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The Latest Sports Media News and Notes

Jason Barrett

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A couple of quick news items you may not be aware of from the sports media universe. Consider it a second shorter version of the Under The Radar column, right before the holidays. Here’s the latest.

  • 17 years and 4 months. That’s how long Boers and Bernstein have occupied the airwaves on 670 The Score in Chicago. With holiday vacations coming up, and Terry Boers exiting the radio station in early January, the popular duo are wrapping up their final show together today. Who the station inserts into afternoons with Dan Bernstein in the future remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain, Boers and Bernstein had one hell of a run. Congratulations to both men on their success over the past 208 months.
  • With FOX Sports 1 looking to add a live morning show in 2017, the first test run will be given to Nick Wright and Cris Carter. The two men will work together December 26-30, filling in for Colin Cowherd on The Herd. FS1 boss Jamie Horowitz told Mike McCarthy of the Sporting News that he’d prefer the morning show originate from New York instead of Los Angeles. The new show is likely to air 6a-9:30a and Horowitz is hopeful it will rate well and serve as a strong lead in to Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, the same way Bayless and Sharpe’s show has helped increase viewers for Cowherd’s program.
  • Speaking of FOX Sports 1, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, the network had strong interest in Bomani Jones who recently signed a new contract with ESPN. Deitsch says FS1 hoped to feature Jones on both radio and TV. He’ll now have an opportunity to increase his profile on the four letter network after the company announced it would develop additional projects for Jones in the future.
  • Alpha Media in Portland continues to increase its Seattle influence. The company has announced that its sports station 750 The Game will become Portland’s home for Seattle Mariners baseball starting in 2017. Alpha OM Bruce Collins says “we are thrilled to be Portland’s home for Mariners baseball. The Seattle Mariners have a strong following in Portland, and the future of this organization is extremely bright.”
  • In Houston, SportsTalk 790 is adjusting the hours of a few of its shows. Starting January 2nd, The Proper Gentlemen featuring Lance Zierlein and Matt Thomas will end an hour early and broadcast from 6a-9a. In The Trenches with Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu will shift from 10a-12p to 9a-11a. The Bottom Line with Adam Clanton and Sean Jones will move from 12p-3p to 11a-2p, and Josh Innes’ afternoon program slides from 3p-7p to 2p-6p.
  • WGR in Buffalo came under fire after Bills general manager Doug Whaley appeared on the station’s morning show last week and during the course of a twenty minute interview wasn’t asked about Bills head coach Rex Ryan‘s future. Jeremy White and Sal Capaccio conducted the interview, and White acknowledged that although Whaley’s history of avoiding conversations of a similar nature gave him reason to believe that Whaley wouldn’t have added anything to the discussion, he probably should have asked so the audience wouldn’t feel he avoided the subject. The beauty of live radio, you live and learn something new each day.

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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