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ESPN 1000 Produces Strong Winter Ratings Book

Jason Barrett



Sharing a ratings story that involves two great sports stations in a major market where audiences are passionate for the format is a lot of fun. It serves as a reminder that although bragging rights are up for grabs between the two brands involved, their combined abilities to captivate local male audiences aged 25-54, leaves the rest of the market’s radio stations envious and wishing it had sports radio’s winning formula.

In the latest winter book in Chicago, both ESPN 1000 and 670 The Score had reason to celebrate. If the noise was a little louder inside 1000’s offices, there’s a perfectly good explanation for it. The station finished #1 overall during David Kaplan and Waddle and Silvy’s shows. It was Kaplan’s first time enjoying the top spot for an entire quarter. Waddle and Silvy on the other hand have been on fire, leading all of the market’s sports talk programs in the ratings for seven straight months.

Not to be ignored, Carmen and Jurko also delivered big for 1000, coming in 5th. Just twelve months ago the show was ranked 11th, which shows significant growth year to year. The station’s lone spot where it didn’t win head to head against The Score was in mornings where Mike and Mike came in 9th.

Meanwhile for The Score, Mully and Hanley continued their winning ways in AM drive, registering a 5th place finish. The popular local duo have consistently won the morning matchup against their national counterparts.

In middays and afternoons, both Spiegel and Parkins and Bernstein and Goff came in 7th, six positions away from 1000’s programs. This was the first ratings book for both Score shows. They were added to the weekday lineup in January following the retirement of longtime personality Terry Boers.

In sizing up the key demographic battles, ESPN 1000 earned wins against their local rival by placing 3rd M-F 6a-7p and 6th M-SU 6a-Mid. The Score was 6th M-F 6a-7p and 7th M-SU 6a-Mid.

Although it’s certainly a great time to be inside the hallways at  ESPN 1000, The Score stands to benefit from Chicago Cubs baseball being back on its airwaves. That should help the station increase its cume next quarter and provide a few additional samples of the station’s new weekday shows.

On the other hand, ESPN 1000 may be faced with a play-by-play disadvantage, but they’ve demonstrated to local fans that their lineup is dynamic. Exceptional talent and content stands out, and the results so far show that listeners are supportive of their approach.

One thing to keep an eye on is how 1000’s recent decision to switch Kaplan to 9a-12p and Carmen and Jurko to 12p-2p affects the radio station going forward. There’s no reason to expect anything but continued success, and a highly competitive battle between two great sports radio brands, but when meters are involved, it’s anybody’s ballgame.

Until next quarter, may the best brand win, and the audience continue to be satisfied.


Sports Radio News

Zolak and Bertrand Broadcast During Patriots/Panthers Fights

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak.



Zolak and Bertrand

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand were broadcasting live from the New England Patriots’ joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. During their show, things got heated between the two teams, multiple times, and the show was there to call it all.

Bertrand was bringing the show back from commercial break and noted that there had just been a fight moments before Zolak and Bertrand were live.

“This drill got escalated by the Panthers here,” said co-host and former Patriots quarterback. “This is number three (fights)in a freaking kickoff drill. A kickoff drill!”

Shortly after, Bertrand was describing the efforts to separate the two teams when even more chaos erupted.

“They’ve separated all the players,” began Bertrand, sensing some calm was being restored. “They’ve sent them on their way to the next period so you’ve got — and now here comes another fight. Another major fight! It’s happening right in front of the stands.”

“These guys are a-holes man,” spoke Zolak. “Get these clowns out of here. All they want to do is fight. This is unreal. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“What a scene,” said Bertrand.

“I’ve never seen anything like this at a camp… this is great today,” beamed Zolak. “Thank God we’re down here!”

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Sports Radio News

1140 The Bet Cancels ‘The Playmakers’

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.



In another cut from Audacy, 1140 The Bet has cancelled The Playmakers on their Las Vegas station.

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Brown tweeted the news, saying “Sadly I have been informed that yesterday was our final show. I am thankful for the people it brought into my life & the experiences we created I am incredibly proud of our work & the boundaries we are eager to push in sportz radio. Today is a tough day. Tomorrow is on the way.”

Hernandez followed up by tweeting “I can’t put into words right now how I feel right now but in my radio journey from College in Tampa to Phoenix and now Las Vegas you were the best teammate I’ve ever had in radio and more importantly a great person. I appreciate and will miss you Badass Brown.”

According to the station’s website, it will replace The Playmakers with You Better You Bet from the BetQL Network.

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Sports Radio News

1250-AM The Fan in Milwaukee Reportedly Cancels Local Programming

The station is streaming CBS Sports and has removed the local daily lineup from the 1250 AM The Fan website.



1250 AM The Fan

Stunning sports radio news out of Milwaukee. 1250-AM The Fan has suddenly removed all of its local programming and switched over to CBS Sports Radio.

The news came as a shock to local listeners but even more surprising to the station’s staff. Here’s a tweet from Evan Heffelfinger noting that today was “everyone’s” last day at the station.

The station’s stream is currently airing CBS Sports Radio. The local daily lineup has also been removed from the 1250 The Fan website although show podcasts still remain.

In regards to the station’s talent, most have been quiet since the news began to trickle out. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that recent NFL Hall of Famer and former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was part of the cuts. Bart Winkler, Tim Allen, and Gary Ellerson are expected to be out as well.

“Over the past few years, Audacy has been on a transformational journey, investing in our capabilities to serve our listeners and customers and accelerate our growth through a number of strategic acquisitions, enhancements to our platform, and the addition of hundreds of team members to our workforce,” explained an Audacy spokesperson. “We remain committed to this exciting transformation which has made us a much stronger organization, but in light of current macroeconomic headwinds, like so many other companies, we have been proactively taking actions to mitigate against the impact of any downturn. These include evaluating budgets, reducing expenses, and also reducing our workforce.”

One host who is expected to remain involved is Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer. Fifer was part of the midday show, and also helped behind the scenes. According to sources, he’s likely to contribute off-air and with additional brand projects. The rest will have an opportunity to explore opportunities should any become available at 97.3 The Game, ESPN 94.1, WTMJ or any other local outlets.

Upon learning of the news, a few former 1250 hosts, Mike Wickett and Cliff Saunders, took to social media to share their sadness.

Ryan Maguire, who served as the PD of 1250 The Fan from 2006-2009, and is currently the PD of crosstown rivals ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ, provided his perspective.

One host who left before the station was dismantled was former afternoon man Ramie Makhlouf. The longtime Milwaukee voice exited in June to join Sactown Sports 1140.

This is a developing story and as more information becomes available we’ll pass it along. 1250-AM The Fan is owned by Audacy, which just announced plans to reduce less than 5% of its programming staff.

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