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ESPN 97.5 Adds New Voices, New Shows To Help Write Its Next Chapter

“ESPN 97.5 and 92.5’s all-local weekday lineup will continue to feature veteran hosts John Granato, Lance Zierlein, Charlie Pallilo and Joel Blank. Joining the mix and adding new energy to the weekday schedule are Jeremy Branham, Jake Asman, Cody Stoots and Brad Kellner.”

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Gow Media has announced forthcoming changes to its weekday lineup on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM. The new lineup will be tasked with writing the next chapter in the station’s storied history starting on Monday, August 16th.

ESPN 97.5 and 92.5’s all-local weekday lineup will continue to feature veteran hosts John Granato, Lance Zierlein, Charlie Pallilo and Joel Blank. Joining the mix and adding new energy to the weekday schedule are Jeremy Branham, Jake Asman, Cody Stoots and Brad Kellner.

The new weekday schedule will appear as follows: 

7a-10a – ‘The Bench’ with John Granato & Lance Zierlein 

10a-12p – The Charlie Pallilo Show 

12p-3p – ‘The Killer B’s’ with Joel Blank & Jeremy Branham 

3p-7p – ‘The Wheelhouse’ with Jake Asman, Cody Stoots & Brad Kellner

“We’re excited about the new local lineup”, said General Manager Todd Farquharson. “We’ve added some new voices to a lineup of proven all-stars. It’s going to be great sports talk with a lot of fun.” 

Afternoon host Jake Asman added, “Houston has become my home for the last 3 years and I’m so excited for this opportunity to talk about the teams and storylines that fans in this city care about. From the Texans to the Astros, to the Rockets, to anything big nationally we are going to have you covered. I can’t wait for the city to hear all the fun that we’re going to bring every afternoon!” 

Asman’s partner Cody Stoots is equally enthusiastic about the new afternoon show: “Excited would be an understatement. I’m thrilled with the opportunity we have in front of us at ESPN 97.5 and 92.5. Jake and Brad are going to be great partners. With football season here and an Astros playoff run on deck we can’t wait to get started!” 

Brad Kellner, who recently exited 104.9 The Horn in Austin to be part of the new afternoon trio chimed in as well, adding: “I am incredibly fired up to be a part of the new afternoon show at ESPN 97.5 and 92.5! The opportunity to join the top station in one of the best sports cities in America is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started. I’m especially looking forward to working with Jake and Cody to bring Houstonians the best sports radio experience available.”  

Longtime station host Fred Faour will remain part of the on-air team, joining shows throughout the week in a new role as the station’s sports betting analyst. Faour previously co-hosted ‘The Blitz’ with AJ Hoffman who recently exited the station for an opportunity in Las Vegas. Weekday evenings on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 FM will continue to feature Patrick Creighton’s Late Hits. 

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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