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Under The Radar – February 27, 2017

Jason Barrett

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The month of February comes to a close with a batch of industry news that may have slipped by you. A quick reminder that if you have a news tip, press release or a story involving your brand or one of its personalities, and you’d like to be included in a future UTR column, send the details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Congratulations to Laurence Holmes who has signed a new deal to remain 670 The Score‘s evening host. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Holmes acknowledged exploring a few options after his deal expired, and despite being initially disappointed in not receiving an opportunity to move up in the lineup following Terry Boers‘ retirement, he’s thrilled to remain in a position where he can continue to inform and entertain Chicago sports radio fans on a nightly basis.

Speaking of Chicago, congratulations to ESPN 1000 who turned in a stellar January in the ratings. The radio station won the head to head battle against 670 The Score in middays, afternoons, and M-F 6a-7p led by strong showings from Waddle & Silvy and David Kaplan, who were both 1st in their respective timeslots. The Score continued to lead the way in mornings thanks to another great showing from Mully & Hanley. The January book contained two weeks of The Score’s new weekday lineup.

A big January from the Atlanta Falcons helped fuel record ratings for 92.9 The Game. The station turned in an overall rating of 4.4., its highest number since launching four years ago. Congratulations to Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson and the entire staff.

Shifting to Salt Lake City, ESPN 700 has added a new partner alongside afternoon host Sean O’Connell. Former University of Utah All-American Punter and Melbourne, Australia native Tom Hackett is joining the show on a full time basis starting Monday. To see the video announcement about the new program click here.

Meanwhile in San Diego, it appears that Tony Gwynn Jr. will be joining the Padres broadcast team. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gwynn is likely to appear on 30 telecasts on FOX Sports San Diego, and 30 radio broadcasts on FM 949. The specifics of his role are still being sorted out.

The Miami Herald reports that the Miami Marlins have dropped Carl Pavano as a studio analyst from their television broadcasts. The team is retaining the services of former players Jeff Conine, Preston Wilson and Jeff Nelson on its pre-game and post-game shows.

In Charlotte, WFNZ morning show producer Travis “T-Bone” Hancock has created a new podcast called “The Boneyard“. Hancock says the show will take listeners behind the scenes of the station’s morning show “The Mac Attack” and include in depth conversations with a few of the station’s callers and personalities. To hear the first episode click here.

97.1 The Ticket in Detroit is bringing back its popular golf show, “Lesson on Golf” hosted by Jeff Lesson. The show has been a mainstay on the station’s airwaves for the past 20 years.

Further north in Toronto, Colin Teskey has begun anchoring sports updates on a part time basis for Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Teskey also serves as a co-host of The Regulars on Extra 90.5 in Peterborough, Ontario.

The Erie Sea Wolves have signed a new two year agreement with FOX Sports Radio 1330 to broadcast more than 140 games on the Erie sports radio station. The sports station is owned and operated by Connoisseur Media.

After 13 years, Tony Castleberry is leaving The Daily Reflector in Greenville, North Carolina. Castleberry has landed a digital content producer job with WECT in Wilmington.

MLB.com has added Mark Feinsand as an Executive Reporter. Feinsand spent 16 years with the New York Daily News covering the New York Yankees. He has a new book “The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List” coming out April 15th.

And to close out this week’s column, Alexa Datt has launched a new show titled “12:25 Live“. The program airs M-F on both MLB.com and Facebook Live. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig made an appearance on the debut program which took place this past Friday.

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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