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Under The Radar – August 14, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Sports media news continues to trickle in and this is the place where you learn about some of the developments you may not have been aware of. If you’d like to have your personal or station news included in a future edition of UTR, please send details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest activity.

Congratulations to Jeff Rickard who has been promoted to Program Director at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The veteran national sports talk show host had been working for the station as its Executive Producer, and with Greg Rakestraw being tasked with developing the company’s Network Indiana project, Rickard has been given an opportunity to take on a bigger role overseeing day to day programming operations.

Staying in Indiana, Luke Martin has been named the new voice of Indiana State football. Martin will also have an extended role covering Indiana State baseball.

Thirty three years of calling Kansas City Chiefs games is plenty for former quarterback Len Dawson. The radio voice of the Chiefs will wrap up his legendary career calling the team’s games for the 2017 season before the organization turns the microphone over to a new announcer next season. Dawson said, “I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do. I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.”

Continuing with Chiefs news, KMOX (1120 AM) is back as a radio affiliate of the team for the 2017 NFL season. When games conflict with KMOX’s Cardinals or Blues commitments, they’ll be moved to 590 The Fan, KFNS.

Speaking of 590 The Fan, KFNS, the station is also gearing up for football season by making a number of solid moves. First, they’ve signed on as an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys, airing all of the team’s games for the 2017 NFL season. In addition, former Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr will be appearing three times per week on the station as a contributor. Farr last worked for 101 ESPN before moving to Los Angeles. The station has also added former front office executive Mike Lombardi for two call-ins per week.

The New York Daily News reports that the New York Mets radio contract is set to expire at the end of the 2018 season. Talks have begun between the team and its radio partner, iHeartmedia New York. Mets games air on WOR 710AM.

A pretty cool story worth sharing. 920 The Jersey host and program director Zach Gelb will get his shot to fill in on WFAN in New York this weekend. Gelb will host the 2am ET shift early Sunday morning. Zach’s father Bob works for The Fan in sales after previously contributing to the programming department.

Talkers produced a fantastic piece highlighting the growth of WEEI‘s digital brand. The radio station recently celebrated nine years of digital excellence. To get familiar with the brand’s story click here.

Congratulations goes out to Evan Wilner. After seven years at MLB Network Radio, Wilner is moving over to SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation to serve as the channel’s Executive Producer.

Former 97.5 The Fanatic and Bleacher Report radio host Nick Kayal underwent some vocal troubles over the past two years. Fortunately things have turned in a positive direction with Kayal announcing that he’s been cleared to return to broadcasting following vocal cord surgery.

A newcomer is Portland bound. Brandon Droz has signed off in Grand Junction, CO, where he had worked for 1340 The Team, Magic 93.1, 92.3 The Moose, 1100 KNZZ  and 96.1 KSTAR, in order to join the Portland sports radio scene. Droz hasn’t said yet which station he’s joining. Stay tuned.

Alpha Media has struck a deal with Coastal Carolina University for WRNN-AM/FM to serve as the new flagship station of the Chanticleer Sports Network through the 2019-2020 season. The new agreement gives the radio station the ability to carry live game-day coverage of football, baseball, and men’s basketball.

Hall of Fame second baseman and former Cincinnati Red Joe Morgan will join Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley on Reds Wednesday home-game broadcasts through the remainder of the MLB season. Morgan will work Reds games against the Cubs, Mets, Brewers and Cardinals for FOX Sports Ohio.

Brett Dolan, a broadcasting veteran with twenty seven years of experience working on game broadcasts for the Houston Astros, ESPN, Root Sports, Comcast SportsNet and Fox Sports Television, has been chosen as the SEC Network voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Dolan will be the Razorbacks’ lead play-by-play announcer and host a number of Razorback programs on RSN and Cox Sports Television. He’ll also oversee the strategic planning of video content for ArkansasRazorbacks.com. An official announcement will be made later this month.

After nine years at ESPN, Jason Vida has moved on to become the Associate Director of Athletic Public Relations for the University of Richmond.

While one departs the worldwide leader, another joins. David Albiani has been added as a production assistant. Albiani also contributes to Cover32.com writing about the New England Patriots.

WCTV in Tallahassee has a brand new sports director. Kevin Keane has accepted the opportunity and is heading home. He had been working for KGWN in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In a surprising move in the windy city, Chris Boden is out at CSN Chicago after ten years. Boden says he was let go but is grateful for his time with the company. He hopes to find a new broadcast home real soon.

The run has also come to an end for Kevin Bowen. After spending five years working for the Indianapolis Colts and contributing to radio, television and print, Bowen says the team notified him they were parting ways. He called the opportunity a dream come true situation and thanked Colts fans for paying attention to his work.

Congratulations to Phoenix Carnevale on being hired by AXS TV. She’s been added as the channel’s cage/ringside reporter for MMA fights.

Effective today, Nate Scott is working for SB Nation. He says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to work with the best crew of storytellers working online today.

In Denver, Nick Kosmider has been added to the Denver Broncos beat at the Denver Post. He’ll work in tandem with Nicki Jhabvala covering the team.

Dean Straka is ready to start breaking news on the Big 12. Straka has announced that he’s signed on to work for Diehards.com. The site has also added Grant McGalliard as a freelance reporter.

And finally, after two years with the Shawano Leader, Chris Caporale is leaving to become the sports editor of the Daily Jefferson County Union.

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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