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104.5 The Zone Dominates The April Ratings

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Sports radio stations in the northeast warrant a lot of industry respect and admiration. They dominate the headlines, receive consideration for awards, and are viewed as the gold standard in the sports format. Much of it is well deserved. But, some of it is the result of the industry not paying close enough attention to the successes that take place in other parts of the country.

Case in point, check out what 104.5 The Zone in Nashville has done. The station is one of the true success stories in the sports format.

In 2015, The Zone finished as the #1 rated station with Men 25-54. They were 5th best station among Persons 25-54, and the number one billing station in the Nashville market. They may not receive the headlines nationally that others do, but they belong in the same conversation.

In the latest April book, the radio station once again dominated. They popped double digit numbers across the board, and were so strong that they finished inside the Top 5 with Persons 25-54.

When you analyze the individual show breakdowns it’s even more impressive. The Zone’s morning, and afternoon shows, were each 1st with Men 25-54 with a little more than a twelve share. The same was true Monday-Friday 6a-7p. They slipped to second M-SU 6a-Mid, but even then they produced one tenth of a point less than a ten share.

If you thought that was powerful, sit down for a second. The Midday 180 which airs M-F 12p-3p, and features Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky, were slightly above a sixteen share. That’s not a typo, a 16 share! That could be the highest number in middays anywhere in the nation this month. If it’s not, I want to see evidence.

The station’s weakest performance came from the nationally syndicated Dan Patrick Show which airs weekdays from 10a-12p. However, even D.P generated a nine share, and was rated 2nd. That’s an outstanding performance by a national show in a local market.

By comparison, The Game in Nashville which also offers sports in the market was slightly under a two share M-SU 6a-Mid. To be fair, The Game have some quality talent and programming on their airwaves too, and not everything should be judged by ratings performance alone. However, when numbers are taken into account, it’s very much a one horse race.

The real test moving forward for The Zone is moving up the ladder in the Persons 25-54 category. They’ve reached the point where they are judged by the way they compete against music brands. The other challenge is to gain industry recognition for the story they’ve developed.

To keep their own people on their toes, internal competition between shows is a must. For April, those bragging rights belong to the Midday 180. 3HL, and the Wakeup Zone now have to figure out how to turn a twelve share into a sixteen share. If only every sports radio station in America had such a problem.

Sports Radio News

Greg McElroy: ‘Kayvon Thibodeaux Offended Me’

“McElroy, while offended, decided to offer some friendly competition to Thibodeaux.”

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Top NFL Draft Prospect, Kayvon Thibodeaux, had some harsh comments for the Crimson Tide in his interview with FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt on Monday.  The Oregon defensive end claimed the difference in the quality of education between Oregon and Alabama was the reason he ultimately chose to head to Eugene out of high school.

“I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks,” Thibodeaux said in an interview with FOX’s Joel Klatt. “So now, do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard.” 

Thibodeaux continued to bash the Southern institution’s quality and reputation. 

“If I would have went to Alabama … I don’t know if my degree would mean anything,” Thibodeaux said.

National championship quarterback, media personality, and Alabama alum Greg McElroy took issue with the statements.

“I just take real personal offense, man,” McElroy said Thursday on JOX 94.5’s McElroy & Cubelic. “I genuinely do. I don’t care. Don’t come. If you think so little of us, don’t come. Fine by me, because I know the people that live in this state. I chose Alabama, because I love Alabama. If you don’t want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially provide you, it’s on you. You’re missing out.”

Cole Cubelic and McElroy also brought up the fact that Thibodeaux said “stigmatism” when he meant “stigma.” 

“He says he doesn’t like the stigma that athletes are dumb jocks, and yet, he sounds like a dumb jock,” McElroy said. 

McElroy, while offended, decided to offer some friendly competition to Thibodeaux.

“What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to cut down Alabama,” McElroy said. “And as someone who has always taken his academic situation very seriously, I’ll just come at him with this — if he’d like to take an IQ test, I’m available. If he’d like to take the Wonderlic test, I’m available. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I will put my degree up against his any day of the week.”

McElroy was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2010. The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award for 102 students to attend the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. 

“I’d like to show him the offers, because I would be willing to bet that Harvard didn’t offer him,” McElroy said. “I think they probably would have taken him, but Harvard did offer me — as did Yale, as did Princeton, as did almost every Ivy League school along with Duke, Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. And I chose Alabama, so put ‘er there Kayvon Thibodeaux.”

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Sports Radio News

Howard Eskin Tells Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie That Tom Brady Dyes His Hair

“Brady is leaking oil.  The fact that he’s leaking oil and he’s not the same and his age shows a little bit, other than his hair which he colors, he’s really good but anybody can be beaten.”

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Howard Eskin joined Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94 WIP to preview the upcoming Bucs vs Eagles game.  Eskin gave his thoughts on why the Eagles had a realistic shot to win. For Philadelphia sports talk legend, a lot of it came down to Tom Brady.

“Brady is leaking oil,” Eskin said. “The fact that he’s leaking oil and he’s not the same and his age shows a little bit, other than his hair, which he colors, he’s really good but anybody can be beaten.”

That statement caught DeCamara and Ritchie a little off guard.  They weren’t convinced that Brady is using any artificial enhancement to keep his locks chestnut brown.  Howard Eskin would not back down and told the hosts to check the archives.

“Look at the pictures over the years, there’s no question,” Eskin said. “He’s so vain so that just kind of falls into place.  He’s a terrific quarterback but he doesn’t want people to realize he’s 44 or 45.”

Maybe Eskin is right, and the fountain of youth is starting to dry up for Brady.  Or maybe, as he has done before, he’ll prove everyone wrong and win another Super Bowl.  Only time will tell.

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Sports Radio News

97.1 The Ticket Lets Fans Sound Off On Matthew Stafford With Playoff Watch Party

“The former Lions quarterback remains a polarizing figure in the city, so Costa and Riger are giving fans the chance to get whatever sort of closure they need with a playoff watch party.”

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Detroit

Jim Costa and Jeff Riger aren’t just hosts at 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. They are also Detroit sports fans. That means they have strong feelings about Matthew Stafford.

The former Lions quarterback remains a polarizing figure in the city, so Costa and Riger are giving fans the chance to get whatever sort of closure they need with a playoff watch party. The pair will host the virtual event, which will stream on The Ticket’s website and Facebook page.

“It’s the rare chance to settle a sports debate,” Jim Costa, who still supports Stafford, told BSM. “It gives fans of Detroit closure on Matthew Stafford. People are still so emotionally invested in him even though he doesn’t play here anymore with both sides still believing they’re right about why he didn’t win a playoff game with the Lions.”

Other hosts from 97.1 The Ticket will pop in to watch along with Costa and Riger. They will play drinking games and place prop bets throughout the game.

With Jim Costa and Jeff Riger having strong, opposing feelings on Stafford, the final result will yield a punishment for the loser. Someone will have to take a “shot of reality,” which Costa promises will be “really gross”.

Matthew Stafford and the LA Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL’s first-ever Monday night playoff game this week. It will be the conclusion to the league’s Super Wild Card Weekend.

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