Another week, another batch of news from the sports media universe. Here are a few nuggets you may have missed. If you have a future tip, story or press release to share, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
After spending the past fourteen years in Chicago, Chris Rongey is ready for a new opportunity. The talented on-air host and anchor at 670 The Score says details regarding his future will be available soon. Rongey recently hosted shows for 101 ESPN in St. Louis. No word yet where he’s headed but stay tuned for further details.
Here are two great stories worth sharing from the folks at 610 Sports.
- During the Kansas City Chiefs-Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game, morning show members Bob Fescoe, Josh Klingler, and Steven Spector hung out at the home of former Chiefs and Colts offensive lineman Ryan Lilja, and invited the audience to watch and interact via Facebook Live. The result was 26,000 views and over 2 million people reached. A smart way to connect with fans during big events.
- After Kansas City sports fans learned on Sunday of the passing of Royals pitcher Yordano “Ace” Ventura, every full time member of 610’s staff headed to the studio and/or Kauffman Stadium to be a voice of comfort for the local community. The station took calls, spoke with members of the organization, captured photos and videos of the way fans were showing their respects for the fallen star, and grieved with every fan in the market. A tip of the cap to the entire staff for stepping up to the plate during a difficult time.
More news to share from Kansas City, but this time it involves 810 WHB. On-Air host TJ Carpenter is no longer with the radio station. Carpenter had been with WHB for the past 4 years and was hosting the station’s evening program. Details of his departure remain unclear. To contact him for future on-air opportunities click here.
Sports Radio 94WIP in Philadelphia is adding “The Hot Stove Show” to its February schedule. Phillies Announcers Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will host the program every Wednesday evening throughout the month from 6p-7p. No word yet if the program will continue into March.
The Washington Capitals are returning their broadcasts to the FM dial in the nation’s capital. After 106.7 The Fan chose not to renew their radio agreement prior to this season, the Caps crafted a unique programming arrangement, which included airing games on WFED 1500 AM, unless conflicts came up. If they did, the team’s games shifted exclusively to online streams. The team says it knew the situation wasn’t ideal and have since resolved their radio dilemma by striking a deal to broadcast games on iHeartradio’s 104.7FM.
Also in D.C., add another name to the list of employees let go recently by ESPN 980. Tim Shovers, who worked as an update anchor, reporter, and producer has also been let go due to budget cuts. To reach him for future opportunities click here. 980 has also moved Scott Linn into afternoons with Steve Czaban, filling Andy Pollin‘s vacant spot.
Nascar writer Jeff Gluck has announced his departure from the USA Today. Gluck says family reasons are the driving force behind the change. He hopes to start a reader-funded Nascar website in the near future.
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.