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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.

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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