Chicago’s sports radio listenership might not have been spectacular last quarter, but the winter ratings book proved to be a tight race for Chi-Town’s 670 The Score and ESPN 1000.
According to Nielsen Audio, both stations tied for tenth place with a 3.3 share in weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p). Year-over-year it represented a decline for The Score and a slight uptick for ESPN 1000. The Score won the full week with a 3.1, good for a 14th place tie, but ESPN 1000 was not far behind. In his first full book as market manager for Mike Thomas, Good Karma’s ESPN 1000 finished with a 2.8 share.
In morning drive, The Score’s Mully and Haugh finished tied for seventh with a 4.5, down from 2019’s 7.7 during the winter book. ESPN 1000’s simulcast of the nationally syndicated Golic and Wingo saw a ratings increase from a year ago, earning a 3.8 share.
From 9a – noon, ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan led The Score by more than a full point. Kap & Company did a 3.5 share, while the final book for Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight as a duo produced a 2.4 rating. McKnight was unfortunately laid off earlier this month, as part of cost cutting efforts from Entercom to combat economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bernstein has continued the midday show as a solo host.
The noon – 2p timeslot again went to ESPN 1000 as Carmen & Jurko finished 12th with a 3.2 share, but Laurence Holmes wasn’t far behind, earning 2.9 rating for The Score.
Rounding out the weekday lineup, The Score topped ESPN 1000 in another close race for afternoon drive. From 2p – 6p The Score’s Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins finished tied for eighth with a 3.4 rating, while ESPN 1000’s popular duo of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman garnered a 3.2. It was a decline of about a point for both shows year-over-year.
Both stations have lineups filled with entertaining and versatile hosts that can create good content even without a full slate of live sports. It will be interesting to see how the two brands are able to keep the audience’s attention in the spring book, considering the pandemic-forced sports stoppage.
Greg Hill to Jeff Van Gundy: ‘You Sounded Like You Were on the Bucks’ Payroll’
“After a pregnant pause, Van Gundy answered through laughter, throwing a zinger right back at Hill and crew.”
They are nothing if not blunt in Boston. That was the case Tuesday morning when The Greg Hill Show welcomed ABC/ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy to the program to preview the Eastern Conference Finals.
Overall, it was a cordial visit. Questions mostly focused on the headlines related to officiating throughout the playoffs and what the Celtics would have to do to make it to the NBA Finals, which Van Gundy thinks will happen.
“I think Boston’s been the best team in the league,” he said. “I think they’re gonna win it all this year.”
Greg Hill said after the conference semi-finals matchup with Milwaukee, he was surprised to hear Jeff Van Gundy felt that way.
“Jeez, I’m glad to hear you say that,” Hill told Van Gundy. “It almost sounded like you were on the Bucks’ payroll at times during that last series.”
After a pregnant pause, Van Gundy answered through laughter, throwing a zinger right back at Hill and crew.
“You know what? I get used to that and then the Bucks people say I want Boston to win. Not that you guys would be homers or anything.”
Jeff Van Gundy will join Mike Breen and Mark Jackson at the broadcast table for the Eastern Conference Finals on ABC and ESPN. Game 1 between the Celtics and Heat is scheduled for Tuesday night at 8:30 in Miami.
99.7 The Fox Becomes New Carolina Panthers Flagship
“The new deal represents a return to The Fox for the Panthers. The station was the team’s flagship from 2000 through 2004.”
The Carolina Panthers are on the move in Charlotte. The team is leaving WBT. Their new radio home will be 99.7 The Fox, iHeartMedia’s classic rock station.
The station will carry all Panthers game broadcasts, the Panthers pregame and postgame shows as well the team’s weekly coach’s show. There will also be an on-site presence for every home game at Bank of America Stadium.
“We are thrilled to increase iHeartSports NFL partnerships with the addition of the Carolina Panthers. The passion between a sports team and its fan base is one-of-a-kind, and we’re thrilled to expand the Carolina Panthers’ reach to their passionate supporters with our new multi-media deal,” Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Sports, said in a press release. “iHeart’s reach in Charlotte is unprecedented, meaning more fans will hear their favorite team than ever before. The partnership will include broadcast, streaming, podcast, events, marketing and promotional elements which will drive results for the Panthers!”
“The team at 99.7 The Fox is delighted to once again be the broadcast home of the Carolina Panthers, bringing best-in-class content from the team to its dedicated and passionate fans,” Dave Carwile, President of iHeartMedia Multi-Platform Group – Charlotte, added. “We know how special the relationship and connection between the city of Charlotte, the Panthers and the fan base is, and we’re thrilled to enhance that bond with an expanded coverage area reaching more fans on 99.7 The Fox. We can’t wait to get started.”
The new deal represents a return to The Fox for the Panthers. The station was the team’s flagship from 2000 through 2004. Every other year of the franchise’s existence, their games have been heard on WBT.
“The Panthers are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Radio One, and the role that WBT has played in sharing some of the greatest moments in franchise history for 22 seasons, including each of the past 17,” Jake Burns, Chief Commercial Officer for the Carolina Panthers, said.
Indiana Sports Talk Station Set To Flip Formats
“The promos say that station owner Woof Boom Broadcasting is “building a new radio station for Muncie and Delaware County”.
Sports fans in Muncie, Indiana may soon lose their favorite sports station. Listeners to Muncie Sports 92.5 have heard promos teasing a new station coming to the frequency.
The promos say that station owner Woof Boom Broadcasting is “building a new radio station for Muncie and Delaware County”. The station has also changed its call letters. What was WXFN is now WMUN.
Muncie Sports 92.5 airs on two signals. 1340 AM is a 1000 watt station. 92.5 FM is a translator signal.
The station airs an hour-long local show hosted by Mark Foerster on weekdays at 4 pm. It carries syndicated programming from FOX Sports Radio and is the local affiliate for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Cincinnati Reds, IndyCar Series, Ball State University football and women’s basketball, and three local high schools.
ESPN 680 is still available from nearby Marion,IN. Two Indianapolis sports talk stations are strong enough to be heard in the town as well according to Radio Locator.