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WDAE Turns In Impressive January Ratings Performance

Jason Barrett

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The January ratings have come out in Tampa, and the Nielsen gods were very kind to sports talker 620 WDAE. Considering that the Buccaneers were out of the playoffs, baseball wasn’t in full swing, and the market doesn’t have an NBA team, either the Lightning are a sports talk phenomenon, the NFL Playoffs matter a great deal, or the talent are on fire and producing content that can’t afford to be missed.

Although I’m sure the radio station would love to say it’s the latter, it’s likely a combination of many of those factors, and in any event, a good month is a good month, regardless of how it comes together.

Bear in mind as you review the numbers, that WDAE doesn’t face a serious contender for their sports talk crown in the Tampa market. After CBS and Beasley finalized a business deal in 2014 which resulted in Beasley pulling the plug on the sports format on 98.7 The Fan, the market’s only other sports talk station, Sports Talk 1040, didn’t appear in the January ratings.

That said, WDAE does line up against every other radio station in the market, and it’s clear that their brand of sports talk has had a strong appeal to local listeners.

In the desired demographic of Men 25-54 M-F 6A-7P, the radio station delivered a 6.1, which was good enough for 3rd place. That was up from a 4.3 in December, and a 4.1 at the same time last year. A two share rise is very impressive and shows that the station is onto something.

In analyzing the shows themselves, here’s how they stacked up.

In mornings from 6a-9a, Rick and Tom finished 6th with a 5.6.

From 9a-12p, Ronnie and TKras came in 3rd with a strong 7.7. A 2 point spike from mornings to middays tells you that the audience is making an appointment to hear what Ronnie and Tom have to say.

In the 12p-3p slot, Ron and JP were 3rd with a 6.5. What makes that more impressive is that it was the show’s first official ratings book since former host Ian Beckles departed. Not a bad way to start off for a new show.

To round things out, Steve Duemig produced an 8th place finish in afternoons, delivering a 4.7.

Overall, the middays are where WDAE experienced their largest success, and now the challenge is to maintain the performance in middays, and increase the growth during the drive times. If they can do that, 2016 figures to be very kind to the folks at iHeart Tampa.

 

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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