While we may agree with the people we argue with, it is the fact that they are willing to hear your argument and are passionate about what they feel that we tend to respect. This week, we saw an example of that involving Bomani Jones, Domonique Foxworth, and Will Cain.
On Wednesday, Cain made his final appearance on First Take before heading to FOX News as he discussed his tweets about NASCAR’s handling of the Bubba Wallace investigation of a noose from Sunday, June 21 at Talladega Superspeedway. The FBI determined it was not a hate crime and the garage’s pull rope was fashioned like a noose long before anyone knew which garage stall Wallace’s ten would be assigned.
After that appearance, Jones decided to call into The Will Cain Show on ESPN Radio to give his take and dive more into the racial divide in the country. You can catch that full conversation by clicking this link.
On Thursday’s episode of his podcast, The Right Time with Bomani Jones, Jones talked about the process of going on Cain’s show and how he felt that it was best to address the topic on the radio rather than on Twitter. So, he asked to call into the show and Cain agreed.
“I was going to tweet about it, but then I was like nah, I don’t think that’s the best way to go about it. I didn’t think it would be appropriate. The reason I did that is because I knew Will would agree to have be on. He ain’t no punk in that way. Will is willing to have an exchange of ideas back-and-forth. I appreciate that and I respect that…. I think Will does deserve a little bit more credit because most of y’all know damn well that if I called up your radio show and said I want to talk about it, you would s*** your pants.”
At the beginning of the segment with Jones and Foxworth, Jones flashed back to 2016 when Cain filled in for him as the host of his show the Monday after Colin Kaepernick did not stand for the national anthem. He explained how he was getting phone calls from people, including Foxworth, to get Cain off the air. Jones did say that he is okay with Cain before discussing the First Take segment.
“I had made a resolution to myself that I didn’t really want to do a lot of radio or television with Will and that’s not because of any animus I had toward him, but I didn’t really want to wind up with is people trying to turn this into some kind of cage fight debate sort of thing.”
Foxworth echoed the same sentiments in terms of wanting to address the disagreement on Twitter, but instead Cain wanted to call him and hear his thoughts himself.
“After I saw that tweet, I’m about to roast him on the Internet. I realized in myself if I was doing it on Twitter, I would do it only to perform, I texted him and was like, what you said is wrong, are you okay if we do this on Twitter? He texted I will call you in 20 minutes. We had a conversation about it and I felt better after the conversation.”
Jones did bring up an example of when Colin Cowherd was on ESPN and how Jones wanted to call in to give more information on the topic. It did not go over well.
“When Colin worked here, Collin once did a segment that was based on something I said on television. He’s talking specifically about the things I was talking about. I called the board and I was like let Collin know, we can talk. Whoever was working the phones hit me back and said ‘Collin doesn’t want you on.’ See, Collin’s thing was if you want to talk about it, you can talk about it on your own show.”
Even though Cain is no longer at ESPN, you can tell the respect he got from his colleagues. He may have had differing viewpoints, but he was always willing to discuss them, which is what Foxworth and others respected.
“I love Will Cain for that. So many people who are on the air have similar feelings but are afraid to say them. I appreciate that Will is not afraid to say them and is willing to engage with them.”
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.