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98.5 The Sports Hub Dominates Boston Ratings

“Although sporting events were put on hiatus by COVID-19, Tom Brady offered a lot of content early in the spring ratings book, as the quarterback announced he was leaving the Patriots and soon after signed with Tampa Bay.”

Brandon Contes

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Boston’s sports radio ratings are out, and the results are again very one sided with 98.5 The Sports Hub continuing to dominate the market. Former WEEI morning personality and current host of a daily podcast with Barstool, Kirk Minihane was the first to report the numbers Wednesday afternoon.

During the spring book, which spanned March 26 through June 17, The Sports Hub topped the market, posting a strong 11.5, while WEEI 93.7 was eighth with a 4.5 in the target demo of men 25-54. According to Chad Finn of The Boston Globe, both numbers include the stream and WEEI’s rating also accounts for their Providence-based simulcast WVEI. 

With a global pandemic forcing the spring book to take place without the support of live sports, The Sports Hub saw a small decline from their winter number of 11.9. WEEI’s dip was more significant, dropping nearly two points from a 6.4.

Beginning with morning drive, The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich was first with a 12.7 and a significant lead over WEEI’s strongest performing show hosted by Greg Hill, which did a 7.3. Both shows saw declines of almost two full points from the winter book. 

In middays, Zolak & Bertrand also finished first with an impressive 13.8, while WEEI’s Dale and Keefe garnered a 4.2 share for the spring book.  The Sports Hub again maintained their dominance in afternoon drive as Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti were first, showing no signs of slowing despite the global pandemic with a monstrous 16.9, an increase of more than two points from their top-rated winter performance. Felger & Mazz’s Boston sports radio counterpart, OMF (Ordway, Merloni and Fauria) finished the spring book with a 4.3 for WEEI, good for fifth place.  

The evening timeslot was the lone weekday window that didn’t see The Sports Hub finish first overall. The Adam Jones Show, which airs from 6 – 11p, finished third with a 6.4. WEEI’s Mut at Night with Mike Mutnansky earned a 2.9 share, tied for 13th.

Although sporting events were put on hiatus by COVID-19, Tom Brady offered a lot of content early in the spring ratings book, as the quarterback announced he was leaving the Patriots and soon after signed with Tampa Bay. When I spoke to Mike Felger for a BSM feature last month, he called creating content during the sports shutdown “challenging.” But after seeing the ratings, The Sports Hub was clearly up to the challenge and the Boston audience responded.

Sports Radio News

Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’

“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.

On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.

“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.

“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”

Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”

Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.

“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”

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Sports Radio News

Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner

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Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.

The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”

Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.

Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe

“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

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MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday. That news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.

After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.

“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”

While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.

Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.

“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.

“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”

“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”

Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.

“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”

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