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Leonsis Takes Aim At Dukes In DC

Jason Barrett

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With the Wizards coming off an unprecedented 4-0 sweep of the Toronto Raptors and the Capitals facing a Game 7 on Monday night with a coach who’s never been there before, what’s Monumental Sports owner Ted Leonsis blogging about? Radio shows, of course!

In a post that spans three entirely different topics in just six paragraphs, Theodore takes aim at WJFK-FM personality Chad Dukes, adding armchair radio program director to his already impressive resume as a sports franchise owner. It seems this has been bothering him all weekend.

“On Friday, in drive time rush hour radio, from 500 pm to 600 pm, on 106.7 FM, the conversation wasn’t about the Wizards upcoming game, it was about bacon and potato casserole recipes, and favorite Seinfeld episodes. Is there any other market in America that sports talk radio converses about Seinfeld in drive time on the night of an NBA playoff game? Or the night before a big away Caps playoff game? Perhaps this is why Wizards and Caps fans don’t tune in? These kids today.”

— Ted Leonsis, via http://tedstake.monumentalnetwork.com

There are multiple factors to consider here. Most importantly, the Wizards are a broadcast partner with CBS Radio, which includes 106.7 The Fan. So criticizing the programming decisions of one show at a station that is paying you to broadcast games is strange.

Secondly, to Dukes’s credit, it wasn’t like he hadn’t discussed the two local teams earlier in the show. He had the radio announcers of both of Leonsis’s teams on to talk about both sports. In the first hour, no less. So criticism that implies a media outlet is responsible for whether or not people are tuned in to his team is not only off-base, but incorrect.

The basic fact of the matter is that Dukes, a radio host, is looking to entertain and gain ratings. Last time I checked, bacon is delicious and“Seinfeld” still is quite popular in reruns. Meaning, if you talk about it, people will listen and call in. The purpose of a radio station, or any media outlet for that matter, is not to simply trumpet the interests of the people they cover. To imply that sports fans are not watching a team on television because the people on the radio aren’t talking about the games at all times just makes zero sense.

Most bizarre though, is Leonsis’s sign off. “These kids today” is a pretty odd shot at a guy who has established himself as a huge proponent of local sports. Not to mention the fact that Dukes is 36 years old. This all seems like just an example Leonsis’s apparent insecurities about still being second fiddle to Dan Snyder’s team from a popularity standpoint.

Speaking of whom, if Ted wants a station that talks all Monumental Sports all the time, he can do what Snyder did. Just buy his own.

Credit to the Washington Post who originally published this article

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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