Sports radio listenership in the spring book was surely impacted by COVID-19 as sporting events were scarce and less people were on the road with daily commutes. Complete data for all shows was not available, but sports radio brands in Portland, Seattle and Milwaukee worked hard to combat the effects of a global pandemic.
Portland’s 102.9/750 The Game was less impacted by the lack of sports, producing a similar year-over-year number in weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p) earning a 3.4 share for their target demo of men 25-54. The Game topped the more localized 1080 The Fan, which did a 2.2 share.
The Game’s strongest performance came from The Dan Patrick Show, which airs 6 – 9a and generated a 6.2 share. The DP Show was down almost three points year-over-year in Portland, but still topped 1080’s Dusty and Cam in the Morning which earned less than a 1 share.
From 9a – noon, The Game’s simulcast of Jim Rome earned a 3.9, beating 1080’s offering of Colin Cowherd which generated a 1 share. During the noon – 3p block, The Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano turned in a similar year-over-year performance for The Game with a 3.4 share. 1080’s early afternoon show hosted by Andy Johnson and Brandon Sprague was less than a point behind with a 2.6. Data for afternoon drive wasn’t available.
Turning to Seattle, in weekday prime, 710 ESPN Seattle topped Sports Radio 950 KJR, but the pandemic caused the station to fall from 6th to 19th in the spring book which extended from March 27 – June 17.
In morning drive, 710’s Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant completed their second full book as co-hosts, topping KJR’s Chuck and Buck in the Morning. From noon – 3p, 710 ESPN’s midday show hosted by Tom Wassell, Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost also finished ahead of KJR. Rounding out the weekday lineup, KJR’s afternoon show with Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler and Dick Fain edged out 710’s trio of Bob Stelton, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore.
In Milwaukee, 97.3 The Game topped their sports radio competition for the full week (Mon-Sun 6a-mid). The Game earned a 1.6 share in the spring book, while 94.5 ESPN and 105.7 The Fan each did a 1.2. None of the three sports radio stations missed out on local NBA or MLB play-by-play, as news station WTMJ is the rightsholder for the Bucks, Brewers and Packers.
Dual market host Steve Czaban finished 10th in morning drive for The Game, from 6 – 9a. Czaban’s spring book was down from his seventh-place finish in the winter quarter. Full market data wasn’t available for all shows.
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.
Brian Gebhardt to Serve as Program Director of Sactown Sports 1140
“Learning under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti helped prepare Gebhardt for the next step.”
Sactown Sports 1140 has found their next program director. After an extensive search, GM Steve Cottingim and Bonneville Sacramento’s Group Director of Programming Chad Rufer have found their next leader in Atlanta, GA, tabbing Brian Gebhardt to guide the brand’s programming department.
Gebhardt heads west to join Bonneville Sacramento after enjoying over seven years of success at 92.9 The Game. He has served recently as the Executive Producer of the ‘Andy & Randy’ show featuring Randy McMichael and Andy Bunker. During his time with the Atlanta sports station, Gebhardt has learned under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti. Those experiences prepared Gebhardt for the next step, as did working with numerous on-air talents who have helped The Game become a model of consistency in Georgia.
“Brian’s experience working with both premiere talent and professional sports franchises will help us help the Sactown Sports brand grow both on-air and on-line ,” said Cottingim.
“Brian demonstrated to us a real passion for leading extraordinary talent,” shared Rufer. “We are very confident that he will help us grow Sactown Sports into Sacramento’s premiere sports brand.”
“I can’t wait to get started and I am beyond excited to be working with Bonneville,” added Gebhardt.
The hiring of the Georgia native as new PD allows Nick Cattles to focus exclusively on hosting the station’s afternoon show, a role he’s wanted to invest more time. Cattles joined Sactown Sports in November 2021 and has pulled double duty since arriving in Northern California. He hired Ramie Makhlouf as his afternoon drive co-host and the duo have built a solid foundation in afternoons. Having the ability now to focus solely on the show should allow Cattles and Ramie to elevate their program even more.
The first day on the job for Gebhardt will be Monday February 3rd. Depending on what develops with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC playoffs, there’s a possibility he could be walking into two straight weeks of Super Bowl planning. Regardless, Gebhardt has a new market to learn, a new team to meet, a new company to deliver results for, and an opportunity to take a big step in his radio career.
DNVR Sports Files Injunction Against Bonneville Over Denver Sports Brand
“We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community.”
After Bonneville International unveiled new branding for its Denver Sports properties, digital outlet DNVR Sports has filed an injunction to stop the radio company from utilizing the brand and logos.
In a Twitter thread, ALLCITY Network CEO Brandon Spano claimed DNVR Sports has already seen listeners, viewers, and readers confuse the two brands. “We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community,” Spano tweeted.
“Our branding was created purposefully, to be different from the way sports networks traditionally looked,” he said in another tweet. “To represent the city of Denver in a simple way while removing us from the gloss and pretentiousness of sports media. To create something that brings people together.”
Spano added that ALLCITY sent Bonneville a cease-and-desist letter last week, but claims the company failed to respond, so an injunction has been filed.
The Denver Sports branding utilized by Bonneville — which encompasses 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver — features a black and white city skyline as well as the Rocky Mountains inside a hexagon with block lettering. The DNVR Sports logo is a rectangle, similar to the city of Denver flag, with the sun centered between the mountain peaks and a block “DNVR” below the rectangle.
The complaint filed by StudioIP LLC — the law firm representing ALLCITY — claims the branding used by Bonneville constitutes “trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, dilution by tarnishment, and tortious interference arising out of Bonneville’s trademark infringement of Plaintiff’s trademarks,” according to Westword.
Bonneville has denied any wrongdoing, saying the accusations “have absolutely no merit, and our legal counsel is preparing a formal response. Denver Sports remains committed to delivering the most in-depth and inclusive local sports content for all Denver sports fans.”
Ray Didinger Returning to 94WIP
“Didinger will be a member of the new morning show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP once Angelo Cataldi officially retires.”
Longtime Philadelphia sports personality Ray Didinger stepped away from his media roles at NBC Sports Philadelphia and 94WIP in 2022, but he couldn’t stay away forever.
Didinger will be a member of the new morning show with Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94WIP once Angelo Cataldi officially retires.
The 75-year-old returned to NBC Sports Philadelphia late in 2022 as a member of the Eagles Postgame show and decided to return to the venerable Philadelphia sports radio station as well.
Didinger will work on an as-needed basis for DeCamara and Ritchie, contributing to news surrounding the Eagles. Known for his yellow notepad, Didinger has covered the franchise for more than 50 years.
After his retirement, Didinger was the subject of an episode of NFL Films Presents… in December, at the time telling Cataldi he had stayed busy in retirement.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run.
“Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”