Damon Bruce and Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval are not going to be having any kind of public interaction. Friday on 95.7 The Game, Bruce revealed that he is not agreeing to the terms that Kaval and the franchise are mandating in order for them to have the interview the two discussed on Twitter last week.
Kaval publicly questioned why the Bay Area media was not covering the poor attendance for the Giants the way they are for the A’s. Bruce fired back that the poor attendance in Oakland is about the way the team is treating its fans. After some back and forth, Bruce said he would show up to the Colesium in Oakland for a live-streamed debate if Kaval and the A’s would pay a $5000 appearance fee, which would go to a local food bank.
On Friday, in revealing that Kaval did not want to participate, Bruce also revealed that he has never charged anyone for him to show up to an event before.
“There is no $5000 appearance fee,” he said. “It just shows you how bad of a research department they have over there, not engaging actual media in what it costs to do business.”
Dave Kaval will reportedly still donate $5000 to a food bank. Bruce says the A’s President deserves credit for that, but he wants listeners to know that it was clear to him that Kaval and his staff never had any intention of going through with the agreed-upon conversation.
Bruce says the A’s wanted an agreement in place about what topics will be covered. They wanted a conference call to review what would be said. The team also wanted the format of the conversation switched from an interview to a debate moderated by A’s studio host Brodie Brazil, who Bruce says he likes, but would certainly create bias.
“Whatever lowercase journalistic integrity I have, I know it’s this. You do not let your interview subject set the terms of that interview,” Bruce said. “So I’m not doing it. I’m not going to give that guy a platform for propaganda and a shot clock which he can run out before we change the topic.”
The A’s have been in the middle of a standoff with the city of Oakland about a new stadium and have been publicly flirting with Las Vegas as a potential new home for the team. Bruce’s partner, Ray Ratto, said that those are topics the team doesn’t want to talk about. It’s why he never believed the agreement on Twitter would amount to anything.
Damon Bruce thought it was funny that Dave Kaval wanted to turn a discussion about how the franchise is treating fans right now into a debate.
“What would the debate have been?” he asked. “I’m anti-treating your fans like crap and he’s pro-treating your fans like crap?”
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.
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”
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”
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.