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Under The Radar – January 3, 2017

Jason Barrett

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A couple of tidbits from the sports media world. If you have a future tip or news story to pass along, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Good news for sports radio listeners in Detroit. 97.1 The Ticket afternoon host Terry Foster is returning to the airwaves alongside his longtime partner Mike Valenti. Foster had been battling some health issues and had been off the station. Jeff Riger had filled in for Foster with Valenti. Foster is scheduled to return Tuesday afternoon.

670 The Score is now officially 25 years old. The Chicago sports station celebrated its birthday on Monday January 2nd. As The Score prepares for its next 25 years, it’ll begin the journey by saying goodbye to longtime drive time host Terry Boers. Terry will host his final show on the radio station this Thursday.

Speaking of celebrations, Arizona Sports 98.7 also recently enjoyed 10 years on the air. The station originally launched the sports format in January 2007 on KTAR 620AM before moving to the FM dial in January 2014.

In the Mile High City, a couple of moves have been made at Mile High Sports 104.7FM and 1340AM. The station has announced the addition of Ryan Edwards, who will team up with Danny Williams weekdays from 9a-11a MT. Sean Walsh has also been added to the lineup and will host a new show weekdays from 2p-4p MT.

Fletcher Johnson has announced he’s departing 750 The Game in Portland. Johnson had been part of the afternoon show alongside Noah “Chop” Homsley. Johnson says that after seven years with the station and a rise from intern to drive time host he’s ready for a change.

With Johnson exiting afternoons at 750 The Game, the station has announced they’ll pair Homsley with former 710 ESPN Seattle midday host Justin Myers who has been working for The Game in a part-time role. Myers and Homsley will rebrand their afternoon show as “The Irregular Guys“.

A tip of the cap to Mike Florio who stayed on the air on NBC Sports Radio for six hours on Black Monday to navigate all of the NFL coaching news. With a number of local stations airing holiday programming that day, it was a smart move by Westwood One to offer additional hours of Florio’s show, and an even wiser move by Florio to invest the extra time on-air.

If you missed it, Dana White revealed that lead UFC announcer Mike Goldberg has worked his final broadcast with the company. Goldberg called the action on the UFC 207 pay per view alongside his longtime partner Joe Rogan. White is said to have heavy interest in hiring Jim Rome to call future fights. No deal between the two parties has been reached yet.

Dio Garcia has left 940 WINZ where he served as the producer of the Andy Slater show. Garcia had worked on the show for the past five years, including stints at two different stations.

Congratulations to Syracuse alum Michael Silver who has landed a producer job with Sports Radio 930 in Jacksonville.

George Balekji has agreed to become the new sports anchor for Action 12 News KODE in Joplin, MO and Pittsburg, KS.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a new beat reporter covering them in 2017. Trevor Sikkema has signed on with Pewter Report to cover the team throughout the year.

Former Patriot Ledger high school sports reporter Matt Cook has accepted a new opportunity with the Metrowest Daily News where he’ll contribute as a multimedia sports journalist. The publication is based out of Framingham, MA.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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