Sports radio host Clay Travis announced on his FOX Sports Radio program that he’s considering running for Senate in Tennessee as an independent. “There has to be no incumbent and Peyton Manning has to not run,” said Travis regarding his possible candidacy. Travis added that if it meant having to give up his syndicated radio show he would decline entering the race.
Current Senator Bob Corker has not announced his plans for 2018, but reports earlier this week indicated that President Trump has encouraged him to run for re-election.
Travis is no stranger to creating noise. He came under fire last week for his appearance on CNN, telling television anchor Brooke Baldwin he believes in the “First Amendment and boobs.” The interview ended shortly after and CNN has followed up by stating they have no plans to invite him back on their network. It wasn’t the first time though that Travis had offered that viewpoint. He wrote it the day prior to his television appearance in an article on Outkick The Coverage.
The remark caused FOX Sports to clarify that Travis is not an employee of theirs. The network said, “Clay Travis hasn’t worked at Fox Sports for six months and is a syndicated talent of Premiere Networks.” Travis’ syndicated show “Outkick The Coverage” airs nationally on FOX Sports radio Monday through Friday, 6-9am ET.
An outspoken critic of ESPN, Travis has pointed out situations which he believes demonstrate a liberal bias by the sports network. In doing so, he’s garnered support from conservatives, although he voted for Barack Obama twice and Gary Johnson in ‘16. Travis was the first to report ESPN’s decision to remove Robert Lee from doing College Football play-by-play in Virginia earlier this season. In his article on Outkick The Coverage, Travis added that he didn’t think Jemele Hill should be fired, but believes a conservative viewpoint would have been dealt with more harshly by the network, siting Curt Schilling being fired as an example.
In addition to sharing his interest in a potential Senate run on his radio show, Travis has continued to fuel the conversation by tweeting, “I could win as an Independent. I’d make the Democrats and Republicans incredibly nervous.”
Prior to his media career, Clay was a practicing lawyer in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Tennessee receiving his degree in 2004 from Vanderbilt University Law School.
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.
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.
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.