One of the most popular syndicated shows on music radio is The Breakfast Club. The show has made headlines in recent weeks with appearances from Rush Limbaugh and Joe Biden. On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby were guests on the show.
Host Charlemagne Tha God asked Jalen Rose if athletes had the responsibility to speak out if they attended a protest in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
“Absolutely!” Rose said emphatically.
He pointed out that his office has a picture of the Ali Summit, where Muhammad Ali announced that he would not join the military. In the photo, Ali is surrounded by Lew Alcindor (before later changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Jim Brown, and Bill Russell amongst others. He called them “the greatest social warriors, the greatest champions sports has seen.”
Rose went on to say that there is a long history of America disregarding the message when athletes speak out. He noted that that phenomenon bled over into the sports media. It was hard to ignore when he was part of the launch of ESPN’s Get Up!.
“When we were launching the show called Get Up! in the morning, they started calling us ‘Woke Center.’ So, let me get this right. Because I have an opinion about my people being oppressed that makes me woke? Then it became coded, almost like ‘Make America Great Again’ or like a dog whistle. When you said those terms, we knew what side you’re on.”
Clay Travis of FOX Sports Radio and FS1 is largely credited with coining the term “Woke Center” to describe any ESPN show where the hosts expressed opinions on anything other than sports.
Rose went on to say that he sees that kind of criticism fading into the background. That is part of why it is so hard to ignore NBA players marching in protests around the country.
“When I see Jaylen Brown and Malcom Brogdon, with their amazing NBA contracts and security, get their voices or protests being heard on the front lines with Stephen Jackson, we need that! And the groundswell is going to continue to grow, because unlike the 60s, it’s not just black people,” Rose said. “It’s multiple people of different ethnicities that are tired of the oppression that is taking place in the United States of America.”
The Breakfast Club originates from iHeartMedia’s urban station Power 105.1 in New York City. It has 45 affiliates across the country and is also heard on the Armed Forces Radio Network. A TV simulcast airs on Sean “Diddy” Combs’s RevoltTV.
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.