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Doug Gottlieb Defends His Comments About HBCU Football

“f Hunter wants to make it to the NFL, Doug Gottlieb argues that he has made achieving that goal harder for himself.”

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Fox Sports

Doug Gottlieb is not backing down from his assertion that Travis Hunter is making a mistake. The top college football recruit in the country shocked everyone last week by flipping his commitment from Florida State to Coach Deion Sanders and the Jackson State Tigers.

On Wednesday, when the announcement was made, FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb immediately said it was a bad move and that Hunter would regret the decision.

On his show Friday, Gottlieb addressed some of the criticism he has received and explained why he isn’t backing down from his assertion that attending an HBCU is a mistake for a player of Hunter’s caliber.

Doug Gottlieb started by highlighting a tweet from Jermaine Johnson, a state lawmaker in South Carolina, who claimed that college football is “easily 85% black” and noted that if that 85% decided to attend HBCUs exclusively, Gottlieb would change his mind.

“Is it hard for state lawmakers to google NCAA demographics,” Gottlieb said before noting it took him just 2 minutes to find the official demographics from the NCAA, which say that football on the FBS level is 45% black.

Gottlieb reiterated that he was never arguing specifically against HBCUs or against black students. His argument was that nobody celebrating Travis Hunter’s decision to attend Jackson State actually cares about Travis Hunter. If they did, they would want him to be somewhere his talent would be seen.

“It’s a lower-level school. It’s a 1-AA school. The perfect example is Jackson State is 11-1 and nobody watched them. They don’t even play in the 1-AA national championship.”

Jackson State was demolished by South Carolina State this weekend in the Celebration Bowl, which is recognized as the national championship game for HBCU football.

Gottlieb said that Deion Sanders’s goal was not necessarily to get Travis Hunter to Jackson State. It was to “stick it to” Florida State, who passed him over in its last coaching search.

If Hunter wants to make it to the NFL, Doug Gottlieb argues that he has made achieving that goal harder for himself. Jackson State is underfunded in a state that underfunds the majority of its universities. That trickles down to the athletic department. He noted that giving up the advantages of Florida State to play college football in an environment like that is akin to choosing a different sport entirely.

“If he succeeds and makes the NFL, that’s great! But he’s not competing against the best players everyday in practice. He doesn’t have the best facilities to train in. He doesn’t have the best trainers,” Gottlieb said. “There’s just not the money for that.”

To Doug Gottlieb’s point, the rapper and businessman Master P, recently pulled his son out of Tennessee State, another HBCU. Jackson was a star basketball recruit coming out of high school. Master P cited the school’s lack of medical resources as the reason for his son’s exit.

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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