Arky Shea, program director and on-air personality for WUMP in Huntsville, Alabama announced major changes to the station’s weekday lineup.
Longtime afternoon host, Thom Abraham was dismissed from the UMP in what he categorized as a “business decision” by the Cumulus owned station. Abraham’s nationally syndicated Saturday show, Bassmaster Radio will still be carried by the UMP along with more than 100 additional stations around the country.
Taking over for Abraham will be program director Arky Shea, joining co-host Jason Marks who remains on the station’s afternoon show titled Lockdown UMP. On Sunday, Shea posted a Twitter video, to give listeners insight on the decision.
“It’s not easy to have a conversation like that, with someone you respect and care about, like Tom,” said Shea. “It’s hard, but we managed and I know a lot of people, especially a couple of you who may see this, who care about it and the UMP, are not happy with that decision and I understand, but to whoever will listen, whoever will pay attention, I will do my best to bring, like I did always, entertaining good radio to the airwaves.”
Shea’s move to Lockdown UMP continues his bouncing back and forth between mornings and afternoons for WUMP. Shea previously hosted mornings with Cole Cubelic until Cole left to host middays for JOX 94.5 in Birmingham earlier this year. Cubelic’s departure led Shea to join Abraham in the afternoon while WUMP carried 94.5’s morning show, JOX Roundtable hosted by Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor and Ryan Brown.
In August, Shea launched a local morning show with former Auburn and NFL defensive back Jerraud Powers. Powers, not a fan of the early morning schedule, decided to quit the show in the fall. With Shea now returning to afternoons, WUMP will once again carry JOX Roundtable from 6 – 10am as their morning show. Shea’s former co-host, Cole Cubelic can be heard from 10am – 2pm as WUMP also simulcast’s the JOX midday show.
WUMP new weekday lineup:
6 – 10am: JOX Roundtable
10 – 2pm: 3 Man Front
2 – 6pm: Lockdown UMP
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.