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Could ESPN NY Drop Golic & Wingo For Local Show?

“Moving Golic and Wingo off 98.7 and onto their AM signal would keep the network programming in the New York market, while allowing their FM frequency to have a legitimate chance of competing against WFAN.”

Brandon Contes

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Earlier this week, John Ourand of Sports Business Daily reported ESPN will shut down its Spanish language radio network on September 8.  

Since ESPN Radio in New York flipped to its 98.7 FM frequency in 2012, its original AM signal, 1050 began carrying ESPN Deportes.  With ESPN Deportes closing its doors, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports 1050 AM will likely be made into an English-speaking sports station.  

1050 could broadcast as a simulcast of 98.7, the same way WFAN airs its programming on both 101.9 FM and 660 AM to cover a much larger area of listeners.  ESPN could also decide to have 1050 carry its national programming, while allowing ESPN NY on 98.7 to offer a full local lineup for the first time.  When WFAN added its 101.9 FM signal, there was the possibility of 660 AM being flipped to network programming, with the newly launched CBS Sports Radio, but management ultimately chose not to make the switch, instead having both frequencies air WFAN’s lineup.  

ESPN, however, has always maintained the importance of offering their national morning show (Golic and Wingo) along with one other network radio program in New York, even though they get crushed by WFAN in the ratings.  Moving Golic and Wingo off 98.7 and onto their AM signal would keep the network programming in the New York market, while allowing their FM frequency to have a legitimate chance of competing against WFAN.  Now that The Michael Kay Show has closed the ratings gap with its radio rival, Mike Francesa, it might be enticing for ESPN to see what a full local lineup could do against WFAN.

When I spoke to ESPN NY’s Rick DiPietro last month, the midday host acknowledged he preferred when the show was on as a lead-in for The Michael Kay Show because of the added comradery.  Currently DiPietro’s show, Humpty, Canty and Rothy are in the 10 – 1 timeslot, sandwiched between the network programming of Golic and Wingo and The Stephen A. Smith Show.  With national shows never doing well in the New York sports radio ratings battle, Humpty, Canty and Rothy have the uphill battle of challenging WFAN as a local island in their lineup.

WFAN has been a revolving door of changes since morning show star Craig Carton was arrested in September 2017.  Two years later, Andrew Marchand notes those changes at WFAN could continue with their 1 – 3pm show Carlin, Maggie and Bart’s contracts up at the end of the year along with Mike Francesa still working without a deal. 

Although Carlin, Maggie and Bart have seen ratings success, paying three hosts for two hours, as the fourth show in their weekday lineup, might not make financial sense.  As WFAN continues to retool and The Michael Kay Show proves ESPN can compete with Francesa, bringing 1050 in as an English-speaking sports station could open the door for ESPN NY to create a full lineup that can compete with their crosstown rival.

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

SURVEY: Sports Talk Stations Near Top of Streamed Stations

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.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, All Sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info.

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.

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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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