Hank Haney has officially been suspended from his SiriusXM radio show, following comments he made on-air during his Wednesday morning program.
Haney at first gave a half-hearted apology, followed by one that appeared to be more full-hearted, now the world renowned swing coach says, “I accept my suspension and apologize again.”
“Mr. Haney’s comments on women’s professional golf were insensitive and do not represent the views of the PGA Tour or SiriusXM.” SiriusXM said in a statement. “The PGA Tour is committed to and proud of the increasingly diverse makeup of our fan base, not to mention the power and accomplishments of the game’s world-class, global players—both on the PGA Tour and LPGA, whom we are working with more closely than ever before. SiriusXM proudly covers and supports both women’s and men’s golf and the athletes that make them great. At the PGA Tour’s instruction Mr. Haney has been suspended from the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio channel. SiriusXM is reviewing his status on SiriusXM going forward.”
Haney is a weekday morning host on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio and Wednesday morning, he made inexcusable comments while discussing the U.S. Women’s Open with co-host Steve Johnson.
“This week is the 74th U.S. Women’s Open, Hank,” co-host Steve Johnson began the conversation.
“Oh it is? I’m gonna predict a Korean,” Haney responded.
“Ok, that’s a pretty safe bet,” Johnson said while laughing.
“I couldn’t name you six players on the LPGA Tour,” Haney said. “Nah, maybe I could – well, I’d go with Lee. If I didn’t have to name a first name, I’d get a bunch of them right.”
“We’ve got six Lees,” Johnson said, adding to Haney’s insensitive remark regarding the number of Korean athletes they expect to compete in the U.S. Women’s open.
After receiving backlash for the comments while still on-air, Haney told his audience he couldn’t remember what he said, but will “apologize right now if I offended people.”
His comments drew attention from Michelle Wie, a popular Korean American golfer who responded to Haney on Twitter.
Following Wie’s reaction, Haney released a more thought-out apology, accepting responsibility for his comments.
“This morning, I made some comments about women’s golf and its players that were insensitive, and that I regret,” Haney wrote. “In an effort to make a point about the overwhelming success of Korean players on the tour, I offended people and I am sorry. I have the highest respect for the women who have worked so hard to reach the pinnacle of their sport, and I never meant to take away from their abilities and accomplishments. I’ve worked in this game with men and women players from many different cultures, and I look forward to continuing to do so.”
Haney has been off-air since the insensitive comments he made on Wednesday. SiriusXM officially announced his suspension Thursday evening. SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio offers full live coverage of the 74th U.S. Women’s Open from Charleston, South Carolina.
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.