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Winter Sports Radio Ratings From Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Virginia Beach

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The winter book was a strong quarter for many small and mid-market sports radio stations. Oklahoma City’s WWLS The Sports Animal, 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis and ESPN 94.1 in Virginia Beach were able to continue entertaining listeners even as they entered a quiet time in the sports world.

In OKC, The Sports Animal garnered an impressive winter book. Last winter, their weekday lineup finished no worse than fourth place in the target demo of men 25-54, but this year, each show finished either first or second. In weekday prime, (M-F 6a – 7p) OKC’s The Sports Animal took the market’s top spot with a 9.8 share, earning the same rating for their full weekday lineup (M-F 5a – 8p), a nearly 50% jump year-over-year.

The Morning Animals set the tone for WWLS, finishing first with an 11.8 share from 5a – 9a, a big jump from their 8.7 performance in 2019. Both midday shows finished second for the station, but they also enjoyed significant gains year-over-year. From 9a – noon, Craig Humphreys was up from 2019 by almost 3 points, earning a 9.3 share, while Monsters of the Middays did a 9.2 from 11a – 2p.

In afternoon drive, Jim Traber finished first for his fourth straight book with a 9.5 from 2 – 6p, a more than four point increase year-over-year. Al Eschbach also finished first with an impressive 10.1 share. Eschbach joins Traber daily from 4 – 6p, and then hosts two solo hours until 8p. 

Virginia Beach’s ESPN affiliate, WVSP 94.1 did a 5.6 in weekday prime for their target demo. Nick Cattles also generated a 5.6 share in afternoon drive (3 – 6p). 

From 6a – 3p WVSP simulcasts ESPN Radio’s nationally syndicated shows. Golic & Wingo was the strongest performing weekday show on ESPN 94.1 with a 7.1 share in morning drive. From 10a – 3p The Dan Le Batard Show,followed by First Take, Your Take with Jason Fitz combined for a 5.1.

Indianapolis’ 107.5/1070 The Fan continued to turn in strong numbers during the winter book, finishing third with an 8.5 share in weekday prime. Their morning show with Jeff Rickard and Joe Staysniak did a 9.8, good for third place in the market.

From noon – 3p, the Fan’s midday show hosted by Dan Dakich finished fourth with a 7.5 share, up by more than a point year-over-year. The Fan’s strongest weekday lineup performance was in afternoon drive as The Ride with JMV (John Michael Vincent) garnered a 9.1, seven-tenths of a point behind WFBQ which finished first in the market. 

Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘People Are Going To Miss The Manningcast’

“The access that Peyton and Eli Manning get to the coaches, to the players, to the training staff, to whoever, I assume is going to be better than what Levy, Riddick, Griese and Lisa do.”

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Eli and Peyton Manning have a lot of fans in the broadcasting world. That has become clear over the last three weeks as ESPN’s Manningcast of Monday Night Football has seen its audience steadily grow. One of those fans is Pat McAfee. He said on his show on Tuesday that the alternate broadcast has become his preferred way to watch Monday night’s game.

The Manning brothers are taking a three week break. That means the millions that have choosen ESPN2 for Monday Night Football will have no choice but to watch Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese on ESPN. McAfee wonders how shocked the audience will be.

“They are getting probably a pretty new crowd on Monday night. That is a vastly different way to watch a game,” he said.

Pat McAfee was clear with his message. Sure, the Manningcast features interviews and informal banter that can make it hard to pay attention to all the action on the field (he pointed to how compelling the conversation with LeBron James was this past week), but the Mannings offer a level of access the traditional broadcast can’t match.

“The access that Peyton and Eli Manning get to the coaches, to the players, to the training staff, to whoever, I assume is going to be better than what Levy, Riddick, Griese and Lisa do.”

McAfee expects Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese to take their share of criticism online for the next month as people complain that the broadcast is less fun and not as informative.

“We will obviously probably follow the game much closer, but I think people are going to miss the Manningcast the next three weeks.”

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Sports Radio News

Jaime Jarrín Retiring After 64 Years As Dodgers’ Spanish Voice

“Jarrín and Dodger baseball have gone hand in hand since first joining the team in 1959.”

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Courtesy: Los Angeles Dodgers YouTube

The Los Angeles Dodgers bid farewell to their legendary English radio voice, Vin Scully, in 2016, and now they are sending off Spanish-language voice Jaime Jarrín in a similar fashion.

Jarrín and the organization announced that 2022 is the 85-year old’s final season as the Spanish-language voice of the Dodgers.

“I’m grateful to the Dodgers — the best organization in baseball — for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most for 64 years,” Jarrín said in a team statement. “As much as I’ll miss my baseball family at Dodger Stadium and across the country, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my sons Jorge and Mauricio and my grandchildren and nurturing my love of travel.”

Jarrín and Dodger baseball have gone hand in hand since first joining the team in 1959. Jarrín has been with them ever since that second year playing in Los Angeles and is a fan-favorite in the Latino community.

Scully wished his longtime co-worker well as he embarks on a well-deserved farewell tour.

“Los Angeles has been so lucky to have enjoyed the talents of Jaime Jarrín for over six decades,” Scully, 93, Tweeted on Tuesday. “I’m thrilled my dear pal will get to spend precious time with his family in retirement. All the best to you Jaime.”

Jarrín had been calling games with his son, Jorge, who retired from the broadcast in February. Next up is Jamie, who has called three Perfect Games throughout his career. He has also been a part of 30 World Series and 30 All-Star Games, all while being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

The broadcaster’s talents extended beyond the baseball diamond. Jarrín was the Spanish-language broadcaster for the 1984 Summer Olympics and the “Thrilla in Manilla.”

The Dodgers plan to honor during the 2022 season at an unannounced date.

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Sports Radio News

Lance Zierlein: Manningcast Is What People Have Wanted For Years

“Zierlein showered the alternate broadcast with praise for not only the guests but the football lingo as well.”

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Courtesy: NFL.com

Most of the country seems to be catching Manning Fever, and Lance Zierlein of ESPN Houston is no different. The sports talk host discussed the third edition of the “ManningCast” with his co-host John Granato on Tuesday’s episode of The Bench.

The Mannings rolled out another star-studded guestlist on Monday night that included, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, NBA superstar Lebron James, Alabama Football head coach Nick Saban, and retired NFL defensive end Chris Long. 

Zierlein showered the alternate broadcast with praise for not only the guests but the football lingo as well.

“I called my dad up (Lance’s father is a former NFL coach),” Zierlein said. “I’ve been telling my dad for years that fans want more advanced football stuff. I was telling him this eight years ago, I said, ‘getting more advanced X’s and O’s stuff out there is a big deal because more and more people want that,’ well that’s what this is.”

If anyone can take the pulse of sports fans at large and NFL fans, in particular, it’s Zierlein. The host also helps lead NFL.com’s NFL prospect coverage during draft season. Zierlein is responsible for 500-plus player evaluations leading up to the big day every April.

“They ask questions of each other that obviously, they are going to know the answers to because they’re setting it up for them to tell fans,” Zierlein continued. “Listening to them talk about safety play and certain looks and protections and stuff. Golly! From a football standpoint, it’s awesome.”

His co-host agreed, and sees this type of broadcast as the way of the future.

“I’m telling you,” Granato said. “I think this is the future… this couldn’t be a better idea, because those guys are entertaining and informative.”

Zierlien pointed out that ESPN could employ the model in coverage of other sports too in the future. He suggested former Rockets and Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy to lead an NBA version of a conversational, X-and-O heavy broadcast.

ESPN went all in on this idea for that exact combination of traits, and fans now have to wait through a three-week hiatus before the Manning brothers return in Week 7.

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