Hearts are broken throughout the city of Detroit. Just five days after announcing he had colon cancer, 97.1 The Ticket morning host Jamie Samuelsen lost his fight against the disease on Saturday evening. BSM offers its condolences to his friends and family.
During his Monday morning radio show on 97.1 The Ticket last week, Samuelsen told his audience about his personal battle with colon cancer, a disease he fought for 19 months. A recent infection forced Samuelsen to take a few days off from his show, but the radio host was amazingly able to remain on-air throughout the 19 month-long bout with cancer.
“Each morning since my diagnosis, I got up, turned on the radio mic and got to talk sports,” Samuelsen said alongside his morning show co-host Mike Stone. “I needed the escape from cancer, just like so many of our listeners who face hardships, grief and illness, too, they turned to us in the morning for some levity in this crazy world. So I wanted to continue to have fun and not let cancer get in the way of doing what I loved. Connecting with listeners, laughing, teasing Stoney, all of it, it helped me be normal, while continuing to fight this disease.”
A Detroit sports radio figure for more than a quarter-century, the Bay Area bred Samuelsen entered the market in 1994, quickly making himself known in print, TV and radio. After a long tenure at WDFN, Samuelsen joined The Ticket in 2012, where he was paired with evening host and longtime friend Bob Wojnowski. Then in 2016, Samuelsen moved to morning drive on The Ticket with Mike Stone, where the duo enjoyed immense ratings success.
At the family’s request, Wojo announced the passing of Samuelsen Saturday night on Twitter. If you search “Jamie Samuelsen” on social media or just follow Wojo’s Twitter feed, it’s evident how beloved and respected he is by listeners and colleagues.
“I’m having a real hard time understanding Jamie’s passing,” Samuelsen’s longtime WDFN co-host Gregg Henson wrote on Twitter. “Jamie was one of the most thoughtful, loving souls I have ever met, I always marveled how he could stay so calm and cool while I was losing my lunatic mind. He was raised by a great family and built one just like it. I can’t stop thinking about his wife and kids and how hard it is to lose a true hero, those children will have rough days ahead, but wow, they were really fortunate to have a father like Jamie. You can bet one day they will build great families too.”
One of the main motives behind Samuelsen’s decision to publicize his colon cancer diagnosis was to encourage his audience to go get a colonoscopy.
“More people under the age of 50 are being diagnosed with colon cancer than ever before,” Samuelsen said. “Make sure you talk with your doctor and get that colonoscopy.”
The 48-year old Jamie Samuelsen is survived by his wife Christy McDonald, an anchor and reporter for Detroit PBS, and their three children, Caroline, 16, Josh, 14 and Catherine, 11.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All Sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in its latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.