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Ian Rapoport Ditches ‘Gresh & Keefe’ for Phone Call on Breaking News

“That’s the first time that’s happened to us all season.”

Jordan Bondurant

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With the NFL coaching carousel going full speed, news of the next head coach, coordinator or general manager hiring could break at any time.

That means NFL insiders like Ian Rapoport are basically on-call in case a shoe drops and news of a hiring needs to be reported. A perfect example of this happened Thursday while the NFL Network reporter was a guest on WEEI’s Gresh & Keefe.

After talking about the potential head coaching landing spots for Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Rapoport was asked about the possibility of the NFL changing its overtime rules following this past weekend’s divisional round game when his phone went off.

“Plus, at the time, the focus was more on… you know… oh, shoot — I just got a text, I gotta go,” Rapoport said before the call suddenly ended.

Shocked, there was some initial laughter before Andy Gresh responded to what just happened.

“Well now, there goes Ian Rapoport,” he said.

“That’s the first time that’s happened to us all season,” show producer Chris Scheim added.

You can listen to the full segment here.

This wasn’t the first time Rapoport has abruptly ended an interview due to his phone buzzing, and Gresh and Rich Keefe brought up the identical occurrence involving Rapoport and former Washington, D.C. host Chad Dukes.

Dukes notoriously called Rapoport a “son of a bitch” and a “douche” after he twice had to quickly leave a hit being pre-recorded. That led to a brief tiff between the two and Rapoport eventually re-appeared the next day to apologize for jumping so soon and demanded an apology from Dukes for cursing him. Dukes did not apologize for calling him an SOB.

Gresh noted that wasn’t how they were going to handle what had happened, even though it was sudden and left them hanging.

“It happens,” Gresh said. “Now we can at least circle back if we have something at 1:30.”

Turns out the news was the Chicago Bears hiring Matt Eberflus as their next head coach. Gresh and company joked they made Rapoport late to being first to break the news, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted it out a minute before Rapoport could.

They finished talking about what had happened, teased a Boston Bruins segment, and then tossed to commercial. But it was certainly a moment on-air talent doesn’t necessarily plan for or anticipate.

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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