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Maggie Gray Offers Perspective On Jared Porter Texts

“Realistically, if this story came out in 2016, there’s a good chance Porter would have remained in baseball and continued on a similar track to landing a general manager position.”

Brandon Contes

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In a male dominated industry that attracts a male dominated audience, WFAN’s Maggie Gray offered great perspective on the Mets firing general manager Jared Porter for past inappropriate behavior. 

In what appeared to be a straightforward decision by the Mets, the largely male audience and base of callers for WFAN was still littered with questions such as “why would a woman save those messages for five years?” Featuring one of the industries few full-time female hosts, WFAN was able to offer a strong point of view when answering those questions.

“62 text messages aren’t a mistake,” Gray began. “That’s a choice that you are making. He’s a grownup and he had a choice to send those text messages. This isn’t on her, this is on him.”

Gray explained that in the situation of Porter, the female didn’t hold the text messages. The victim’s story was told years ago, but she didn’t want it reported, fearing a negative impact on her sports journalism career as she attempted to cover the good ol’ boys club. Despite the fact that the female reporter was not holding Porter’s harassing messages, Gray still explained why a person in the victim’s situation might have kept the texts. 

“A lot of times when women find themselves in these situations where someone in a position of power does something that’s inappropriate – the biggest battle you face is making sure people believe you,” Gray said. “’What did you do, what did you say, what were you wearing, how did you bring this on yourself?’ is a lot of times how these situations get interpreted and this is another thing that keeps people from coming forward.”

As a foreign reporter, the woman did not fully understand the culture enough to confirm what Porter was doing was not only inappropriate, but harassment. 

Realistically, if this story came out in 2016, there’s a good chance Porter would have remained in baseball and continued on a similar track to landing a general manager position. Although the #MeToo movement was launched long before 2016, it didn’t really explode with support until 2017. 

Use former Mets general manager Steve Phillips as an example. In 1998, Phillips was accused of sexual harassment. Phillips missed eight days of work because of the incident and settled the civil suit out of court. He continued as the team’s GM until June 2003, when he was fired for performance reasons. 11 years after the harassment suit, Phillips admitted another extramarital affair, this time with a 22-year-old ESPN production assistant. ESPN fired Phillips less than a week after the affair was publicized and he’s since spent nearly a decade as a SiriusXM radio host. 

Porter might get another opportunity to work in baseball again, but it’s fair to assume his second chances will be limited.

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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