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Mike Golic Ready For The Next Chapter If Greeny Exits

Jason Barrett

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The future of Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN and ESPN Radio has been a topic of conversation for a while now. Most in the industry expect the show to come to an end in the not do distant future.

But how does that sit with Mike Golic? After all, he’s been part of the network for over two decades, and is expected to remain on the show when longtime partner Mike Greenberg shuffles over to television to launch his new morning program.

The ESPN talk show veteran spoke to Mike McCarthy of the Sporting News about the program’s future and said that if the show comes to an end, working alongside his son, Mike Golic Jr., would be a welcomed opportunity.

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated first reported that Greenberg was expected to land his own TV program on the network and the debut program would launch in the next few months.

Mike and Mike have been together on radio since 2000, and added a television simulcast of their program in 2004. They have become one of the most successful national radio programs, and were inducted into the NAB Radio Hall of Fame last April.

For Golic, he’s spent 22 years working for the company, and his preference is to be a part of the mix, provided the network sets up the show for success. As he told McCarthy, “I would imagine I would continue to do that show. We haven’t gotten that far, quite honestly, as to if the show is going to end, when it’s going to end, and when it ends, and if it does end, what’s going to happen with the show?” I would imagine I would be doing it with somebody else. Who that is? I don’t really know.”

Although the stakes are much higher this time around, Golic has gone thru change before. Prior to Greenberg signing on as his partner in 2000, the former NFL defensive lineman worked alongside ESPN Radio original Tony Bruno.

“Tony was my first partner at ESPN,” Golic told McCarthy. “Then he left, and I had Greeny for the next 18 years. If, in fact, it is going to change, if Greeny is going to go do his thing in New York, I believe, it’s not like the show is going to end. ESPN keeps going. People have gone on to other networks. People have switched shows, and they still keep going. If I do it with another partner, I look forward to it. I love doing the show. I enjoyed doing it with Tony Bruno, and I’ve enjoyed 18 years with Greeny. If we move on from that, I’ll enjoy it if I do it with someone else next.”

Trey Wingo has been mentioned as a possible candidate to join the morning mix. So too has Golic’s son Mike Jr. who works on the network’s early morning show with Robin Lundberg. Golic says the possibility of sharing the room with his son has a special appeal.

“Oh, it would be awesome,” said Golic. “He’s on our show every Friday now. I’ve done other things with him. We did a bowl game last year together. We’ve done some radio bowl games. We did the Pinstripe (Bowl) for ESPN, Northwestern against Pittsburgh, this past bowl season. What wouldn’t be great about that? He’s fantastic. He’s way beyond what I was when I first started in this business. He’s way smarter than me. He speaks better way better than I do. I’m still better-looking than him. That won’t change. It would be great. We’ll see where it goes. Either way, I’m sure we will still share some desk time and studio time and booth time.”

Sports Radio News

16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The 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, 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 their 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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