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Chicago Legend, 670 The Score Overnighter Les Grobstein Dies

“Grobstein’s presence in the Chicago sports media far predates his time on The Score.”

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The Athletic

Les Grobstein was a staple in the lives of Chicago sports fans. He had held down overnights at 670 The Score since 2009. He was found dead in his home on Sunday. He was 69 years old.

“Our staff is devastated. Our audience lost a great friend overnight,” Mitch Rosen, The Score’s operations director, said in a statement. “Les was a legend that will never be forgotten. He was a best friend to so many that knew him that he never knew. That’s the power of radio.”

Grobstein’s presence in the Chicago sports media far predates his time on The Score. He began his broadcasting career in 1970 as part of Northwestern basketball broadcasts. He also served as the sports director of WLS and a reporter for ESPN 1000 before joining The Score.

The longtime Chicago sports radio personality had not been on the air recently. The only explanation given was an illness.

The Score memorialized The Grobber on Monday. The station played a loop of some of his most memorable moments multiple times during the day. Mark Grote called Grobstein “a friend, a colleague, and a classic” and noted that it was hard to figure out exactly the right way to memorialize him because he was such a unique individual.

Grote clearly did something right. Grobber’s son Scott texted the station to say that he was laughing at all of the clips and memories of his dad that the station was sharing.

In addition to Scott, Les Grobstein is survived by his long time partner Kathy.

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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