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Mixed Results In New York Summer Book For WFAN, 98.7 ESPN NY

“Analyzing NYC’s sports radio ratings can be very complicated. 98.7 ESPN New York produces one total number. WFAN, which is owned by Audacy, conducts their business differently.”

Jason Barrett

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Photo Credit: Atomic Archive

The New York summer book results are finally in. Though they were released a month ago, a combination of other projects requiring my focus and information taking longer to track down made it tougher to tackle this sooner. Usually the NY newspapers report the results quickly but a ratings story wasn’t written up for the quarter for some reason, so we’ll dive into it now.

First, presenting NYC’s sports radio ratings can be very complicated. If you need a drink after reading this, I understand. 98.7 ESPN New York reports their numbers in one lump sum, Over The Air listening and Streaming combined. The preferred way to showcase measured listening. WFAN on the other hand, which is owned by Audacy, operates differently. They produce an Over The Air and Streaming number, which then needs to be combined to show a fair head to head comparison against their local competition.

Some will say only the OTA numbers should be counted. That’s been Nielsen’s message time and again. Others will say Streaming should be added since people are indeed listening on platforms other than radio and companies have different approaches to generating sales. We’ve consistently tried to present these stories showing a complete picture of what’s taking place in a market so that’s how we’re going to present information for the summer book. We’ll make it clear where OTA performance benefits one station over the other, but given that two quality brands are delivering listenership thru a combination of radio, phone, smart speaker and computer listening, we’re going to include the streaming numbers since it does represent actual listening. The day that each station and company presents one collective number to show how they stack up against local competition can’t come soon enough.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the summer book for New York City produced mixed results. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with Men 25-54, WFAN came in 6th with a combined 4.1 (3.5 OTA, 0.6 streaming) while 98.7 ESPN New York finished 12th with a 2.6. If you take away The Fan’s streaming number and go solely by OTA listening, WFAN holds a 3.5 to 2.6 advantage on ESPN NY.

During weekday prime, WFAN delivered a 4.5 (3.7 OTA and 0.8 Streaming) to finish 4th. 98.7 ESPN NY was 14th with a 3.3. share. The race gets tighter without streaming, with The Fan winning 3.7 to 3.3.

Due to both stations showcasing local shows during different hours, we’re going to concentrate on one brand at a time. Starting with WFAN, the station received a 4th place finish from ‘Boomer and Gio’ in morning drive. Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti produced a 5.3 share which represents 4.6 OTA and 0.7 streaming. The show’s ranking obviously declines without streaming included. Boomer and Gio were down from the spring when they ranked 2nd.

In middays on WFAN, Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray recorded a 4th place finish for the quarter courtesy of a 4.5 share (3.2 OTA, 1.3 streaming). Moose and Maggie were 3rd in the spring therefore they lost one position this book. Once again, this takes into account the addition of streaming. Without it, the show ranks lower.

Moving to afternoons, Craig Carton and Evan Roberts finished 6th between the hours of 2p-6p if you go by the combined performance of a 3.6 OTA and 0.7 stream, which lifts them to a 4.3 share. The show drops further back if you only count their OTA performance. One issue with the 2p-6p numbers, they don’t take into account the afternoon show’s final hour. Yankees baseball programming does cut into that hour often but the station does promote the program airing weekdays from 2p-7p. Full data for 2p-7p wasn’t available, but I was able to gather data for 2p-6:30p when Carton and Roberts go head to head with ESPN NY’s Michael Kay Show. Craig and Evan recorded a 3.5 OTA and 0.7 stream for a 4.2, which put them in the mix for 6th if using combined numbers. If streaming is eliminated, the show slides way back to 13th.

Most in the industry who read this are going to focus on the Carton/Roberts-Michael Kay matchup since the afternoon drive battle is one that consistently produces a lot of interest. From The Fan’s perspective, not counting the 6p-7p hour as a Carton and Roberts hour when they’re barely on makes logical sense. The flip side is that the show also benefits a number of times during the summer months from Yankee games airing during the afternoon, something the Kay Show doesn’t receive, so discounting an hour that the station bills as part of its schedule isn’t perfect either.

Regardless of all of that, the bottom line, Carton and Roberts were down this book from the spring. The show was 3rd with a 5.7 (combined performance) in the spring book after scoring their first head to head afternoon win against Kay’s show in the winter book. Given the station and show’s expectations, whether using the combined performance (6th) or OTA ratings (13th), the program didn’t hit as expected. Rebounding in the fall book is going to be a top priority for Craig and Evan.

For 98.7 ESPN New York, the top story was two shows finishing in the Top 10 and one of them, The Michael Kay Show, beating the competition head to head. For the station as a whole in weekday prime, 98.7 ESPN NY finished the summer book in 14th place with a 3.3 share. That was down from the spring when the brand registered a 9th place finish with a 3.7 share.

Among the station’s weekday shows, The Michael Kay Show with Michael Kay, Don LaGreca and Peter Rosenberg turned in a 4.3 share to finish 6th between the hours of 2p-6:30p. That was one tenth of a point above Carton and Roberts (4.2) if you use the combined numbers, and eight tenths of a point (3.5) better if going by the OTA performance. The shows also run neck and neck for 6th if using combined performance, and 6th vs. 13th if going by the OTA numbers.

In the station’s other slots, Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty and Dave Rothenberg delivered a 9th place finish during the hours of 5a-8a. The morning trio popped a 4.0 share during the book, continuing to perform in the Top 10 as they did in the spring. The station’s second half of morning drive, ESPN Radio’s ‘Keyshawn, JWill and Max’ which airs locally from 8a-10a finished 18th with a 2.0 share.

Switching to middays, Mike Greenberg’s national show, which airs from 10a-12p registered a 14th place tie with a 2.4 share. The news was better during the Noon to 3p hours as Bart Scott and Alan Hahn scored a 3.0 share to finish the book tied for 10th. Bart and Hahn have now produced back to back Top 10 finishes after starting off the year with a 12th place finish in the winter book.

Looking ahead to the fall, WFAN and 98.7 ESPN NY should both improve. During the 2020 fall book, Boomer & Gio were 1st in mornings, Moose & Maggie were 3rd in middays, and afternoons, which featured two months of Benigno & Roberts and the first month of Carton & Roberts combined to finish 5th. For 98.7 ESPN NY, Michael Kay was 2nd last fall, mornings were 14th, and middays came in 9th.

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Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio Celebrate Anniversary on 94 WIP

“Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

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Logo for WIP Middays with Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio
Courtesy: 94 WIP

94 WIP hosts Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio celebrated their one-year anniversary as the midday show in Philadelphia today. Following Angelo Cataldi’s retirement in 2023 and the subsequent move of DeCamara and Ritchie taking his place in mornings, Douglas and Giglio formed the station’s new midday show.

Giglio started the show, “Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

Douglas, who had been part of the morning show at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta prior to starting with Giglio on 94 WIP, had mixed emotions. He was excited for the show, but was also reminded that he had been in Philadelphia now for a full year and had yet to find his permanent place to live. Giglio said he believes the reasoning is simply Douglas’ attention to the show and nothing else.

Giglio took a moment to thank those who help with and listen to the show. “We appreciate everyone who has been a part of the show for the last year,” he said. “We are excited for the next year to get started.”

Douglas played in the NFL for ten years, spending time with the Jets, Eagles and Jaguars.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Extend with Latino Media Network in LA; Add Coverage in Las Vegas and Fresno

“As a lifelong Latina Dodgers fan, this collaboration is a dream come true,” said LMN founder Stephanie Valencia.

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Los Angeles Dodgers logo along with the Latino Media Network logo

Latino Media Network announced a new partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers which will extend their current agreement in LA and add coverage in both Las Vegas and Fresno.

According to a release from the company, Dodger games will continue to broadcast on the flagship Los Angeles based KTNQ 1020 AM, but will now also expand the broadcast to KLLE 107.9 FM in Fresno and KISF 103.5 FM HD2 in Las Vegas, increasing the team’s reach to more than three million Hispanic potential Dodger fans. Beyond the expanded markets, the new partnership between Latino Media Network and the Dodgers will include more team and sports programming and increased community-based events.

“As a lifelong Latina Dodgers fan, this collaboration is a dream come true,” said LMN founder Stephanie Valencia. “This partnership is beyond baseball – it is about our Latino community. There is arguably no more dedicated Latino fan base to any other team in the MLB than Latinos to Los Doyers and that is in great part to KTNQ, which has been a part of Dodgers history for decades. KTNQ is still how thousands of Latino families listen to Dodger baseball, and I am excited to help expand the Dodgers fan base in a meaningful way in what will be such a historic year for the team.”

“The Dodgers’ history in the Latino community is without parallel in the world of sports, and that includes broadcasts in Spanish dating back to the 1950s and the franchise’s arrival in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Dodgers Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen. “We could not be more pleased to team up with LMN not only to extend this arrangement but also expand it on a geographical and programming level. This partnership is great for the Dodgers, great for baseball and most importantly, great for our community.”

LMN’s roster of sports teams include the Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire, Chicago Blackhawks, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, FC Dallas, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Christian University.

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Gregg Giannotti: Ryan Clark Wants to “Work Less and Get Paid More”

“If I was an executive, why would I ever hire him? He’s been fantastic, but if I was the one writing the checks…why am I going to pay him for what he did and not what he’s going to do now?”

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Ryan Clark
Courtesy: Allen Kee, ESPN Images

Last week, former NFL player Ryan Clark posted on his X account about his contract status with ESPN. Then, over the weekend, another post made it clear his contract has now expired with ESPN, where he has worked for the last decade.

“I’m so grateful for the decade of work they allowed me to do on the world’s greatest sports platform,” Clark said in his second post.

Where Clark ends up remains to be seen, however, what appears to be clear from his social posts is he is expecting to get paid more than his last contract with ESPN and he would like to put in less work.

“This started three years ago,” Clark says in the video. “[Clark’s deal with ESPN] wasn’t what [he] wanted. I realized I had to do more. Honestly, I felt played. I felt like I deserved something that they didn’t feel like I deserved. And I said, ‘In three years, I’ll be the best in the world doing this, that there will be no stone left unturned, I’ll leave no doubt that there was nobody in the world that was like me.’ I went on every show they put me on and made sure I crushed. So now here we are again, the season’s over, Inside the NFL is finished, and someone’s gotta pay the piper.”

On Boomer & Gio this morning, Gregg Giannotti was joined by Jerry Recco as Boomer Esiason takes some time off. The two discussed the social posts and videos as ‘Gio’ said Clark had, “Put out this hype video about his broadcasting free agency, which is something I have never seen before.”

Giannotti noted he has a bit of a history with Ryan Clark, who was a weekly guest of his when both were in Pittsburgh. According to Giannotti, Clark once called in and said he was sick and could not do the weekly visit and then showed up on a national radio show. Despite that, Giannotti and Recco both said they believe Clark is excellent at what he does and might deserve more money, however, this video did him no favors.

“Not only is this hype video and him feeling himself too much a turn off, but he just bascially said he did all of his work already,” said Giannotti. “And now he wants to get paid for the work that he did, but he wants to work less and make more money.”

Recco replied, “If I was an executive, why would I ever hire him? He’s been fantastic, but if I was the one writing the checks…why am I going to pay him for what he did and not what he’s going to do now?”

Giannotti added, “I had never in my life seen something like that, from a player, much less a broadcaster…I understand that he has done a really nice job and he is going to be a hot commodity and a lot of guys are getting paid in this business and he’ll probably get paid, but if I was someone that was going to hire him I would be like…’I like everything about you but this thing’…I don’t like this video at all…I have never seen anything like it.”

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