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Van Pelt and Sheehan Remember Ken Beatrice

Jason Barrett

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A few things have struck me while reading and listening to everything I could about Ken Beatrice in recent days; among them, how many of his biggest fans were just kids during his heyday, and how many of them later went on to media careers of their own.

I’ve always wanted to do a long piece on the absurd number of sports media members — both local and national — who grew up in the D.C. area. When I’ve talked to some of them about this in the past, they usually mention reading The Post’s legendary Sports section of the 1980s, and watching magnetic anchors on local television like Warner Wolf and Glenn Brenner and George Michael, and listening to groundbreaking radio hosts like Beatrice. (If I’m being honest, probably 75 percent of these people grew up in Montgomery County. I have no explanation for that one.)

I didn’t grow up here, but the Beatrice stories this week make it sound like he had something of a children’s army on his side, with pre-pubescent boys listening to his show while doing homework, and nervously jamming his phone lines, and calling him up in his office to chat. ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt added his own name to that roster this week, while reminiscing with Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980.

“He called my house,” Van Pelt said, wonder still in his tone 30 years later. “Ken Beatrice after the show, I didn’t make it on, but he called me up. And it was the craziest thing. You picked up the phone and there’s this incredibly distinctive voice on the other end, and you just can’t believe that he would do that. There’s a lot to him, a lot of complicated this, that, and the other thing, but he was a giant. And it becomes real easy — because you and I both got into this business — to say we were inspired or whatever. I don’t think we ever dreamed we’d be this lucky, but anybody that does it and grew up in D.C. — just like Glenn Brenner influenced us, George Michael, Warner Wolf — he was A Guy, and an amazingly important guy to the sports talk landscape in the city. And so to acknowledge that only seems appropriate.”

Van Pelt’s memory was inspired by a similar one Sheehan discussed with my pal Matt Terl over at City Paper.

“As a kid listening to him, if you called in and you were on hold when the show ended, he would actually call you at your house when the show was over,” Sheehan said. “You’re sitting at the house after the show and the phone rings and it’s Ken Beatrice on the line saying, ‘Hey, Kev! Sorry you didn’t get on, but I just wanted to call.’ And he would sit there and talk to you forever.”

To read the rest of the article visit the Washington Post where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

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 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, All 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 its 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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