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Mike Stone Offers Tearful Tribute To Jamie Samuelsen

“Samuelsen passed away Saturday, just five days after he announced he was battling colon cancer.”

Brandon Contes

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To say Monday was a difficult day for Detroit’s 97.1 The Ticket would be an understatement as the station mourned the loss of longtime sports radio host Jamie Samuelsen. 

Having to carry a radio show without your partner can prove to be a challenge, but having to do so after your co-host passed away less than 48-hours prior is unimaginable. That’s what The Ticket’s Mike Stone was confronted with Monday morning. After losing Jamie Samuelsen to cancer over the weekend, Stoney got behind the mic on Monday and offered a four-hour tribute to his co-host which included laughs, tears, frustration and celebration.

Samuelsen passed away Saturday, just five days after he announced he was battling colon cancer. For 19 months Samuelsen kept the diagnosis private, but he decided to publicize his fight as a way of encouraging others to get tested. Several friends, including Stone, visited Samuelsen last week to say goodbye. 

“We were in his bedroom,” Stone said. “We were telling some jokes. He was having a good time. Obviously didn’t look well. And it was tough for him. Obviously, it was tough for us. And he told us each that he loved us.”

The Bay Area born Samuelsen entered Detroit’s sports radio market in 1994 by way of WDFN, later joining The Ticket in 2012 where he was paired with evening host and longtime friend Bob Wojnowski. Then in 2016, Stone and Samuelsen partnered in morning drive where the duo enjoyed immense ratings success.

“We’ll all get through this eventually,” Stone said shortly after reading lyrics from the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows. “It’s going to be hard. It’s going to suck. Don’t worry about us. We’ll figure it out,” Stone continued as his voice began to break near the end of the four-hour tribute. 

“Thanks to all the listeners, thanks to all the support that this community has showed him since last Monday, the Lions, the Tigers, the Pistons, the Red Wings, Michigan. We had Matt Patricia on today and Dave Revsine and the love for this man is overwhelming,” said Stoney. “Jamie, I loved you, still love you. Christy, Josh, Catherine and Caroline, and we can throw Wojo in there because he’s part of their family. 

“God, Jamie was the greatest. When Wojo asked one word to describe Jamie, I said ‘inclusive.’ Jamie was good to everybody, God Bless you, James K. Love you, love your family, and gonna miss you so much,” Stone said in closing as he broke down in tears, and undoubtedly, many of his listeners did too. 

Sports Radio News

16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, 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 their 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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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