Last month, it was reported the Mets would no longer be heard on the radio in Albany, NY, but once the season began it was realized outside of their new flagship WCBS, Entercom abandoned their entire network of affiliates.
Previously the Mets Radio Network utilized 13 different frequencies, but in switching their partnership from iHeartMedia to Entercom, that number has been reduced to just one. Effected markets include Albany, Syracuse, Poughkeepsie, Oswego, Oneonta, Glens Falls, Amsterdam, Watermill, Connecticut and Port St. Lucie, FL.
“They (Entercom) couldn’t come to an agreement with stations in the upstate area that we originally had listed as affiliates for the season,” said Lorraine Hamilton, Mets director of broadcasting, an answer that didn’t sit well with their former radio partners.
“This is why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Mets are the Mets,” said Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications which owns ESPN Radio in Syracuse. “It’s not like we told the Mets we didn’t want them. They reneged on the deal. They are too cheap to do what every other major league franchise does.”
According to Levine, he was told by an Entercom employee that the company chose not to purchase the necessary satellite time to distribute Met games beyond their flagship affiliate WCBS 880.
Beginning this season, the Syracuse Chiefs are now the Mets Triple-A affiliate. Much to Noah Syndergaard’s dissatisfaction, the Mets prioritized sending the team to Syracuse last week to build a connection with the local fanbase. Unfortunately for those fans, a radio simulcast was not a priority. For Syracuse or any upstate New York Mets fans looking to hear the big league club on terrestrial radio, they’ll need to hope WCBS 880’s signal consistently stretches that far.
“This is what they do,” Levine added. “They put a Triple-A franchise in Syracuse, and the first thing they do is cut off their Syracuse broadcast affiliate. It’s one of those decisions where you’re shaking your head and chuckling.”
Jon Jansen: If Taylor Swift Increases NFL Fandom, It’s a Good Thing
“The Lakers have been running this shtick for decades.”
As a luxury suite began to fill over the 45-yard line at MetLife Stadium, many fans in the lower bowl turned around to try to spot Taylor Swift, the Grammy Award-winning superstar who has made headlines in recent weeks for her alleged relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
NBC Sports also had several of its cameras positioned towards the box, ready to capture Swift’s body language and reactions to specific plays, especially touchdowns. Swift was shown a total of 17 times on Sunday Night Football, which reported an average of 27 million viewers and growth across the board in viewership from women.
With a devoted fan base of “Swifties” closely tracking her every move, major broadcast networks know that part of their audience is tuning in just to see her at the game. As a result, they have made it a point to accentuate how they implement her as part of the broadcast – whether that be through playing off her lyrics, explaining the basics of football or outright welcoming them on the air.
“I was on [social media] Sunday night, and there were people I know who are huge Jets fans say, ‘Enough already,’” Mike Stone, morning co-host on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, shared on Tuesday morning. “As a football fan; as somebody who’s watching the game, do you really care that much that they show her in the booth in the suite?”
“I don’t,” replied co-host Jon Jansen. “It doesn’t matter to me [and] it doesn’t affect my viewing experience.”
Jansen, a former NFL offensive tackle, understands that while continuously presenting footage of Swift may not be the most appealing to traditional football fans, it is helping grow the game en masse. Swift’s social media following surpasses that of the NFL, and her presence seems to be broadening the interest in the game aside from her interactions with Kelce.
“If you’re going to bring in a whole new demographic – not that all of them are going to stick around; some of them are there just there because it’s Taylor Swift [and] they’re huge fans,” Jansen said, “[but] ‘Swifties’ – if some of them are going to stick around, great – increase the fandom.”
Later in the show, Stone read several text messages from listeners with remarks varying from the fact that her fanbase would be unable to take over a stadium and the meager puns the announcers were making in relation to her songs.
“The Lakers have been running this shtick for decades,” Stone said. “It’s annoying, but that’s what networks do everywhere they go.”
Another message reversed the situation and asked how concertgoers would feel if Kelce and the Chiefs were brought up every five minutes. By acknowledging the contrasting demographics and differentiating interest levels in each topic, however, it only reaffirmed the point being promulgated by Jansen about the NFL trying to capitalize on the situation.
“Because Taylor Swift is jumping around because of a touchdown, [maybe her fans will think], ‘Well, why is she so excited? Can I be that excited about this?’”
FOX Sports Radio Added to Sports 1440 in Edmonton
“We heard loud and clear from our listeners that they wanted even more sports coverage, and now that’s going to happen overnights and on weekends with FOX Sports Radio.”
After debuting last month, Sports 1440 in Edmonton has bulked up its daily lineup by adding syndicated shows from FOX Sports Radio.
“We heard loud and clear from our listeners that they wanted even more sports coverage, and now that’s going to happen overnights and on weekends with FOX Sports Radio,” said Jackie Rae Greening, Sports 1440 Program Director. “We’re excited for their great team to join ours!”
The network’s morning show — Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn, and Jonas Knox will be heard from 4-7 AM. Additionally, The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon and The Ben Maller Show will be heard consecutively from 9:00 PM-4:00 AM. The entire FOX Sports Radio lineup will be heard on weekends in the Alberta capital.
The addition of the network lineup coincides with local programming being announced on Sports 1440. The Kevin Karius Show is heard from 7-11 AM, while Fantasy Frenzy with Halley & Douglas airs from 11 AM-12 PM. The Lowdown with Lowetide airs from 12-2 PM, with The Jason Gregor Show handling afternoon drive from 2-6 PM.
Sports 1440 is owned and operated by Stingray Radio. It is the lone sports station in the Edmonton market after the abrupt shutdown of TSN 1260 in June.
100.9 The Mitt Debuts in Central Michigan
“Our area has such great sports fans and we wanted to recommit ourselves to them.”
Michigan Baseball Foundation Enterprises has rebranded WLUN-FM as Sports Radio 100.9 The Mitt through a partnership with FOX Sports Radio.
The new station features a morning show from the Michigan Sports Network titled X’s and BrO’s with Anthony Bellino, along with a local evening program called The Payoff. Afternoons also feature The Huge Show with host Bill Simonson from 3 to 6 p.m., marking a new era for the station that was previously associated with ESPN Radio.
In addition to syndicated national programs, including The Dan Patrick Show and The Herd with Colin Cowherd, listeners will be able to tune into live sporting events including the NFL on Westwood One, Great Lakes Loons baseball, Michigan State football and basketball, and local high school sporting events.
Brad Tunney has been named the general manager of the station. Tunney has been with the entity since 2015 as a member of the Loons broadcast team.
“Our area has such great sports fans and we wanted to recommit ourselves to them,” he said in a statement. “FOX is a perfect partner for us to get national favorites like Dan and Colin on the air between a local lineup of seven hours of local talk. I’m really excited for our listeners to also re-gain a live local show in The Payoff that they can interact with and lean on for great local sports coverage.”
Despite the new position, Tunney will continue to be on the call for the games along with John Vicari delivering the play-by-play. Vicari will also be commentating on most of the high school sports coverage on 100.9 The Mitt while serving as the broadcast and content coordinator for the outlet. Rich Juday will continue in his role as the director of sales complete with a new slate of on-air and off-air offerings.