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Craig Carton Says He Nearly Replaced Howard Stern

“A lot of names were discussed to replace Stern at the time, including Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, but Carton said the opportunity was his and he wanted it.”

Brandon Contes

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Craig Carton

Before Boomer and Carton, long before Carton and Roberts, the sports radio shock jock had an opportunity presented to him that likely would have negated his WFAN tenure. During last Friday’s celebratory show for morning producer Al Dukes, Craig Carton said he was offered the job to replace Howard Stern when the King of all Media moved to satellite.

Stern’s affiliates were split between a few hosts nationwide, but the most infamous one was Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, whose show filled stations in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas and South Florida. Popular radio disc jockey Rover replaced Stern in the Midwest and comedian Adam Carolla took over a few West Coast markets. 

A lot of names were discussed to replace Stern at the time, including Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg, but Carton said the opportunity was his and he wanted it. Carton, who was hosting at NJ 101.5, would have been given Roth’s East Coast affiliates. 

NJ 101.5 was owned by Millennium Radio Group at the time and Carton remembered discussing the Stern deal with them saying, “if there’s anything you’re going to do to stop this, you gotta tell me now because I represented that you’re letting me go.” Carton said the company gave him the go ahead. 

He described it as a done deal, Craig Carton was going to replace Howard Stern. But on his way home from receiving the offer, Carton got an angry phone call. CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander just received a fax saying, ‘if you want to hire Craig Carton, you have to give us [‘X’ amount of dollars].” Just like that, Carton was out, and Roth was soon to be in. 

Roth’s show was an epic failure, barely lasting three months. But taking over for Stern was a seemingly impossible task with unrealistic expectations, defining the sentiment that it’s always better to be the individual replacing the person who replaced the legend. 

When Carton told his now WFAN co-host Evan Roberts and update anchor Chris Lopresti the story, he spoke as if it was an obvious decision to want the opportunity to replace Stern, “why wouldn’t I?” he asked. Lopresti pushed back a bit, noting it probably would have ended poorly, but Carton said, “you didn’t see the check.” 

Less than two years later, Carton was back in discussions with CBS Radio about replacing a morning legend. This time, it was Stern’s rival Don Imus. Carton’s contract with NJ 101.5 was now closer to expiring and he made it clear he would never sign with them again, making him available to join CBS and WFAN to replace Imus.

Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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Sports Radio News

Jonas Knox: Adrian Wojnarowski’s NBA Draft Reporting Was Desperate Ratings Ploy

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

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Thursday’s NBA Draft is a moment the guys waiting to hear their names called had been waiting for since the day they picked up a basketball. While his draft came decades ago in the NFL, LaVar Arrington could relate to what they were feeling.

“It’s a dream recognized,” he said on Friday’s episode of FOX Sports Radio’s 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe. “You work so hard for so long. So, when you’re sitting there waiting for them to call your name, it’s a surreal moment.”

His partner, Jonas Knox, wasn’t in such a nostalgic or celebratory mood. He had a problem with the information leading up to draft night and just how much the narrative that Auburn’s Jabari Smith would be taken by the Orlando Magic with the first pick was pushed before all the sudden, it wasn’t.

“What a bunch of crap that we are being fed by Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN, the Orlando Magic,” he said. “Whoever’s feeding it is full of crap.”

Wojnarowski tweeted an hour before the Draft that Jabari Smith was still the favorite to be taken, but he was hearing that the Magic weren’t ruling out Duke’s Paolo Banchero. 

When the first pick was announced, it was Paolo Banchero that heard his name called, not Smith. 

“One of three things happened,” Knox said. “Either ESPN is so desperate for ratings and for people to give a crap about the NBA Draft and their sport that they waited until the final hour to pump up some interest, realizing we’ve got a problem here based on some ratings and some reports on some ratings in the NBA Finals, so they waited until an hour before and had Woj drop a ‘Woj Bomb’ that it could not be Jabari Smith, that it could be Banchero who’s gonna go number one overall. It’s either that or Woj is in some kind of cahoots with the Orlando Magic.”

That is a powerful accusation. Knox finds it hard to believe the information got to ESPN’s renowned NBA Insider so late in the process.

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

He didn’t rule out that someone was trying to make money behind the scenes. As late as Thursday afternoon, the Duke Forward was still in plus territory to be the top pick on many sportsbooks’ odds boards. The odds had gone as high as +1600 last week.

“I call BS. I think it’s all shenanigans and I think somebody needs to get called out for it,” Knox concluded. “That pisses me off, man.”

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