The Charlotte Hornets announced today that the team has reached a multi-year agreement with CBS Radio’s WFNZ 610 AM to serve as the flagship station for Hornets basketball and the Hornets Radio Network. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
As the radio home of the Hornets, WFNZ will broadcast all of the team’s preseason (except the Oct. 15 11:00 a.m. game), regular season and any potential postseason games. In addition to game action, each broadcast will now feature both a 15-minute pregame and postgame show. As part of the partnership, additional Hornets content will be developed on WFNZ and marketing opportunities for the team will include all of the CBS Radio stations within the Charlotte market.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to WFNZ, the premier sports talk station in the Carolinas,” said Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield. “We’ve had a great relationship with WFNZ and the entire family of CBS Radio stations in Charlotte. This partnership gives us the unique opportunity to reach Hornets fans across the radio dial.”
“WFNZ couldn’t be happier to be the home of the Charlotte Hornets,” said Operations Manager/Program Director of WFNZ, WSOC and WBCN D.J. Stout. “I don’t think our city has ever been this fired up about NBA basketball and we’re thrilled to be the station that will be carrying all the action.”
Along with tuning in to the games on the radio, Hornets fans are also able to listen to the WFNZ broadcasts on the Hornets Mobile App. The Hornets App is available for all mobile devices and can be downloaded on iTunes or Google Play.
Scott Lauer will return for his eighth season as the radio play-by-play voice of the Hornets. He started broadcasting Charlotte games during the 2007-08 season after serving three seasons as the studio host for radio broadcasts. Matt Carroll, a former NBA player who played eight of his 10 seasons with Charlotte, will partner with Lauer and serve as the analyst for all Hornets home games.
The Hornets Radio Network affiliates will be announced at a later date.
Credit to Hornets.com 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.