With the Washington Wizards and Capitals embroiled in second round playoff matchups in their respective sports, owner Ted Leonsis has decided to bury the hatchet with sports radio host Chad Dukes.
Leonsis, after the Wizards completed their first-round series sweep of the Raptors, and as the Capitals were facing a Game 7 against the Islanders, had taken to his personal blog to voice the following frustration with Dukes’ game coverage.
Ted’s Take (sic):
“And 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?”
As Dukes would note on his radio show the next day, he had discussed both teams at great length earlier in the program with which Leonsis had taken issue. And, the specific segment the Monumental Sports owner had an issue with was caller-generated.
Leonsis’ blog post prompted this response from Clinton Yates in the DC Sports Bog:
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.
Like it or not, the two must continue to coexist in the same sports universe.
Ahead of Game 4 of the Capitals’ and Rangers’ Eastern Conference semifinal on Wednesday, with Dukes broadcasting remotely from the Verizon Center concourse, Leonsis set out to extend on olive branch.
“Before we start, I might have hurt somebody’s feelings. I didn’t mean it,” Leonsis approached the broadcast booth bearing gifts. “I brought you a peace-offering. There’s a great little candy store across the street called ‘IT’SUGAR.’ And I know that you aren’t the healthiest of eaters, so I wanted to bring you some red liquorice.”
“That is very nice of you, Ted,” Dukes accepted. “Thank you very much.”
After discussing both of Leonsis’ playoff teams for several minutes, Dukes, befitting of their original quarrel, proposed a ‘Bacon and Seinfeld’ promotion to be held at Verizon Center during the subsequent regular season.
“Hey, well you know Wale did the music with Seinfeld,” Leonsis noted. “I think they’re going on tour or something. Maybe we can get them to do something.”
Coincidentally, the two would conclude the segment by discussing Seinfeld, right smack dab in the middle of the 5- to 6 p.m. hour of drive time radio.
Listen to the audio here.
Credit to CBS Washington DC who originally published this article
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.