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92.9 The Game Shines In Winter Ratings Book

“95.5 WSB Atlanta’s News Talk enjoyed a clean sweep in mornings, midday and afternoon drive, finishing first in all three timeslots.”

Brandon Contes

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92.9 The Game in Atlanta enjoyed an impressive quarter to launch their 2020 campaign. The Entercom owned sports radio station finished second overall during the winter book, posting an 8.4 share among Men 25-54 in the M-F 6a-Midnight demo. 

In morning drive, John Fricke and Hugh Douglas finished second for the book with a 7.3. The Game’s midday show with Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael finished fourth, but their 8.5 rating was just 0.3 away from the second spot. The station’s popular afternoon drive show hosted by Carl Dukes and Mike Bell posted a strong 9.0 and were just half a point away from finishing first for the winter book. 

95.5 WSB Atlanta’s News Talk enjoyed a clean sweep for the quarter in mornings, midday and afternoons, finishing first in all three timeslots, totaling a 10.9 in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p). 92.9 The Game did finish first with their nighttime show hosted by John Chuckery. The 7p-11p host took over the program full-time last summer and finished 1st overall in the winter book with a 9.8. 

The winter ratings period extends from Jan. 2 through March 25, meaning most of the book took place before the COVID-19 pandemic forced live sports to shutdown March 11. During the quarter’s final two weeks, news/talk saw an increase in listenership as the COVID-19 pandemic became a growing issue in the United States. It will be interesting to see how the virus continues to impact ratings for news talk stations such as WSB during the spring book. 

92.9 The Game’s ratings depict a strong finish for program director Terry Foxx who was unfortunately laid off earlier this month. The layoffs were part of Entercom’s cost cutting efforts as an attempt to combat economic impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Foxx helped launch The Game in 2012, building the station from the ground up to compete with Atlanta’s 680 The Fan. 

680 The Fan does not subscribe to Nielsen ratings, but according to data, the station’s top performing show for the winter book was their afternoon drive duo Chuck and Chernoff. While Atlanta’s top two sports stations feature different business models, their ability to generate money remains more important than Nielsen numbers, especially during an unprecedented shutdown.

Sports Radio News

Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution

“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

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Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.

“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.

A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.

“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.

The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.

“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”

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Sports Radio News

Mully & Haugh: Mike Florio Had Perfect Response About NFL Games Being Fixed

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There were questionable calls — both made and not — that played into the eventual outcome of the AFC Championship Game. Cynics have pointed to the officiating in the game’s final quarter as proof that NFL games are fixed. On 670 The Score, Mully & Haugh praised Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for his response to those accusations.

“I always assume it’s incompetence and not corruption,” Florio said when asked about whether or not the league purposely got the matchup it desired. “The NFL does not rig its games. I will say that loudly, and I will say that clearly. Sometimes I will add ‘because I don’t think the NFL would be sufficiently competent to rig its games if it wanted to. That’s why I think they don’t even try.”

Florio then added that being lied to all the time doesn’t mean you’re being lied to all the time, adding that the NFL does need to be proactive against games being fixed, rigged, or altered after the expansion of legalized gambling.

Later in the program, Mulligan and Haugh returned to the discussion about whether or not a conspiracy was at play when Mulligan levied his praise for the Pro Football Talk founder.

“I thought Mike Florio handled that very well,” Mike Mulligan said. “They’re too incompetent to have a conspiracy. It’s true!”

When asked about whether the NFL would actually want to alter the outcome to pit the Chiefs against the Eagles, Haugh said it’s just not realistic.

“That’s a leap you can’t make. It’s not logical. It’s logical to think the referees stink and their incompetent,” David Haugh said. “They have proof of that. To me, it’s a bridge too far to say they wanted a certain team to win because it makes a better matchup or its better for the league. That, to me, makes no sense and is based on no fact at all.”

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Sports Radio News

Evan Roberts: Tony Romo Is Trying To Make Every Game Historically Significant

“He’s in the end zone and immediately Tony Romo instead of talking about the throw, the play, goes into a soliloquy about Michael Jordan.”

Jordan Bondurant

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CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo drew some criticism on social media on Sunday during coverage of the AFC championship game.

Romo caught heat for the second straight week trying to make comparisons of the quarterbacks in the NFL games he’s covering to the likes of Michael Jordan.

On Carton & Roberts on WFAN on Monday, host Craig Carton said he thought it was interesting how the perception of Romo has shifted a little bit recently.

“People are really down on him now,” Carton said. “Like he was all hot to trot, and now people think he’s not.”

Roberts said trying to compare Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow to Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler was quite a stretch.

“He’s in the end zone and immediately Tony Romo instead of talking about the throw, the play, goes into a soliloquy about Michael Jordan,” Roberts said. “I didn’t think the timing of that made any sense. It’s like what are we doing?”

That was precisely the reaction many had to Romo’s third quarter comments. Evan went on to say even with the comparison not really making sense, it was just the completely wrong point in the broadcast to bring something like that up.

“In the middle of a game – that doesn’t end the game – it’s a touchdown to put them up seven mid-third quarter – should not be moment where Tony Romo is pontificating about where this ranks in sports history. It was out of place,” Roberts said.

“Can we find an NFL reference? Is that possible?” Carton responded.

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