While you were busy taking in the sunshine during your mini work vacation or burying your brain in Twitter to stay informed on the latest news surrounding NBA Free Agency, developments were unfolding throughout the sports radio universe. Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s been flying under the radar in the world of sports radio.
A reminder, if you have a news tip to share in the future, send the details to me via email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Under The Radar:
- The Golden State Warriors radio contract is up for grabs and sources say Entercom and Cumulus are both vying to land the team’s rights. After consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and landing Kevin Durant in free agency, Golden State stands to earn a large increase. The big question is whether they will terminate a longstanding relationship and sacrifice having the majority of their games air on KNBR‘s powerful signal in favor of more money, consistent clearance and more inventory control on 95.7 The Game.
- Budget cuts have impacted 94.9 The Game in Nashville. The radio station has parted ways with its morning show, ‘A to Z Sports‘ featuring Austin Stanley and Zach Bingham. ESPN Radio’s ‘Mike and Mike‘ will air in its place as well as on the company’s second signal 102.5 The Game. Whether that’s a short-term or long-term move is unclear.
- Former Green Bay Packers Offensive Lineman Mark Tauscher has signed on to host a weekday talk show for Good Karma’s ESPN Wisconsin. Tauscher will team with Jason Wilde for a new program titled “Wilde and Tausch“. The show will air weekdays from 9a-11a on Good Karma’s ESPN Milwaukee and ESPN Madison stations.
- 107.7 The Franchise has parted ways with John Rohde. The former columnist who had been part of the morning show was informed his contract wasn’t being renewed a few weeks ago. He’s been replaced by Andrew Gilman and former Sooner football player Rufus Alexander.
- With Kevin Graham gone as PD of WEEI in Boston, the radio station is turning to Joe Zarbano, Ben Kichen and Carlson Mozdiez to handle day to day programming issues in the interim. The three men share a combined 27 years of experience with the radio station and are highly regarded.
- Congratulations is in order for 610 Sports’ afternoon team of Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison. The two members of ‘The Drive‘ recently signed new agreements with their employer Entercom Kansas City.
- Jeff Rickard, who has hosted shows nationally for ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, and SiriusXM has added Executive Producer stripes at 93.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. He signed on with the radio station in his new role in April.
- Former NBA veteran Ryan Hollins, and former University of Memphis big man Will Coleman will take turns hosting this week on 92.9 ESPN in Memphis. They’ll be filling in for weekday host Gary Parrish as part of what the station is positioning as ‘GP Show Celeb Week‘.
- Daniel Ogden is leaving 95.7 The Game in San Francisco as producer of the midday show. Ogden, spent the past year and a half producing Greg Papa and John Lund’s show. Lund left last month to join KNBR. No word yet on where Ogden is going or who will replace him.
- Townsquare Media has strengthened its Tuscaloosa sports brand ‘The Tide‘ by moving it on to a stronger signal. The company has moved the station from 99.1 to 102.9, a move that increases the station’s reach by 3-5x. It will now be positioned on-air and online as ‘Tide 102.9‘.
- Former Atlanta/Charlotte/Miami host Mark James filled in for Joe Rose on WQAM in Miami on July 4th. That same day he also stepped in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network.
- Wisconsin radio host Mike Heller is filling in all of this week on ‘The Dan Patrick Show’.
- Matthew Barnaby has hosted his final show on SiriusXM’s NHL Network.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.