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Sports Radio Thrives In The Summer Book

Jason Barrett

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How did sports radio stations perform during the month of September or for the summer book? Below are a few details from a number of top markets. Stations are always invited to be included in this quarterly column and help tell their story and reinforce the power of the sports talk radio format. To have your brand represented in the future please reach out via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Los Angeles:

The shares may not be high in the city of Angels but growth has been a positive for ESPN LA 710 AM. For the summer book, the radio station finished ahead of local competitor AM 570 LA Sports in all M-F 6a-7p head to head battles. 570 did gain an advantage during evenings thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Leading the way for 710 was the popular midday team Mason & Ireland with just under a 4 share. Equally as encouraging for 710 was an increase of a full point or better for all of the station’s key weekday shows year over year. 570 received its best ratings in midday thanks to a solid performance from Colin Cowherd.

Chicago:

The competition is always fierce in the windy city between 670 The Score and ESPN 1000 and the summer book was no exception. This quarter belonged to The Score as the station placed 3rd overall M-SU 6a-Mid with just under a 5 share. 1000 finished 15th for the full week with slightly over a 3 share. Given the power of the Cubs though, that’s not a big surprise. Once again 670 led the way in mornings, with Mully and Hanley nearly doubling Mike and Mike. M&H were 3rd with just under a 6 share. M&M produced a 3 share. In middays, The Score’s team of Parkins and Spiegel got some great news, finishing seven tenths of a point ahead of David Kaplan and the first hour of Carmen and Jurko‘s show (670 and 1000 schedule their shows differently). The Score was 6th between 9a-1p. ESPN 1000 was 9th. Where ESPN 1000 received its biggest win was in PM drive between 2p-6p. Waddle and Silvy finished tied for 1st with just over a 5 share. The Score’s team of Bernsein and Goff were three tenths of a point behind in 4th. One item to point out, Bernstein and Goff’s show is an hour longer though than Waddle and Silvy’s so if you measure their entire 1p-6p program the news is slightly different, the two stations are even during those hours at just under a 5 share. Nonetheless, Waddle and Silvy have been rolling in 2017.

San Francisco:

The Giants and Athletics weren’t chasing world series trophies, and the Raiders, 49ers, Warriors and Sharks weren’t involved in regular season action yet, but that didn’t stop KNBR 680 from turning in a strong September book. Summer book totals weren’t yet made available. For the overall month, KNBR led all head to head weekday show comparisons against 95.7 The Game. The station was 2nd M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid among Men 25-54, led by a 1st place finish from Gary and Larry in middays. The station also got a 2nd place performance from Fitz and Brooks, a 3rd place ranking in afternoon drive with Tom Tolbert and John Lund and a 6th place showing in mornings from Murph and Mac. 95.7 The Game received its best performance M-F 10a-1p and saw a slight uptick year to year for its morning show numbers.

Philadelphia:

Last year Sports Radio WIP took a few lumps for its ratings lagging behind where they normally were, but the tide has begun to turn in 2017. For the summer book, WIP advanced into the Top 3 among Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid, up from 7th one year earlier. Leading the charge was Angelo Cataldi, who turned in a Top 3 performance in mornings with a low 7 share. The midday team of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie finished 4th with a mid 6 share, up year to year from 10th and a high 3 share. Rounding things out in afternoons were the team of Chris Carlin and Ike Reese, who registered a Top 5 finish with just under a 5 share, up nearly a point and 4 positions year to year. The one area where 97.5 The Fanatic remained ahead and in strong shape was in PM drive thanks to Mike Missanelli.

Washington DC:

History was made in the nation’s capital and this time it had zero to do with politics. 106.7 The Fan saw its morning show, The Sports Junkies, register a 1st place finish in AM drive for the summer book beating the nation’s dominant news talk brand WTOP. The market victory was a first for the Junkies. Making the feat even more spectacular was that the show produced a low 10 share to earn the win among Men 25-54. That number was strong enough to place the show 2nd with Adults 25-54 too. The Fan also received positives news in middays and afternoons, with Grant and Danny and Chad Dukes each placing 3rd for the summer book. G&D were #1 overall for the month of September, and Dukes was 2nd in afternoon drive. The Fan finished 2nd overall M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54.

Boston:

The summer book produced positive stories for both local sports radio brands but momentum appears to have shifted in the direction of WEEI. The quarter saw WEEI edge 98.5 The Sports Hub by three tenths of a point for 1st overall M-SU 6a-Mid. The two stations were tied for 1st M-F 6a-7p with each delivering slightly above a 10 share. In the head to head matchups, Kirk and Callahan won morning drive again by finishing 1st with just under a 14 share. The Hub’s Toucher and Rich were also in double digits with just above a 10 and a half. K&C also finished 1st for the quarter with Adults 25-54 and Men 18+ and 35-64. In middays, Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria finished 2nd, nipping The Hub’s Zo and Bertrand by four tenths of a point with Men 25-54. OMF were just above a 9 share. The Hub remained in control in afternoons with Felger and Massarotti taking top honors among Men 25-54 with a little better than an 11 share. WEEI’s Dale, Holley and Keefe continued to increase their share and finished 2nd. The Hub also won evenings from 6p-10p by three tenths of a point. One stark difference between the two brands is how their streaming performances factor into their monthly and quarterly numbers. Entercom, which owns and operates WEEI subscribes to Total Line Reporting which includes over the air and streaming listening. CBS Radio, which owns and operates The Sports Hub, lists them separately.

Seattle:

Summer listening wasn’t as hot as it normally is, but in September the audience was back and clamoring for more. The beneficiary of the interest was 710 ESPN Seattle which had 3 shows finish the month in the Top 10, led by Danny, Dave and Moore and Bob, Groz and Tom each placing in the Top 6 in their respective dayparts. With football season now in full swing, and the Seahawks making noise on and off the field, listening should continue to increase, helping the market end the 2017 campaign on a high note.

Denver:

The summer book provided another powerful story for 104.3 The Fan. Denver’s leading sports radio brand finished 1st overall among Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with just under an 8 share. Making the news more remarkable was that the brand grew from a low 5 share in July to a high 10 share in September (think football might create a little interest?). The biggest benefactor was the morning team of Mike Evans and Mark Schlereth. The duo increased their share from the mid 8’s in July to the high 13’s in September. The morning show has finished 1st overall every single month in 2017 except July (finished 2nd) and has increased their overall double digit share year to year by three full points.

St. Louis:

101 ESPN continues to dominate the marketplace, pulling in another Top 3 finish among Men 25-54 with just under a 10 share. Leading the way once again was the station’s afternoon show, The Fast Lane, which finished the quarter 1st overall with a mid 11 share, highlighted by a mid 12 performance in September. The drive time program has been rated 1st overall every month this year. 101’s remaining weekday shows hosted by Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler and the team of Anthony Stalter and Chris Duncan finished between 2nd and 4th in their respective dayparts.

Additional Market Notes:

97.1 The Ticket in Detroit turned in another big ratings book. The radio station was #1 overall with Men 25-54

In Dallas, Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket was #1 with Men 25-54. 105.3 The Fan also performed well coming in 3rd.

The Charlotte sports radio scene once again was led by WFNZ which received a strong midday performance.

And to wrap things up, KFAN in Minneapolis continued to cruise, finishing in the Top 5 among Adults 6+, 18-49 and 25-54. The station finished #1 overall with Men 25-54.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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