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Sports Talk or Life Lessons

Jason Barrett

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How many times have you started talking about the Portland Trail Blazers and got a blank stare in return? If it hasn’t happened, it will. When it does, that’s the time you convert non-fan into new fan if you’re fan enough. That PBS loving radio listener in front of you is ready for a change.

Give them Dan Patrick, a 58-year-old golden boy with the radio voice and television face, a rare combo and easy listen for new people. His ego seems to adapt to all ages. When you’re the guy on stage handing out Lombardis, it would be easy to go the other way. Instead, he shares his radio show with his listeners and his on air production team. Calls them his Danettes. It could be worse, and they couldn’t be better.

Early in the year, a big radio star called out Dan’s style, said he had it easy. The onetime face of ESPN went away from sport talk when his work ethic took a hit from Colin Cowherd. Work ethic; we’re talking about work ethic? The dean of sport talk uses real life to show how to handle your business. You don’t need high heat when you’ve got a grip on cool. Check out his YouTube if you haven’t seen it. Chilling.

Or give them Jim Rome for a take that doesn’t suck. He’s the Michael Corleone of sports talk. Got the look, the edge, and it’s not going dull anytime soon. When members of the Rome mafia call the show, new listeners knock them hard. Rome stands up for his early callers every time. He’s teaching loyalty. He used to say, “Give me two weeks before you spin the dial.” Snagger knows his audience. They stay.

Radio celebrity on a world scale is one thing, but I like the local guys. My favorite expresses the entire range of sports-emotion from catchy up-talk to deep and somber. His sporty sport talk is clear and correct the way only an NFL insider can do, and he offers just enough extra to keep me locked in. The following two examples go beyond the letter of sport talk, but not the spirit. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

How To Slow Cook Ribs In A Crock Pot.

Pick up two racks of ribs, each about two feet long. They’re pink and reptilian looking in the vacuum packed plastic. Don’t get frozen if you can avoid it.

Cut the ribs into three bone sections and push some rib rub into them.

Stack the ribs upright along the edge of the crock and fill toward the center. Put a second layer on top.

Set the slow cooker at 300. Come back in two hours and switch top ribs to bottom.

Come back two hours later and drain off the juices. Pour a bottle of barbeque sauce in a big bowl and dunk the ribs before stacking them back in the crock.

Two hours later? Dinner, and you’re a genius cook. You too can do this. So easy, so delicious. I’ve done it three times since learning how.

Dinner Out With Adult Kids.

Like every other sport talk radio fan, I expect to hear sports. It’s what goes beyond the topic that makes it universal.

My local favorite sports talker explained how he goes to dinner with his eighteen year old daughter. The guy’s been on the air for the last ten years and his audience has followed his family along the way. His little girl grew up and dinners together can get awkward.

Once they’re seated in a restaurant, he said, he lets the wait staff know who he’s with, “I know what I’ll have, but MY DAUGHTER will order first,” or something close.

I’m driving around listening and think, “The same thing happened to me, except I didn’t say anything. There I was, shunned in a restaurant because I didn’t say, “I know what I’ll have, but MY SON will order first.”” We got the cold shoulder, ordered late, didn’t get our food, and left. It took a while before I figured out the problem. Of course my kid disagrees with the creepy conclusion.

After hearing the restaurant story, all I could think to say was, “Thank you, Big Suke, you’re saving the world from bad cooking and over-parenting one listener at a time.”

The right sport talk does that for you, keeps you in the loop.

Credit to SeattlePI 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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