On Tuesday, WGR morning host Jeremy White returned to his radio show with tragic news. The quadruplets he and his wife, Molly, were expecting had died.
Listeners were aware White and his wife were expecting quadruplets since they made the announcement in August. On Sunday, September 22nd, they hosted a gender reveal at a Bills tailgate, later that night Molly went to the ER with “terrible pains.”
“Our efforts to stop pre-term labor fell short and our quads were all born too early to have a chance at survival,” Jeremy and Molly White shared on Twitter.
Molly gave birth to each of their four children on separate days throughout the week after being admitted to the hospital on September 22nd. Zoe, Lincoln, Miles and Brecken, were born between Monday and Saturday, with each child losing their life soon after.
An emotional White told listeners there was nothing that could have been done to save their children, so every single time a child was born, they were going to meet them and then the baby was going to die.
White’s return to his WGR morning show, Howard and Jeremy triggered 20 of the most powerful minutes in radio as the emotional father shared raw details of losing their four children, telling listeners that he views his wife as his hero.
“I wanted to tell the story because I felt like I could never come back to work without telling the story,” Jeremy said. “If anyone ever goes through it, I want them to reach out to me and know that they can. I hope it never happens to anybody, but if it ever happens to you, you can reach out to me. And I’ll hopefully help you get through it the way other people helped me and helped my wife.”
“These months with our quads growing have been some of the happiest of our lives. We mourn the family we dreamed of having, and will carry them with us, as long as we live,” Jeremy and Molly wrote on Twitter.
After each child died, the parents spent time with them, taking pictures and saving an audio recording of their heartbeats, which have been placed inside a teddy bear. “I never thought being with your child after it passed would be important, but it is, it’s really important.”
“Amazing what you can see in such a young child that can’t survive in the world, you can still see physical characteristics.” Those physical characteristics resembled Jeremy and Molly, and seeing those memorable features brought the parents joy.
The radio host was incredibly grateful to everyone who helped along the way, friends, family and especially the doctors, nurses and entire medical staff at the hospital. Jeremy shared the roller coaster of emotions he and his wife are dealing with, from losing their children, to whether or not people will question if he goes to a game in an attempt to continue living his life. More than being met with questions, Jeremy’s co-host Howard Simon said he should be met with hugs.
“When we look back, it ends up as the worst week our lives, but there are smiles in there, there are laughs, there are good moments that you spend with your kids,” Jeremy added.
Jeremy will remain off-air the rest of the week, planning to make his full-time return to WGR’s popular morning show next week.
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.