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Grant Napear Sues Bonneville For Wrongful Termination

“Sports Radio 1140 KHTK, the Kings flagship, fired Napear shortly after the tweet went up”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: NBC Sports California

Former Sacramento Kings broadcaster Grant Napear is suing Bonneville International for wrongful termination after the company fired him for a tweet last year. Fox 40 first reported the news, as Napear looks to get financial closure after his 32-year tenure abruptly ended.

Amidst the George Floyd protests, former Kings player Demarcus Cousins tweeted at Napear, asking him, “what’s your take on BLM?” In response, Napear tweeted back, “ALL LIVES MATTER…EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!”

The phrase “all lives matter” is viewed by social justice activists as an attack on Black Lives Matter.

Sports Radio 1140 KHTK, the Kings’ flagship, fired Napear shortly after the tweet went up and KHTK’s parent company, Bonneville International, released this statement: 

“While we appreciate Grant’s positive contributions to KHTK over the years, his recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement do not reflect the views or values of Bonneville International Corporation. 

“The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive. After reviewing the matter carefully, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with Grant.”

Now, Grant Napear is seeking damages for the whole ordeal, from lost and future wages; to emotional distress. Bonneville International did not respond to Fox40’s comment request.

“I said ‘all lives matter, every single one’, because I meant it. Do the lives of Black people matter? Hell yeah, the lives of Black people matter,” Napear told Fox40 last year. “I’m for equality for all; that’s how I was raised. That’s how my dad brought up my brother and I.”

Napear expanded even more on his decision-making in the 2020 interview.

“Do I make mistakes? Yeah, I make mistakes, and if I make a mistake, I try to say that I’m sorry,” Grant Napear said to Fox40. “But I’m not sorry for saying ‘all lives matter, every single one,’” he said. “I’m not sorry because I believe that every life is important. I’m not sorry because I believe in equality for all. I’m not sorry because I try to treat everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, the same.”

The sports broadcaster isn’t admitting wrongdoing, and he’ll have his day in court to prove it. Read the full lawsuit on the Fox40 page 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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