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Winter Sports Radio Ratings From Seattle, Memphis and Tampa

“Sports radio ratings news from Seattle, Memphis and Tampa.”

Brandon Contes

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After a football-loaded fall quarter, sports radio audiences can be harder to keep during the winter ratings book, especially after the Super Bowl. This year, COVID-19 created extra challenges for radio brands to navigate, with the shutdown of live sports and negative economic impacts. Still, sports radio stations in Seattle, Memphis and Tampa Bay were able to generate some positive numbers.

Seattle didn’t have much in terms of local sports for the winter book. With the Seahawks’ season ending in early January, and no local NBA or NHL teams to focus on, 710 ESPN still turned in a strong sixth-place finish in weekday prime between Jan. 2 and March 25.

In morning drive, Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant finished sixth from 6a – 10a in their first full book together as a duo. The station’s late morning show, hosted by John Clayton from 10a – noon finished 14th and was their only weekday timeslot that failed to top Sports Radio 950 KJR.

From noon – 3p, 710 ESPN’s new midday show hosted by Tom Wassell, Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost recorded a sixth place finish in their first book. Rounding things out in afternoons, the trio of Bob Stelton, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore finished fifth from 3p – 6p, up year-over-year from 2019’s seventh place finish.

In Memphis, 92.9 ESPN garnered a 7 share in weekday prime for their target demo, good for fourth place and the same ranking year-over-year. From 9a – 11a, The Geoff Calkins Show finished third with a strong 8.1, an increase of more than a full point from 2019. In afternoon drive, The Gary Parrish Show was down a little year-over-year, but still finished third in the market with a 7.8 share.

While the live sports hiatus negatively impacted a number of radio stations, the immediate effects in Tampa Bay were combated by the news of Tom Brady joining the Buccaneers. Though full winter book ratings for Tampa’s 95.3/620 WDAE weren’t available, we did see some signs in March that were worth sharing.

Tom Brady’s decision to migrate south, helped lift all of WDAE’s local shows to top ten finishes for the month with men 25-54. It was the highest ratings WDAE has experienced in fifteen months. The station also generated their highest streaming numbers of the last decade during “Brady Week.” 

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Sports Radio News

Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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