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The Michael Kay Show Beats WFAN in the Winter Book

Jason Barrett

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The race for afternoon ratings supremacy in New York City tightened in 2017 between Mike Francesa and The Michael Kay Show. But despite a few close calls, Francesa stayed in front until signing off for the final time this past December.

Fast forward to 2018, and the picture has certainly changed. The Fan now finds itself in unfamiliar territory, looking up at its competitor in the afternoon drive ratings.

For the first time ever since moving into afternoons 13 years ago, The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 FM ESPN NY defeated The Fan head to head in afternoons. Michael Kay, Don LaGreca and Peter Rosenberg delivered a 4.4, which was two tenths higher than The Fan’s “CMB” which features Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott. The news was first reported by Neil Best of Newsday.

The feat is a major accomplishment for Kay and his partners. The show has improved on the air and gained strong momentum since adding Rosenberg to the mix, and although critics will point out that the show didn’t defeat Francesa and narrowly slipped past CMB, a win is a win anyway you slice it.

Victory aside, both stations were down compared to the fall book. Kay’s show finished tied for 8th, six tenths of a point behind its fall performance. The Fan was 10th and a stunning 2.2 points lower than its fall showing.

The one saving grace for The Fan’s afternoon trio was that they won the head to head battle for their full show. “CMB” was 9th with a 4.3 between the hours of 2p-6:30p. 98.7 FM ESPN NY was 11th with a 3.9 during that four and a half hour period.

ESPN New York Senior VP and General Manager Tim McCarthy told Newsday, “I’m really happy for Michael, Don and Peter. They’ve been doing this for a long time, and the good news is the ratings over the last year have continued to grow in the right direction.”

Mark Chernoff, WFAN’s Vice President of Programming told Best he was pleased with how the ratings were trending in March and is very optimistic about more growth in the spring.

A few items worth pointing out regarding the New York race.

  • Michael Kay’s show doesn’t receive the local boost from morning drive that The Fan does.
  • 98.7 FM ESPN NY operates on one signal. The Fan broadcasts on both FM and a powerful AM signal.
  • The Michael Kay Show receives additional exposure due to a TV simulcast on the YES Network.
  • WFAN is the flagship station for the New York Yankees. With the Bronx Bombers back in action, their presence on the radio station should provide an added cume boost for The Fan in the spring/summer/fall books. That should help lift the station’s numbers, but won’t necessarily tell us whether New York sports radio fans have flocked to the station’s new afternoon show. ESPN NY meanwhile doesn’t have the benefit of carrying local baseball play by play.
  • “CMB” are only 4 months into their program. Shows usually need time to hit their stride and develop a loyal following.

The Fan remained ahead in mornings with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti placing 7th with a 5.1 compared to ESPN New York’s airing of the national show “Wingo and Golic” which was 14th with a 3.0. “Boomer and Gio” though were down significantly from the fall when the station came in 1st with a 7.7.

Not to be forgotten, The Fan’s midday show led by Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts produced a 6th place finish. The show delivered a 4.8, down from the fall when they turned in a 5.5. During the 10a-2p hours they were comfortably ahead of 98.7 ESPN NY which was far back in 16th with a 2.4.

The #1 rated station with Men 25-54 in New York for the fall book according to Nielsen Audio was 106.7 Lite FM which reeled in an impressive 8.2 share.

Sports Radio News

Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio

“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”

Jordan Bondurant

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San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.

RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.

San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.

Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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