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Steve Haywood Dead At 49

Jason Barrett

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In radio talk, there is one trait needed above all others – and that is the ability to create the conversation.

Steve Haywood had that, and the sports knowledge to back it up. It’s what made him a popular show host on WAUK-AM 540 ESPN. He knew how to stir the pot, and his passion for Milwaukee and its teams was well known in sports circles.

Haywood passed away from heart failure early Sunday morning. He was 49.

“Have known Haywood for 20 years. Passionate Bucks fan,” Chuck Freimund of WSSP-FM 105.7 The Fan posted on Facebook. “I’ll miss my sports debates with him at games!!!”

Many in the community shared their condolences online after hearing the news. That included a good number of those in the media.

“Hard to hear that Steve Haywood passed away,” Bill Michaels, of the state-wide “Bill Michaels Show,” wrote on Sunday. “We had so many good times covering the Bucks and just chatting life in general. I’ll miss the laugh the most.”

Haywood was a graduate of Milwaukee Tech High School and went to UW-Whitewater. Lately, he had been an outspoken member of the crowd to keep the Bucks in the city.

“Sorry to hear about the passing of my friend Steve Haywood, a well-known Milwaukee sports personality,” former OnMilwaukee.com writer Eugene Kane posted on Facebook. “For many years, Steve was my go-to guy for sports information concerning the Black community. He will be missed as a professional and a friend.”

“Steve Haywood. A real class act. Tremendous loss,” wrote Andy Olivares, who does play-by-play for the Chicago Bears and worked with Haywood while at ESPN Deportes 1510 AM. “Very sad time indeed …”

“Every time I saw Steve Haywood, he made me smile,” wrote Kevin Holden of WDJT-TV CBS 58. “Steve brought a passion and energy to every press conference, every work day. Even the physical troubles he faced never changed the fact that Steve was a champion of spirit. We’ve learned a lot from you, Steve Haywood.”

ESPN 540 posted news of Haywood’s passing on Facebook and its website.

“It is with great sadness that we report the death of our teammate, mentor and friend, Steve Haywood, who passed away this morning,” the radio station posted Sunday.

Drew Olson, a former OnMilwaukee.com staffer and sports radio colleague, wrote that Haywood faced a number of health ailments including diabetes and kidney problems. Haywood had both legs amputated.

“He had every right to be bitter, but instead he handled all of his issues with grace and laughter,” Bill Johnson, who co-hosted “The Game” with Haywood, told Olson for the station’s story.

“I think he was in a lot more pain than he ever let on to any of us. He went through it with a smile and with laughter. I hope nobody has to go through what Steve did the last 15 years of his life. If you do, and you can do it the way Steve did, I’ll tip my cap to you.”

I had the opportunity to meet Haywood when I worked with Scott Wisniewski on Friday night high school football game broadcasts on 540 ESPN. Haywood and former Packers player Mark Chmura came out to one of our first broadcasts. Haywood stayed in the press box and spotted for us.

Later, like many others in media, we’d stay in touch through social media. Haywood always had a positive attitude despite the negative turns his health seemed to take. He will be missed.

Godspeed.

Credit to OnMilwaukee.com who originally published this article

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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