As 94WIP launched an awards series asking listeners to vote on a variety of sports topics from the last two decades, they came up with the perfect name for the campaign. ‘The Levis,’ an ode to famed WIP caller Darren “Levi” Cephas, who died in 2018 at the age of 56.
Joining the station at least once a day, and sometimes more, for about a quarter-century, Levi was not just a listener and a caller, he was part of WIP. The foundation of sports in the city of Philadelphia is their fanbase and that resonates true with 94WIP. Entercom might pay WIP’s bills, but this is Philadelphia’s radio station.
Program director and legacy WIP personality Spike Eskin penned an article on their website explaining the decision to name the award series The Levis, detailing Cephas’ importance to the station.
“When we were thinking about what to name the 94WIP Awards (the way the Academy Award is an Oscar), “The Levi” just seemed perfect,” Eskin wrote. “The magic of 94WIP is not just the people inside the station, it’s the listeners that turn our radio station into a true community. We are not just the voice of the Philadelphia sports fan because those of us who work here are fans, but because we actually give a voice to fans.”
Some hosts get thrown off by fan interjection, but many are great at using callers to enhance the show’s entertainment value and community. There were times Levi was a nuisance to hosts on both WIP and The Fanatic, but he undoubtedly represented Eagles fans and their city.
WIP is one of the top sports radio station’s in the country, and making callers part of their foundation helped to establish themselves as a heritage brand in Philadelphia. It’s why WIP decided to name their awards series after Levi. When I started listening to WFAN as an elementary school kid in the ‘90s, the first three names and personalities I learned were Mike Francesa, Mad Dog, and Jerome from Manhattan.
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.”
What Can the iPhone Teach us About the Future of Radio Sales?
“Jobs gave a masterclass in salesmanship. He didn’t just sell a product; he sold a vision of the future.”
Have you ever tried to sell a new show, promotion, or event out of the box? Have you ever done it before a skeptical buyer looking for the negatives in what you are selling? Read on.
In 2007, smartphones could access the internet, type messages, and still act like a phone. Many of us used Blackberries and carried iPods for music. It was a little clunky, but the combination worked.
One person thought to change the world forever and combine all this technology into one device. His pitch sold us on ditching multiple devices. He explained why Nokia phones were clunky and hard to hear and the expensive Blackberry had no integrated camera or audio player. It was also horrible for lefties.
Sixteen years ago, he sold a picture of a world where his smartphone would simplify life and change how we communicated, worked, and played. The audience he was presenting to was in Silicon Valley and was loaded with techies, journalists, industry insiders, and hustlers. He told a compelling story. He didn’t give some lackluster demo. He showed off how sleek the product was, its intuitive touch-based surface, and how easily it could surf the web. He even called a person in the audience and showed off the quality of the phone with an impromptu call. The audience roared with laughter.
He knew he was getting the audience to invest in the product emotionally. He spoke about how his company had reinvented the phone, emphasizing their commitment to design and innovation. He created a sense of anticipation and excitement that captured the room. As he reached the climax of his presentation, he uttered the now-famous words, “Today, we are going to reinvent the phone.”
The audience erupted in applause and the anticipation was everywhere in the room. Then, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, and the crowd was in awe.
Jobs gave a masterclass in salesmanship. He didn’t just sell a product; he sold a vision of the future. He made people believe they needed something they didn’t even know they wanted. It all started with Jobs’ ability to sell innovation like no one else. If you are still on the fence about selling the future of radio- get on board the digital train. Start selling the future of radio and make money right alongside it. Digital revenue is skyrocketing. Revenues will increase by 6.5% in 2023, 6% in 2024 and over 5% per year from 2025 until 2028. So, for every $10,000 of digital you sold in 2022, you will sell $13,720 in 2028. That’s a 37% jump in 5 years. The future is now! Get on The Energy Bus for Digital Radio sales. Sell the future.
Jeff Caves is a sales columnist for BSM working in radio, digital, hyper-local magazine, and sports sponsorship sales in DFW. He is credited with helping launch, build, and develop SPORTS RADIO The Ticket in Boise, Idaho, into the market’s top sports radio station. During his 26 year stay at KTIK, Caves hosted drive time, programmed the station, and excelled as a top seller. You can reach him by email at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @jeffcaves.
Matt Jones Places Kentucky’s 1st Legal Bet on Wildcats to Win NCAA Tournament
“I think it’s going to be great for the state and give us money into the state, rather than giving it over to the other states that are around us.”
Online sports betting is now officially live in Kentucky, and Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones had the honors of placing one of the first legal wagers in the commonwealth on Thursday.
Jones hosted his show from The Mint Gaming Hall in Williamsburg where he bet $100 on the University of Kentucky winning the 2024 college basketball national championship.
He told WYMT-TV that now that online betting is live, Kentuckians everywhere can get in on the fun of having an added incentive to watch games.
“It’ll be added revenue for the state and it’s something fun for people when they want to watch games outside of just a Kentucky game that they’re interested in,” he said. “And the fact that you can do it from your phone makes it easy.”
Up until Thursday, betting was legal in neighboring states Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
Jones added that legal betting in Kentucky keeps that money within state borders.
“I think it’s going to be great for the state and give us money into the state, rather than giving it over to the other states that are around us,” he said.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.