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Under The Radar – December 5, 2016

Jason Barrett

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Here’s the latest sports media news making waves across the country. If you have a news tip to pass along or something exciting taking place inside your company and want to share it, please send your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Big news out of New York City. Three key members of the New York Daily News‘ sports section are moving on. Longtime sports media columnist Bob Raissman, and baseball reporters Anthony McCarron and Andy Martino have elected to take buyouts from the newspaper. The Daily News saw its circulation plunge double digits in 2016, and new co-publisher and co-chairman Eric Gertler is looking to trim 6 million dollars in payroll according to the New York Post. The newspaper is also said to be looking to downsize its office space.

Last week, Steve Bunin announced he’d be leaving SB Nation Radio to return home to Seattle and join KING as a morning news anchor. To fill Bunin’s vacancy SB Nation Radio is conducting a nationwide search to find the right partner to join weekday host Sean Salisbury. The network has confirmed that Kayce Smith, Craig Shemon, Patrick Creighton, Brien Straw, Danny Mata, Fred Davis and Dave Shore will earn opportunities to audition. Others could be added as well. The plan is to exhaust all options before making a permanent decision on the network’s new afternoon host.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford have hired their next Program Director. An official announcement is expected soon. The iHeartmedia station had been searching for a new leader after former PD Tim Spence returned home to Denver to program Denver Sports 760 and newstalk station KHOW. Both Denver stations are owned and operated by iHeart, which means Spence has remained with the company.

Congratulations is in order for Landry Locker, who has agreed to join Sports Radio 610 in Houston as the new producer for MaD Radio, featuring Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Locker stays with CBS, exiting his current position as morning show producer of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Locker is a Texas native and the opportunity allows him to return to his home state while continuing his career on another top notch morning show.

With Locker exiting Cleveland, 92.3 The Fan Program Director Andy Roth is in the market for a new producer to work with his talented morning team of Ken Carman and Anthony Lima. The job posting is available in our jobs section. You can reach it by clicking here.

BSM sends its best wishes to WQAM midday host Orlando Alzugaray who had a health scare last week and was forced to miss a week of action on the Miami sports station. “The Big O” underwent surgery and is expected to return to his show this week. Robert Littal of Black Sports Online is filling in on Monday’s show.

With the holidays approaching, Marc James will be stepping in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network. James will host Rome’s program next Monday December 12th and Tuesday December 13th. He’ll also host the show December 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th.

WJR Lions pre/post game host and former Detroit Sports 105.1 weekday host Sean Baligian has been chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes to provide play by play of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 31st. The game will air on FOX Sports Carolina, the team’s local television home. Baligian says it’s a one game assignment but he’s hopeful of doing more play by play assignments in the future.

Former FOX Sports Radio and 670 The Score morning host Mike North has launched a daily podcast. “Mike North: Sticks and Stones” will post weekdays around 9:30am CT. The podcast will be available on Gow Media’s Podcast Arena network, AudioBoom, iTunes, and North’s website.

Speaking of new podcasts, former NBA player turned TNT NBA Analyst Chris Webber has entered the digital space with a new program available on Podcast One. “Fearless or Insane” debuted on Tuesday November 29th. The plan is for a new episode to drop every Tuesday.

Staying in the digital arena, former 95.7 The Game in San Francisco weekday hosts Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are taking their podcast program on the road. The duo will broadcast live from The BrickYard in San Francisco at 7pm PT on December 14th. The duo are also filling in on KNBR 1050 Tuesday from noon to 3p PT.

Former 102.5 The Game in Nashville Program Director Jeremy Bennefield has landed on his feet, and didn’t have to relocate to do so. Bennefield has accepted an opportunity at Nashville’s leading newspaper The Tennessean.

A new afternoon show has launched on 103.1 The Team in Columbus, MS. “The Drive with Steve and The Professor”, features Steve Rogers and Glenn “The Professor” Lautzenhiser, and now airs weekdays from 4p-6p ET. The show debuted on November 28th.

Townsquare Media has pulled the plug on ESPN Evansville 105.3. The station has flipped to Christmas Music and is being rebranded as My 105.3 WJLT. The station will switch to an AC format after the holiday season.

A round of applause for 1010XL in Jacksonville who raised over $115,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund last Tuesday. The station’s previous high was $92,000 which they raised last year. The Jay Fund is a local Jacksonville charity which was founded by Coughlin in 1996 and it’s purpose is to assist local families battling childhood cancer to make ends meet financially. For more information click here.

Sports Radio News

SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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