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A Huge November For Chicago Sports Radio Stations

Jason Barrett

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If only the Chicago Cubs could win the world series every month! That would make the personnel at both sports radio stations in Chicago very happy.

In the latest November book, the Cubs ability to rally from 3-1 down in the world series, to knock off the Cleveland Indians and bring a world championship to a city which had gone 108 years without one, had a massive impact on the ratings for both 670 The Score and ESPN 1000.

For The Score, the home of Cubs baseball, they led the market. The radio station was 1st with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 6.5. They also came in 1st with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid with a 7.7.

Outside of the male demos, The Score was equally as powerful. The station finished 2nd among all listeners 6+ M-SU 6a-Mid, registering a 6.1. Their total cume in that demo was 1,774,400. Their 6+ number was also nearly two points higher month to month, and their cume climbed by 670,000. A huge tip of the cap to The Score’s program director Mitch Rosen and his entire team on a job well done.

As impressive as The Score’s performance was during the November book, ESPN 1000 also had plenty of reason to celebrate. Adam Delevitt and his team seized the moment and helped lift their brand’s performance despite not having the local rights to the Cubs.

To offset the local play by play disadvantage, ESPN 1000 aired the national broadcast of Cubs playoff games thanks to their affiliation with ESPN Radio. That decision coupled with a strong lineup propelled the brand to finish 2nd with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 5.8. They also came in 3rd overall with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid with a 5.0. Their 6+ performance was also up by .8 and their cume grew by 350,000.

What stood out most though for ESPN 1000 was the performance of “Waddle and Silvy”. W&S defeated The Score’s “Boers and Bernstein” in afternoon drive, coming in 1st with a 6.4 among Men 25-54. B&B were 2nd with a 5.8. W&S also bested B&B among Men 18-34, Men 25-49 and Persons 25-54, and finished in the top 10 in the 6+ demographic.

In middays, The Score won the head to head battle as “Spiegel and Goff” came in 1st with a 6.5 among Men 25-54. ESPN 1000 was 3rd with a 5.9. The Score also won the matchup in mornings with “Mully and Hanley” turning in a 6.5 to finish 2nd. However, ESPN 1000 which airs ESPN Radio’s national show “Mike and Mike”, got a nice bump, and were 4th with a 5.6. Given the local vs. national argument that pops up in every city, this is a healthy story for both stations.

One other interesting note that stood out, during the final week of the book (October 27-November 2) when the World Series was as its peak, both morning shows saw higher gains and were tied for 1st in the market with a 7.5. In the December book we’ll get a better look at how sports radio performed in the city the morning after the Cubs won it all. We’ll also see how both brands benefitted on the day of the world championship parade.

What’s undeniable in this book is that both stations reaped the rewards of the Cubs lifting their city and delivering the ultimate euphoria to a starved fan base. Their title win also provided a much needed distraction from a difficult Bears season. Now the challenge for The Score and ESPN 1000 is figuring out how to take advantage of their increased exposure and listenership and use it to their benefit in the future.

 

Sports Radio News

Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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