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Under The Radar – September 6, 2016

Jason Barrett

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Another edition of Under The Radar takes a look at some of the news you might have missed from across the sports media universe. A reminder that if you have personnel, promotional, or a brand success story to share, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • Former 97.5 The Fanatic midday host Sean Brace has landed a sports anchoring position with FOX 29 in Philadelphia. Brace begins his venture into sports television starting September 9th.
  • Despite Detroit Sports 105.1 folding, Rico Beard has landed on his feet. The former midday host announced that he’s taken over as host of “The Spartan Beat” on 92.1FM in Lansing. The show airs from 6p-7p and debuts on Tuesday September 6th.
  • Eric Messersmith has exited 101 ESPN in St. Louis where he was working primarily in a behind the scenes role in order to accept a position as an on-air talent at the new 590 The Fan KFNS operated by Tim McKernan. Messersmith will work on the 2p-4p show with Joe Roderick and Howard Balzer.
  • ESPN 980 evening host Tim Murray has been named the new studio host for Navy football radio broadcasts this season. Murray will host the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows on the Navy radio network.
  • 670 The Score in Chicago is holding auditions to find its 2016 Fantasy Football Expert. The radio station will be present at the Illinois Media School for a number of tryouts, and a final decision will be made by judges at a September 20th event. The will appear every Sunday on The Score during Joe Ostrowski’s show from 8-9a CT.
  • Congrats is in order for Brady Farkas who was named the new Program Director of ESPN 101.3 in Burlington, Vermont. Farkas had been working in Albany, NY for 104.5 The Team as a producer and on-air contributor. His first day of duty is Tuesday September 6th. He joins a radio station which recently installed Arnie Spanier in afternoon drive.
  • With Farkas heading to Burlington, 104.5 The Team has filled his void by promoting Zach Bye. Bye will produce “Big Board Sports with Rodger Wyland” and contribute on-air. Bye is already familiar with Wyland from having worked with him on University of Albany football and basketball broadcasts.
  • TNA Wrestling voice Josh Matthews had been hosting a weekend show on 102.5 The Game in Nashville. Matthews though has announced that the two parties have agreed to part ways. He says to stay tuned for future news regarding the Josh Matthews Show.
  • Staying in Tennessee, Marky Billson is hosting shows all of this week on WEMB 1420 in the Tri-Cities area. Billson previously worked for the radio station in the 1990’s and will be hosting the 12p-2p shift.
  • ESPN has added a new play by play broadcaster for the SEC Network. Courtney Lyle is joining the network and she’s expected to be involved in calling basketball, softball, and volleyball games.

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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