It’s been almost exactly one year since Craig Carton was last heard on a New York radio station, following his September 6th, 2017 arrest. Now, just two months away from his trial in federal court facing fraud charges amid accusations of running a $5.6 million Ponzi scheme, Carton joined Sid Rosenberg on his WABC morning show, Bernie and Sid to further proclaim his innocence.
Although Carton and Sid have engaged in public radio battles over the years, the two shock-jocks appeared to be in great standing on Thursday, firing nothing but compliments toward each other.
“Where a lot of people dropped me like a bad habit, which was a very eye opening experience over the last year, you actually didn’t,” Carton told Sid. “We weren’t even close. We weren’t talking actively, but you reached out to me several times, we’ve maintained a relationship and I’m grateful for that because when you go through what I’m going through, you have a lot of very dark moments, a lot of alone moments and something as simple as a text message of ‘hey how you doing?’ And when it comes from an unexpected place it’s even better.”
Carton is scheduled to go to trial in federal court on October 29th and while he sounds like his normal self on-air, the former WFAN morning host remains very aware of the reality of his situation.
“I recognize that it’s an uphill battle, cause they typically win” Carton said referring to the FBI. “But you hear all the time about how they have a 98% conviction rate. Well, that includes plea bargains. When you plea, you’re pleading guilty to something that counts as a conviction. I’m not pleaing to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out you’ll see that I was running a legitimate legal business”
Soon after Craig was arrested on September 6th last year, he resigned from his morning show of 10 years on WFAN, Boomer and Carton. Now the show has shifted to Boomer and Gio, with Gregg Giannotti taking over as Carton’s replacement. When I asked Craig during an interview earlier this year if he liked the new WFAN morning show, Carton responded with an emphatic “No!” a sentiment he reiterated on Thursday with Sid.
“Take any show on FAN and bring them here [WABC], they’re not gonna beat anyone over there [on WFAN] anyway,” Carton said. “You can put an intern on the air, which it seems like [WFAN] kinda did. While ratings have dropped 40 percent, they’re still going to do reasonably well.”
Carton continued to comment on WFAN’s new morning show, saying “The show is not as good as it was,” to which Sid agreed by adding, “It’s not even close!”
Although Carton did not directly state it, the intern shot appeared to be pointed at his replacement, Gregg Giannotti.
Earlier this week, Giannotti took a hard-hitting shot of his own at Carton. After co-host Esiason teased Gio for not spending enough time away from the show with him the way Boomer and Carton used to, Giannotti, while beginning a ticket giveaway contest, said “I could sell these tickets if you want me to be more like Craig.” The comment garnered a fit of laughter out of Boomer and the fill-ins behind the glass.
While on WABC, Craig added that there’s been a void in New York morning radio since he left WFAN. “No one has grabbed that mantle and said ‘I’m now the dominant morning show in NYC,’ and I hope when I’m exonerated, I’ll have a chance to do that again.”
Carton doesn’t hide from the fact that he plans to get back on terrestrial radio in New York. While he’s thankful to his current platform FNTSY Sports Network for the opportunity he has today, Carton still has bigger plans for the future.
“Ego-wise I believe I will have multiple people come to me, that’s ego, and I hope they do,” he said. “But when it comes out that I’m exonerated and the jury says not guilty, why wouldn’t you want to bring back the guy that was the most listened to morning show in New York?”
Carton finished up his segment with Sid by thanking his supporters and calling out his detractors, especially those who questioned the legitimacy of his charity, Tic Toc Stop.
Carton closed with, “I will be back on the radio in New York City, hopefully a lot sooner than later, it could be a great Thanksgiving and fingers crossed, you’ll be able to hear me again one day very very soon.”
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.