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97.1 The Ticket Delivers Massive Shares in Detroit Fall Ratings Book

“Valenti and Beard posted an incredible 22.3-share, which expands by 4.5-share points when adding the stream.”

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Sports radio in Detroit has been one of the format’s best stories for years, and the latest Nielsen Audio results was no exception. The market’s juggernaut of a sports radio brand, 97.1 The Ticket dominated once again, finishing first in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 19.3 radio share. When streaming gets added to the equation, the brand soars even higher to a 22.6 share.

Those numbers helped The Ticket beat its summer first-place finish of a 16.7 share, along with its year-to-year 11.2 share, second place finish. The brand performed so well that even among Adults 25-54, the station registered a 12.1 radio share to rank first. With streaming added, Detroit’s sports station rose by 1.9 shares to a 14.0.

The fall book is set to be the last with Mike Stone at the helm of the morning drive radio program. Stone announced his retirement from the station following the 2023 NFL season. He has revealed that he will be a fill-in host at the outlet for at least the next two years. The morning show recorded a 16.6 share for the quarter, a mark that improves to an 18.0 share when streaming is tacked on. That placed the show second-overall in the locale.

The Stoney & Jansen with Heather program, which also features co-host Jon Jansen and anchor Heather Park was 5.7 share points higher from the summer book. Among Adults 25-54, the show ranked third with a 9.6 share. An additional seven-tenths of a share on top of that was attained in adding the stream metrics, both third in the Detroit DMA.

Middays with Doug Karsch and Scott Anderson completed the fall book with a 19.0 share, grabbing an additional 3.8 shares on the stream. The combined 22.8-share finish was first in the market and more than doubled last year’s second-place result (10.3). Compared to the summer book, the show amassed 5.8 additional shares to its final result. The show also picked up a 13.0 share for the quarter and added 2.4 shares over the stream with Adults 25-54, both good enough for first place.

Afternoons featuring Mike Valenti and Rico Beard produced the largest share in the city for the quarter. Valenti and Beard posted an incredible 22.3-share, which expands by 4.5-share points when adding the stream. That total number equates to a 26.8, one of the best overall numbers in all of sports radio. The afternoon team’s numbers were up from a 17.4 share in the summer book and more than double the 10.3, second-place finish last fall. With Adults 25-54, the show pulled in a 13.7 radio share, and an additional 2.6 shares via the stream.

Full-week numbers (M-SU 6a-12a) totaled to an 18.6 share among Men 25-54. That ranked The Ticket first overall. The lead expands even more if adding the additional 2.6 shares earned over the stream. Among Adults 25-54, the station earned an 11.4 share, also first in the market. With streaming included, The Ticket rises to a 13.1 share, remaining first.

Ratings reports and analysis are written by BSM and sponsored by Crowd React Media, a division of Harker Bos GroupLearn more about the different ways sports media research can benefit your station and cut through the noise by clicking here.

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KFC on WFAN: What Makes Barstool Sports Successful is the “Reality TV Aspect”

“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly.”

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Kevin Clancy, aka KFC from Barstool Sports
Courtesy: Barstool Sports

Kevin Clancy, better known as ‘KFC’ from Barstool Sports, filled in for Boomer Esiason on WFAN this morning with Gregg Giannatti. The two hosts discussed the feuding going on between members of the 1990’s Chicago Bulls as some players, most notably Scottie Pippen, are disputing some of what was said in The Last Dance back in 2020.

They compared the situation to some of what they face at their offices, noting they spend a lot of time with their co-workers, who aren’t members of their family or in most cases their best friends and drama can sometimes ensue. “Barstool has taken that office drama to a level that no one else has achieved,” Giannotti said to KFC. “When we do stuff like that here [at WFAN], it’s very rarely serious. The drama that you guys have, it’s real and it’s out there and that’s got to be a really difficult thing to deal with if you’re not prepared for it.”

“We usually refer to it as “being in the mud,” Clancy responded. “And there’s only certain people that can really live in the mud…It’s part of what made Barstool successful, is that reality TV aspect of it in that it is kind of like a team, and there is internal drama like clubhouse drama, locker room drama and the way we usually handle that is let’s do it out there and on the air.”

KFC talked about being a fan of WFAN and seeing it from the outside looking in. He said as a listener you could sense who was not a fan of certain people. He used the example of the feuds which would take place between Mike Francesa and Craig Carton and then the subsequent feuds Giannotti found himself in with “The Pope” when he took over for Carton.

“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly,” KFC said about Barstool Sports. “We will probably fight each other more than anything, but then when there’s an outside problem, we close ranks and we are like, let’s handle business.”

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Gow Media Parts Ways With Sports Map Radio Program Director Craig Larson

“With Larson exiting, Gow Media will make another change, tapping into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations.”

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It’s been a tough week in Houston for Gow Media. First, the company made cuts to ESPN 97.5, parting ways with the midday team of Joshua Beard, Michael Connor and Andrew Carlson. Then yesterday, the company informed longtime network program director Craig Larson that he too was unfortunately a budget cut casualty.

Larson had been with Gow Media since the company acquired the Sporting News Radio network in 2010. He started with Sporting News Radio as a producer in Illinois, moving next to Los Angeles to take on programming duties for the network before relocating to Houston to lead the outlet following David Gow’s acquisition of the brand.

During the fourteen years that Larson managed the network, it’s gone through a few changes. Gow elected to change the identity from Sporting News Radio to Yahoo Sports Radio in 2011. That was followed by rebrands to SB Nation Radio and its current name, Sports Map Radio.

With Larson exiting, Gow Media will tap into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations. The two groups have already been working together. This just gives the sports betting network an even bigger push. It also helps Gow stand out better in a crowded national sports radio marketplace.

As for Larson, this is his first trip to free agency in nearly a quarter century. When reached by BSM, he acknowledged that his time with the company had come to an end. He added, ‘It was an amazing 14 years in Houston. I’m proud of the work we put in, and there’s no better person in the world to work for than David Gow.’

Those interested in chatting with Larson about future possibilities can reach him at [email protected].

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Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run

“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

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Eli Gold
Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.

“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”

Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.

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