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The Sports Hub Tops Boston Ratings Across the Board

“The evening timeslot was the lone weekday window that didn’t see The Sports Hub finish first overall.”

Brandon Contes

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It was a clean sweep for 98.5 The Sports Hub in the Boston sports radio ratings battle. According to Nielsen Audio, The Sports Hub finished first overall with an 11.9 share during the winter ratings book, while their sports radio rival WEEI finished fourth, earning a 6.4 among the targeted demo of men 25-54.

The Sports Hub already includes their stream in the number reported by Nielsen, while WEEI’s digital audience is calculated separately. But according to Chad Finn of The Globe, WEEI’s stream did not register a share during the winter ratings period, while their Providence-based simulcast on WVEI adds a 0.2 in the Boston market.

Beginning with morning drive, The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich finished first overall in the book with a 14.6, comfortably topping WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. Still less than a year into his tenure hosting morning drive for WEEI, the longtime Boston radio personality finished second overall with a 9.2.

In middays, Zolak & Bertrand finished first with a 14.2, while WEEI’s Dale and Keefe finished fourth, garnering a 7.2 when including the stream and WVEI number. In afternoon drive, the Sports Hub maintained their dominance as Felger & Massarotti also finished first with a 14.6. Their Boston sports radio counterpart, OMF (Ordway, Merloni and Fauria) finished fourth for WEEI with a 5.8.  

The evening timeslot was the lone weekday window that didn’t see The Sports Hub finish first overall. The Adam Jones Show, which airs from 6 – 11pm and includes Bruins and Celtics broadcasts, finished second with an 8.1. On WEEI, Mut at Night with Mike Mutnansky earned a 4.9 share, finishing fifth.

The winter ratings period extends from Jan. 2 through March 25, meaning most of the book took place before the COVID-19 pandemic forced live sports to shutdown March 11. Ratings during the spring book will likely decline as sports are paused and non-essential workers aren’t commuting during the morning and evening rush hours.

Sports may have stopped on March 11, but less than a week later, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady announced he was parting ways with the Patriots after more than two decades in New England. Shortly after, news broke that Brady was heading to Tampa Bay. Brady likely kept listeners locked in to Boston sports radio even though league shutdowns were underway.

Sports Radio News

ESPN 97.5 Host Vanessa Richardson Named New Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

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Vanessa Richardson

The Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season and it’s a familiar name in Houston sports talk radio.

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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