Here are the latest developments happening in sports radio, television, and print that you might not have been aware of. If you want to be included in this section in the future, send your story, tip or press release to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
- Some changes are taking place behind the scenes at ESPN Radio. Congratulations is in order for Michelle Smallmon who has been named the new producer for ESPN Radio’s “Russillo and Kanell“. Smallmon moved to the network last summer after a successful tenure with 101 ESPN in St. Louis. She had been producing “Jorge and Izzy” featuring Jorge Sedano and Israel Gutierrez.
- With Smallmon joining the midday show, Vince Kates takes over producing duties of “Jorge and Izzy“. Kates had been working with “Russillo and Kanell” and has a strong track record of producing top network talent including Colin Cowherd, Todd Wright, Jason Smith, and others.
- FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix is launching a new 1-hour morning show. The radio station has confirmed the addition of “Four Quarters” featuring host Mike Jurecki. The show will air weekdays from 6a-7a and offer a heavy dose of NFL and Arizona Cardinals conversation.
- WTIC Hartford afternoon host and CBS Sports Radio weekend man Andy Gresh is filling in Monday and Tuesday this week on WFAN in New York. Gresh will host the midday show. He’s also scheduled to fill-in on August 18th and 19th.
- With 49ers play by play radio voice Ted Robinson busy calling the Olympics for NBC, Kate Scott is earning an opportunity to step up and call 49ers pre-season action on KNBR. Scott will call the first two games alongside former Niners Keena Turner, and Dennis Brown. Regular radio analyst Tim Ryan will be involved on the team’s local television broadcast.
- Keep your eye on WDFN in Detroit. According to sources, there could be additional local programming on the radio station in the near future.
- Richard Daugherty has announced he’s leaving the afternoon show on FOX Sports Knoxville. Daugherty had been co-hosting alongside Russell Smith. No word yet on where Daugherty is headed or who will replace him on the show.
- In Cleveland, Dave DeNatale has announced he’s leaving as producer and co-host of the Bruce Hooley show on ESPN 850 WKNR. DeNatale had spent the past six years working for the radio station. No details were shared on where he’s headed or who would be replacing him on the show.
- Continuing with departure news, producer Anthony Nachreiner has left Sports Radio 1560 The Fan in Melbourne, Florida in order to become the new Sports Director for 600 KGEZ in Kalispell, Montana. Nachreiner spent the past two years producing and contributing to the “Mark Moses Show”.
- Producer Kyle Knezevich of The Dan Dakich Show, and MMA fighter and former NFL player Matt Mitrione have started a new Saturday show titled “The Beatdown”. The program airs on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis.
- TSN 1150 in Hamilton, Ontario has reached an agreement to become the new flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL.
- The New Orleans Times-Picayune have added Herbie Teope as a new Saints beat writer. Toepe had been covering the Kansas City Chiefs for the Topeka-Capital Journal.
- Tania Ganguli has vacated her position as the Houston Texans reporter for ESPN’s NFL Nation, in order to accept an opportunity covering the Los Angeles Lakers for the Los Angeles Times.
- Speaking of NFL Nation, ESPN has added two new faces, starting with Katherine Terrell taking over as the new Cincinnati Bengals reporter. The company has also brought in Alden Gonzalez to cover the Los Angeles Rams.
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.
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.
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.