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Dan Dakich Under Fire Again, Deletes Twitter, Returns Later

“As of Sunday, Feb. 28, Emmis has not publicly commented on Dakich’s latest hot water incident.”



What began as a Twitter debate over Jalen Johnson’s departure from Duke Basketball, took a strange turn for sports radio host and ESPN analyst Dan Dakich last week. 

As Sean Keeley of Awful Announcing details, it started when Duke lecturing fellow Nathan Kalman-Lamb called out a number of college basketball analysts who were critical of Johnson’s decision to opt-out mid-season.

“Here are some more of the fine folks so unrepentant about the fact that their careers are built entirely on the unpaid labor of young people that they will also gleefully attempt to publicly humiliate them,” Kalman-Lamb wrote in a Twitter thread, citing Dakich, Jeff Goodman, Doug Gottlieb, Seth Davis and Jon Rothstein among others. 

Dakich pushed back on the thought that college athletes are unpaid labor, writing “players get paid cash ..a bunch.” 

In addition to working for ESPN and hosting his own radio show on WFNI The Fan in Indianapolis, Dakich is a former college basketball player and coach who understands its infrastructure well.

After the two engaged on Twitter, Dakich noted “much more from me coming,” and ultimately blocked Kalman-Lamb, but not before others entered the conversation, including Dr. Andrew McGregor of Dallas College and historian Dr. Johanna Mellis who co-hosts a podcast on capitalist sport, labor, and justice. 

Dakich continued to argue against the idea that student-athletes are wrongly compensated because of an unfair labor system within college sports. 

It’s inarguable that college athletes give more to their school and sport than they receive in return, but should that make them exempt from critical analysis? Noting Duke has played better since Johnson decided to opt-out is not a damning accusation, it’s an obvious evaluation of an athlete who’s in line to land a contract worth more than $10 million later this year. 

But most college athletes won’t be afforded similar salaries and the idea of education being fair compensation for their contributions is shameful. Those arguing against Dakich took it a step further, noting the education student-athletes receive is “less than optimal.” That’s where Dakich took a sharp turn, claiming it was “racist or sexist” to allege student-athletes are unable to receive a quality education even though the sport they play takes precedent. 

Dakich also went down an odd path on his radio show last week after explaining the Twitter exchange to his listening audience. In the break-down, he mentioned a tweet from Dr. Mellis, a former Division 1 swimmer who suggested “let’s go at it in the pool.” 

“I had somebody come at me. Buncha academics last night,” Dakich said on his radio show according to Awful Announcing. “Two guys and a lady, right? Two guys and a lady came at me. And they said, ‘well, you’re yelling at student-athletes while they’re being exploited’ or something, and I said, ‘look, maybe, but I…I was in the arena and you guys were sitting outside bitching. Now, remember, it was two girls…two men and one lady. Guess what that got called? Sexist. (Laughs) Be careful. I didn’t even realize, I just said bitching because it’s what people do. It’s what everybody does, everybody just bitches. But that’s sexist apparently because I said bitching and a lady was in the conversation. And I said outside the arena, and then she wanted to, quote, go at it in the pool. Well, if you go at it in a pool, that’s a public place and then I’m gonna have to get divorced, and then it’s just gonna be a problem.”

The pool comments from Dakich were a poor choice of words, especially coming from someone who claimed it’s sexist to question the quality of education received by student-athletes. According to Ina Kennedy of the Chatham-Kent Sports Network, Dakich also recited the spelling of Kalman-Lamb’s name, noted his Duke office hours and called him a “d-bag” to his radio audience. 

Dakich is no stranger to controversy, his brash approach to media is part of what makes him a popular radio host, but that doesn’t excuse crossing obvious lines. In 2019, Dakich was suspended by The Fan’s ownership Emmis Communications for “a failure…on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis.” He was also under investigation by Emmis last year when he threatened to “beat the hell out of every school board member” in response to a high school basketball coach getting fired. 

As of Sunday, Feb. 28, Emmis has not publicly commented on Dakich’s latest hot water incident. 

ESPN issued a statement saying that it is taking the incident seriously.

Dakich deactivated his Twitter account on Sunday morning but by that evening was back on the social media platform.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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