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Schemmel Reflects On Plane Crash 30 Years Ago

“To honor those who didn’t survive the crash, Schemmel, an avid bicyclist, rides 112 miles to Colorado Springs and back, one mile for each life lost.”

Brandon Contes

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Last Friday marked exactly 30 years since Colorado Rockies radio voice, Jerry Schemmel survived a fatal plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa.  Schemmel was one of 184 survivors on Flight 232, but over 100 lives were lost in the crash.

Flying from Denver to Chicago on July 19th, 1989, the United DC-10 airplane went down after losing hydraulic power and a rear engine exploded, killing 112 passengers.  While attempting an emergency landing at the Sioux City, Iowa airport, Flight 232 fell just shy of its target runway, erupting into flames, breaking apart and tumbling to a halt.

“Immediately inside the cabin, it was complete chaos.  People being thrown about, some of them were strapped inside their chairs and their chairs had given and they were thrown that way.  And smoke and fire and debris, all in the first couple of seconds after we hit down,” Schemmel told KDLT News in Denver.  “I remember thinking, all right, we’ve hit down hard, there’s a lot of people hurt, there’s probably some people who aren’t alive right now but we’ll coast to a stop and I’ll assess things then and about the time I had that thought, we flipped over frontwards, kinda cartwheeled end to end, flipped over and started sliding upside down.”

Schemmel was lucky to survive the crash, but the now Colorado Rockies broadcaster was also a hero that day in 1989.   After Schemmel was able to find an opening to escape the plane, he heard a baby crying.  He went back into the burning airplane and rescued an 11 month old girl trapped in an overhead bin.  52 children were on Flight 232, including four “lap children” without seats because of a United Airlines promotion called “Children’s Day,” allowing kids to fly for a penny.

To honor those who didn’t survive the crash, Schemmel, an avid bicyclist, rides 112 miles to Colorado Springs and back, one mile for each life lost.  “It’s my way to personally honor the victims of the crash and the families who were left behind,” Schemmel told the Denver Post about the annual bike ride which he began in 2007.

Schemmel joined the Rockies radio broadcast in 2010, after 18 seasons as the voice of the Denver Nuggets.  The play-by-play announcer told KDLT he still flies, regularly traveling with the team, but not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about the crash.  Schemmel detailed his experience on Flight 232 in his 1996 book, “Chosen to Live.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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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