We’re back with another installment of UTR, the things that have occurred in sports media that you may not have been aware of. To have your information included in this column in the future, send any information about yourself or your brand to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now, on to the latest news!
Back to Numbah One! Mike Francesa‘s first full month on WFAN helped the New York sports radio station rebound in the ratings in afternoon drive. As reported by Newsday, Francesa finished 1st with a 6.8. The Michael Kay Show remained strong as well, placing 4th with a 5.5. FAN’s afternoon increase also benefited the morning show with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti who were tied for 3rd with a 5.6.
A pretty huge feat was accomplished in the May ratings book in the Bay Area. With the Golden State Warriors continuing to be a godsend to local sports radio, 95.7 The Game took advantage of their increased listening opportunities. For the first time in station history, The Game beat KNBR head to head in mornings. Joe, Lo and Dibs, which features Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley won the month against Murph and Mac with a 5.5 to 5.2. The same feat took place in middays where Daryl “The Guru” Johnson and Matt Steinmetz knocked off KNBR’s Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger 5.6 to 4.9. KNBR’s Fitz and Brooks and Tolbert and Lund won their head to head battles against Greg Papa and Damon Bruce, and the M-F 6a-7p matchup (5.8 to 5.6) but the race has certainly intensified between the Bay Area’s top two sports radio brands.
101 ESPN in St. Louis became the second local sports station to form a partnership with VSiN. 670 The Score in Chicago were the first to take the plunge in April. St. Louis’ top ranked sports station has added action updates from the Vegas based sports betting content company, and a weekly appearance by a member of the VSiN on-air staff.
In Dallas, Chris Arnold is no longer contributing daily to G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan. The Dallas radio personality remains involved with the station, making appearances on the show and contributing to other station programs. The Fan’s popular midday show now features Gavin Dawson, Jeff Cavanaugh, Mike Bacsik and Luscious Harris.
Announced recently in the big apple, Shaun Morash, who works with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio, has taken the reigns as producer of CMB on WFAN. The weekday program hosted by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott airs in New York weekdays from 1pm-3pm ET. Morash’s role with Amendolara’s program will not be affected.
Changes have taken place in Oklahoma. The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is now airing simulcasted local programming in both markets. The recent changes include adding John Hoover and Colby Powell in evenings from 6pm-8pm, and former NFL players Kelly Gregg and Gabe Ikard and co-host Jerry Ramsey taking over the noon to 3pm slot in both markets.
Well wishes go out to Tony Bruno and Gerry Vaillancourt. The two veteran sports radio hosts recently underwent surgeries but are said to be in good spirits and on the trail to recovery.
After spending time working for 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Allen Yates has confirmed he’s leaving the station to join ESPN.
Across town from The Fanatic, Sports Radio 94 WIP has made a behind the scenes move. Tim Kelly has revealed that he’s landed a position with the Philadelphia sports talker.
Arizona Sports 98.7 FM has hired a new producer for Doug and Wolf‘s morning show. Erin Maloney, who had been working with Burns and Gambo in afternoons as their Assistant Producer earns the internal promotion.
60 years in any business is a long time, but in sports broadcasting its practically unheard of. Yet that’s what Jim Leahy accomplished in Honolulu. The longtime sportscaster has announced his retirement. During his career, Leahy worked for a few local radio stations and served as the voice of the University of Hawaii’s baseball team, among other jobs during his lengthy career.
Congratulations is in order for Brian “The Beast” London and Alex Donno. The South Florida sports radio personalities earned some ink from the Miami New Times. London was recognized as the market’s best sports radio personality. The New Times selected Donno’s show as the best sports radio program on the AM dial.
Ryan Phillips, Jordan Carruth and Alex Padilla have been given a show on the Mighty 1090. The San Diego sports station has added the three men to their Saturday schedule. You can hear the program from 9a-11a PT.
Rudy Reyes has accepted a behind the scenes opportunity with Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Springs, California. Reyes has previously contributed for SB Nation Radio.
From the print world, Jerry Sullivan departed the Buffalo News after 29 years. The former columnist said on Twitter that his employer felt his voice was becoming bad for business, but he wrote for the readers who deserved a fair, objective and passionate perspective.
The Athletic have made a few additions to their college football coverage. Cody Stavenhagen has signed on to cover Michigan Football. Scott Dochterman is joining to focus on Iowa football. And Jesse Temple comes aboard to cover the Wisconsin Badgers football program.
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The 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, 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 their 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.