Sports Radio News
Under The Radar – August 15, 2018
There’s been a flurry of sports media activity to catch you up on. This column contains a total of 23 items, and if you’d like your brand or individual news to be included in a future column, all you need to do is pass along the details by email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now here’s the latest!
A new Senior Producer has been hired by ESPN Radio to work with Mike Golic and Trey Wingo. Evan Wilner is Bristol bound after spending the past eight years working for SiriusXM in Washington DC. He’s expected to get started at the network sometime this month.
Well wishes go out to Mike Evans of 104.3 The Fan in Denver. The morning host who works opposite Mark Schlereth has missed time on the air due to undergoing heart surgery. Evans is said to be recovering well but needs time to heal before returning to the airwaves.
Boston sports radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub celebrated its 9th year on the air this week. Congratulations to Mike Thomas and his team on their latest achivement.
Congratulations to John Martin and Jason Smith who had their options picked up to continue as 92.9 ESPN‘s midday show in Memphis. The program has been a consistent ratings success for the station since being added to the schedule two years ago.
After seven years working for SiriusXM‘s NASCAR Radio channel, Jim Noble has left to become Wofford College‘s play by play voice for football and basketball games. Noble posted a note on Twitter expressing his appreciation to those he worked with and covered, and said he’ll still pick up some fill-in assignments on SiriusXM, and appear at the track for PRN broadcasts, but his focus now will shift to his new role with Wofford.
93.7 The Fan in San Diego morning host Dan Sileo is getting a chance to do a little bit of national hosting this fall. Sileo is scheduled to fill in a few times for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network. Dates are still to be announced.
Along with the addition of Lauren Rew, 1010XL in Jacksonville made a few other moves as well. The radio station recently added Tera Lageman to Frank Frangie‘s afternoon show. Lagemam has worked in television in Chicago, Gainesville and Greensboro. She assumes the role formerly held by Lauren Brooks who moved to mornings joining Dan Hicken and Jeff Prosser on The Drill. The radio station has also added Joe Cowart and Ryan Green to its weeknight schedule. The duo debuted their new program 1010XL PrimeTime on Monday August 13th.
WWL in New Orleans is adding Steve Geller as its new sideline reporter on Saints games. Geller replaces Kristian Garic who enjoyed a nine year run in the role. Garic remains with the station transitioning to pregame and postgame where he’ll host alongside Bobby Hebert.
Speaking of football, Mike Wickett is returning to the sports radio airwaves this fall as the Chiefs pre and post game co-host on 610 Sports. Wickett currently hosts on 98.1 KMBZ in Kansas City. Prior to moving into the NewsTalk arena he hosted mornings in Milwaukee with Chuck Freimund on 105.7 The Fan.
Former Miami Herald writer and 790 The Ticket host Ethan Skolnick continues to make progress with his new venture the Five Reasons Sports Network. The digital audio brand is partnering with WSVN-7 and WFOR-4 on a few projects, and has begun adding staff to ramp up its coverage of the Dolphins and Heat entering the fall. Five Reasons is also hosting a public event at the Texas Roadhouse in Miramar on Friday August 17th. Not bad for a startup which is just four months in.
All the best to Jason “Pod Vader” Soderberg who was unexpectedly let go as BlogTalk Radio‘s Head of Content. Soderberg spent the past four years with BlogTalk following a sixteen year run at ESPN Radio. He’s looking for his next opportunity. Interested parties can reach him by email by clicking here.
Congratulations goes out to Maura Sheridan on being named the new play by play voice of Vermont Women’s Basketball, and Clay Ables who has been named the Director of the Red Devil Network and Sports Department at WJHI in Indiana.
From the television world, NBC Sports Philadelphia has chosen not to renew the contract of sports media veteran Rob Ellis. Ellis spent 17 years with the company, working his way up from behind the scenes to becoming an anchor and part of CSN/NBC’s morning show. Although Ellis’ television future is in flux for the moment, he can still be heard in Philadelphia on Sports Radio WIP.
Further north in Boston, Mike Giardi has left NBC Sports Boston after a lengthy run. The reason? Giardi has been hired by the NFL Network. His primary focus according to Chad Finn of the Boston Globe will be to cover the New England Patriots.
An addition is being made in Seattle, where KING 5 News is adding former Seattle Seahawk and HOF tackle Walter Jones to its 5th Quarter show. Jones will work alongside sports anchor Paul Silvi.
After 20 years at SportsNet, Daren Millard has announced his departure. He explained via Twitter that the decision to leave the company was one that involved many factors, soul searching, and layers of emotion, but in the end he wanted to pursue a new challenge. No word yet on what Millard has planned next.
The exits continue, this time In Milwaukee, where Telly Hughes has learned he won’t be returning to Milwaukee Bucks television broadcasts. Hughes was relieved of his duties after covering the team for nearly a decade. The franchise told Hughes they were interested in pursuing a different direction. What that will be remains to be seen.
Jordan Strack has been elevated to the position of Sports Director at WTOL in Toledo, Ohio. Strack becomes the 4th SD in station history.
Stadium continues to ramp up its programming and talent roster. Chris Hassel is said to be joining the digital brand to call 10 games this season alongside AJ Hawk and Kristen Balboni. Congrats to all involved.
In writing circles, Chris Biderman has left the USA Today Sports Media Group where he ran the Niners Wire in order to cover the 49ers for the Sacramento Bee. Biderman called the new opportunity to write for a newspaper a lifelong dream and said he looks forward to adding his work to a space which Matt Barrows has helped make special.
The Washington Post has hired Ben Strauss to cover sports and media. Strauss will begin his new assignment for the newspaper starting in September.
It’s another busy period for The Athletic who have added former NFL linebacker turned sports media personality Kirk Morrison as a contributor to their San Francisco bureau. Vincent Bonsignore has exited the Southern California News Group to join The Athletic’s Los Angeles outlet. And in Sacramento, Jason Jones is signing on in September to contribute to the platform’s coverage of the Sacramento Kings.
And last but not least, SB Nation has added Natalie Weiner as a staff writer.
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%|