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The Sports Hub Racks Up Another Ratings Win In Boston

“WEEI’s strongest performing timeslot was in morning drive, as The Greg Hill Show finished fifth with a 6.5 share, a little more than half the number generated by Toucher and Rich.”

Brandon Contes

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Few sports radio brands are operating as well as Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub right now. Like a well-oiled machine, they continued their ratings dominance during the summer book, while their sports radio counterpart WEEI did not perform as well.  

Despite COVID-19 erasing games for the first half of the summer book, which spanned June 18 to Sept. 9, The Sports Hub still finished no less than tied for first in all dayparts, according to Chad Finn of The Boston Globe. Overall, in their target demo of men 25-54, The Sports Hub topped the market with an 11.2 share, while WEEI was tied for eighth earning a 4.3. Both numbers include the stream, and both were less than half a point off their spring performance, but The Sports Hub was up by more almost four points year-over-year. 

Beginning with morning drive (6a – 10a), The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich finished first with a 12.0, despite being without Fred Toucher for a good portion of the book. As sports returned to give the industry a boost in late July, Toucher took a leave of absence beginning July 22 to enter a treatment center for alcohol addiction. The longtime Boston morning radio personality rejoined his co-host Rich Shertenlieb Sept. 9, just in time for the start of the fall quarter. 

WEEI’s strongest performing timeslot was in morning drive, as The Greg Hill Show finished fifth with a 6.5 share, a little more than half the number generated by Toucher and Rich. Both shows saw declines of more than half a point from the spring ratings period.  

In middays (10a – 2p), Zolak & Bertrand also finished first for The Sports Hub with a dominant 13.7 ratings number, while WEEI’s Dale and Keefe garnered a 4.4 share, earning them a seventh-place finish.  The Sports Hub again maintained their exceptional ratings in afternoon drive as Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti were first with a 16 share from 2p – 6p. 

Despite dropping almost a full point from their spring performance Felger & Mazz continued to produce ratings numbers that are rarely reached in the sports radio industry. Felger & Mazz’s local sports radio competition, OMF (Ordway, Merloni and Fauria) finished the summer book in ninth place with a 3.7 for WEEI.  

In evenings, 98.5 aired The Baseball Reporters hosted by Tony Massarotti in the 6pm hour beginning July 20 which did a 10.4 share. WEEI’s evening programming did a 3 share during that same hour.

From 7p – midnight, 98.5 features The Adam Jones Show which finished tied for first with an 8.1 share, up by more than a point and a half from the spring book.  WEEI’s 7p – midnight programming mostly featured the Red Sox after Major League Baseball made its return in late July. The station saw an increase from the spring book, earning a 3.6 share for the summer.

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iHeartMedia Extends with Pittsburgh Steelers Through 2028 Season

“We teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Logos for iHeartMedia and the Pittsburgh Steelers

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announced an extension of their audio partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will now include the newly established “Steelers Audio Network” through 2028.

The “Steelers Audio Network” will offer a wide range of content, including game day broadcasts, additional shows, digital audio, podcasts, and social media posts. Fans can access the “Steelers Audio Network” and its programming throughout the year on various platforms such as 102.5 WDVE, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (970AM), the Steelers mobile app, the iHeartRadio mobile app, as well as on the team and station’s websites.

Additionally, 102.5 WDVE will continue to be the home of the Steelers game broadcasts, as they have done since 1999.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of our long-standing partnership with iHeart Media and our flagship station, 102.5 WDVE,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a release. “We’ve teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartSports. “Our renewed agreement, now known as ‘Steelers Audio Network’ encompasses a comprehensive range of audio offerings, delivering an exceptional listening experience for Steelers fans. Additionally, we’re excited to provide promotional support and further brand awareness across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and digital sites. Our longstanding partnership continues to thrive, and we look forward to celebrating many more victories together!”

“iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and the Steelers have had a longstanding partnership,” said Tim McAleer, Market President, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to continue to give Steelers fans access to Steelers audio broadcasts and unique Steelers programing content for years to come.”

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Nick Cattles To Fill In on 98.5 The Sports Hub

“No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photo of Nick Cattles and a logo for 98.5 The Sports Hub

Nick Cattles, who was last heard on the air at the end of June 2023 at Sactown Sports 1140 in Sacramento and has been hosting podcasts, will get a chance to fill in Monday on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Cattles posted about the assignment on his LinkedIn account.

“The wait is over,” he wrote. “It’s been almost a year since the last time I walked into a radio studio. I’m back. This Monday morning from 6a-10am, you can listen to myself, Ryan Johnston, and Kendra Middleton on 98-5 The Sports Hub. No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Cattles was part of the Cattles and Ramie show in Sacramento and upon leaving said, “It’s just, we love our family more. Since moving to Cali, we’ve had to overcome a lot personally. Those challenges have been amplified the last two months. It’s no longer tolerable to be 3,000 miles away. Once we settle the home situation, we’re heading back.” He had started with Sactown Sports in 2021 and also had the program director title for a period of time.

Cattles worked at The Sports Hub from in 2017 and 2018, taking part in The Adam Jones Show in the evenings and hosting on the weekends. Cattles had other stints in Boston, Virginia and with ESPN Radio.

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Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael Celebrate 5 Years Together on 92.9 The Game

“To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Graphic for Andy and Randy on 92.9 The Game and a picture of hosts Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael
Graphic Courtesy: Audacy Photo Courtesy: Randy McMichael X Account

It was a milestone week for Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael, hosts of 92.9 The Game’s The Midday Show with Andy & Randy in Atlanta. It was this week five years ago they permanently took over the midday slot replacing John Michaels and Rick Kamla who had been released earlier that year.

The show celebrated on remote at a party with several listeners, friends and family members and spent time talking about their time together. “People listening right now, thank you, we appreciate that,” said Bunker. “We wouldn’t be doing this if you weren’t listening and if you hadn’t been listening the last five years…Making it five years on a radio show is not normal. I know it seems normal at 92.9 because we are a radio station that has a lot of stability. Dukes and Bell have been on for 10 years. The morning show that’s on right now is doing great, and the show before them was on for a lot of years.”

Bunker later added, “To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.” McMichael replied, “It has been a fun five years.”

Bunker had been hosting the evening show for three years prior to partnering with McMichael, and had previously been in sports radio in Seattle, Portland and Boston. McMichael had been with the station for about four years at the time, after an 11-year career in the NFL. Prior to that he was a three-year letterman at the University of Georgia.

The show amassed an 8.3 share for the most recent quarter, retaining their fourth place ranking it had in the fall. The show airs from 11a-2p EST.

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