Former WFAN radio star, Craig Carton and friends submitted a request for leniency as his sentencing nears. According to Newsday’s John Riley, Carton hopes his “severe gambling addiction” will be taken into account in an attempt to convince WFAN listener, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that he deserves lesser jail time.
“I was actually building a real business and really buying and selling concert tickets, over four thousand tickets to be exact, but at the same time I was becoming enslaved by my desire and addiction to gamble,” Carton wrote in a letter submitted on Friday, March 22nd.
Carton’s defense lawyers, Robert Gottlieb and Derrelle Janey pointed to mental disease beyond a gambling addiction which stems from childhood rape and other traumas. Carton and his lawyers even provided an omitted chapter of the radio host’s biography Loud-mouth, which described being a victim of childhood sexual assault.
While Carton faces a maximum sentence of 45 years, advisory federal guidelines recommend 70 to 87 months of jail time for the former New York morning radio host. In the memo sent to U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, Carton’s lawyers suggested a sentence between 21-27 months.
The memo submitted in Manhattan federal court also included letters from several friends vouching for the former New York radio host. Among those who wrote letters in support of Carton were his former WFAN co-host Boomer Esisason, actor and radio host Joe Piscopo, Yankees COO Lonn Trost, former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, retired NFL quarterback and now media member Chris Simms, WFAN program director Mark Chernoff and ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
“Craig is one of the most generous friends I have ever met,” Christie wrote. “He has made himself available privately to friends in any kind of trouble or need and also to public, charitable causes of all kinds.”
“In my dealings with Craig I have always found him to be honest and forthright,” the former federal prosecutor added during his three page letter. “I urge the Court to show compassion to Craig when deciding on sentencing. I do not believe that Craig is a danger to society.”
Christie also told the judge, “I do not believe any significant period of incarceration in this matter would be in the best interests of justice.”
In a letter to the court of his own, WFAN program director, Mark Chernoff stated he would “welcome the opportunity to discuss” the possibility of Carton returning to WFAN should he receive probation instead of jail time.
On September 6th 2017, Carton was arrested on charges of conspiracy, wire and securities fraud. The former WFAN radio host was found guilty on November 7th of last year and after pushing the date back twice, he’s scheduled to receive his sentencing next Friday, April 5th.
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.