5Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX [PPM]31%
68Grand Rapids, MI31%
223Eau Claire, WI30%
74Allentown-Bethlehem, PA30%
86Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA30%
20Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) [PPM]30%
249Brunswick, GA30%
139Appleton-Oshkosh, WI29%
14Detroit, MI [PPM]29%
239Harrisonburg, VA29%
30Orlando, FL [PPM]29%
10Boston, MA [PPM]29%
189Bryan-College Station, TX29%
106Lexington-Fayette, KY28%
154Montgomery, AL28%
136Reading, PA28%
18Denver-Boulder, CO [PPM]28%
188Kalamazoo, MI28%
41Hudson Valley, NY28%
17Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater [PPM]28%
228Pueblo, CO27%
230Monroe, LA27%
116Ft. Wayne, IN27%
35Cleveland, OH [PPM]27%
22Portland, OR [PPM]27%
183Green Bay, WI27%
227Bloomington, IL26%
190Waco, TX26%
6Houston-Galveston, TX [PPM]26%
193Binghamton, NY26%
201Topeka, KS26%
81Stockton, CA26%
54Hartford-New Britain-Middletown [PPM]26%
200Tuscaloosa, AL26%
175Sioux Falls, SD25%
100Syracuse, NY25%
44Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket [PPM]25%
195Manchester, NH25%
180Lima-Van Wert, OH25%
1New York, NY [PPM]25%
119Corpus Christi, TX25%
237Grand Island-Kearney-Hastngs, NE25%
51Memphis, TN [PPM]25%
142Canton, OH25%
151Ann Arbor, MI24%
90Columbia, SC24%
208Las Cruces-Deming, NM24%
178Traverse City-Petoskey, MI24%
111York, PA24%
87Colorado Springs, CO24%
218Columbia, MO24%
140Savannah, GA23%
163Evansville, IN23%
121Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, NH23%
247Williamsport, PA23%
221Joplin, MO22%
197Charleston, WV22%
126New Haven, CT22%
120Modesto, CA22%
234Sussex, NJ22%
69Sarasota-Bradenton, FL22%
79Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA22%
29Austin, TX [PPM]22%
24St. Louis, MO [PPM]22%
23Baltimore, MD [PPM]22%
127Jackson, MS22%
77Baton Rouge, LA21%
66Fresno, CA21%
206Chico, CA21%
104Huntsville, AL21%
205Santa Barbara, CA21%
166Poughkeepsie, NY21%
157Peoria, IL21%
224Muskegon, MI20%
63Honolulu, HI20%
50New Orleans, LA20%
19San Diego, CA [PPM]20%
236Parkersburg-Marietta, WV-OH20%
32Las Vegas, NV [PPM]20%
37Raleigh-Durham, NC [PPM]20%
115Worcester, MA20%
207Laurel-Hattiesburg, MS20%
95Akron, OH20%
117Lancaster, PA20%
Source: Nielsen Nationwide Fall 2022 Metro, P12+, Monday – Sunday 12m-12m

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