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All Star Team To Call Red Sox Games on WEEI

“WEEI has assembled a star studded cast for its presentation of Red Sox radio broadcasts this season.”

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WEEI has assembled an all-star team of announcers for the upcoming 2019 season of Boston Red Sox baseball. Boston’s radio home for the Sox will feature Sean McDonough, Dave O’Brien, and Chris Berman on game broadcasts as part of a booth rotation alongside longtime radio voice Joe Castiglione. The rotation also includes Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, and newcomers Mario Impemba, and Josh Lewin.

“As the flagship radio home of the world champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI is proud to extend our relationship with Joe Castiglione and to welcome this elite group of broadcasters to join him in the booth,” said Mark Hannon, Regional President and Market Manager, Entercom Boston. “We are committed to providing listeners with premier and innovative coverage of the Sox and are looking forward to a great season.”

Lewin and Impemba will work the majority of games this season (55 each) with Castiglione. McDonough has signed on to call 30 games. He’ll make his debut on April 11th when the Sox face the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. The following week he’ll be behind the mic for the first Yankees series.

It’s a return to calling Sox games for McDonough who previously served as the television play-by-play announcer for the Red Sox on New England Sports Network (NESN) from 1988-2004. During that time, he was honored four times with the New England Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Play-by-Play. The Hingham, MA native is currently a leading play-by-play voice on ESPN college sports broadcasts.

“It’s nice to be back in the Red Sox fold, if that’s the right word,” McDonough told WEEI.com. “I didn’t want to leave 15 years ago, but in many ways, it was a good thing that I did, because it enabled me to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn’t have done –– the U.S. Open, British Open. I’ve just had a lot of opportunities that wouldn’t have come along if I were still doing Red Sox games on TV. My path has been winding and interesting, and I’m glad it’s brought me back to this place –– particularly at this time.”

For Castiglione, this will be his 37th season in the booth. He believes the cast WEEI has assembled to call Sox games will lead to a lot of interplay in the booth.

“We’ll have conversation. They’re all good baseball people,” Castiglione told WEEI.com. “It should flow well. We like to have good conversation –– and tell stories and have background information on players to try and personalize them. That makes the fans feel like they know these people versus ‘Here’s a guy who’s hitting .302 with 20 home runs.”

The Red Sox radio vacancy was created following the departure of play-by-play voice Tim Neverett, a Boston-area native who left the booth after three seasons with the team. Neverett has since joined the Los Angeles Dodgers radio broadcast team. Following his exit rumors circulated that WEEI might drop the traditional radio baseball broadcast in favor of a talk show style approach. WEEI PD Joe Zarbano quickly dismissed those rumors, and the latest additions to the booth confirm they were untrue.

Sports Radio News

SURVEY: Sports Talk Stations Near Top of Streamed Stations

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.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, All Sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info.

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 its 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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