Dave Grosby announced he’s stepping away from hosting a daily show after 29 years as a fixture in Seattle sports radio. Grosby’s final day on The Bob, Groz and Tom Show, which airs weekdays from noon – 3pm on 710 ESPN Seattle, will be Friday, September 20th.
Groz noted health issues as a reason why the 58-year old will no longer host a daily radio show. “This past year I simply have not been able to answer the bell enough as it were and missed far too many days of work, and it has been unfair to my co-hosts and to the radio station,” Grosby wrote in a statement. “Though my health has improved over the past month I cannot be sure it won’t be an issue again.”
“I have been lucky to be a part of the start of two great sports radio stations in Seattle over the past 29 years,” the iconic Seattle sports radio host added. “But the best part of the job for me has been meeting and having fun with listeners over the years. I love you guys.”
The love is mutual, as listeners and coworkers flooded social media with well wishes, thanks and gratitude for Grosby. Still, the radio host was clear, he isn’t retiring. Grosby will continue as a contributor to Bonneville’s 710 ESPN Seattle both digitally and on terrestrial radio. The longtime Seattle sportscaster will still join John Clayton daily from 11:45 – noon, as well as appear as a guest and fill-in host on other shows.
“I’m really glad the station has given me the chance to stick around, I didn’t want to go out this way as it were and I’m not having to at this point. They signed me to a contract for a couple of years, I appreciate the commitment they made and I’m still going to be really involved with the station,” Grosby said near the end of Tuesday’s Bob, Groz and Tom Show with co-hosts Bob Stelton and Tom Wassell.
Grosby, a New York native, began his radio career on the west coast in the early 80’s. A sports radio pioneer, Grosby got started in Seattle in 1991, most recently spending the last nine years with 710 ESPN Seattle.
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.