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Can WFAN Thrive Without Francesa?

Jason Barrett

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What would the Valley of the Stupid be like without his presence? What would the world of New York sports be without his pompous stylings? Between swigs of Coca-Cola and blowing off first-time-caller-long-time-morons, who will we depend on for spiritual guidance and bad predictions?

What will life be without His Holiness complaining about his simulcast being preempted by the executives of Fox Sports None? And how will our mundane life ever be worth living without hearing Francesa not only ask Joe Girardi a question but answer it as well? My goodness, will life be liveable without being on the edge of our seat knowing his next interview with Sweeney Murti could once again put the Pope to sleep?

What will the Jets do without Francesa around to gratuitously bash them?

What will James (Guitar Jimmy) Dolan do without the Pope behind the microphone to spin for him when Phil Jackson decides to leave the Knicks before his contract expires?

Who will FAN boss Mark Chernoff find to torment him? What will Mike From Montclair do when Francesa is not around to receive his text message before allowing him on the air for a contentious exchange?

Who will Mongo Nation turn its lonely eyes to when Francesa splits? BenignoCon, anyone?

Most importantly, and what really matters, who will I have left to kick around when Francesa departs? It’s always about me, right?

Yes, listening carefully while he is on vacation, and knowing he is contemplating an exit strategy, we heard the future of local sports talk radio. Without Francesa, it sucks. The ultimate conclusion: If Francesa leaves we will miss him. For the VOS, his departure would be equivalent to the day the music died.

WFAN has backslid into this jive too. Not Francesa. His self-proclaimed importance, and longevity, have afforded him the opportunity to ignore the suits running the station. This is why his show remains highly entertaining (Okay, maybe two or three of the five hours are) and often unpredictable. Francesa does what he wants to do.

On vacation, Francesa has left a void. If he splits for good he leaves a canyon.

To read the rest of this article visit Bob Raissman’s NY Daily News column which is where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The 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, 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 their 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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