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WFAN Morning Show Discusses Carton Conviction

Brandon Contes

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On September 6th 2017, Craig Carton was arrested on charges of conspiracy, wire and securities fraud.  He resigned from WFAN soon after and went to federal trial beginning last week. Carton never took the stand during his case. Being quiet is something no one is used to when it comes to Craig, who never held back from criticizing a public figure for any wrongdoing.

While the jury’s decision on Craig shocked no one, Thursday morning at 6am on WFAN served as a coping mechanism for those on the Boomer and Gio show following Wednesday’s announcement of a guilty verdict.

Boomer admitted Wednesday was a “sad day of closure.”  Esiason previously opted not to discuss the legal situation with his former partner in the last 14 months because he didn’t want to say anything that could affect or include him in the case.

Esiason was noticeably saddened while discussing the situation, stating “We love Craig, Craig was the light of this radio station for many of us.”

“Unfortunately yesterday was the lowest of lows for all of us that have been involved in this and we can only pray and hope that he and his family find solace in the fact that not at least it’s come to somewhat of an end,” said Boomer who then added, “There will be brighter days ahead somewhere along the line.”

Board-op Eddie Scozzare said he understands when people with an outside perspective of someone that commits a crime are happy about a conviction, but explained those that were close to Craig have a different viewpoint.  

“Even though maybe it’s wrong, even though you know he’s been found guilty, we still hoped he got off, because that’s our perspective from the inside as opposed to the outside where people are happy about it,” said Scozzare.

Jerry Recco cited past conversations with his own father who said, “This can’t be, it doesn’t work this way,” referring to Carton’s gambling success.  To which Jerry would respond, “but it is, you never saw him lose…you just thought he was good at it.”

“Every time we went out with him, Craig was the one who held court, Craig was the one who told the stories, Craig was the one that made you laugh and it never stopped.  There was never ever this notion that something was wrong,” added Recco.

Producer Al Dukes made a similar statement, saying he only saw Craig win, he witnessed Carton succeed at blackjack and was unaware Craig was losing money especially because he was always the same fun, energetic personality.  “He was not a bad person. I don’t think he set out to do any of these things,” said Dukes.

Esiason brought closure to the conversation saying, “At the end of the day you have to take a big deep breath and hope and pray that Craig gets through this next stage of it and when he is done with it, somehow, someway he can do something positive to help people deal with what the hell he has dealt with over the last 14 months because he has basically destroyed a lot of people in his wake and it’s really sad to watch how a gambling addiction can do that to you.”

After following what was made public of the case, it did not appear Carton’s defense team had much of an ability to argue his innocence.  Maybe Carton couldn’t bring himself to admit guilt, or maybe he ignored the odds and went all in on one final gamble in a desperate attempt at returning to the life he lived 14 months ago.

A rather emotionless Carton left the courtroom telling reporters he was disappointed in the verdict, but respected the decision.

“I’m going to go home and hug my kids and let my lawyers deal with the rest of it,” Carton said.

“The rest of it,” will include an appeal, according to Carton’s defense team.  Carton is currently scheduled to be sentenced on February 27th, 2019.

Whether his sentence is one year, two years, five, or ten, when Carton is free he will have offers and his need to have his voice heard, along with the audience’s need to hear him will find Carton on-air again, assuming he isn’t sentenced to the full 45 years that are on the table.  

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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