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WFNZ Surges in Charlotte’s Spring Ratings Book

“WFNZ overcame a number of major challenges to close out the spring book in strong fashion.”

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It’s been well documented on this website the past two weeks that the spring ratings across the sports radio format weren’t as strong as they usually are. Aside from 98.5 The Sports Hub, 97.1 The Ticket and Sports Radio WIP, most brands experienced a little bit of a setback due to the pandemic, a lack of sports, and listening behavior being different than usual.

But in Charlotte, they must’ve put something in the water because WFNZ overcame some amazing obstacles to deliver one of their best quarters yet.

Before I dive into the breakdowns, consider what this radio station went thru over the past few months. Dealing with a pandemic and lack of sports is challenging enough, but the radio station saw former PD Tony DiGiacomo exit in early March, just before the spring book. A month later, operations manager Darrin Ariens passed away due to COVID-19. If ever a station deserved a break, this one did, and they got it this quarter.

Starting with the Men 25-54 numbers in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), WFNZ finished 6th with a 5.6. The station was actually as high as 4th during 2 of the 3 spring months. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) the radio station was 9th in the market with a 4.3.

The story was even better among Men 18-34. WFNZ was 1st overall in weekday prime with an 11.2, and 2nd for the full week with a 7.8. One exceptional stat to share, their TSL for the month of June among 18-34 Men was just under 16 hours. Keep in mind, they’re doing this on an AM stick with a 5,000 watt signal and a low powered FM translator.

Looking at the station’s key shows, The Mac Attack with Chris McClain and Travis ‘TBone’ Hancock came in 7th with a 5.4 thanks to the 2nd best TSL in the market among Men 25-54. Even more impressive, the show was 1st overall with Men 18-34 with a 13.3. The month of May in particular jumped out as the morning team delivered a massive 17.2 in the 18-34 demo. Mac and TBone had no issue keeping younger listeners tuned in either, they were tops in TSL including a huge 6+ hours of listening in the month of June.

In middays, the talented team of Nick Wilson and Josh Parcell were also 7th for the spring, but with three more tenths of a point than the morning show. Wilson and Parcell produced a 5.7 with Men 25-54, and were also 1st overall with Men 18-34 with a 11.5. Similar to the morning crew, middays was best in TSL with Men 18-34 led by June’s dominant 7+ hours of listening.

From 2p-6p, The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey turned in a 7th place finish as well, also recording a 5.7 with Men 25-54. Bailey’s program was a hit too with Men 18-34, finishing 2nd with a 10.6, thanks to strong TSL. Similar to the station’s other two shows, TSL in June during afternoons was just under 5 hours of listening per week.

Rounding things out, The Final Drive with Josh Parcell produced the best ranking position for the entire weekday lineup. Parcell’s solo hour was tied for 5th with a 4.7 among Men 25-54. With Men 18-34 the story was great too. Parcell came in 2nd with a 7.2, led by strong TSL. In June alone, he was 1st in the market with 4:45 of listening per week.

What’s especially impressive is that just one year ago with Men 25-54, the morning show produced a mid 3 share, and middays and afternoons were both just under a mid 4 share. That means Wilson & Parcell and Kyle Bailey each gained a point, and Mac and TBone picked up two points.

Congrats is in order for Matt Hanlon and the entire WFNZ programming staff. With new PD Terry Foxx now in the building, the pressure will be on to lift the brand to even greater heights in the summer book.

Sports Radio News

Kentucky Sports Radio Joins On3 College Sports Network

KSR’s content has been independent for the past 16 years.

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Courtesy: KSR

On3 just caught their first big fish in the fan site pond. The college sports and recruiting digital media company announced Kentucky Sports Radio as their first fansite to join the company.

The addition bolsters On3’s portfolio while giving KSR access to a wider swath of University of Kentucky fans. Rivals.com and 247Sports.com founders created On3. The site is angling itself as a new player in the space.

“Kentucky Sports Radio is a significant addition to On3, and we are honored they are the first fansite to join the network,” CEO of On3 Shannon Terry said in a press release. “Not only is KSR the market leader, but it is also easily one of the largest fan sites in the industry, if not the largest.”

On3 plans on covering recruiting, college sports, and the NFL draft using their wide range of reporters and talent across the country.

“The decision to be the first site to join up with On3 was both difficult and easy,” KSR founder Matt Jones said. “The difficult part was giving up the complete independence that we have had since the creation of KSR 16 years ago. But it was easy because once I saw what On3 had in store and its plans for revolutionizing the coverage of college sports, I knew it was the best fit for KSR and all Kentucky fans.”

It’s not easy to give up 15-plus years of content independence, but the chance was too good for Jones and KSR to pass up.

“Joining On3 will ensure that KSR will remain the best site in America for the coverage of a collegiate sports team for the most loyal fans in all of America,” Jones said.

Jones, Drew Franklin, Tyler Thompson, and the whole KSR team are entering a new chapter in the site’s history as Wildcat Football gets set to kick off on Sept. 4th.

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Sports Radio News

Texans GM Tells SportsRadio 610 To Give Away His Money

The Texans finished with a 4-12 record in 2020.

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Courtesy: SportsRadio 610

The Houston Texans are in a peculiar spot as an NFL franchise, but general manager Nick Caserio made one thing clear in a post-training camp press conference this week.

The longtime league executive shouted out “the guys at 610” and all of the faithful SportsRadio 610 listeners in Houston. “Maybe you guys can take a poll on how many transactions we are going to have,” Caserio said when asked about the number of roster moves the team will have during camp. “I’ll maybe give a hundred bucks to the winner.”

There you have it, Caserio’s is a man of his word and has thrown down the $100 gauntlet to correctly gauge his roster moves over the next month. The poll on SportsRadio 610’s website has four different multiple-choice options for fans to choose ranging from zero roster moves to 50-plus.

GMs usually have their reasons to avoid media chatter. Listening to talking heads rip your decisions or make suggestions for better moves isn’t a foolproof way to achieve success in the NFL. Yet, Caserio wants to have some fun with the fans and media in an endearing way.

Sexual assault allegations against star quarterback Deshaun Watson are still looming, and the team gutted its roster this offseason. All in all, Caserio stepped into a difficult situation, but he seems to be making lemonade out of lemons.

SportsRadio 610 is the Texans flagship affiliate. The station produces all things surrounding the game broadcasts each week of the season and supports three weekly shows on the team. They air the Romeo Crennel Show, on Mondays at 5 p.m. local time in Houston, the Texans Players Show, airing Tuesdays at 6 p.m., and Texans Replay, an hour-long condensed replay of the previous week’s Texans game, which broadcasts on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Click here for more info on the contest.

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Sports Radio News

Toronto Blue Jays Bring Back Radio Broadcast

“The decision coincides with the team’s return to the Rogers Center.”

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The days of simulcasting are over in Toronto. The CBC is reporting that after going more than half the season without a dedicated radio call for their games, the Toronto Blue Jays will welcome back their radio crew on Friday night.

The decision coincides with the team’s return to the Rogers Center. The Blue Jays have not played a true home game in more than a year as Canada’s travel and COVID restrictions have forced the team to relocate to the United States temporarily in order not to be left out of the last two Major League Baseball seasons.

When making the announcement that games would be simulcast on TV and radio, Rogers Communications and the Blue Jays said it was a decision motivated by financial factors. It was unpopular with many people. In Canada, fans with vision issues said that they could not follow the game without the more descriptive radio call. In baseball, the team drew the ire of both fellow broadcasters and celebrity superfans.

“Taking the radio call away, we knew it would get a negative feedback — and it did,” Rob Corte, vice-president of Sportsnet and NHL production, told The Athletic. “There are certain elements of a radio broadcast that you can’t duplicate when you’re trying to have a broadcast of doing television and radio.”

Fans will get a paired down booth for the remainder of the season. Ben Wagner will be back at the dedicated radio play-by-play voice of the Toronto Blue Jays. He will be alone in calling the games though. Rogers will not provide a color commentator.

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