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Tony Paige Hosts Final Show At WFAN

“Paige hosted his first show on WFAN nearly a quarter-century ago in 1995. His second tenure with the station began in 2003, taking over as WFAN’s overnight host three years later.”

Brandon Contes

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After announcing his upcoming retirement in June, the departure of WFAN’s overnight host Tony Paige became a reality this past Saturday.

Paige hosted his first show on WFAN nearly a quarter-century ago in 1995.  His second tenure with the station began in 2003, taking over as WFAN’s overnight host three years later.  Paige’s final show was Saturday night and featured former NBA commissioner David Stern.  Prior to signing off, the longtime overnight host spoke to a different audience, joining Mike Francesa for an hour on Friday the 13th.

“It’s going to hit me a week from Saturday when I wake up at 7:00 instead of rolling in at 7:00. Monday at 2:00, I’m taking a nap in the afternoon. I get up at 2:00,” Paige told Francesa. “I wanna get the body back … on Monday my body really starts to slow down. I haven’t done anything. The body says you’re going to work tonight. You’re going to be up all night. Now I get to stay up.”

Although he’s retired from his regular gig at WFAN, the 66-year old Paige will still offer contributions to the sports media industry.  

“I’m going to do some writing. The Daily News wants me to write two stories a month,” Paige said. “I’m going back to do some boxing for the national TV. I want to do a book. Photography is a hobby of mine. I’m going to take some pictures.”

Paige developed a special relationship with the audience during his years as an overnight host.  The late night radio scene presented an opportunity for Paige’s laid back personality and simplistic on-air approach to connect with callers.

“I’ve been touched the last couple weeks by all the callers telling me what I’ve meant to them,” Paige told WFAN’s Jason Keidel in an exclusive interview. “They say I let them talk. That I’m kind. I’ve always looked at it that conversation is key. A certain civility is needed. A lot of people called and said this was their first time on the show, because they just enjoyed listening to me.”

Leaving WFAN on his own terms, Paige seemed at peace with his decision to retire during his final night on-air.  Fitting for a late night Saturday broadcast, Paige signed off for the last time by reminding people to never drink and drive, adding “I love you back, take care.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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