Chris Oliviero is finishing up his third full month as market manager of Entercom New York, which sees him contribute as the general manager of WFAN, the most prime real estate in sports radio. And as Oliviero said during the latest BSM podcast, he considers it the “best job in broadcasting.”
Since being hired by Entercom earlier this year, Oliviero has often been asked about the possibility of WFAN reuniting with their former morning star Craig Carton, who was recently released from prison. Oliviero has been consistent in his interest in working with Carton, his friend and former colleague, a sentiment he maintained during his conversation with Jason Barrett.
“I have spoken to him, we do have a relationship.” Oliviero said while noting those conversations have so far been about life and family and not yet about business. Oliviero added that the business conversations will come when Carton is ready, but he also knows Entercom is not the only company that will approach the radio host.
“There has been no job offer made to Craig, we will talk at the appropriate time,” Oliviero added. “When that is? I don’t know. There are things in Craig’s life right now that are more important than radio, I think people will understand that. His resume, his success, his history with the station and the company warrants that conversation.”
Despite remaining strong in morning drive without Carton, ESPN New York has narrowed the ratings gap among the overall lineup, but Oliviero still touts the power of WFAN’s brand.
“It’s a sign of how strong the brand is that FAN was able to withstand that amount of change,” Oliviero said of Francesa’s first retirement and losing Carton within a few months of each other. “I think a brand of lesser stature would have been taken out at the knees if they had to take on that magnitude of change within months of each other.”
One interesting dynamic of potentially bringing Carton back to WFAN, is his now public battle with gambling addiction. As the sports wagering industry continues to become a more accepted practice, the audience will seek related content. During the BSM podcast, Oliviero discussed the importance of gambling content in sports radio, the need to cover betting, and the fact that it offers a new way for hosts to examine games.
While WFAN’s weekday lineup may have lost household names such as Craig Carton and Mike Francesa in recent years, the attention the brand receives hasn’t wavered. Speculation on changes that could take place within WFAN’s lineup are analyzed and discussed just as much as pro teams in the area are. Oliviero told Barrett he likes the attention WFAN receives from newspapers and media because it “shows we’re relevant in the year 2020, it shows people care and that’s a reflection of the brand.”
For almost 30 years, the person in charge of WFAN’s lineup changes has been Mark Chernoff. When Chernoff spoke with BSM for an interview earlier this year, the program director expressed a profound desire to keep working. But a change in leadership will inevitably happen, and when it does, Oliviero said Chernoff’s goal will be to do whatever is in the best interest of FAN. He acknowledged already having those conversations with Chernoff to make sure that when the moment comes, WFAN will have ample time to address finding his replacement.
Owning premier sports radio stations across the country, Entercom has phenomenal in-house talent with a bench of sports radio and audio programming experts. But Oliviero noted the next programmer of FAN could come from outside radio because the world and industry is ever changing.
Arizona Sports 98.7 Delivers Top 10 Finish in Phoenix Winter Book
“The Phoenix sports radio leader closed the quarter in 8th place among Men 25-54 in weekday prime.”
The winter book results are in for Phoenix, and once again Bonneville’s Arizona Sports 98.7 FM delivered.
The Phoenix sports radio leader closed the quarter in 8th place among Men 25-54 in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p). The other sports radio brands in the market, ESPN Phoenix 620, FOX Sports 910, 1580 The Fanatic, and KDUS Sports AM 1060 were further behind for the quarter.
Among 98.7’s local shows, Burns and Gambo produced the best performance for the quarter. The popular afternoon duo generated a 4.4 share, placing them 6th in their timeslot. Having worked together for a decade, Dave and John continue to thrive with no signs of slowing down.
Next best was Bickley and Marotta, the station’s midday show. Dan and Vince were just one tenth lower than afternoons with a 4.3 share. That earned them a 9th place finish in their daypart.
Finishing up in mornings, Doug & Wolf had a setback for the quarter. They turned in a 14th place finish with a 3.0 share. Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley have enjoyed fifteen strong years in mornings, becoming one of the most popular shows in Phoenix. Just two years ago they were 4th. I’d expect them to regain their footing and perform stronger in the spring, summer and fall books.
1010XL/92.5 FM Introduces ‘Alumni Week’
“Jacksonville’s 1010XL/92.5 FM is reflecting on 15 years of history by returning to its roots, producing a special ‘Alumni Week’.”
Jacksonville’s sports radio leader, 1010XL/92.5 FM is reflecting on 15 years of history by returning to its roots. Starting Monday May 10th, the station will produce a special ‘Alumni Week‘, showcasing popular hosts of the past, re-teaming hosts who previously worked together, and re-airing old audio, infamous moments, and classic characters who helped the brand become what it is today.
Frank Frangie, the station’s afternoon drive host, and Rick Ballou will reunite in afternoon drive for the entire week. The duo handled afternoons for more than seven years together beginning in 2009. They will be joined periodically throughout the week by Jessica Blaylock. The current Miami Marlins reporter was a mainstay on the show for most of Frangie and Ballou’s run as partners.
Mike Dempsey, host of Jaguars Today, will reconnect all week with his former cohost, former Jags’ linebacker Tom McManus. Guests on the show will include Jeff Lageman, David Garrard, John Oehser and Mike DiRocco.
Helmets and Heels, the station’s groundbreaking weekly show featuring all female hosts, will air every night during the week from 6-8 p.m. Current hosts Lauren Brooks and Donna Murphy, who have been on the show since its inception, will be joined by show regular Taylor Doll. Joining the trio will be former cast members Blaylock, Blythe Brumleve, Amanda Borges and others.
The station’s popular morning show, The Drill, will have interview segments with former co-hosts Jordan DeArmon, Mackenzie Thirkill, and Tony Boselli, along with a few surprises. Hays Carlyon, who is curently one third of the afternoon show, will spend the week on XL Prime Time with Joe Cowart, Matt Hayes and Leon Searcy. XLPT will welcome Chadd Scott, Terry Norvelle, Scott Manze and more. Last but not least, Frangie and Ballou will reconnect with Joe Block, Ryan O’Halloran, Borges, former program director Jason Dixon, and others.
It’ll be a fun week revisiting some of the best times in Jacksonville sports radio history with the market’s undisputed sports talk leader, 1010XL/92.5 FM.
Radio Only Gets 2.2% Of Sports Gambling Ad Money
“Whether or not the percentage of advertising dollars will increase for radio, the amount certainly will over time.”
Sportico recently revealed that FanDuel outspends all of its competitors when it comes to sportsbooks advertising on local television. Nielsen ad-spend data shows that the company made up for 38% of the industry’s TV advertising dollars in the first quarter of 2021.
The study also showed where and how the sports betting industry is spending its ad dollars. More than 78 percent of the industry’s money went to spot advertising at local stations. Another 3.7 percent went to national TV buys, bringing the total sportsbooks spend on TV advertising to well over $160 million in Q1.
Radio is cashing in. It just isn’t cashing in the way TV or digital is.
According to Nielsen, just 2.2% of gambling ad money is spent in radio. That trails even traditional outdoor advertising. Nielsen estimates that radio took in $4.3 million during the first quarter.
Whether or not the percentage of advertising dollars will increase for radio, the amount certainly will over time. Sports radio in particular has inventory, live reads, and segment sponsorships that will be very attractive to advertisers as sports gambling legalization spreads across more states.
Forget getting more money than TV. Sportico suggests that radio should be optimistic for TV and excited to ride its coattails. Anthony Crupi suggests that by 2024, local spot television advertising could generate $590 million from sportsbooks. That is on top of the more than 1300 percent growth the category has seen in the last two years. That growth in TV likely means similar growth for other platforms as well.