Week after week, sports media news continues to pour in. The past week was no exception. A quick reminder, if you have something to share or promote, you can always pass it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now without further delay, here are this week’s developments.
SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation is losing a valuable member of its programming team. T.J. Cutini, who had served as a program director of the channel for the past five years is moving on. Cutini, worked his last shift on Friday, said that he felt it was time for a change of scenery. No word yet on where he will turn up next or who will assume his duties.
Congratulations is in order for Travis Demers who was recently promoted to Assistant Program Director at Rip City Radio 620 in Portland. In addition to handling APD duties, Demers hosts the afternoon show on the radio station.
Marc Ryan has accepted a new challenge. After hosting in Tampa for both WDAE, and the now defunct 98.7 The Fan, and previously working on-air at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, Ryan has accepted a multimedia position in Houston with Sports Radio 610 KILT. Ryan will host, report and write for the radio station. He started in his new role last week.
After dropping Josh Innes from afternoons in August, sources say Sports Radio 94WIP is close to putting the finishing touches on their weekday lineup. Barring any unexpected setbacks, another former Eagle will join the mix. Stay tuned.
ESPN Columbia 94.9 FM and 1230 AM (WOIC-AM) has added Joshua “J-Fresh” Ivey to its Saturday morning college football tailgate show College Football Country. Ivey will serve as the show’s new executive producer. The show is hosted by Demetri Ravanos and Alpha Media Columbia SVP/Market Manager Mike Hartel and airs Saturday mornings from 10a-12p during the college football season.
With Hurricane Matthew rocking the southeast part of the United States, especially the state of Florida, Sports Radio 930 AM in Jacksonville made the decision to cease sports talk programming and turn the airwaves over to First Coast News. Program Director Seth Harp said the station’s priority was to serve the community and keep them updated on key developments.
The NHL Network are making a few additions. Former player Scott Gomez who spent a large part of his career with the New Jersey Devils has been hired as an analyst. The network has also added Michelle McMahon to the E.J. Hradek and Steve Mears show.
The NBA season is a few weeks away and for the Chicago Bulls broadcast team, they’ve got their Executive Producer back. Jeff Magnurten is returning for his 11th season. Bulls games air in Chicago on WLS 890.
ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City has agreed to terms with the Utah Grizzlies to serve as the team’s flagship radio station. The Grizzlies are a minor league hockey affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks.
KTUL Channel 8 Sports Director John Moss will be joining 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa every Monday and Wednesday from 9a-11a.
LSU Sports Radio has brought in Jacob Hester to its broadcast team. Hester made his debut last weekend working alongside Jordy Culotta.
The Illinois men’s basketball broadcasts will have a new voice involved this season. Former player Doug Altenberger has signed on as an analyst. He’ll split duties with Deon Thomas.
NESN in Boston has hired Jahmai Webster as a sports anchor and reporter. He’ll join the network later this month. Webster recently worked as a sports anchor in Denver for ABC affiliate KMGH.
Tampa Bay Times Lightning beat writer Joe Smith has signed on with WDAE as a regular contributor. Smith will appear on the station 3x per week.
The Fayetteville Observer has hired Patrick Obley as a sports writer.
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.