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Under The Radar – July 23, 2018

Jason Barrett

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Three weeks after our last UTR we’re back with a bunch of news that may have slipped by you. If you’d like to have your brand or individual news shared in a future column with the rest of the sports media industry, send us an email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now here’s the latest!

An announcement will be made soon on Barrett Sports Media‘s 2019 conference. Final details are in the process of being resolved. Last year’s event took place in Chicago at the home of 670 The Score. For an idea of what to expect, click here or here.

A round of applause for John Kincade and Buck Belue of 680 The Fan in Atlanta who last week celebrated 17 years, 10 months and 16 days on the air together. Why is that number significant? It meant their on-air partnership had eclipsed the run which Mike and Mike had enjoyed on ESPN Radio. Next in their sights? Mike and the Mad Dog formerly of WFAN. The popular New York sports radio tandem featuring Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo have a 13 month advantage which Buck and Belue hope to surpass in 2019.

610 Sports has made a change in middays. Josh Vernier and Ron “The Show” Hughley have joined forces to occupy the middle part of 610’s lineup. Jay Binkley who had previously co-hosted in middays with Henry Lake becomes the station’s new Kansas Royals Insider covering the team and hosting pre and postgame shows. Lake meanwhile has left the station to return to Minneapolis, his former stomping grounds. No word yet on if he’ll be doing radio in the Twin cities.

The 24th edition of Jim Rome‘s ‘Smack Off” took place last week on CBS Sports Radio and the CBS Sports Television Network. Taking the crown this year was Brad in Corona. It was his 4th win. Prior victories were earned in 2009, 2011, and 2015. As a result of holding off Stevie Carbone and dethroning last year’s winner Leff in Laguna, Brad won a $5,000 grand prize and bragging rights as the ‘King of Smack’ entering next year’s 25th event.

VSiN continues to gain momentum adding local sports stations as affiliates for their Action Updates. Sources say brands in Detroit, Boston and San Francisco are expected to be announced soon. Others are also reportedly close to finalizing deals. For stations looking for more information and to hear a demo click here.

If you missed the announcement, Entercom has pulled the plug on TuneIn. The radio company is focusing on making its brands available exclusively on Radio.com thus leaving TuneIn with a giant hole in its radio offerings. The changes officially go into effect starting August 1, 2018.

For those who enjoy learning more about ratings, data, and sports media trends, check out Colin Cowherd‘s Herd Saturday podcast featuring FOX Sports EVP Michael Mulvihill. It’s a very insightful episode. You can hear it by clicking here.

670 The Score in Chicago did something very cool during MLB All-Star week. With Danny Parkins on vacation, the station used the slow period to reunite Dan McNeil and Terry Boers in afternoons. ‘The Heavy Fuel Crew’ sounded good together and gave local fans a reason to tune in during what is usually a difficult week for sports stations.

Speaking of neat things, kudos to Jeff Rickard and his team at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The station has come up with a killer promotion titled Fanniversary to highlight 10 years of sports broadcasting. The promotion includes a series of theme weeks between July and August with a focus on the Colts, Pacers, Indiana University and Butler college. They’ve also created custom production for each week and assembled some great prizes to reward their fans. For more information click here.

Congratulations to 760 The Ticket morning host Mike Taylor. The San Antonio sports radio personality has inked a new three year deal with iHeartmedia to remain with the company in his current timeslot.

Former ESPN San Antonio radio host Ari Temkin has left the market to move a few hours north. Temkin has relocated to Dallas to join 105.3 The Fan as its new pre and postgame host of Dallas Cowboys football. Temkin will take over alongside Jesse Holley for Shan Shariff who had worked Sunday’s for the past seven years. Shariff will turn his full attention to the morning show which he hosts with RJ Choppy.

Elsewhere in Texas, following Sean Salisbury’s exit from SB Nation Radio, the company has moved Patrick Creighton to afternoons. The veteran Houston host now hosts Straight Heat weekday afternoons from 5p-8p ET/4p-7p CT. Salisbury’s former partners, Brian Barrett and Robin Carlin, have moved to middays hosting a new show called The Break. The network has also added Jake Asman to its rotation of hosts.

A classy move was made by WEEI in Boston last week. The radio station took to Twitter to announce they were auctioning off 4 dugout seats for the Red Sox-Blue Jays game on September 12th to help raise funds for the family of Michael Chesna, a Weymouth Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty. The package included pregame field access during batting practice. The Red Sox then got involved too adding an autographed Mookie Betts bat. Thanks to their combined efforts, $8,000 dollars was raised to assist the fallen officer’s family. Great job by all involved.

Congratulations to Mike Stibbs who was named Assistant Program Director for 1620 the Zone, News Talk 1290 KOIL and 1180 The Zone 2 in Omaha. Stibbs, who will report to OM Dave Tepper, currently produces 1620 The Zone’s afternoon show Unsportsmanlike Conduct and will continue doing so while adding sports scheduling, technical assistance, and programming input on all three brands.

After moving to Philadelphia to work part time for Sports Radio WIP, Matt Hammond has decided to leave the radio business. Hammond spent time in Houston with Sports Radio 610 before making the journey to the city of brotherly love. No word on what his future plans are at this point in time.

The opportunity to return home was too much for Adam Giardino to pass up. Adam has signed on to become the new sideline reporter for UConn football and the color commentator on UConn Mens Hockey games. Giardino graduated from UConn in 2011 and thanked IMG, 97.9 ESPN (the school’s flagship radio partner) and his alma mater for giving him a chance to come back and be part of their broadcasting operation.

BSM sends its well wishes to Mighty 1090‘s Linda Welby. The San Diego sports anchor has been diagnosed with cancer and is said to be in good spirits as she prepares to take it head on. Each of 1090’s hosts took to social media last week, along with a large number of the station’s fans, to encourage Linda to fight. The hashtag #LindaStrong has been used frequently to lend support to her battle.

Mighty 1090 afternoon host Scott Kaplan conducted a riveting interview with US soccer superstar Landon Donovan. During the 88 minute episode, Donovan described how he grew up, signed with an agent as a teenager and advanced up the ladder in the soccer world. It’s an informative listen which you can hear by clicking here.

Tip of the cap to Peter Sampson who has been elevated to full time status at 102.9/750 The Game in Portland. Sampson has also earned some fill-in opportunities hosting John Canzano’s midday show.

In Fort Smith, Arkansas, Tye Richardson has been given an opportunity to produce and contribute on-air at ESPN Arkansas. Richardson’s primary responsibilities will revolve around the station’s morning show The Morning Rush.

Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver has announced they’ve agreed to terms with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. The station, which also serves as the flagship station for the Vancouver Canucks, says it will air every one of the team’s games live.

Speaking of deals, WJOX in Birmingham has signed a new long term deal with the Atlanta Braves to continue broadcasting their games.

Central Pennsylvania is where you’ll soon find Sam Kuperman. The young broadcaster has accepted a position with Lock Haven University to become the school’s new radio voice.

In television news, Conor Moore has confirmed that he’s partnering with NBC Sports to provide content for the Golf Channel.

Taylor Tannebaum has moved from WHNT in Hunstville, Alabama to WTHR in Indianapolis. The Tennessee native announced on social media a piece of her heart will remain in Alabama but the opportunity to join her new station in Indy as a sports reporter and anchor was one she couldn’t pass up.

According to Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News, Michael Buffer has inked a deal with DAZN to announce fights on their platform.

From the print world comes news that The Athletic are once again adding personnel. Marcus Mosher has been added to the site to supply content on the Dallas Cowboys. David O’Brien has signed on to cover and write about the Atlanta Braves.

The Kansas City Star has also added to its sports writing team. The KC newspaper has brought in Lynn Worthy and Brooke Pryor to contribute to its coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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