Monday morning, SiriusXM promoted the latest episode of Tom Brady’s podcast, Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jim Gray. The show had an obvious draw with a report over the weekend by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington that the seven-time Super Bowl winner had decided to retire.
Soon after the report circulated and the news spread across sports and mainstream media, people in Brady’s camp said news of the quarterback’s retirement was premature. Brady’s agent, Don Yee, issued a statement saying his client had not yet made a decision. Then Brady’s father told NFL Network’s Mike Giardi that the report was “total conjecture.”
The ensuing speculation was that Brady probably does intend to retire but wanted to make the announcement himself, on his own platform, rather than have reporters break the news and force him to respond. So media and fans were waiting to hear from Brady himself.
On Monday’s Let’s Go!, Brady didn’t clarify whether or not he is retiring. Essentially repeating what he said on the previous week’s podcast, he said he’s still considering the decision with his family.
“Sometimes it takes some time to really evaluate how you feel,” Brady told Gray. “When the time is right, I’ll be ready to make a decision.”
Gray then asked Brady if he was surprised to see the ESPN report.
“It’s always a good line that I’m responsible for what I say and do and not responsible for what others say or do,” Brady said. “Again, I think one thing I’ve learned about sports is you control what you can control and what you can’t you leave to others.
“You know, everyone I know, we’re in such an era of information and people want to be in front of the news often, and I totally understand that and understand that’s the environment we’re in, but I think for me I’m just, literally it’s day to day with me. I’m just trying to do the best I can every day and evaluate things as they come and trying to make a great decision for me and my family.”
When Gray asked if Brady had a timeline for his decision, the quarterback was similarly evasive.
“I don’t know, I know when the time is right, so like I’ve always said I’m very blessed to play as long as I have,” said Brady. “As things have gone on in the later parts of my career, whether that was five years ago or even this year, you know, there’s a lot of interest in when I’m going to stop playing. And I understand that. It’s not that I don’t recognize that. It’s just when I know I’ll know and when I don’t know I don’t know, and I’m not going to race to some conclusion about that.”
So that’s not much different from what was speculated after Brady’s agent and father both disputed ESPN’s report. Yet Schefter and Darlington presumably heard about Brady deciding to retire from reliable sources. To put that news out there irresponsibly would damage each reporter’s reputation and open them to ridicule.
If anything is clear from the report and reaction to it, it’s that Brady wants to announce the decision on his own and prefers not to be pressured into it by news reports.
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.