The Dallas sports radio ratings for January are in and we’re going to present these numbers by being fair to all parties. Earlier today, the Dallas News produced an article which covered the market’s monthly performances, except they included The Ticket’s streaming numbers in the report. That created a narrative that showed the brands further apart than they actually are.
I don’t have The Fan or ESPN 103.3’s streaming numbers, so to add The Ticket’s numbers to the radio ratings totals is unfair and it creates an impression that there’s a preference in who performs better in the marketplace. As you’ll see from the actual ratings, The Ticket didn’t need to have their performance inflated, it was already pretty impressive.
To be clear to those who work in Dallas, own or operate these companies, or listen to these radio stations, my objective is to present each side’s information accurately. I do this minus any affiliation to either group, and without a rooting interest. I know people inside both companies, and I like many of the shows offered on The Ticket and The Fan.
My only concern is to make sure that the right story is being told for sports radio stations. If we’re going to add streaming numbers into the conversation (which is something that should happen in the future) then it has to be presented from all brands not just one. Otherwise you have a very lopsided story which doesn’t accurately reflect each station’s performance.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here is how things stacked up M-Su 6a-Mid among Men 25-54.
- The Ticket = 5.3 (3rd)
- The Fan = 4.7 (5th)
- ESPN 103.3 = 2.8 (14th)
When you analyze M-F 6a-7p which is when both stations feature their best talent and content, the story looks like this:
- The Ticket = 6.7 (2nd)
- The Fan = 4.0 (6th)
- ESPN 103.3 = 2.7 (15th)
As you can see, The Ticket had a great month overall. Now let’s take a look at how each brand did in their respective dayparts.
- The Ticket (Musers) = 9.2 (1st)
- ESPN 103.3 (Mike and Mike and 1-hour of Dan LeBatard) = 4.1 (5th)
- The Fan (Shan and RJ) = 3.9 (6th)
*** The Musers delivered a dominant performance. They had the highest performance of any show in the market and have paved the way for The Ticket to have massive success. For ESPN 103.3 they’ve got to be ecstatic about finishing 5th and ahead of The Fan. I’m sure the folks at CBS Dallas weren’t thrilled coming in 6th and seeing their morning show behind the other two stations.
- The Ticket (Norm/Donovan and BaD Radio) = 5.4 (4th)
- The Fan (G-Bag Nation) = 3.9 (7th)
- ESPN 103.3 (ESPN Radio and Dennis & Friedo) = 1.9 (19th)
*** Overall The Ticket has to be pleased. They’ve bounced back in middays to take a nice lead on G-Bag Nation. Is the addition of Donovan Lewis making a difference? For The Fan, they’ve won this battle before so it shows that they have the talent to do so. The question going forward is will it be a one-month slide or a continuous trend? The one positive on their end is that they didn’t lose audience going from mornings to middays whereas the other two stations did.
- The Ticket (Hardline) = 6.1 (1st)
- The Fan (Ben & Skin) = 4.4 (5th)
- ESPN 103.3 (Cowlishaw and Mosley and ESPN Radio) = 2.5 (17th)
*** A strong month for The Hardline, who came in #1 and gained 7 tenths of a point from middays to afternoons. Great job by The Ticket’s afternoon crew. At The Fan, they too have to be satisfied as Ben and Skin produced a Top 5 finish and added a half a point from middays to afternoons. For ESPN 103.3 they regained some momentum that disappeared during the middays but they’re also a point and a half lower in afternoons with a local program than they are in mornings when they provide a national show. Given though that Cumulus operates The Ticket and ESPN 103.3 and have the #1 rated show in the timeslot, I’m sure that’s not bothering them in the least.
If there are two areas where The Fan should feel good, it’s when you look at their Men 18-34 and Persons 25-54 stories. Many advertisers care more about Persons 25-54 than they do Men 25-54. While the hosts and listeners will focus on the Men 25-54 performance since that’s the demographic that we measure the success of most sports station’s, advertisers have a different focus.
In the current January book, The Fan won the Persons 25-54 battle against The Ticket, finishing with a 3.7 (10th) to 3.4 (13th). They have also grown from a 2.8 to 3.7 over the past twelve months so that’s another positive story to share with clients.
When you examine Men 18-34, The Fan has a distinct edge. If you look strictly at the head to head matchups between shows, The Fan registers a 4.5 (8th), while The Ticket does a 3.2 (12th) and ESPN 103.3 produces a 1.2 (26th). Those numbers are based on M-F 6a-7p.
To summarize, The Ticket had a big month and should feel great about their overall performance. To finish 1st in both drive times and in the Top 4 in middays and win each timeslot against The Fan, when they had lost a few battles in previous months, has to feel invigorating for the members of their staff. Congratulations to the crew at The Ticket on a job well done.
For The Fan, they’ll be in great shape with advertisers due to their Persons 25-54 story, and they’ve got to feel encouraged by the way the younger part of the demo is responding. However, they’ve got to get a bigger lift in mornings, have their midday show rebound, and keep the momentum strong in afternoons where they’re in the Top 5 and have a great program that’s capable of ascending even higher.
For ESPN 103.3, they’ve got a real story brewing in mornings, where Mike and Mike have been well received by the market. If you’re inside Cumulus Dallas, you have two sports radio morning shows in the Top 5 to work with and that’s an outstanding story. The challenges for the brand are when you look at middays, where the numbers are pretty low. Afternoons does a nice job regaining some of that lost momentum but they’re still a distant third behind the other two stations.
So now we move onward to February, which is often a dead period for many brands. The play-by-play benefits will be lower, and great content will be critical for engaging the local audience. Those who do it well, will be sitting in a comfortable spot when the February book is released.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media
“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.
Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.
“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.
“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”
Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.
Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN
“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”
A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.
During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.
“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.
“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”
Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.
The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”
“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”
“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.
“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”
After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.
“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”
Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’
“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”
Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.
That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.
Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.
“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”
Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.
“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”
Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.