One of Pittsburgh’s signature radio voices will be stepping away from everyday reporting and hosting at 93.7 The Fan. Jim Colony announced during Tuesday’s The Fan Morning Show that he’s “retiring, but not retiring” from the air.
Colony, 66, has been a co-host and sports update anchor for the show and was asked to clarify by hosts Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack. Saying he’s “still going to be around,” the veteran broadcaster explained that his wife retired at the end of 2021 and the two decided that they wanted to enjoy life while still able to do so.
“We’ve heard stories about people that save, ‘I don’t wanna spend this money, I don’t wanna take this vacation,’ do stuff while you still can,” Colony said. “Do stuff while you still can do it, in terms of being able to get around. It sounds kind of funny, because we’re not close to that, but it’s going to be a chance for us to do some stuff together.”
Watch the announcement below:
But as he mentioned, Colony isn’t completely stepping away from the radio. This is more of a “semi-retirement.” He’ll work as a fill-in host when regular hosts take time off, still contribute content online, and take part in promotional functions such as golf outings for the station.
Dunlap asked if “radio voice emeritus” was an appropriate title for Colony after his final day on Friday (Jan. 21). But Colony gave himself the grander designation of “legend in residence.” He also wanted to clarify that this was his decision and he wasn’t being forced out by management.
Colony has been a part of 93.7 The Fan since the station launched in 2010, rebranding from a Top 40 format. But as Pittsburgh sports fans know, his career covering the area’s sports teams goes back 30 years to WTAE, which eventually became the now-defunct ESPN Radio 1250. After being dismissed by ESPN 1250, he landed at 93.7 The Fan.
(His overall radio career spans 43 years, including stops in Boston; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Springfield, Vermont.)
Best wishes to Colony as he moves into retirement. Enjoying the later part of life and getting to do things we can’t while working the everyday grind is the ideal.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.