Merv Johnson was not in the radio booth for the Oklahoma Sooners during Saturday’s shutout of Missouri State. That’s because the day before he had announced that he was retiring after 41 years with Oklahoma football.
Barry Switzer brought Johnson to OU as an assistant coach in 1979. He stayed in the role until 1997. He was hired to join the radio booth in 1999. He also served as the program’s director of operations. All of those positions created a 513 game streak of working for OU for Johnson.
“I felt very fortunate to have coached and broadcasted for so many years,” Johnson said in a press release. “Year in and year out I’ve been so proud to be associated with such a great university and football program. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. My family is all around me here. I’m going to love watching the games with them.”
Former Sooner All-Americans, Teddy Lehman and Gabe Ikard, will join Toby Rowland in the radio booth this year. Rowland is in his 10th season with OU. Chris Plank remains the sideline reporter.
Ken Carman: People Bored With Thursday Night Football ‘Just Going to Tweet About Al Michaels’
“The guy called the 80 Olympics. You think he’s going to sit there and try to put lipstick on that hog of next week’s game between Chicago and Washington?”
Social media may enjoy ripping Al Michaels for not showing a lot of enthusiasm on Thursday Night Football, but Ken Carman appreciates the broadcast legend’s honesty.
Friday morning on 92.3 The Fan, the Cleveland sports talker listened back to audio of Michaels casually promoting next week’s game between the winless Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders, who just lost a game by 34 points. Fans online began mocking him as disinterested or too old.
“I don’t like ripping on Michaels. I think he’s a legend. I’m not going to rip Al Michaels,” Carman said. “I think that people are just looking for something entertaining, so they’re just going to tweet about Al Michaels because it’s a 27-3 football game at that time. But Al Michaels…the guy called the 80 Olympics. You think he’s going to sit there and try to put lipstick on that hog of next week’s game between Chicago and Washington?”
Thursday night’s game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers was not particularly close. Carman said that Michaels could be forgiven for not sounded particularly connected during the broadcast.
He joked that while his radio partner, Anthony Lima, would be happy to oversell a bad game, Al Michaels isn’t going to do that. He wondered why that is a problem for fans.
“Ryan Day gets to be honest, Coach Prime could be honest, Dan Lanning. Everybody can be honest. Why can’t Al Michaels be honest? Let Al Michaels be honest. He could not wait to get out of there. And, by the way, that’s fine.”
Lima noted that Michaels is reportedly getting $15 million per year from Amazon. Carman said that does not change his mind.
“He deserves every penny of it. I don’t mind him taking that, And I don’t mind him telling you the absolute God honest truth. ‘I’m a legend of 78 years old, and if you don’t like what I have to say about this football team, to hell with you. I don’t care.’”
Rob Brown Moves To Mornings on The Fan Upstate
“It is the second time slot change for Brown since he first joined the station in March of 2020.”
Rob Brown is on the move in South Carolina’s Upstate region. He announced this morning that his show is moving into morning drive on The Fan Upstate.
With Damon Amendolara announcing his exit from CBS Sports Radio earlier this week, it left a hole for the station to fill. Operations Manager Mark Hendrix chose making drive time local for Greenville and Spartanburg residents over Maggie & Perloff, which moves to mornings on the network.
“Our big boss down the hallway, Mark Hendricks, called Lonzo and I down into the the real meeting room,” Brown told listeners Friday morning. “Not even the office like the actual meeting room, and he offered us the opportunity to become the new morning drive show here on The Fan Upstate.”
It is the second time slot change for Brown since he first joined the station in March of 2020. He was initially hired to be on from noon until 3. When the station dropped ESPN Radio for CBS Sports Radio, his show moved to 9 am to noon to make room for Jim Rome.
Brown called morning and afternoon drive “the two crown jewel spots” of a radio lineup. Being elevated to one of those spots comes with meaning that is not lost on him.
“It is something that, no matter what market you are in, by earning one of those two spots, it tells you that you have become not just a voice in that community, but an important one or a respected one,” he said.
Brown’s show includes producer Lonzo Writesel. He is making the move to mornings along with Brown on Monday, October 2.
Morning drive will come with a little more work. The Rob Brown Show will add an hour and run from 6-10 am. CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You will slide into Brown’s old time slot on The Fan.
Nielsen Study: NFL Games Just as Dominant on Radio as TV
“While these examples are far from a complete analysis of the NFL games on the radio, it does shed light on the dominance of the NFL on radio.”
We know that the NFL dominates television, but a new study from Nielsen shows the league’s radio ratings are no less impressive.
Inside Radio published the results of the survey, which show that if radio audiences were measured by show (as TV audiences are) as opposed to day part, NFL games are outperforming the highest rated stations in markets around the country. The data used reflected listening for persons 25-54.
During the 2022 season, Patriots games on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston scored a 23.9 share on average. That is significantly higher than the average share for Magic 106.7. The Audacy AC station topped the market during that time frame with a 7.4.
Even in what was a mediocre season for the team, New Englanders still flock to Patriots broadcasts in numbers that dwarf anything else on radio.
The same was true in Pittsburgh. There, Nielsen compared Steelers’ radio broadcasts on WDVE and ESPN Pittsburgh to the most popular morning shows in the market.
Randy Baumann, who is also heard on WDVE, leads the way with Men 25-54 with an AQH rating of 1.1. Steelers games drew an AQH rating of 1.9 with the same audience.
As you might expect, the best team delivered the best results in the study. In Kansas City, the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs averaged a 39.8 share with persons 25-54. That is nearly a 500% increase over market leader KC 102.1, which averaged a 6.8 share with the same audience.
Amongst men, the share was even larger. Chiefs’ games on 106.5 The Wolf averaged an astounding 46.1 share with many games topping a 50 share according to Nielsen.
“While these examples are far from a complete analysis of the NFL games on the radio, it does shed light on the dominance of the NFL on radio,” John Snyder, Nielsen Senior VP/Sales Director says. “Just because a fan can’t be staring into a screen during game time doesn’t mean he or she isn’t following along. And if broadcast radio pivoted to selling shows rather than dayparts, it’s a safe bet that like TV, the top-rated shows would largely consist of play-by-play broadcasts.”