Gus Johnson is stepping down as Fox’s lead soccer announcer.
Johnson told Sports Illustrated that with full college football and basketball schedules, he couldn’t devote the time to soccer that being a lead broadcaster demanded, and contacted Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and requested that he be pulled off the assignment. Shanks agreed.
“I think that it was a mutual decision, but maybe I was the guy who came to it first,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said that his decision was influenced by the loss of his mother, Btroy Johnson, who died of ovarian cancer on June 7. Johnson last spoke to his mother when he was in Lisbon for the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid.
Johnson also told Sports Illustrated that he asked his mother if he should return home to be by her side, but she refused.
“I asked her if she wanted me to come home and she said, “No. You are a Johnson man and your job is to work.”I finished the game, got back home, and she was pretty much unconscious at that point because she had Stage Four ovarian cancer. I never got the chance to talk to her again because the cancer was eating her up. I think I’m still in the process of healing. My mother was the most important person in my life. She is the one who gave me my love for sports and communication.”
In the intervening time, Johnson has also gotten engaged. In the same interview, he intimated that the wedding is set for August 1, which is also his parents’ anniversary.
“I want to hang out with my wife and that is where I’m at,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to be exhausted, tired and unprepared. What I realized about calling soccer and especially international soccer, I needed to do 35-40 games just to get my bars up and my chops going.
Shanks also spoke to Sports Illustrated, and confirmed that he and Johnson saw eye-to-eye about what Fox Sports needed in a lead soccer announcer.
“We talked about everything he is going through with his mother, getting engaged, and Gus is a single parent sharing custody of his son. Where Fox Sports is now is different from when we asked Gus to do soccer. To be as good as Gus wants to be at soccer, he would have to be full time on it.”
Shanks also said that he still wants Johnson to call some soccer games, and neither Johnson nor Shanks would rule out the possibility of Johnson broadcasting some 2018 World Cup matches, though he would not be lead announcer. Johnson will also not serve in that role for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Credit to USA Today who originally published this article
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.