Alpha Media are rolling the dice and betting on Dino Costa. The polarizing on-air personality has signed a multi-year deal to host afternoon drive for the company in Portland on 102.9/750 The Game. Costa began his new assignment on Monday.
“I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to The Game,” said Alpha Media Portland OM Bruce Collins. “Get ready, Portland, for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home. Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been, and we look forward to him being the dominate sports radio personality in the Rose City.”
Prior to arriving in Portland, Costa had a shaky run in St. Louis with 590 The Fan KFNS. He hosted morning drive and served as the station’s program director but the job ended after six weeks. Station ownership began exploring talks with rival morning host Tim McKernan to buy into the station and when guarantees weren’t provided to Costa he elected to exit.
He’s probably best known for his work on the national stage on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio. Costa hosted his own evening program on the channel for five years, but was eventually moved over to SiriusXM’s SportsZone. He was fired after management grew tired of being the recipient of on-air verbal jabs.
Nonetheless, Costa has made noise wherever he’s been. The Game in Portland is hoping their new afternoon star can bring some attention to their product and help them emerge from a crowded sports radio market which is led by 1080 The Fan and followed by Rip City Radio, the local flagship station for the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland,” added Costa. “I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”
With Costa installed in afternoons, former hosts Justin Meyers and Noah “Chop” Homsley have been given new assignments at the station. Meyers will host middays 9a-12p PT alongside DeVon Pouncey. Homsley shifts to Assistant Program Director, and will serve as Costa’s executive producer. The Game also moves The Dan Patrick Show into mornings and terminates its local simulcast of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk.
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.