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Jerry Jones Addresses The Flag Issue on 105.3 The Fan

Jason Barrett

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made national news Sunday when he announced that Cowboys players would be expected to stand for the national anthem and show their respect for the flag. Today, he addressed the situation during a conversation with Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

Jones started the discussion by offering praise to his players for the way they’ve shown their respect for the anthem and flag. The Cowboys owner said that he hoped the issue would go away but since it hadn’t, he felt it was important to clarify the team’s position and give members of the organization ammunition should others on the outside ask them to do things that could create further issues.

One point Jones tried to make is that he understands the country is dealing with social issues and players have strong feelings about them. He wasn’t looking to prevent them from expressing themselves but he simply didn’t want those issues becoming a focus during the national anthem.

“I know firsthand a player’s mind should be on nothing but what he’s going to do out on that football field” said Jones. “If we’re going to have any (protest), it needs to be before the anthem.”

The NFL Players Association released a statement yesterday which has created additional discussion about whether or not the NFL operating manual mandates or suggests that players should stand for the anthem. When asked about the suggested grey area in the manual, Jones explained why he disagrees with the NFLPA’s position.

“The intent of the NFL for years has been to stand for the anthem and show respect,” said Jones. “Respecting the flag has been in place for the Cowboys organization since I got here. If you look in our operating manual, this has been in it for 30 years. We’ve always stood for the flag.”

When asked whether his political beliefs and friendship with President Donald Trump influenced his decision, Jones added: “We’re addressing the issue in part because he’s (Trump) been very active in the issue. Because of that, I’ve drawn a line. I’m a friend of the President, but we don’t agree on many, many matters.”

Knowing that some will suggest the owner is being heavy handed, Jones explained the reasons behind his stance.

“My priority is the Dallas Cowboys. If I think something isn’t in the best interest of the Cowboys, I’m going to address it. This is where we work, and this is the expectation that we have while at work. If you don’t honor the flag in a way that our fans think you should, then you won’t play. I don’t want our fans to have to sit there and have angst over these issues. The flag comes ahead of all issues.”

The NFL has earned a lot of negative attention over this issue, putting franchise owners in a difficult position. If they refuse to support their players, it creates an uproar among those who feel peaceful protests should not be denied. One of those individuals is Jemele Hill of ESPN who was suspended for two weeks after encouraging Cowboys fans to steer clear of the team’s advertisers. That’s since been followed up by Reverend Al Sharpton calling for a boycott of ESPN over its decision of disciplining Hill.

On the other hand, there are many fans who are upset with the players for displaying what they consider disrespect during the anthem, which can also lead to tuning outs and an additional lack of support for the league’s teams and advertisers. Jones expressed what he considers the solution to that challenge.

“There is a debate about standing for the flag being disrespectful, so I am removing us from that debate so people don’t have to worry about what the Cowboys will do. There is no way that anybody can say that I’m not supportive of players and their issues. This time what’s best for the Cowboys is to stand for the flag.”

To hear Shan and RJ’s interview with the Cowboys owner, click here.

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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