Two weeks after ESPN 980 introduced Clinton Portis as its newest Redskins analyst, 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday announced that Hall of Famer John Riggins will provide radio commentary about his former team two days a week throughout the season.
Beginning Aug. 14, the day after the Redskins’ first preseason game, Riggins will join The Fan’s Chad Dukes on his regularly scheduled show for an hour every Friday at 5 p.m. During the regular season, Riggins will also join Dukes on Mondays at 5 p.m. to review Sunday’s game and co-host a show with Grant Paulsen from 6 to 7:45 p.m. leading up to The Fan’s “Monday Night Football” coverage.
Riggins, one of the more colorful personalities in Redskins history and the only player ahead of Portis on the franchise’s all-time rushing list, says his role will be part analyst, part entertainer.
“I really think people probably want to know how the team is doing,” Riggins said Wednesday. “There’s moments where you throw in a little yesteryear. I’ll tell you, I go for the laughs. I slept through the meetings when I was a player, so I don’t know a lot about football, but I know a lot about people. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be entertaining. And there may be a little information in there somewhere.”
Riggins’ last regular gig as an analyst was during the 2011 season, when he provided commentary, often critical of Mike and Kyle Shanahan, for WTOP and MASN. Since then, he has starred in a hunting and cooking show called “Riggo on the Range” that debuted on the Sportsman Channel and later aired on Comcast SportsNet. He filmed a pilot episode for a show called “Brew Stories” — synopsis: Riggins travels the country in search of the perfect beer — but, somehow, it hasn’t been picked up.
“I needed to make a paycheck,” Riggins said of his return to radio. “‘Riggo on the Range’ was great and I had a lot of fun. I can’t thank [producer] Art Major enough, but it just wasn’t commercially successful like we hoped. When the opportunity [to join 106.7] came along, I was more than willing to share my opinion with the fans.”
“We’re excited about it,” 106.7 The Fan program director Chris Kinard said. “…From our discussions, he’s really been paying attention [to the Redskins] and always kind of keeping an eye on what’s going on with the team and the direction the team’s going in.”
Riggins plans to attend the first of the Redskins’ three joint practices with the Houston Texans in Richmond on Thursday. He said he’ll be monitoring the team’s attitude because “that will probably tell you more than anything how they’ll do.” Riggins has followed the Redskins’ offseason moves, including the hiring of GM Scot McCloughan, but he’s hesitant to allow himself to be too optimistic about their chances for improvement.
“Wouldn’t you really say that we went through this with Mike Shanahan?” Riggins said of the almost universal praise that followed McCloughan’s hiring. “Who would’ve thought that that would’ve turned out the way it did? Nobody. They’re bringing in one guy. Is he going to be the lightning rod? Perhaps, but who knows? … People talk about what might happen. We know from the past that they’re guilty until proven innocent. That’s what you go in with. Then, if anything changes, you’re pleasantly surprised. It’s not being overly pessimistic, it’s just being realistic.”
Credit to the Washington Post 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.