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Mediaite Names Stephen A. Smith Most Influential In 2021

“Covid-19 has been the biggest story in the world over the last two years. The men that occupy each of the top two spots on the list could not be approaching it more differently.”

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The end of the year is coming quickly and it is time to give out props to some of the most prominent members of the sports media landscape in 2021. Former BSM scribe Brandon Contes announced his list for Mediaite of the most influential names in sports media for this past year.

Not too many people have had a better 2021 than Pat McAfee, but Contes has him at number 6. Nothing speaks more to McAfee’s value to the sports media industry than FanDuel paying McAfee $30 Million just to be promoted on his show.

McAfee has gained a ton of exposure thanks to his weekly interviews with Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers, but there is no doubt that McAfee has earned everything that he has gotten this year.

Covid-19 has been the biggest story in the world over the last two years. The men that occupy each of the top two spots on the list could not be approaching it more differently.

Number 2 is OutKick founder Clay Travis, who made the leap from Fox Sports Radio to conservative news talk. He and Buck Sexton slid into the sport formerly occupied by the late Rush Limbaugh on Premier Networks. The entrepreneur also sold Outkick to Fox in 2021, making Travis the network’s lead intersection between sports and politics, frequently joining the likes of Tucker Carlson, Greg Gutfeld and others.

Contes had Stephen A. Smith as the most influential person in sports media, and it is very hard to argue. Smith talks about just about everything for ESPN and is most likely the worldwide leader’s most recognizable face. 

The entire list is as follows:

  1. Stephen A. Smith
  2. Clay Travis
  3. Charles Barkley
  4. Dave Portnoy
  5. Nate Burleson
  6. Pat McAfee
  7. Mina Kimes
  8. Dan Le Batard
  9. Jemele Hill
  10. Skip Bayless

Sports Radio News

Sweeny Murti Departing WFAN

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here.”

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WFAN New York Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti has announced today is his final day with the radio station.

In a tweet announcing the move, Murti said “I tried to bring the right amounts of confidence and humility on the air. I strived to hold my own with the great hosts on our station and just tried to make good radio with every appearance.”

Sweeny started as a producer at WFAN in 1993, before eventually ascending to the role of the station’s Yankees reporter in 2001. He was grateful to his colleagues and friends for his time at the New York station.

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here. Thanks to so many wonderful friends and colleagues who made going to work fun. And thanks to every one of you for listening and taking this ride with me. It has truly been my honor, and I hope you will join me on the next adventure.

Sweeny Murti did not disclose what his next move would entail.

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Sports Radio News

Westwood One Releases Study of NFL Fans Following Playoffs on Radio

“The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.”

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The NFL will be one step closer to determining who will play in this year’s Super Bowl after this weekend, and one thing is for certain, football fans will follow the games any way they can. That includes listening to games on the radio.

Westwood One, which is the official network radio partner of the NFL, revealed just how strong listenership of the NFL on the radio is thanks to a recent study.

According to Westwood One’s Audio Active Group, which unveiled the data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough USA+ and MRI Simmons USA, NFL playoff listeners on AM/FM radio are more likely to work full-time and have higher disposable income compared to TV viewers.

Additionally, MRI Simmons found that radio listeners are keener to attend sporting events, look up sports information on their phones more frequently and be more active in fantasy sports than their TV watching counterparts.

The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.

The average age of radio listeners is younger than the average TV watcher. The study found that the average age of people who listen to the playoffs/Super Bowl on the radio is 46, while the average age of folks who watch on TV is 53.

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Sports Radio News

Eli Manning: The ManningCast Is Not Supposed To Be Scripted & Polished

“It’s kind of off the wall, off the fly, let’s go wing it like we’re sitting on our coach at home.”

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Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli on ESPN2 has been a major success for the network the last two seasons, and one of the big things that everyone points out about what makes the show between the Manning brothers work is how organically things flow.

Eli was a guest on The Anthony Gargano Show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia ahead of Saturday night’s Eagles/Giants NFC divisional playoff game, and Gargano said he was a huge fan of the ManningCast.

“I wish they would do it and replay it during the week, because it’s so much fun,” Gargano said. “I never would’ve guessed that you guys would be this great at it.”

Eli said it took some tweaking to really hammer out kinks from the first season of the MNF alternate feed, but he and Peyton both really enjoy getting the chance to put on a show for fans.

“We have a blast, and that was the idea of it to not make it like the normal telecast of a football game,” he said. “To make it very different and where you can just be very relaxed, you can take shots at each other, you can talk over each other. There’s still just a rawness to it we don’t want to lose.”

Eli said there’s never any real organization to the show, like putting together a rundown of topics ahead of time. That’s one of the things that makes the ManningCast unique, and Eli wants to keep it that way.

“It’s not scripted,” he said. “It’s kind of off the wall, off the fly, let’s go wing it like we’re sitting on our coach at home.”

Manning added that this past week for the season finale, he and Peyton were chatting a couple minutes before air time figuring out who was going to open the show and who was going to talk about which team. They book guests ahead of time, but often there’s never a set list of questions they want to ask.

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