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2021 Atlanta Spring Book Finds 92.9 The Game On Top

“Among The Game’s weekday shows, Dukes & Bell recorded the best numbers.”

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The spring book was kind to Atlanta’s sports radio ratings king 92.9 The Game. station finished in the Top 3 with Men 25-54 in both weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) and full week (M-SU 6a-Mid). The weekday prime share was an 8.6. The full week produced a 7.5.

Among The Game’s weekday shows, Dukes & Bell recorded the best numbers. The afternoon show, which features Carl Dukes and Mike Bell, delivered a 9.3, strong enough for 3rd place during the hours of 2p-7p ET.

The next highest share came from the midday show. Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael generated an 8.3 during the hours of 10a-2p ET. That performance also earned them a 3rd place finish.

The Game’s morning show had the lowest share among the three weekday programs, however, it snagged the best ranking for the quarter. John Fricke and Hugh Douglas put up a 6.6 share, which was enough to lock up 2nd place during the morning drive hours of 6a-10a ET.

Compared to the winter book, The Game had to be pleased. Mornings gained 2.1 in share and moved up four ranking positions. Middays added 1.6 in share and held on to the same ranking, and afternoons jumped a full two points while also holding steady in the same ranking slot.

Meanwhile for 680 The Fan, the news was also positive. The station tied for 10th in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 3.2 share. The Fan was also tied for 12th for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with a 3.1 share.

The Fan’s best showing for the spring book came in middays during the hours of 10a-2p. A 7th place, 3.9 share performance was recorded by a combination of Chris Dimino, Nick Cellini, Hutson Mason, Buck Belue, Brandon ‘Hometown’ Leak and Joe Hamilton. Afternoons produced the second best share for the quarter with a 3.0 securing an 11th place tie during the hours of 2p-7p ET. Those hours featured an hour of Mason and Belue and the drive time team of Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff. Mornings had the lowest share at 2.5 but John Michaels and Brian Finneran did deliver an 8th place tie during the hours of 6a-10a.

Though 680 produced some solid stories this quarter, the station has to even more intrigued and focused on future results. The Fan took a bold step last week, announcing a number of changes to its programming lineup. The main headline was the morning show switching to a 5-man crew of Mason, Leak, and Hamilton alongside Michaels and Finneran. ”The Locker Room’ as it’s now called is being counted on to create a bigger sounding morning drive experience, and if those five can find a collective groove to deliver a high quality and well rated show, other stations could look at the model to determine if they should do the same. Rounding out the rest of The Fan’s lineup now are Belue from 10a-11, Cellini and Dimino from 11a-2p, Chernoff & Oliver from 2p-6p and The Audio Funbag with Brian Hoyt and Carlos Medina from 6p-8p ET.

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Mad Dog Launches Digging Up The Past Podcast

This season of Russo’s podcast focuses on great MLB teams that fell short.

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Courtesy: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Few people in sports media love Major League Baseball like Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, and that love just got a new avenue for expression from Sirius XM. Russo is hosting a 10-part podcast series with the company that dives into what he believes are the ten best major league teams that didn’t win the World Series.

Digging Up The Past launches a new season with full deep dive episodes for every one of these teams, starting with the 1954 Cleveland Indians, which is available now. Russo and specific guests discuss the magic those teams created throughout the season and what ultimately felled their chances of lifting the Commissioner’s Trophy when it was all said and done.

“Hear Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo for another season of his Sirius XM podcast, Digging Up The Past,” The show trailer states. “Join Christopher for a journey through baseball’s decorated history, for an examination of the best single-season teams that failed to capture postseason glory.” 

The show is scheduled to debut episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the coming weeks as the baseball season ramps up for the October playoff push.

“Throughout the decades, Major League Baseball has produced several great teams that fell short of winning the World Series for numerous reasons,” The trailer continued. “Some were taken down by improbable heroes, or hall of fame talent. While others suffered the indignity of bizarre occurrences and self-inflicted wounds. Join Christopher as he tells the tales of these gut-wrenching collapses and heartbreaking losses in a way that only he can.”

The other nine teams slated to be on the show are as follows: 2001 Mariners, 1969 Cubs, 1991 Pirates, 1965 Twins, 1995 Indians, 1978 Red Sox, 1994 Expos, 1977 Royals, and the 1993 Giants. Every one of these tales is available for listening over the coming months on most major podcast platforms.

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Study: Easier To Reach Sports Bettors Through Radio Than TV

The study was conducted in Michigan this past winter and then expanded nationwide in the spring.

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Courtesy: Westwood One

Westwood One and Cumulus Media have crunched the numbers on reaching sports bettors and found some interesting data.

The company discovered that sports bettors are more reachable through AM/FM radio advertising than television advertising. The study began in Michigan this past February and expanded into all 12 fully legal gambling states in April.

Westwood One commissioned the study from MARU/Matchbox, which surveyed 718 adults over 21 years old in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The study discovered that 71% of adults 21+ are aware sports betting is legal in their state. When the surveyors asked study participants how likely they are to place a legal wager, 23% of adults 21+ said they are very or somewhat interested in online sports betting.

The numbers tailed off the older the participants got. Around half of the adults, 21-34, say they would be interested. Interest drops to 30% amongst adults 35-54. For people 55 and older, there isn’t much interest in online sports betting.

When looking at gender specifically, twice as many men (32%) versus women (15%) say they would be interested in online sports betting.

Advertising is paying off for the brands willing to go all in, namely DraftKings and Fanduel, who have strong brand recognition in this study. Participants selected any sports betting websites they have heard advertising from in the prior month, and those brands dominated.

Among participants, 36% recognized DraftKings, and 32% recognized Fanduel. The next closest brand was BetMGM at 15%, followed by Bet Rivers and William Hill at 8% and 6%.

Every small study can be taken with a grain of salt, but these numbers show that the best way to reach sports bettors is through radio advertising. In a time where money is pouring in left and right from sports gambling, this is welcome data for station managers across the country.

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Dan Patrick Appreciates Radio Success More Than ESPN Tenure

“I just kept thinking let me look at what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. I really missed an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy it.”

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Getty/John Lamparski

If you watched ESPN from 1990 to about 2007, Dan Patrick’s face is one you most likely saw often on an 11 PM ET edition of SportsCenter. While it seemed like Dan Patrick was having fun hosting SportsCenter with Keith Olbermann, that wasn’t always the case. 

Patrick was the guest on a recent episode of The Ryen Russillo Podcast and talked about many different topics. When Russillo asked Patrick what he would consider the best work he has ever done, Patrick had a tough time answering the question and he was more focused on mistakes than the great work he was doing.

“Even when Olberman and I were doing SportsCenter and we were at the top of our game, I just kept thinking let me look at what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. I really missed an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy it,” he said.

Although Olberman and Patrick were the faces of ESPN during the early and mid 90s, the SportsCenter legend said there was a time when he thought they would be fired.

“We were dressed down one time and it was really bad because management, I think, thought we were full of ourselves and we might have been. I thought I was going to get fired. To think I had just won a Sports Emmy, I was feeling pretty good. There was talk that Keith and I would host SNL. We’re thinking they got to love us, they didn’t. They worried we were going to be out of control. I think that led to the breaking point with Keith. I tell people Keith is the best teammate you could ever ask for.” 

Dan Patrick is more proud of the success he has now with his radio show compared to when he was on SportsCenter. He says that is largely because of how the show was built from the ground up. 

“I had guys who I had worked with at ESPN and I asked them to take a leap of faith. We had 12 radio affiliates. I didn’t have any TV partner. I had nothing. We were doing the show in my attic and those guys gave up their jobs at ESPN and they joined me. I didn’t know what I had, but I knew what we could be.”

DP reflected on the growth of the show. He told Russillo that he feels lucky that there was immediate interest from a major market. That emboldened him to make bigger moves that turned the show into the go-to model for radio/TV simulcasts.

“I truly believe if I don’t get on KLAC in Los Angeles, I don’t know if we are anywhere near the success that we are. That helped save me. We were going bankrupt and I told Paulie, my producer, “dude, we’re in trouble”.

“I couldn’t let these guys down. I walked out to the parking lot and I cold-called DirecTV and I called Chris Long (former programming director). I don’t know why I called DirecTV. I just thought they carry sports, but they don’t have any name attached to it. To do that and build this to where it is today, we did that on our own.”

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