After three years at Boston’s WEEI, Alex Reimer is leaving his dream career of working at a sports radio station, for a position in politics. In his final column for WEEI, Reimer announced that beginning next week, he’ll work in the State House as Director of Communications for Senator Eric Lesser.
“I never imagined doing anything else in my life besides working in sports talk radio,” Reimer wrote, but also shared that he has new aspirations. “At this stage in my life, I am more apt to live-tweet Rachel Maddow than tomorrow night’s Red Sox game. Those of you who are misfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter could’ve already guessed that.”
With WEEI, Reimer often sat in the third chair on the station’s former morning show Kirk and Callahan, and in 2017 was given the position of Brand Personality, where he continued to contribute both on-air and digitally.
Whether on social media or behind a microphone, Reimer never shied away from his political opinions, noting the heated debates he had with recently dismissed morning host, Gerry Callahan. “I will miss driving into the studio to argue with Gerry Callahan about Donald Trump’s latest impeachable act,” Reimer said. “You are better off when you expose yourself to disagreement, even if it occasionally turns rancorous.”
Reimer made national news in 2018 when he referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as a “pissant” while reacting to an episode of the quarterback’s documentary series on Facebook Watch. Brady expressed his disappointment to the radio station, which led to a five-month on-air hiatus for Reimer. He did continue to write for WEEI during the suspension.
During his departure announcement, the 26-year old Reimer added that he’s leaving WEEI amicably.
“Amazingly, I am leaving on good terms, so this probably isn’t the last you’ll hear from me in this space. Team Reim, and my inflated ego, will not rest.”
His career began by gaining popularity as a sports-blogger at the age of 12. In addition to his work with WEEI, Reimer has also written for Forbes, Boston magazine, SB Nation, and the Boston Herald.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.