There’s been a lot happening across the sports media universe over the past two weeks. The items you may have missed are laid out below. A reminder, if you have news to share that’s related to your brand or personal career, please pass it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest developments.
Congratulations to CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome. The leader of the clones called upon his passionate audience last week to help lift the show’s podcast to the top of the iTunes charts. Rome promised to make Friday’s radio show special by featuring some classic moments and guests and creating some unique segments and the trick worked as the clones got behind it using the hashtag #Romeageddon leading it to the top spot. To hear how Rome paid off the audience with Friday’s show click here.
One of the bigger sports radio mysteries is unfolding in Seattle where Mitch Levy has been off the airwaves of Sports Radio KJR following his arrest in a local prostitution sting. The radio station has re-branded morning drive as The Morning Show and has scrubbed Levy’s image off of its website but no statement has been made about Levy’s future. Sources say it’s unlikely the longtime Seattle morning host will be retained by KJR and a confirmation about the station’s morning plans are expected soon, but for now, listeners are left to speculate.
A tip of the cap to Bill Daughtry who recently announced his retirement from the New York sports radio airwaves. Daughtry spent the past 11 years with 98.7 FM ESPN New York but also worked for WFAN and MSG. Altogether he spent more than four decades informing and interacting with audiences. His warm personality and infectious energy will be sorely missed. To hear Daughtry’s final appearance on the Michael Kay show click here.
ESPN Radio deserves credit for recognizing one of its valuable longtime behind the scenes members. Liam Chapman, who has served as a producer on a number of programs including Mike and Mike, has been elevated to the position of Program Director. The promotion means Chapman will spend even more time in the future alongside former studio mate Justin Craig helping enhance the network’s on-air content and execution.
With one moving up in Bristol, another is moving out. Thomas Carroll has announced he’s leaving ESPN Radio after a little more than two years to return to Boston as a producer for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Carroll will work primarily with Celtics and Bruins broadcasts and also have a hand in weekend programming.
San Diego sports radio host Lee Hamilton has returned to the airwaves of The Mighty 1090. The market veteran is joining Scott and BR weekdays at 5pm to recreate his popular segment, “The Best 15 Minutes in Radio.” Hamilton spent a total of 26 years hosting radio shows in San Diego.
Changes are taking place at 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City. The radio station has parted ways with its midday show, “The G-Men”, which had been hosted by Erik Gee and Anthony Fogle. The Franchise hasn’t yet revealed which show will be occupying the schedule going forward but an announcement should be coming soon.
Following the death of AM 1300 The Zone sports radio personality Sean Adams, a memorial fund has been set up for listeners and industry folks to make donations to help provide financial aid to African-American students seeking to attend college with one key reminder – The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately. Go to work. To pledge your support to The Sean Adams Memorial Fund click here.
Another industry member is also in need of support. WBBL program director Dave Jaconette suffered a stroke in June and is still in rehab and needing help with medical bills. To donate and help out the Grand Rapids radio man click here.
Good news has come to Brendan Gulick. Cleveland sports radio station 92.3 The Fan has hired Gulick to serve as an update anchor and deliver sports updates on the radio station. Gulick officially started working for the station last week.
102.9/750 The Game in Portland continues its search for an afternoon drive host. This week FOX Sports Radio host Brian Noe steps in Tuesday-Friday.
Former ESPN 730 in Charlotte host Lanny Ford has resurfaced on the North Carolina sports radio airwaves. Ford has teamed up with David Keever to host “The Bottom Line”, a one-hour program airing weekdays from 8a-9a ET on Sports Radio 1350AM in Asheville, North Carolina.
Marc Ryan is expanding his horizons and hoping to use his ability to educate listeners to do the same for students. The Sports Radio 610 part-time host has added the role of High School Media Teacher at Sam Rayburn High School. Ryan is in charge of the TV show for the school “Planet Rayburn” and is also teaching a graphics and animation class.
It looks like the Chicago Bears will be sticking around for a while on CBS Radio’s WBBM. The radio station has confirmed a new multi-year deal has been reached with the NFL franchise to continue airing its games on Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM.
The Bears aren’t the only team to sign a new agreement. The Indiana Pacers have also inked a renewal with their radio partner 107.5 and 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The NBA franchise has aired on Emmis radio stations for the past 22 seasons (Emmis owns The Fan). Terms of the renewal weren’t disclosed but longtime play by play voice Mark Boyle will return for his 30th season behind the mic as part of the new deal.
In Philadelphia, 97.5 The Fanatic announced an extension of its partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers. The two sides have struck a new multiyear agreement to keep 76ers games airing on the radio station for the foreseeable future. As part of the extension, play by play voice Tom McGinnis returns for his 23rd season.
Pittsburgh Penguins radio voice Mike Lange has announced he’s cutting back on his schedule this season. Lange plans to call all of the Pens home games and roughly 15 road games. He will also handle all playoff contests should the Pens advance to the postseason. Josh Getzoff will step in to call the games Lange isn’t available to work.
On the national front, Westwood One Sports has been utilizing Ted Emrich to call a few college football games. Emrich has worked the USC-Washington State and Colorado-Washington games and is scheduled for the upcoming Wisconsin-Nebraska game as well.
vSporto is busy creating new podcasts. Their latest project is The Family Huddle featuring Calais Campbell, Jared Campbell and Josh Barnes. To familiarize yourself with the program click here.
Kansas City sports radio producer and on-air contributor Ben Heisler has taken on a side project hosting the Awful Announcing podcast. Heisler’s first episode included a conversation with Brent Musburger. To hear it click here.
Moving to Raleigh, 99.9 The Fan has created a cool new video series called Drive Thru Takes featuring on-air hosts Joe Ovies and Lauren Brownlow. To watch the latest episode click here.
A little further south in Tampa, WDAE‘s Len Martez has taken the plunge into the podcast arena. The sports radio host has created the Monday Morning Extra Point podcast which focuses strictly on the NFL. To hear it click here.
Sticking with podcasts, Entourage member Jerry Ferrara has taped a new episode of “Bad 4 Business” and CBS Sports Radio afternoon host Brandon Tierney appears on the latest installment. The two Brooklyn natives spent over 90 minutes talking about sports, life and a variety of other topics. To hear it click here.
A tip of the cap to The Reelish Media Group which chronicled Kate Scott‘s first football play by play broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. To watch it click here.
An edition of UTR wouldn’t be complete without details of a new addition at The Athletic. The latest names to join the upstart sports website include legendary baseball writer and reporter Peter Gammons and Darnell Mayberry. Gammons has been added to contribute to the website’s major league baseball coverage. Mayberry has agreed to work for the outlet’s Chicago division covering the Chicago Bulls.
After 9 years as the Puck Daddy editor for Yahoo Sports, Greg Wyshysnki has announced he’s leaving the company for a new challenge. Details about his next move will be revealed soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.