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Paul Finebaum Has Always Thought Callers Are “Most Important”

“I’ve always believed in that. I learned at some point that the callers were really the most important thing.”

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Paul Finebaum

ESPN’s Paul Finebaum joined Bryan Curtis on his podcast, The Press Box for a discussion about Finebaum’s media career. On the podcast, Finebaum went through his history of starting as an investigative reporter for a newspaper in Alabama and how he slowly transitioned to a radio “pot-stirrer”.

Curtis asked a question about Finebaum’s choice of formatting his show. Finebaum’s program, from its inception, has been very caller-driven. Finebaum said he had always been a proponent of giving the listeners, the fans, a voice.

“I’ve always believed in that,” said Finebaum. “I learned at some point that the callers were really the most important thing”.

Finebaum also talked about how his relationship with the format and his callers has changed.

“At some point I went from being an antagonist to being a friend,” remembers the host. “It changed over the years. It changed even more dramatically in the last couple of years. Especially during Covid. Now I almost feel as if I am an advocate for the fans. I’m not trying to make this show into anything that it’s not, but most talk show hosts simply don’t care about the fans”.

Finebaum mentioned on former radio host and current ESPN personality that doesn’t understand why he would devote so much time on the air to callers.

“I was with Tony Kornheiser a couple of years ago on his podcast. Afterwards we grabbed some coffee… he basically said ‘why to you talk to these effin’ idiots every day?’ He can’t understand it. Why? He’s from New York. He’s opinionated. But he’s not alone”.

Finebaum would continue, “A lot of people in the industry think the callers make no sense, that they’re a waste of time. I’ve been criticized countless times Bryan, by people saying you could put anybody in that chair and do what he does. It takes no common sense. It takes no creativity. I would argue it takes patience, though. And I believe in the callers”.

Curtis then asked how do you make a caller “good”.

“You listen and you’re curious,” offered Finebaum.

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SiriusXM Media, GroupM and Edison Research Release New Sports Audio Report

“Family, community, and emotion drive this passion unlike any other. What brand wouldn’t want to be associated with this level of devotion?” 

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Logos for SiriusXM, Edison Research and GroupM

SiriusXM Media, GroupM and Edison Research have released a new sports audio report. The report “explores sports fandom in the U.S. and the role that audio content plays in fans’ engagement with sports and leagues.”

The report found that 64% of sports fans frequently or occasionally listened to sports content last year via radio, podcasts or SiriusXM.

The findings were presented in a webinar late last week by Gabriel Soto, Senior Director of Research at Edison Research, Melissa Paris, Vice President of Sales Research at SiriusXM Media, and Jen Soch, Executive Director, Channel Solutions at GroupM US.  

The key findings in the study showed that 186 million people ages 13 and over identify as sports fans, that is two-thirds of the American population. The study also found that 68% of sports fans say sports brings their family closer together. Another major finding was that the majority of Gen Z and Millennials closely follow the personal lives of athletes they like.

While the majority of sports audio is still being consumed via AM/FM radio, podcast’s share of sports listening has almost doubled since 2018. With the younger audience, the study found that 13–34-year-olds are spending three times as much time with sports podcasts than sports radio.

In a positive note for sports audio advertisers, the report also showed 63% of sports audio listeners have gathered more information about a company or product after hearing an ad on a sports podcast or sports audio program. Over half have purchased a product or service after hearing an ad on a sports podcast or sports audio program. 

“The idea that sports is more than just a game is at the core of what drives fandom, audio consumption, and the benefits advertisers receive from sports audio,” said Soto. “Family, community, and emotion drive this passion unlike any other. What brand wouldn’t want to be associated with this level of devotion?” 

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Adam Schein Celebrates 20 Years of ‘Schein on Sports’

“Thank you guys for listening and subscribing and interacting. And it is just a blast to host Schein On Sports now for two decades.”

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Screengrab from SiriusXM's Schein on Sports
Screengrab: SiriusXM's Schein on Sports

Adam Schein has big reason to celebrate. As many in the media industry know, doing a show at the same place for a decade is rarely done these days. Schein and his team have now been doing Schein on Sports at SiriusXM for two decades.

Schein started his show today noting that June 15th marked the 20-year anniversary of the show, which airs on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel on SiriusXM each weekday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.

“Thank you, 20 glorious years,” Schein said in his usual high-energy tone to start off his show this morning. “Officially 20 glorious years of Schein On Sports. I always say: best listeners, callers, subscribers, in the history of sports radio. I love you guys. Thank you guys for listening and subscribing and interacting. And it is just a blast to host Schein On Sports now for two decades.

“My goodness, it is absolutely wild…SiriusXM, the best place to work in all of sports media. It’s always important to stop and smell the roses on a day like today and most especially thanks to you guys for everything over 20 years…That’s wild and amazing and absolutely crazy in every possible way.”

Schein, a 1999 graduate of Syracuse University’s famed Newhouse School of Public Communications, signed a four-year extension with SiriusXM in March 2023. “I am so incredibly elated and fired up to re-sign another long-term deal with SiriusXM, my radio home for the last 18 years,” said Schein at the time. “I love working with the amazing people at SiriusXM. I truly appreciate the platform, power and prestige of hosting Schein On Sports every weekday on Mad Dog Sports Radio. It’s my passion.”

Schein joined SiriusXM in 2004 and was the first voice ever heard on SiriusXM NFL Radio. He moved to SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio in 2019.

“Adam is an exceptional talent with a passion for sports that is obvious every time he cracks open the mic,” said Eric Spitz, VP of Sports Programming, SiriusXM when the company announced Schein’s extension. “SiriusXM has been his home since 2004 and it has been a thrill to see his star rise over these last two decades. We’re thrilled to extend our great relationship with Adam, keep him as a mainstay on our Mad Dog Sports Radio channel, and ensure our listeners continue to get his one-of-a-kind brand of sports talk on a daily basis.”

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Kraig Kitchin, Jaime Jarrín Among 2024 Radio Hall of Fame Inductees

“The Radio Hall of Fame welcomes eight new members that have made a lasting impact on the industry.”

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Radio Hall of Fame
Courtesy: Radio Hall of Fame

The Museum of Broadcast Communications has revealed the eight members being inducted into the prestigious Radio Hall of Fame within its Class of 2024. Over 900 industry professionals made personnel selections for the 2024 class, and the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee chose two additional inductees. Longtime radio executive and consultant Kraig Kitchin and veteran sports announcer Jaime Jarrín are among the nominating class alongside seven other professionals, all of whom will be inducted within a ceremony on Sept. 19.

Kitchin is currently the president of talent management firm Sound Mind and a strategic advisor for media placement agency Oxford Road. Before beginning his own company, he was a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks and later became its president and chief operating officer, overseeing its syndication and services throughout the country. During his time at the company, he oversaw programming hosted by personalities such as Bob Costas, Jim Rome, Whoopi Goldberg and Ryan Seacrest among others. Moreover, he was responsible for supervising other properties under the purview of the company, including FOX Sports Radio, MJI Programming and Mediabase 24/7. 

Before working at Premiere Radio Networks, Kitchin was the sales manager of the Katz Radio Group Network in Los Angeles, Calif. Kitchin also serves as the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame and works with co-chairman Dennis Green, who is the chief operating officer of Sun & Fun Media/Key Networks.

“Congratulations to each of our inductees this year on this well-deserved recognition,” David Plier, chairman of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, said in a statement. “I am grateful to the members of the Nominating Committee for presenting a diverse and inclusive group of nominees again this year for industry consideration. Co-Chairmen Dennis Green and Kraig Kitchin are providing excellent leadership in involving so many industry voices to this annual induction process. I am appreciative of their many years of service and leadership.”

Jarrín, the longtime Spanish-language radio voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is also among the inductees within this year’s class. Jarrín started his work on Dodgers games during the 1959 season and became the lead Spanish-language broadcaster for the team 14 years later. After 64 seasons with the team, he retired from broadcasting following the 2022 season. During his career, he was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1998, becoming the second Spanish-language broadcaster to be granted the honor.

The Radio Hall of Fame will also induct other distinguished industry professionals this year, including Lee Harris, Phil Hendrie, Mary McCoy, Matt Siegel, Barry Mayo and The Crook & Chase Countdown duo of Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase. Emerson Radio Corporation established the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988, and the entity has been operated by the Museum of Broadcast Communications since 1991.

“The Radio Hall of Fame welcomes eight new members that have made a lasting impact on the industry,” Dennis Green, co-chair of the Radio Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “This class, like the ones before it, exemplifies the highest standards of excellence that radio broadcasters have upheld throughout radio’s rich history, making this medium so special to generations of listeners. These individuals have entertained, informed, and enriched listeners with their special talents, and it is an honor to recognize them as the Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2024.”

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