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Crossing Broad Reveals Top 5 2022 Storylines For Philadelphia Sports Radio

“In Philadelphia, there is plenty of competition in the sports radio landscape with Beasley-owned 97.5 The Fanatic going head-to-head against Audacy’s 94 WIP.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Competition in sports radio is always a good thing. It keeps things lively, can stir up some controversy every now and again, and provides listeners with variety.

In Philadelphia, there is plenty of competition in the sports radio landscape with Beasley-owned 97.5 The Fanatic going head-to-head against Audacy’s 94 WIP.

Crossing Broad’s Kevin Kinkead presented his list of five stories he plans to pay attention to in Philly sports talk for the coming year.

First off, Kinkead is banking on longtime WIP voice Angelo Cataldi actually retiring at the end of the year. Cataldi, who will be 71 years old in March, agreed to a contract extension that will run through some point in December. The Philadelphia Inquirer, which covered Cataldi’s retirement announcement back in October, notes that he will be on the air four days a week once the Eagles current season ends.

Kinkead wrote he has a bet with another local writer that Cataldi will in fact call it a career this year, otherwise he’ll be buying that person lunch.

The other story to pay attention to will be whether Mike Missanelli leaves The Fanatic. Missanelli’s contract was supposed to end around the same time Cataldi is set to retire, but he and Beasley Media agreed to a short-term contract extension that presumably will keep him on the air into 2023.

Keeping an eye on progress John Kincade at The Fanatic is making in the mornings is another story Kinkead will be watching. He wrote that the format of the show Kincade does alongside Jamie Lynch, Bob Cooney and Pat Egan provides the alternative listeners want. Additionally, it could mean an opportunity for the group to chip away more at Cataldi’s grasp at No. 2 overall in the market once he retires.

There was a change in leadership at WIP in 2021, with Rod Lakin taking over for Spike Eskin as the station’s brand manager. Kinkead writes he’ll be following what the extent of Lakin’s influence will be over the course of the year. He feels that Lakin was brought on to keep things pointed in the right direction and not to let anything go haywire.

Finally, Kinkead wrote that he hopes to get a better gauge on listenership in the market over the course of the year. With Nielsen using what Kinkead believes is an antiquated way to measure audience, it’s tough to get an idea of the exact number of people that tune in. He did say that both stations are factoring in streaming into their numbers, so there’s a little room to potentially purchase a way into Nielsen’s data.

Overall, lots to listen to and look for in sports radio in the City of Brotherly Love in 2022.

Sports Radio News

Suzyn Waldman ‘Still here’ at WFAN after 35 years

I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman is celebrating 35 years on the air. Waldman, the first voice heard on WFAN, is thankful to be where she is.

“I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”

Waldman looked back on the experience of doing the very first update on the air at WFAN. While doing the first update alongside Jim Lampley, a fill-in for Pete Franklin, she was shocked when listeners did not approve of her updates and tied it to her being female. She thought, “Oh my God, this is not what I thought it was going to be,” she said.

That was not something she was accustomed to in the theater. Waldman had a background in musical theater before getting into radio and eventually joining WFAN as it went on the air in 1987.

“It was a rude awakening,” she said. “But it was at that moment that everything changed.”

Waldman eventually began working the overnight shift alongside Steve Somers. It was there she really honed her craft.

Suzyn has been calling Yankees games alongside John Sterling since 2005. This is her eighth season calling Yankee games on WFAN.

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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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