The spring ratings period from March 26 through June 17 was overall less than impressive for Chicago’s two sports stations. Still, the total drop-off was minimal considering COVID-19 forced a sports shutdown, with some shows even outperforming their winter numbers.
According to Nielsen Audio, the stations were in a tight race for weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p). The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7. In comparison, both stations did a 3.3 in the winter book, which largely took place before the sports hiatus.
In morning drive, The Score’s Mully and Haugh finished the book in 13th place with a 2.8, down from their 4.5 winter number. Year-over-year, Mully and Haugh dropped nearly five points from the 2019 spring book which occurred while the Cubs were in action. ESPN 1000’s simulcast of Golic and Wingo placed ninth in their final book as morning co-hosts. Surprisingly, the show saw a ratings increase in the spring with a 4.3 share, up a half point from the winter book.
For a national host, Golic developed a solid connection with the Chicago audience, in-part thanks to his 18 years with Mike Greenberg, who launched his radio career at The Score in the early ‘90s. But with Greeny having left ESPN Radio’s morning show in 2017, and Golic on his way out next month, a new trio of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti are set to take over the national airwaves.
Will they get the chance to compete in Chicago? With Good Karma Brands now in control of ESPN 1000, it will be interesting to see if the company elects to go local in mornings or continue featuring network programming courtesy of their partnership with the worldwide leader.
From 9a – noon, both stations were again in a tight ratings battle. ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan finished 12th with a 2.9, while Dan Bernstein was right behind with a 2.8 for The Score. Kap & Company dropped from a 3.5 share in the winter, while Bernstein was up almost a half point from what was his final book with co-host Connor McKnight.
The noon – 2p timeslot went to The Score, as Laurence Holmes fared well during the sports hiatus, tied for 11th with a 3.1 share which was up from his 2.9 in the winter book. For ESPN 1000, Carmen & Jurko dipped from a 3.2 share during the winter, to a 19th place finish and a 2.4 rating in the spring book.
Rounding out the weekday lineup, The Score finished 13th from 2 – 6p as their afternoon show with Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins earned a 3.1 share, a slight drop from their 3.4 over the winter. ESPN 1000’s afternoon duo of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman finished tied for 18th with a 2 share. But more importantly, it was great to hear Silvy has been able to continue co-hosting the afternoon show on ESPN 1000 while battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a diagnosis he revealed in late April.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
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 $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”
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.
Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job
“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.
“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel“ during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.
“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.
Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’
“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.
“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”
“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”
When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.
“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.
The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.
Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”
Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”
Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.