Good Karma Brands announced a lineup overhaul for ESPN Milwaukee set to debut on June 4th. The new schedule will feature local programming every weekday from 7am – 8pm on WKTI, which flipped to an all-sports format last fall.
ESPN 94.5 will increase its local content beginning with Gabe & Chewy, where Gabe Neitzel and Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Chmura will co-host from 7 – 9am. Neitzel already hosts afternoons on the station with Steve “The Homer” True from 3 – 6pm, a show that will continue to be featured in the same time slot for WKTI’s new lineup.
“This investment in local programming gives fans more ways to engage in sports and provides our advertising partners additional opportunities to connect with their customers and build their brands,” VP and market manager for Good Karma Brands, Steve Wexler said in a press release.
Following Gabe & Chewy in the morning, ESPN 94.5’s lineup will continue to carry Wilde and Tausch, adding an hour to their show, now broadcasting from 9am – noon. The noon hour will be hosted by Greg Matzek, who for eight years served as host of Sports Central on Good Karma’s news/talk station WTMJ, also anchoring their afternoon sports updates. Moving over to WKTI, Matzek will no longer host Sports Central, but will continue to work as a sports anchor on WTMJ’s afternoon show.
“I’m particularly excited to bring Chewy and Tony onto our weekly lineup. Their unique perspectives and stories from their playing days, combined with knowledge of and love for Milwaukee, make them such great additions to this already compelling lineup in the Brew City,” said Brad Lane who joined ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ as their program director in January.
Following Homer & Gabe in the afternoon will be Doug Russell from 6 – 8pm. In addition to his show on 94.5, Russell will also host ESPN Milwaukee Podcenter on Good Karma’s 540 ESPN. National programming will fill the rest of 540’s lineup which will feature less commercials, offering more local and sponsored content.
The lineup on 94.5 ESPN, effective June 4:
5 – 7am Golic and Wingo
7 – 9am Gabe & Chewy (Gabe Neitzel and Mark Chmura)
9 – Noon Wilde and Tausch (Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher)
Noon – 1pm Power Lunch with Greg Matzek
1 – 3pm Tony Smith & Bryan Dee
3 – 6pm Homer & Gabe (Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel)
6 – 8pm Doug Russell
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.