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Hank McDowell Won’t Return To Grizzlies Broadcast

“The Grizzlies shared a video featuring radio play-by-play voice Eric Hasseltine interviewing McDowell to announce the retirement.”

Brandon Contes

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The Memphis Grizzlies announced longtime analyst, Hank McDowell is retiring from their radio team after a 13-year tenure on the call.

“Hank has gone through so much last few months, and he has done so with grace and courage and strength,” said Grizzlies Team President Jason Wexler in a statement. “Fans all over Grizz Nation routinely tuned in to hear Hank’s game analysis the past 13 years. He is special not only to Grizzlies basketball and Tigers basketball, but to Memphis as a whole. We will miss having him as a part of our broadcast team.”

Approximately two months ago, McDowell nearly lost his life, needing to undergo brain surgery. He planned on returning to his analyst role, but ultimately decided to step away, noting “I’ve got a lot of living to do.” The Grizzlies shared a video featuring radio play-by-play voice Eric Hasseltine interviewing McDowell to announce the retirement.

“After 13 seasons, I have decided to hang up my head set and retire from broadcasting,” McDowell added in a statement. “It was not an easy decision. After my recent surgery and the realization that I have spent 50 years in basketball as a player, coach and as TV/radio analyst for the Tigers and Grizzlies, I’ve decided that now is a good time to smell those roses. It’s been a great run and the last 13 seasons alongside Eric Hasseltine and the crew have been some of the best moments in my life. I’d like to thank the Memphis Grizzlies for the honor of being an NBA broadcaster in the city that I grew up in. Thank you Memphis for listening.”

McDowell’s half-century in basketball includes a six-year NBA career from 1981-87. The Memphis native also played four years at the University of Memphis where he’s since worked 13-years as a TV and radio analyst for  the Tigers men’s basketball team.

McDowell has been partnered with Hasseltine since 2006 on The Memphis Grizzlies Radio Network, sharing analyst duties with Elliot Perry for the last 11 years. Perry, along with Michael Wallace will continue to fill the color commentator role alongside Hasseltine on the Grizzlies Radio Network.

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

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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