After enjoying five great years with San Francisco’s sports radio ratings king KNBR, Jeremiah Crowe is ready for a new adventure. The sports leader’s program director informed his staff on Monday that he’ll be leaving the station in mid-July. Crowe and his family are moving to Las Vegas, creating a PD vacancy that should become one of the crown jewel programming opportunities in sports radio.
Crowe joined KNBR’s programming team in May 2016. He initially ran KNBR 1050 and served as KNBR 680’s Assistant Program Director before being elevated to the top job in July 2016. Prior to joining KNBR, Crowe spent four years as the Assistant Program Director for KNBR’s local competitor 95.7 The Game. He was recognized as the 7th best PD in the format in BSM’s Top 20 of 2020.
“After five successful years at Cumulus San Francisco, I’ve decided to move on from my post as KNBR’s Program Director,” said Crowe. “I’d like to thank Dave Milner, Bruce Gilbert, Justin Wittmayer and Larry Blumhagen for their support in entrusting me to lead one of the most prestigious and dominant brands in sports radio history. The privilege of working alongside the best staff in all of radio while experiencing the Bay Area’s rich culture has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I’ll always cherish the deep friendships made around The Sports Leader’s studios, and plan to visit often. Our family looks ahead to our next chapter in Las Vegas, ground-zero for the ever-expanding sports betting industry.”
After accomplishing everything he hoped to in the Bay Area, Crowe has his sights set on making an impact in the sports betting space. The category is one which Crowe is both experienced in and passionate about. He told BSM he’ll begin exploring his professional options once he settles into his new Las Vegas residence. With nearly a decade of programming experience in a top five market, and another ten years spent previously working on the national circuit for ESPN Radio, Crowe should have no problem finding suitors for his services.
Sports radio this year has seen a number of programming changes at top markets and stations. Spike Eskin is leaving WIP in Philadelphia to lead WFAN in New York. Eskin’s exit leaves WIP searching for a new PD, a situation that WEEI in Boston is also going thru. With Crowe leaving KNBR, Cumulus SVP of Sports Bruce Gilbert and new GM Larry Blumhagen immediately begin scouring the nation for the right person to guide the sports leader to future wins. With a strong FM/AM signal, the San Francisco Giants and 49ers play by play rights and a talented staff in place, the next programmer chosen to lead KNBR is stepping into a great situation.
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.