Dan Sileo appears to have lost his second full-time radio gig this year, with his most recent tenure lasting only four days. After parting ways with San Diego’s 97.3 The Fan in April, The Athletic reports Sileo’s time with Fox Sports 910 in Phoenix won’t see a second week.
This summer, Fox Sports 910 worked to revamp their Phoenix sports coverage, acquiring broadcast rights to the Arizona Coyotes and building a lineup featuring four local shows. Dan Sileo was expected to be a focal point in afternoon drive for the Fox Sports affiliate heading into the fall, but his tenure looks to be short-lived.
Last week, The Athletic published a story detailing reasons why Sileo was fired from past radio stops, which according to the report, included racist and sexist comments. Earlier in his career, the former NFL defensive lineman spent 15 years hosting on various sports stations in Florida, which on more than one occasion, ended in his being fired. Sileo’s Twitter account was also deleted this past spring, shortly after some of his controversial tweets were highlighted. A new unverified handle for the radio host has since returned to the social media platform.
According to The Athletic, Fox Sports 910’s new broadcast partner, the Arizona Coyotes were not on board with the station’s new choice to host afternoon drive.
“When we became aware that Fox Sports 910 had hired Dan Sileo, we immediately reached out to the station’s management to express our deep concern regarding Mr. Sileo’s abhorrent comments,” the team told The Athletic. “Our promotion of inclusivity is deeply rooted into the fabric of who we are as an organization and we have no tolerance for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any other discriminatory behavior.”
The Coyotes dissatisfaction of Sileo hosting on their flagship affiliate could have caused them to prevent any team personnel from appearing on his show. Sileo experienced a similar issue during his recent tenure as morning host of 97.3 The Fan in San Diego. Last season, the Padres attempted to distance themselves from The Fan’s morning show, but their policy changed this year when executives joined Sileo on-air in April. Sileo and San Diego’s The Fan, however, parted ways less than one month into this year’s baseball season.
Fox Sports 910’s website has the nationally syndicated Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker listed in the afternoon drive timeslot that was filled by Sileo last week.
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.