Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – January 4, 2018
The new year is here and we’ve got plenty to catch you up on from across the sports media universe. A reminder to my industry friends, I’m happy to help you tell your story if you take the time to pass it along. Whether it’s a major development or something smaller, if it’s relevant to the sports media business and worth informing listeners or advertisers about, I’m here to help. All tips can be relayed via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now here’s the latest news!
BSM will have a piece coming out on Friday taking a look at the fall ratings for a number of sports stations across the country. Be sure to visit the website or keep an eye out on social media for the column.
2018 began with a number of new shows premiering across the nation. The one though under the largest microscope is WFAN‘s new afternoon show featuring Chris Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray. The trio officially took over for Mike Francesa on Tuesday January 2nd and have already earned the scorn of the New York Daily News. To read the newspaper’s blistering review of the show click here. Newsday‘s Neil Best provided a less scathing assessment of the show which you can read by clicking here. Best also gave some ink to WFAN‘s new morning show, Boomer & Gio, and the Michael Kay Show which took exception to a caller suggesting the program should have been more complimentary towards Mike Francesa when he signed off at The Fan. NJ.com got in on the action too by crafting an article which explains why Chris Carlin is unfazed by critics.
Speaking of debuts, CBS Sports Radio has turned the morning airwaves over to Marc Malusis and former pro wrestler turned talk show host Taz. With Gregg Giannotti moving over to WFAN to work with Boomer Esiason, Giannotti’s former co-host Brian Jones has left the radio network to focus on his television work. CBS Sports Radio has also begun simulcasting Jim Rome and Boomer and Gio on the CBS Sports Network.
Meanwhile at ESPN Radio, the new year started off with Stephen A. Smith, Will Cain and the team of Sarah Spain and Jason Fitz now entrenched in the weekday lineup. All three shows began airing nationwide this past Tuesday January 2nd. ESPN Radio is also launching a new weekend program, “Game Day“, featuring Laura Rutledge, Myron Medcalf and Doug Kezirian starting Saturday January 6th. The show will air from 12p-4p ET.
Elsewhere, JT The Brick has landed a local 1-hour show in Las Vegas on FOX Sports 98.9 FM/1340AM. The Brick will host from 4p-5p PT prior to taking over the national airwaves on FOX Sports Radio from 5p-8p PT.
Also in Las Vegas, Matt Perrault has moved from evenings to middays on SB Nation Radio. Perrault’s new program, Pushing The Odds, airs weekdays from Noon to 3p ET.
Glad to see WEEI and afternoon host Dale Arnold come to terms on a new deal. Arnold, along with Michael Holley and Rich Keefe, have consistently delivered strong ratings in afternoon drive for the radio station. The combined share of Men 25-54 in Boston listening to sports radio on WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub during afternoon drive is consistently between 20-25, making it a highly competitive battle and the envy of many other local markets.
KNBR afternoon host Tom Tolbert is doing better following a series of surgeries. The longtime Bay Area sports talk show host and ex-NBA player was the focus of Bruce Jenkins‘ latest piece in the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s an excellent read. You can enjoy it by clicking here.
Take a few minutes to read Zach McCrite‘s piece on former University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich. In the article, McCrite shares how the former AD used his influence to prevent him from hosting afternoons on 790 KRD in 2010. This is an issue which many broadcasters deal with especially when trying to serve as a radio partner to popular teams who are run by influential executives. You can read it by clicking here.
A few content pieces worth listening to.
- Clay Travis‘ interview with Hugh Freeze on FOX Sports Radio was very good. The former Ole Miss football coach discussed his ugly exit from the school, why social media is bad for college football and much more. You can hear it by clicking here.
- Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith of the Mighty 1090 in San Diego conducted an emotional interview with NFL on CBS play by play announcer Jim Nantz. The conversation included Nantz sharing a few thoughts on the late Dick Enberg. To hear it click here.
- Joe Beningo of WFAN eviscerated CBS Sports Radio‘s Damon Amendolara after DA went on SNY and said New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles had performed better than expected this past season. DA then phoned into Beningo’s show and the two exchanged a few passionate views on the Jets head coaching situation. You can hear it by clicking here.
Look for a feature soon on The Athletic’s Chicago platform featuring 670 The Score overnight host Les Grobstein. The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg, who previously worked in Chicago sports radio and television is writing the story.
Sticking with Chicago sports media news, 670 The Score evening host Laurence Holmes says plans are in the works for a future podcast with afternoon host Jason Goff. No word yet on when it will be released.
Like father like son. Ben Rosen, the son of 670 The Score program director Mitch Rosen, has played a prominent role in reviving WMPA, Morgan Park Academy’s radio station. The high school senior is providing play by play and a pregame show for boys basketball games. Familiarize yourself with his story by clicking here.
A tip of the cap to Cumulus San Francisco who utilized the KNBR, KNBR 1050, KGO, 107.7 The Bone, KFOG and KSFO airwaves to help raise $500,000 dollars for North Bay wildfire victims. Cumulus is disbursing the funds to three groups, United Way Bay Area, Redwood Empire Food Bank and American Red Cross’ Northern California Chapter.
Continuing with the theme of making a difference, Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket in Dallas raised over $540,000 for the Austin Street Center as part of its annual Normathon. Since starting the fundraiser 17 years ago, The Ticket has helped raise $4.7 million dollars. Austin Street Center is an emergency shelter that serves men ages 45 and older and women ages 18 and older, meeting the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless.
Shifting to Buffalo, great job by WGR‘s Bills beat/sideline reporter Sal Capaccio on capturing video reaction from Bills fans at the airport after the team landed Sunday night. Despite en route to the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. To watch the video click here.
With the University of Georgia set to face Alabama on Monday night in the NCAA College Football Playoff, 680 The Fan is taking advantage of the excitement by broadcasting a special 24-hour pregame show starting Sunday night. The station’s shows will originate from a heated tent in downtown Atlanta with live check ins taking place from local tailgates. The Fan plans to mix up it’s talent combinations and shows to create a special day of programming. ESPN Radio‘s Golic and Wingo will also be in town broadcasting their show at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Former 92.9 The Game evening host Mitch Evans has landed an opportunity as a sports anchor and writer for iHeart Media and the 24/7 News Network. Evans will continue to be based out of Atlanta.
Dave “Deuce” Mason did an excellent job producing an audio documentary on the career of Sacramento Kings play-by-play man Gary Gerould. It includes interviews with Gerould, Chris Webber, Doug Christie, Marv Albert, Grant Napear and more. You can hear it by clicking here.
Former Minneapolis sports radio host Jeff Dubay has plead guilty to third degree assault. The former KFAN personality will be sentenced on March 22nd and could face up to four months in jail. You can learn more by clicking here.
A few programming promotions to pass along. Jason Rossi has been named the new afternoon producer of Dale and Holley with Keefe at WEEI. Tim Murray will be part of Westwood One‘s Winter Olympics broadcast crew this February serving primarily as the studio host for all hockey broadcasts. Jose Partida has been elevated to full time producer at ESPN 97.5 and SB Nation Radio in Houston. Shane Riordan has increased his behind the scenes duties at 670 The Score, and Matt Castillo has been hired behind the scenes at FOX Sports 1400 in Spartanburg.
Radio Ink recently produced its annual Top Sports Talkers list. To see which hosts and shows were featured in the Top 35 click here.
All the best to longtime ESPN NFL Miami-based reporter James Walker who has left the worldwide leader after spending the past decade with the company. Altogether Walker spent sixteen years in the business. He’s elected to pursue a new opportunity with a CPA firm handling accounts for professional athletes.
In case you missed it, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reported that Jeannine Edwards has retired from the sports broadcasting business. Edwards worked the Cotton Bowl as her final assignment for ESPN. She had been with the network since 1995.
2018 begins the same way that 2017 ended in print news, with The Athletic adding more contributors to their staff. The latest to announce his addition to the digital platform is Lars Anderson.
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.
Sports Radio News
Chase McCabe Named Director of Operations & Sports Programming at Cromwell
“Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team.”
Congratulations are in order for Chase McCabe. He is adding a new title to his already full plate at Cromwell Media in Nashville. He has been promoted to Director of Operations & Sports Programming at the company.
“I’m very fortunate to have been to be able to grow into this opportunity under one roof,” McCabe said in a press release. “Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team. I am forever grateful, but none of this could have happened without the great group of people we have here at Cromwell Media.”
McCabe has spent his whole career with 102.5 The Game and its sister station, now called 94.9 The Fan. He was named Program Director and Brand Manager of the stations in January of last year. He has maintained an on-air presence as well. He hosts Chase & Michelle weekdays at 9 AM on The Game.
In his new role, Chase McCabe becomes the number two man in Cromwell’s Nashville building. Shawn Fort was recently named the cluster’s general manager.
“Chase and I have developed a great working relationship in the two and half years since I’ve joined Cromwell Media,” Fort said. “We share similar visions on how to create compelling sports programming all while driving revenue growth. I’m excited to have Chase as my right-hand man as we move forward together with this new chapter of leadership at Cromwell Media Nashville.”
Sports Radio News
Mark Schlereth: People Outside of Denver Aren’t Paying Attention to NBA Finals
“There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”
The Denver Nuggets took to the National Basketball Association’s largest stage on Thursday night as they defeated the Miami Heat for the organization’s first-ever NBA Finals victory. Early reports reveal that the game had a 2.21 demographic rating between people ages 18-49, attracting a total of 7.62 million viewers on ABC. The figure is considerably lower than the audience for Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors last year – which averaged 11.9 million figures across ABC and ESPN2. Ratings for the alternate NBA in Stephen A’s World broadcast Thursday night on ESPN2 have not yet been released by Nielsen Media Research.
Sports fans in the Denver market have felt as if the play of the Nuggets was largely being neglected by the national media throughout these playoffs. Now that the team is the last one standing in the Western Conference, there is no one else to focus on and their play is beginning to be realized by basketball fans throughout the country. It is a narrative that Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan’s Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans felt was especially obvious by watching the press conferences after the game. The duo was able to deduce as such through the questions posed to Nuggets players and head coach Michael Malone by members of the media cohort.
“The national media – it’s like, ‘Oh, wow. We’re just kind of becoming aware of how these guys play,’ and they keep asking the Nuggets about their unselfishness and how everybody is willing to share the ball,” Evans said. “Nikola Jokić [is] being asked about not taking a lot of shots, and they’re all just kind of shrugging their shoulders like, ‘Yeah, this is who we are. We’ve been doing this for a long time.’
Schlereth was curious to find out the ratings from the game last night because he watched the game from a sports bar in Chicago. He is away from Denver, Colo. to help his son’s family move there for the summer and surmises there were about 50 people in the bar with him. What he noticed was that their interest was fixated elsewhere.
“I’m the only person that was watching the Nuggets,” Schlereth said. “There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”
“Their loss,” Evans pithily replied.
Denver ranks 19th on Nielsen Media Research’s metropolitan market size list, but the Nuggets have been a contending team for the last five seasons. Most media analysts expect diminished ratings for the NBA Finals this year because of the lack of a storied franchise, even with the Miami Heat as the team’s opponent.
Sports Radio News
Nielsen Releases List of Markets Where Most People Use AM Radio
“In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis”
Amid concerns regarding the future of AM radio, Nielsen Media Research has unveiled a list of 141 markets where at least 20% of consumers regularly listen to programming on the medium. The list is reflective of the percentage of monthly total radio listening being funneled to AM as opposed to total radio listening as a whole. The top three markets are all in the Great Lakes region, and Westwood One has found large proportions of these listeners are derived from the upper Midwest.
Buffalo-Niagara Falls leads the list with 56% of its audience tuning into AM radio in a month. It is a figure that makes sense based on the variety of AM stations, including leading news talk outlet WBEN and leading sports outlet WGR. The city of Chicago is ranked second, complete with 670 The Score, WGN and WLS. Nearby Milwaukee, Wis. ranks third on the list, another city with various AM stations such as WTMJ and WISN.
In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis – a measurement that equates to one-third of AM/FM radio listeners as a whole. Fifty-seven percent of the audience listens to stations in the news and/or talk format, utilizing the public service the outlets provide to learn of breaking news and other concerns.
There is a wide variety in market size represented throughout the list, but a trend of markets with undulating topographies tends to have larger shares of AM listeners because of the challenges the landscape presents to FM signals.
The full list compiled by Nielsen Media Research can be found below:
|Metro market rank||Market name||Percentage of radio audience that listens to AM radio|
|59||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||56%|
|3||Chicago, IL [PPM]||48%|
|43||Milwaukee-Racine, WI [PPM]||48%|
|253||Grand Forks, ND-MN||45%|
|39||San Jose, CA [PPM]||43%|
|33||Cincinnati, OH [PPM]||42%|
|11||Seattle-Tacoma, WA [PPM]||42%|
|187||St. Cloud, MN||41%|
|75||Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||39%|
|4||San Francisco, CA [PPM]||39%|
|244||Sioux City, IA||38%|
|25||San Antonio, TX [PPM]||38%|
|7||Atlanta, GA [PPM]||38%|
|176||Wausau-Stevens Pt (Centrl WI), WI||36%|
|114||Johnson City-Kingspt-Brstl, TN-VA||36%|
|27||Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo [PPM]||36%|
|202||Cedar Rapids, IA||35%|
|34||Kansas City, KS-MO [PPM]||35%|
|71||Des Moines, IA||34%|
|73||Metro Fairfield County, CT||33%|
|231||Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA||32%|
|13||Phoenix, AZ [PPM]||32%|
|12||Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood [PPM]||32%|
|9||Philadelphia, PA [PPM]||32%|
|28||Sacramento, CA [PPM]||32%|
|15||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN [PPM]||31%|
|2||Los Angeles, CA [PPM]||31%|
|5||Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX [PPM]||31%|
|68||Grand Rapids, MI||31%|
|223||Eau Claire, WI||30%|
|20||Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) [PPM]||30%|
|14||Detroit, MI [PPM]||29%|
|30||Orlando, FL [PPM]||29%|
|10||Boston, MA [PPM]||29%|
|189||Bryan-College Station, TX||29%|
|18||Denver-Boulder, CO [PPM]||28%|
|41||Hudson Valley, NY||28%|
|17||Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater [PPM]||28%|
|116||Ft. Wayne, IN||27%|
|35||Cleveland, OH [PPM]||27%|
|22||Portland, OR [PPM]||27%|
|183||Green Bay, WI||27%|
|6||Houston-Galveston, TX [PPM]||26%|
|54||Hartford-New Britain-Middletown [PPM]||26%|
|175||Sioux Falls, SD||25%|
|180||Lima-Van Wert, OH||25%|
|1||New York, NY [PPM]||25%|
|119||Corpus Christi, TX||25%|
|237||Grand Island-Kearney-Hastngs, NE||25%|
|51||Memphis, TN [PPM]||25%|
|151||Ann Arbor, MI||24%|
|208||Las Cruces-Deming, NM||24%|
|178||Traverse City-Petoskey, MI||24%|
|87||Colorado Springs, CO||24%|
|126||New Haven, CT||22%|
|79||Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA||22%|
|29||Austin, TX [PPM]||22%|
|24||St. Louis, MO [PPM]||22%|
|23||Baltimore, MD [PPM]||22%|
|77||Baton Rouge, LA||21%|
|205||Santa Barbara, CA||21%|
|50||New Orleans, LA||20%|
|19||San Diego, CA [PPM]||20%|
|32||Las Vegas, NV [PPM]||20%|
|37||Raleigh-Durham, NC [PPM]||20%|