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Arizona Sports 98.7 Delivers Best Summer Book In Station History

“The station produced a 5.6 share for the quarter in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) to finish 6th. That was a nine tenths of a point increase from their spring performance.”

Jason Barrett

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Temperatures rise during the summer months in Phoenix. The same can’t always be said about sports radio ratings. But in 2021, listenership in Phoenix advanced to a record level.

Following a spring book which saw the Phoenix Suns get hot in the playoffs and begin their push to the NBA Finals, Arizona Sports 98.7 rode that momentum to its most dominant victory ever in the summer book. The station produced a 5.6 share for the quarter in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) to finish 6th overall. That was a nine tenths of a point increase from their spring performance.

The news was even better for 98.7’s afternoon show, Burns and Gambo. The popular duo popped a station best 6.4 share in their timeslot to finish the book in 2nd place. That marked the third straight book of growth for the show, including a seven tenths gain from the spring.

Next best in the lineup were Bickley and Marotta. The new morning team, which had been installed in middays during the summer months, closed out their midday tenure with a 5.5 share. That showing was good enough to place them 4th in the market for the quarter. The midday slot improved by a full point from spring to summer.

Wrapping up in morning drive, the longtime team of Doug and Wolf, which previously featured Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley, signed off for the final time with an 8th place 4.4 share. Doug and Wolf spent more than 14 years together on the station in morning drive. They were up seven tenths from the spring.

The rest of the market didn’t have much of a ratings story among sports radio brands. 1580 The Fanatic and KDUS didn’t record a rating. FOX Sports 910 delivered a 0.1 in weekday prime, and received an 0.2 from Jody Oehler, the only other sports show in the market to record a rating during the summer book.

When the fall book gets released, we’ll get our first look at how the local audience responds to the changes recently made by Arizona Sports. The station now features Bickley and Marotta in mornings, Wolf and Luke Lapinksi in middays, and Burns and Gambo in afternoons. Rod Lakin will also be gone, having left for Philadelphia to program Sports Radio WIP.

One thing to remember, the spring and summer books included a major boost from the Suns, so that carryover isn’t guaranteed to continue into the fall. Some may read that and suggest I’m giving 98.7 a pass following their recent changes. I’m not. I’m simply trying to paint a realistic picture that audience levels could change due to not having a local team battle for a championship during the fall months.

Regardless, Arizona Sports are thriving right now. Congratulations is in order for Scott Sutherland, Ryan Hatch, and the entire programming team.

Sports Radio News

Angelo Cataldi Bans Andy Reid’s Voice From WIP Morning Show

“25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

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As Super Bowl LVII approaches, many storylines have emerged. One includes Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid facing off with the team he coached for 14 years, the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid is a beloved figure in NFL circles, but 94WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi couldn’t hold back his disdain for the coaching legend.

On Tuesday morning, Cataldi mentioned he couldn’t believe Reid was so highly regarded in NFL media circles. The longtime host said Reid was never truthful during interviews.

After playing clips that included Reid saying the Eagles “were a good team” and how the Chiefs “would need a good game plan” to grab a victory, Cataldi took issue with the generalities Reid spoke with. When asked what he expected from an NFL head coach, Cataldi compared Reid to current Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.

“I was expecting something like Nick gives me every time,” Cataldi said. “I hate Reid ’cause he never won me the Super Bowl, I hate Reid that it took him six years to get there, it took Nick two, and I hate Reid because he never bothered to share a damn thing. If you’re out there, with 25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

Cataldi — who admitted “I don’t like the man, and I’ve never liked the man” — said he received more than 300 emails about Reid, noting he didn’t realize he was “widely regarded as the all-time Andy Reid critic” in Philadelphia.

The 94WIP host added listeners will not hear the voice of the “phony, fraud” Reid any longer on his morning show.

“I do not control the other dayparts here. I don’t control the newsroom. I’m done playing anything said by Andy Reid. ‘Cause I learned over 14 years it’s a waste of time.”

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Sports Radio News

Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution

“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

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Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.

“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.

A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.

“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.

The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.

“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”

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Sports Radio News

Mully & Haugh: Mike Florio Had Perfect Response About NFL Games Being Fixed

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There were questionable calls — both made and not — that played into the eventual outcome of the AFC Championship Game. Cynics have pointed to the officiating in the game’s final quarter as proof that NFL games are fixed. On 670 The Score, Mully & Haugh praised Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for his response to those accusations.

“I always assume it’s incompetence and not corruption,” Florio said when asked about whether or not the league purposely got the matchup it desired. “The NFL does not rig its games. I will say that loudly, and I will say that clearly. Sometimes I will add ‘because I don’t think the NFL would be sufficiently competent to rig its games if it wanted to. That’s why I think they don’t even try.”

Florio then added that being lied to all the time doesn’t mean you’re being lied to all the time, adding that the NFL does need to be proactive against games being fixed, rigged, or altered after the expansion of legalized gambling.

Later in the program, Mulligan and Haugh returned to the discussion about whether or not a conspiracy was at play when Mulligan levied his praise for the Pro Football Talk founder.

“I thought Mike Florio handled that very well,” Mike Mulligan said. “They’re too incompetent to have a conspiracy. It’s true!”

When asked about whether the NFL would actually want to alter the outcome to pit the Chiefs against the Eagles, Haugh said it’s just not realistic.

“That’s a leap you can’t make. It’s not logical. It’s logical to think the referees stink and their incompetent,” David Haugh said. “They have proof of that. To me, it’s a bridge too far to say they wanted a certain team to win because it makes a better matchup or its better for the league. That, to me, makes no sense and is based on no fact at all.”

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