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Omaha Spring Ratings + Under The Radar News

Jason Barrett



The spring ratings book is in for Omaha, Nebraska and the results skewed heavily in favor of 1620 The Zone. The radio station finished 3rd with Men 25-54 in both the M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid categories. The station also performed in the Top 5 with Men 18-34 and Men 18-49 and were 9th with Adults 25-54, a strong showing that surely has to satisfy its sponsors and local sales team.

In the show by show comparisons in the market, The Zone won head to head in every space opposite local rival AM 590 ESPN. Since some of the timeslots are arranged differently than the traditional rated ones of 6a-10a, 10a-3p, 3p-7p, we included those numbers as well.

The Men 25-54 breakdowns:

M-SU 6A-Mid:

  • 1620 The Zone = 6.6 (3rd)
  • 590 ESPN = 1.9 (16th)

M-F 6A-7P:

  • 1620 The Zone = 8.2 (3rd)
  • 590 ESPN = 1.6 (16th)

M-F 7A-11A:

  • 1620 The Zone (Sharp and Benning) = 7.2 (5th)
  • 590 ESPN (Mike & Mike/Dan Le Batard) = 2.1 (12th)

M-F 11A-2P:

  • 1620 The Zone (Nick Bahe) = 9.4 (2nd)
  • 590 ESPN (Dan Le Batard/Russillo & Kanell) = 1.5 (16th)

M-F 2P-6P:

  • 1620 The Zone (Unsportsmanlike Conduct w/ Bishop & Peterson) = 9.6 (1st)
  • 590 ESPN (Omaha Sports Insider w/ Quinn & Handley) = 1.0 (20th)

M-F 6A-10A:

  • 1620 The Zone = 6.3 (5th)
  • 590 ESPN = 2.8 (9th)

M-F 10A-3P:

  • 1620 The Zone = 9.0 (2nd)
  • 590 ESPN = 1.3 (17th)

M-F 3P-7P:

  • 1620 The Zone = 8.8 (1st)
  • 590 ESPN = 1.4 (17th)

Under The Radar:

  • Tim Benz announced via his Facebook page that he’ll be working as host and program director of a new venture called DK Sports Radio in Pittsburgh. Benz says that the brand is one of the fastest growing outlets for Pittsburgh sports content and his program will be heard on beginning Monday August 1st.
  • “The Huge Show’ with Bill Simonson has a new Executive Producer. Brett Muller spent the past 15 years with the show and is moving on. To fill his void, the program has added Grand Rapids native Matt Haan. Bill says “He has shown me the ability to handle what the show needs on and off the air, and he has a lot of the same qualities that made me believe in Brett over the past 15 years.”
  • Talk Radio 910 in San Francisco is finished. Parent company iHeart has elected to drop its News/Talk programming on 910AM in favor of ESPN Deportes. ESPN Deportes had previously aired on KTRB 860-AM.
  • 610 The Fan in Charlotte has added an FM translator. As part of the FM addition the radio station is now branding itself on-air as 610AM, 102.5 The Fan.

Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”





Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant




Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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Sports Radio News

DiPietro & Rothenberg: NFL TV Partners Should Schedule Jets and Giants at Opposite Times

Jordan Bondurant




For the first time in a long time, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are factors in the NFL playoff picture. After years of both franchises occupying the bottom portions of the league standings, fans in New York and the surrounding area have a reason to believe. On DiPietro & Rothenberg on ESPN New York, Dave Rothenberg said he thinks the league should put both teams in more marquee windows.

“When you start to think about flexing games, you start to think about you know what, the Giants and Jets should be flexed into better time slots,” he said.

Co-host Rick DiPietro said it sucks now that both teams are playing well, fans are essentially forced to flip back and forth between games.

“It’s awful. It really is,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it ruins the Sunday because that would be hard. But it’s not my favorite.”

Still, it’s not lost on Rothenberg that football fans in the city now have something to cheer for NFL wise as the last chunk of the regular season approaches.

“When was the last time the Jets and Giants in December had meaningful football games?” Rothenberg asked. “Years and years and years.”

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