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WEEI Sets Record Straight On Red Sox Broadcasts

“Once WEEI corrected the misnomer about plans for their Red Sox broadcast, STAA sent its clients an email stating they’ve updated the job listing and apologized to WEEI.”

Brandon Contes

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After play-by-play announcer Tim Neverett announced he was leaving the Red Sox Radio booth, rumors of WEEI planning to turn the broadcast into a sports talk show quickly developed.  Who will be calling Red Sox games on the radio in 2019 is still to be determined, but on Thursday WEEI quickly corrected any thought of transitioning away from a conventional broadcast.

During Chad Finn’s Boston Globe report of Neverett leaving the Red Sox broadcast on Tuesday, he wrote WEEI considered making their radio call sound more like a sports talk show.  One day later, the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America sent a job posting to its clients confirming Finn’s report, even though WEEI PD Joe Zarbano said STAA never checked with him.

STAA’s initial email read:


“The Boston Globe has reported about plans for major changes to the broadcast format. STAA knows these plans to be true. WEEI wants to drop the concept of a conventional radio baseball broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.

WEEI PD Joe Zarbano is eager to receive applications. However, he tells STAA he doesn’t want to be bombarded with email attachments.”

After Finn Tweeted about STAA’s job post calling for a talk show style broadcast for the Red Sox, WEEI quickly ended the sentiment.  Station PD, Joe  Zarbano responded to Finn on Twitter, saying “This is not true. If you checked with me I could’ve told you that. The only thing I sent to StaaTalent was a reply confirming that the job was open and people can apply.”  WEEI contributor Alex Reimer soon wrote an article on the station’s website, titled “WEEI is not changing the format of Red Sox broadcasts.”

Once WEEI corrected the misnomer about plans for their Red Sox broadcast, STAA sent its clients an email stating they’ve updated the job listing and apologized to WEEI.  The corrected job post, seen below, makes no mention of a sports talk format within the broadcast. 


“Boston’s legacy sports radio brand and the winner of the 2018 Sports Station of the Year Marconi award, is seeking an experienced and talented individual to be the next play-by-play announcer on the WEEI Boston Red Sox Radio Network.

The candidate selected for this dream job opportunity will sit alongside Red Sox Hall of Famer Joe Castiglione in the broadcast booth.

The ideal candidate will have vast experience doing play-by-play for a professional team, an inherent understanding of the passionate Boston sports fan base, and an innate ability to be able to describe what’s happening on the field in an entertaining and compelling fashion.”

While WEEI’s direction for the Red Sox broadcast is now clear, Reimer still explained change can be brought to the booth without breaking away from a conventional broadcast.


“The discussion around this topic has been centered around extremes.  “Albert in Rhode Island” is never going to call in after the 2-1 pitch and yell at Joe Castiglione about Deflategate. Nobody is suggesting that.

“But there is room for more opinion. Maybe some discussion around whether Alex Cora should’ve pinch-hit in a specific spot, or if the team is approaching the trade deadline properly.” 

A habitually slow game with breaks between the action, baseball offers the opportunity to have conversation and opinion from its voices on the broadcast, but being conversational doesn’t mean the format has to change.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email 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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