The spring book is officially over and for some sports radio stations, it’s time to celebrate. For others, it’s an opportunity to analyze, adjust, and turn the attention to improving during the summer ratings period.
Although most brands examine a number of different demographics and base their success and revenue potential off of a variety of factors, the focus of this column revolves around Men 25-54. That’s the demographic that most sports stations analyze most.
One last note to pass along, not every major market has forwarded their latest quarterly performance. I anticipate a few others becoming available in the next day or two so keep an eye out for additional stories.
In the meantime, here are how a couple of top cities performed during the months of April, May and June.
No market has fueled sports radio’s success better in recent years than Boston. WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub have consistently generated double digit performances, but it’s been The Hub who have been in the driver’s seat during recent years. However, the tide appears to be turning in WEEI’s direction.
In the competitive daypart of morning drive, WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan won the spring book, beating The Hub’s Toucher and Rich. K&C finished a point and a half in front of their counterparts and were the top rated morning show in the market in multiple categories including Men 18+, Men 25-54, Men 35-64 and Adults 25-54. An even more impressive statistic was the head to head performance during the month of June. K&C’s share was slightly above a fifteen share, nearly six points higher than T&R who were in the low nine’s. You can read more on the morning show’s success by clicking here.
The news was also positive for WEEI’s midday show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria. OMF finished in 2nd, beating Zolak and Bertrand of The Hub who came in 4th. The month of June specifically saw WEEI hold a 3 point advantage in middays.
The Hub did claim victory in afternoons, thanks to a solid performance from Felger and Massarotti. The show finished in 1st, 2 full points ahead of Dale and Holley with Keefe who were 2nd. However, keep your eye on this race moving forward. During the month of June, DHK were within one tenth of point of F&M. Will that continue or is it a one month aberration? Only time will tell but each side had reason to feel optimistic.
Overall, The Hub won the spring book among Men 25-54 by one tenth of a point during the weekday prime hours of M-F 6a-7p. They were also five tenths of a point in front M-SU 6a-Mid. But June saw WEEI begin to separate itself from the Hub, winning M-F 6a-7p by three and a half points and M-SU 6a-Mid by two and a half points.
Will that continue going forward? It’ll be an interesting story worth following.
In the city of brotherly love, WIP is back on track. The radio station finished the quarter in 3rd place among Men 25-54. The Fanatic experienced a minor setback, dropping to 11th.
As usual, Angelo Cataldli dominated in morning drive. The 66-year old WIP morning man has been a steady force for the radio station over two decades. The only question is whether or not he’ll continue to lead the way beyond 2017. Cataldi’s contract is set to expire at the end of this year.
Aside from Cataldi’s win, WIP also received some positive news in middays. Despite being together for less than a year, Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie passed 97.5 The Fanatic’s Harry Mayes and Rob Ellis. DeCamara and Ritchie finished 4th, which was up from 9th last year when Michael Barkann and Ike Reese were WIP’s midday program. Mayes and Ellis on The Fanatic came in 11th. They were in 8th during the same period twelve months ago. Ellis has since announced he’s leaving The Fanatic which will make the midday battle even more intriguing going forward.
Not all of the news was bad though for The Fanatic. The radio station recorded another win in afternoons thanks to Mike Missanelli. However, WIP’s Chris Carlin and Ike Reese have been making strides and are within striking distance of The Fanatic’s ratings king. For the spring book, Missanelli placed 3rd. Carlin and Reese came in 4th.
Political chaos wasn’t enough to slow down 106.7 The Fan’s momentum. The CBS sports radio station finished 3rd with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid and M-F 6a-7p.
Driving The Fan’s success for the spring were the Sports Junkies. The station’s popular morning show was above an eight share to command 3rd place with Men 25-54. Grant and Danny in middays and Chad Dukes in afternoons also turned in impressive quarters finishing 4th during their time slots.
Elsewhere in the market, ESPN 980 finished 14th with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid. Steve Czaban and Cooley and Kevin tied for the best rated show on the station. Both were slightly above a three share during their hours of operation.
The spring produced another quarter of smiles and success for both area sports radio brands. The return of the world champion Chicago Cubs and playoff appearances by the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks were helpful factors in fueling the interest of Chicago sports fans.
670 The Score rode the wave to victories among Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid. The station was 1st for the full week and 2nd during weekday prime hours.
In mornings, The Score enjoyed a three point advantage over ESPN 1000 thanks to a great performance from Mully and Hanley. The Chicago sports radio duo has consistently outperformed Mike and Mike, which airs on ESPN 1000 but originates out of Bristol, CT.
The competition was tighter in middays. As you process these numbers, keep in mind that the two stations configure their lineups differently so there are some overlaps between shows.
Starting with The Score, during the hours of 9a-1p, Spiegel and Parkins nipped ESPN 1000 by one tenth of a point. However, from 1000’s vantage point, David Kaplan’s show airs 9a-12p, and during those 3 hours he was tied with The Score’s program with just under a four share.
1000’s second midday program, Carmen and Jurko, occupy the airwaves between 12p-2p. That means they go head to head against Spiegel and Parkins for 1 hour and opposite The Score’s afternoon show Bernstein and Goff for an hour. During the 12p-2p hours, The Score was ahead by a little more than a point.
Where the news was strong for ESPN 1000 was in afternoon drive where Waddle and Silvy continue to dominate. The popular drive time show finished #1 between 2p-6p with just under a five and a half share. Given that W&S has to overcome a top notch show on The Score and the addition of Chicago Cubs day games during baseball season, that’s nice coo for the folks inside 1000’s offices.
However, for the folks at The Score, Bernstein and Goff’s afternoon program air between the hours of 1p-6p. During those hours, the show placed 1st with a little more than a five share. 1000 trailed by only two tenths of a point during that time frame.
A few hours south in St. Louis, 101 ESPN turned in another impressive quarter. The market’s dominant sports radio station finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid. They also placed 3rd in weekday prime, M-F 6a-7p. Their prime number was slightly below a nine share.
Leading the way for 101 was The Fast Lane which finished 1st overall in afternoons with better than a ten share. The show was also 1st during the Winter ratings book, making it the top show in the market among Men 25-54 for the first six months. It’s also averaging double digits for the first six months. Very impressive.
The remainder of the station’s weekday programs also enjoyed strong quarterly performances. Bernie Miklasz in mornings, and Kevin Wheeler and The Turn with Anthony Stalter and Chris Duncan in middays all placed 3rd in their respective timeslots.
Local market competitor 590 The Fan KFNS came in 21st during M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid.
Shares for sports radio may not be as high in Los Angeles as they are in other cities but the market is well represented by 710 ESPN Los Angeles and AM570 LA Sports. In the latest spring book, 710 held the advantage, gaining wins M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54.
In the individual show breakdowns, L.A. mornings with Jorge, Lz and Keyshawn finished six tenths of a point ahead of the Dan Patrick Show. Although the news was positive from a competitive standpoint, the year to year growth is a challenge for both brands. 710 was down close to a point, but 570 has really suffered, losing more than two and a half points over the past twelve months.
Switching to middays, the first hour of Colin Cowherd on 570 bested Thompson and Trudell by two tenths of a point. However, Stephen A. Smith helped the station rebound by holding an eight tenths of a point lead over Cowherd’s final two hours.
710 enjoyed their biggest win between 12-3, when Mason and Ireland nearly doubled Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney and the first hour of Petros and Money. Mason and Ireland continue to deliver the best ratings of all weekday sports radio programs.
Closing things out, 710 held the advantage in afternoon drive during the hours of 3p-7p PT. Marcellus and Kelvin were nine tenths of a point ahead of 570 to gain bragging rights for the quarter. However, similar to the issue in mornings, afternoons is dealing with some difficulty too. During the past year both stations/shows have lost a full ratings point or more.
- KNBR in San Francisco finished the spring book in 2nd with Men 25-54. 95.7 The Game was also very healthy earning a top 5 finish.
- Arizona Sports 98.7FM in Phoenix enjoyed a top 3 finish among Men 25-54 in weekday prime.
- 710 ESPN remained ahead of Sports Radio 950 KJR in the Seattle spring book.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Pat McAfee Announcers Partnership With NFL Films
“You’re going to make our show better and hopefully we make NFL Films a little bit better as well.”
The Pat McAfee Show is breaking another barrier with his program. Today he revealed that his show will be teaming up with NFL Films to feature league footage on the show. They will also team up for at least one feature element between the two.
On the show, McAfee was discussing the debut of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions with two of the coordinating producers of the show, Keith Cossrow and Ken Rodgers. After talking about the first episode, McAfee made the announcement.
“We will have NFL footage rights for the show every single day,” McAfee began. “We will also be creating, probably an Emmy-winning Mic’d Up type thing on the side with NFL Films. I don’t think this has ever happened before. I think this is one of the first times that something like we run has teamed up with NFL Films and the NFL.”
McAfee then told the two how happy he was to be partners with the group. “You’re going to make our show better and hopefully we make NFL Films a little bit better as well. We are very lucky and pumped to be a part of it, Keith.”
“Seeing you guys work, seeing how committed you are it reminded me of the way we are back here,” said Keith Cossrow. “What you guys have all built together is really special. What you’ve built Pat, is special. We could not be more excited at NFL Films to help build your show into something bigger. We are going to produce a weekly feature every week all season with you about the brilliance of our players in the NFL.”
Dave LaGreca: WWE Will Improve Without Vince McMahon
“I don’t think Vince McMahon ever truly loved pro wrestling. He loved that term, ‘sports entertainment.’ He looked at pro wrestling the way a lot of mainstream people look at pro wrestling.”
Wrestling fans have connected with SiriusXM’s Busted Open, because they trust host Dave LaGreca to be honest with them about what is good and bad in the sport. One target that he has never been afraid to go after is former WWE boss Vince McMahon.
“You can’t think about it,” he said on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast when asked how the company has responded to his criticism in the past. “You kinda have to block it.”
One of LaGreca’s most famous rants is about the appearance of zombies at a WWE pay-per-view event last year. During that rant, Dave LaGreca shouted over and over that Vince McMahon hates pro wrestling.
He told Barrett that he doesn’t regret the rant and still believes every word of it.
“I stand by that statement. I don’t think Vince McMahon ever truly loved pro wrestling. He loved that term, ‘sports entertainment.’ He looked at pro wrestling the way a lot of mainstream people look at pro wrestling.”
Dave LaGreca is a wrestling fan. He said he and people like him have plenty of reason for optimism with McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H taking creative control of the company’s storylines.
“Triple H looks at pro wrestling as an art form. He’s said it before. He appreciates it. He respects it. He grew up an NWA fan. I am very high on the next 3-6 months with Triple H at the helm of creative.”
Barrett followed that up by asking what could come next for Vince McMahon. Dave LaGreca had a simple answer.
New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast drop every Tuesday morning.
97.1 The Ticket Creates ‘Hard Knocks’ Drinking Game
“This is the hard liquor, Hard Knocks drinking game,” Kott said. “Or you can use beer if you’d like.”
The Detroit Lions are the featured team on this year’s Hard Knocks series on HBO, and 97.1 The Ticket created an interactive game for listeners to participate in as they watch.
The Valenti Show, guest hosted by Jim Costa Tuesday, created a drinking game for listeners to play at home while watching the first episode of the season, which premiered
“This is the hard liquor, Hard Knocks drinking game,” Kott said. “Or you can use beer if you’d like.”
There were rules for one sip, two sips, three sips, or finish your beverage entirely.
“One sip if you hear ‘Blue collar people. Hard working people’ describing the people of metro-Detroit, or any other Detroitisms,” Kott began. “If there’s a reference to Motown, the music, that’s a sip, for sure. Now if you see these fixtures of Detroit: The Spirit of Detroit, the Joe Louis fist, the Ren Cen (GM Renaissance Center), Henry Ford Museum, the QLine, the Ford plant, any assembly line workers. That’s also at the end of the one sip category.
Costa and the producers began to chuckle, adding they might be drunk by the end of the opening montage.
“Two sips if any former player is brought up,” Kott continued. Barry (Sanders), Calvin (Johnson), (Matthew) Stafford. Any of these guys that you see. Just cliche guys. Last year’s three-win season or record is brought up in any way. If any coach or player does the pep talk, hype up speech, that’s two sips.”
“Two sips for Jamaal Williams and any Jamaal Williams-like presentations,” Costa said, referencing a speech Williams gave that Hard Knocks had already shared on social media.
“Which would have been four sips, because he brought up the three win record last year,” Kott interrupted.
“Let’s go!”, Costa shouted.
“An additional sip if that pep talk/hype up gets you actually a little bit ‘run through a brick wall’ fired up,” Kott added. “And finally, finish your drink if the 0-16 season is brought up? You finish your drink.”
Kott also concluded if any Detroit musical artists were featured, if any 97.1 The Ticket signage or personalities were seen, you were to finish you drink. And also, you were required to finish your drink after Aidan Hutchinson completed his rendition of Michael Jackson’s hit “Billie Jean”.