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Noah Eagle on Getting Clippers Radio Job Out of College: ‘The Stars Can Align’

“People always ask me when I decided I wanted to get into it? I think it was pretty simple in the sense that I had a good relationship with my dad and I saw he enjoyed what he did.”

Ricky Keeler

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You never know when a major opportunity in the sports industry will come knocking at your door. For Noah Eagle, he would never imagine that as a senior at Syracuse, working as the television voice for the Los Angeles Clippers could potentially be an option.

Eagle was a guest on the You Know I’m Right podcast with Nick Durst and Joe Calabrese to talk about his career. He mentioned that the Clippers job was great timing for him, but when the leader of the Sports Media Center at Syracuse asked him to send his basketball reel, he had no idea what it was for.

“It was really awesome timing… The timing, if it’s right, the stars can align,” Eagle said. “I got really lucky. I got really fortunate in particular with the timing of the Clippers job. I was a senior at Syracuse, the longtime voice of the Clippers, Ralph Lawler, it was his 40th and final year with the team. He was retiring at the end of the year.

“I didn’t know this. I wasn’t aware of any of it, but I did get a call from a professor I had. She was the leader of the Sports Media Center at Syracuse at Newhouse, Olivia Stomski. She reached out to me and said ‘Send me your basketball reel, somebody is interested.'”

“I said, can you be more specific? She said, no I can’t. I said, why not? She said, trust me,” Eagle continued. “I put together a basketball reel of all the stuff I had to that point (January-early February 2019). I had decided my senior year, I’m not going to focus too hard on the job stuff until March. I wanted to enjoy my senior year, then I was going to go full-steam ahead with it. That was kind of my mentality going into the year.”

After sending his resume and bio a week later and still not knowing what position he was sending these things for, Eagle was driving to the studio where he hosted a radio show in downtown Syracuse and he got a call from a Los Angeles number. He ended up taking a chance and picked up the call: 

“I answer it and it’s this big, booming voice,” Eagle recalled. “‘This is Nick Davis from FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket. I’m sure you are aware we are looking to replace Ralph Lawler with the Clippers and your name came up. So, we’d like to fly you out and interview you and audition you next week.’ I thought someone was going to pop out from my back seat and slap me across the face. I said, `’Are you sure you got the right guy?'”

After auditioning and having a memorable interview with owner Steve Ballmer, Eagle ended up getting the radio play-by-play job when Brian Sieman moved to television.

Of course, everyone knows Noah Eagle’s dad, Ian. Noah watched his dad in the booth from a very young age and one of the reasons that helped him decide he wanted to be in the same profession was the excitement Ian had for the job he was doing:

“He took me to work with him from a pretty early age,” Eagle explained. “In terms of physically being in the booth, I was probably 3-4 years old. I took a liking to it very early. There was never something that he said, ‘Oh man, I really am praying that my son loves sports.’ It just happened naturally.

“People always ask me when I decided I wanted to get into it? I think it was pretty simple in the sense that I had a good relationship with my dad and I saw he enjoyed what he did… He enjoys it, he gets up, he gets excited for it.

“Sure, could he get stressed out if he had five games in six days in five different cities? Without a doubt. Anybody would. But when he was there, when he came home in the morning, he was excited and he was smiling talking about it. All of those factors certainly helped in my decision-making and it swayed me in that direction. 

“I think once you get to the point where you are perceptive enough and you know enough, you see a TV and understand what’s happening. I would see a TV and go, ‘There’s Dad.’ At the same time, I looked at it as it’s just him going to work. That was the mentality I grew up with. He gets excited for his job. That’s what really stood out to me.” 

During this podcast, Eagle will also explain how he ended up working the 2021 Tokyo Olympics for NBC and why he was so excited to get the play-by-play job for the NFL Wild Card playoff games broadcast on Nickelodeon. 

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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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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