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Toucher and Rich Celebrate Cedric Maxwell by Ripping Jim Gray

98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich demonstrated a ‘how-to’ and a ‘how not-to’ in sports broadcasting by using Cedric Maxwell and Jim Gray’s weekends.

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Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Toucher and Rich are dominating morning drive ratings in Boston. So when they mentioned on this morning’s show they had a “master class in sports broadcasting,” one’s ears perk.

Co-host Rich Shertenlieb began the segment by saying that he is about to present a “how-to and how not-to handle certain things”. This all came from audio over the long holiday weekend. He started with a station favorite. “If you didn’t see it, Cedric Maxwell was just a rock star,” Rich continued.

Cedric Maxwell, a former Boston Celtic and current radio color commentator for the team, was asked to be a part of the trophy presentation to the winning Celtics. Lisa Salters, ESPN’s on-court began and introduced Maxwell for the first presentation, the Eastern Conference Championship. After a brief session interviewing Al Horford, Salters was back to introduce the inaugural Larry Bird trophy (presented to the Eastern Conference Finals MVP). Salters invited Maxwell back to introduce to recipient and he sounded even more comfortable.

“Girl, it is a pleasure to be on top. Now for me to give this MVP trophy out, let me see here, Jayson Tatum”.

The show also played the audio of Maxwell still on the court interrupting Stephen A. Smith’s live hit with Scott Van Pelt after the game.

“How about then damn Celtics,” boomed the voice of Maxwell. “Man, how about them damn Celtics!”

Toucher & Rich are huge fans of Cedric Maxwell. They’ve had him on the show many times (including this morning) and frequently play his wild, sometimes incomprehensible reactions to Celtics moments on the court.

The show then juxtaposed those moments with “another person working the postgame or should I say post-fight interview,” Rich began. “Fred, that would be your best buddy, Jim Gray”.

It is important to note that Toucher & Rich have a history with Jim Gray that dates back to a tense interview on radio row at the Super Bowl in 2019. Since then, the show has not minced words about Gray.

Gray was working the boxing event for Showtime on Saturday. The moment in question came after Gervonta “Tank” Davis knocked out Rolly Romero. Gray asked about Davis’ future and future opponents when Davis said this:

“I’m here baby. I’m here. Whatever they want to do I’m here, baby! Ain’t no safety on this glock, you know? Ain’t no safety on this glock and I got a lot of ammunition.”

Gray pulled the microphone back and added “let’s stay away from guns, this is an awful time in our nation. I know you’re just meaning this in terms of boxing.”

That’s when Toucher made the sad trombone sound with his mouth and Rich asked, “Are you kidding me with that?

Toucher then opined “when you start clarifying with ‘I know you didn’t mean it that way’ then maybe don’t say anything.”

It’s also worthy of noting that moments after the Davis fight, there was a false alarm at the Barclays Center when someone reported hearing gunshots.

Rich concluded the segment by expressing how happy he was for Maxwell. “I felt happy for him. I saw him on TV and I was like ‘Max! This is great!”

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Sports Radio News

SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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