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Hasseltine Feels At Home In Memphis

Jason Barrett

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Eric Hasseltine, the radio voice of the Memphis Grizzlies since 2005, has made a solid start in becoming Cal Ripken-like in the realm of NBA play-by-play broadcasters.

“He’s never missed a Memphis Grizzlies game,” said Chris Wallace, General Manager of the NBA franchise that opens its 2015-16 regular season Wednesday night, October 28 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at FedExForum.

Wallace introduced Hasseltine for a lunchtime speech to members of the Memphis Rotary Club.

The broadcaster has a long way to go working the microphone to top Ripken’s record of most consecutive baseball games played (2,632), but Hasseltine  quickly offered a play-by-play of his Grizzlies game days that helps explain his regular attendance on the job.

“Think about this: you wake up at a five-star hotel,” Hasseltine said. “You get on a bus. You bring coffee for an All-Star power forward, one for a back-up point guard, one for yourself. You sit in a seat that costs somebody $800 in a small market, $2,000 in a big market. That’s where you’re going to work for the night, and that’s the life I live every day,” the radio man said. “And every day I look at myself and say, how in the hell did you get here?”

The 43-year-old father of two grew up in Walnut Creek, California, and broke into sports radio at the University of California, Davis as a play-by-play broadcaster for the school’s football and basketball teams on station KDVS.

“Every day I wake up here as a native Californian–but now someone who considers himself a Memphian–I realize just how lucky I am,” Hasseltine said.

In order to pay his bills, Hasseltine worked as a bartender and parking valet and spent summers dealing blackjack and serving as a jet-ski instructor in Lake Tahoe.

After college, the aspiring broadcaster found an opportunity to do sideline and play-by-play coverage of the Oakland Raiders games on station KHTK in Sacramento.

A sports broadcasting website offered him his first glimpse of an opportunity to do sports radio in his new hometown.

“Where is Memphis?,” Hasseltine said he wondered as he sent examples of his on-air work to the home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Turns out that Hasseltine’s broadcasting career took a dramatic turn on September 11, 2001. A Memphis broadcasting manager called him and offered an opportunity to move to Sports 56, WHBQ.

“That year I got to know a guy named Don Poier, “ Hasseltine said. Poier was the Memphis Grizzlies’ original play-by-play man.

Hasseltine was hired to do pre and postgame shows for the Grizzlies while also hosting his own broadcast as he does every weekday from 2 to 4 p.m. on 92.9 ESPN Memphis.

To read the rest of this article visit Action News 5 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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