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The Minnesota Twins Are Returning To WCCO

Jason Barrett

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On the day that Entercom Communications takes over operations of CBS Radio stations all across the country, they saved one special announcement for baseball fans in Minneapolis. The company revealed that they have agreed to a fully-integrated radio partnership with The Minnesota Twins, returning the team to its original radio broadcast home, WCCO-AM 830. The newstalk station aired the club’s games for its first 46 seasons through 2006.

WCCO will broadcast all Twins regular and postseason games and cover its metropolitan area Spring Training, starting with the 2018 season. Entercom Minnesota stations 104.1 Jack-FM and BUZ’N 102.9 will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO,” said Mike Dee, Entercom’s President of Sports. “As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense. Clearly the Twins are a blue chip franchise on the rise. As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us. With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

“The Minnesota Twins are ecstatic to be in partnership with Entercom and eager to play a role in helping the company implement a new vision for their radio properties across our marketplace,” Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said. “The Twins are beyond thrilled to have this opportunity to return our radio broadcasts to WCCO-AM 830. Twins baseball on WCCO Radio was an Upper Midwest tradition for more than four decades. We look forward to building on that tradition with a new era of Twins baseball starting in 2018.”

As part of the partnership, all Entercom properties will feature comprehensive Twins coverage including special promotions and game day shows, spring training from Fort Myers, FL. and at community events across Minnesota. The Twins will continue to produce the game broadcasts including 30-minute pre-game and post-game shows.

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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