If you’ve been following the Nashville sports radio scene for the past year, change has been a large part of local conversation. Market leader 104.5 The Zone, navigated thru a sea of programming changes in August, which included installing a new morning show, midday show, and adjusting the personnel on its afternoon show. That was followed by their popular midday show, Midday 180 exiting for Outkick, Buck Reising stepping in to their spot, a partnership formed with A to Z Sports, and late last week, the station adding former Tennessee basketball star Ron Slay.
Though change has been a part of the narrative surrounding The Zone’s programming changes, one thing hasn’t changed, local listeners still love the radio station. In fact, listening was up in a few key areas this year compared to 2020.
In the 2021 Winter Book, The Zone shined across the board. Starting with weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), The Zone ranked 4th with an 8.0 share among Men 25-54. That was a 2.7 increase from the station’s 2020 Winter Book.
Turning to mornings, Jason Martin and Ramon Foster delivered a 7.5 share to lock up 3rd place. The morning show was up a half point year over year and two ratings positions.
The news was even better in middays (10a-3p) where the combination of Buck Reising, and Mickey Ryan and Blaine Bishop, secured a 3rd place finish with a 9.1. share. That was a 3.6 point improvement year over year and four slots.
Finishing in afternoons, 3HL produced an impressive 6.9 share to rank 4th. Their performance was nearly double their previous year’s result. The show gained 3.4 points and enjoyed a station best eight spot jump.
Data this quarter for 102.5 The Game wasn’t available. However, a local source confirmed the station’s quarter wasn’t strong.
The Zone right now is very healthy. They’re on a different level ratings-wise, a testament to their bond with local listeners. Equally deserving of credit is program director Paul Mason and the station’s new hires. To make significant progress year over year, while undergoing lineup changes and dealing with increased noise is impressive.
102.5 The Game on the other hand has work to do to catch up. They’re hoping the recent addition of Caroline Fenton will help. A good playoff run by the Nashville Predators could provide a boost as well.
Outkick 360 (formerly Midday 180) meanwhile is likely to be heard from again in the market. The show has already gained clearance in Knoxville, and remains interested in finding a Nashville home too. Can Clay Travis and Sam Savage pull it off? I wouldn’t bet against them.
Last but not least, Josh Innes is now in town hosting mornings on 105.9 The Rock. He has proven he can create interest and produce ratings during prior stops. Will he be able to lure local sports radio listeners his way despite hosting a rock morning show? Time will tell.
The choices for Men 25-54 in Nashville are aplenty. How they’ll continue to consume sports talk content in 2021 remains to be seen, but for now, The Zone is comfortably in the driver’s seat.
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.
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.
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.