It’s been well documented on this website the past two weeks that the spring ratings across the sports radio format weren’t as strong as they usually are. Aside from 98.5 The Sports Hub, 97.1 The Ticket and Sports Radio WIP, most brands experienced a little bit of a setback due to the pandemic, a lack of sports, and listening behavior being different than usual.
But in Charlotte, they must’ve put something in the water because WFNZ overcame some amazing obstacles to deliver one of their best quarters yet.
Before I dive into the breakdowns, consider what this radio station went thru over the past few months. Dealing with a pandemic and lack of sports is challenging enough, but the radio station saw former PD Tony DiGiacomo exit in early March, just before the spring book. A month later, operations manager Darrin Ariens passed away due to COVID-19. If ever a station deserved a break, this one did, and they got it this quarter.
Starting with the Men 25-54 numbers in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p), WFNZ finished 6th with a 5.6. The station was actually as high as 4th during 2 of the 3 spring months. For the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) the radio station was 9th in the market with a 4.3.
The story was even better among Men 18-34. WFNZ was 1st overall in weekday prime with an 11.2, and 2nd for the full week with a 7.8. One exceptional stat to share, their TSL for the month of June among 18-34 Men was just under 16 hours. Keep in mind, they’re doing this on an AM stick with a 5,000 watt signal and a low powered FM translator.
Looking at the station’s key shows, The Mac Attack with Chris McClain and Travis ‘TBone’ Hancock came in 7th with a 5.4 thanks to the 2nd best TSL in the market among Men 25-54. Even more impressive, the show was 1st overall with Men 18-34 with a 13.3. The month of May in particular jumped out as the morning team delivered a massive 17.2 in the 18-34 demo. Mac and TBone had no issue keeping younger listeners tuned in either, they were tops in TSL including a huge 6+ hours of listening in the month of June.
In middays, the talented team of Nick Wilson and Josh Parcell were also 7th for the spring, but with three more tenths of a point than the morning show. Wilson and Parcell produced a 5.7 with Men 25-54, and were also 1st overall with Men 18-34 with a 11.5. Similar to the morning crew, middays was best in TSL with Men 18-34 led by June’s dominant 7+ hours of listening.
From 2p-6p, The Clubhouse with Kyle Bailey turned in a 7th place finish as well, also recording a 5.7 with Men 25-54. Bailey’s program was a hit too with Men 18-34, finishing 2nd with a 10.6, thanks to strong TSL. Similar to the station’s other two shows, TSL in June during afternoons was just under 5 hours of listening per week.
Rounding things out, The Final Drive with Josh Parcell produced the best ranking position for the entire weekday lineup. Parcell’s solo hour was tied for 5th with a 4.7 among Men 25-54. With Men 18-34 the story was great too. Parcell came in 2nd with a 7.2, led by strong TSL. In June alone, he was 1st in the market with 4:45 of listening per week.
What’s especially impressive is that just one year ago with Men 25-54, the morning show produced a mid 3 share, and middays and afternoons were both just under a mid 4 share. That means Wilson & Parcell and Kyle Bailey each gained a point, and Mac and TBone picked up two points.
Congrats is in order for Matt Hanlon and the entire WFNZ programming staff. With new PD Terry Foxx now in the building, the pressure will be on to lift the brand to even greater heights in the summer book.
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.”
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.
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.”
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 Zierlein began talking about the broadcast, “I’ve been telling my dad for years that the 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.
“No they ask questions of each other that obviously, they are going to know the answers because they are 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.”
Lance Zierlien could see ESPN employing the model in coverage of other sports in the future. He suggested former Rockets and Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy to lead the 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.
Scott Hanson Shouts Out ESPN’s Greg McElroy On NFL RedZone
“Scott Hanson used a rough day for Justin Fields to remind those that had forgotten about McElroy’s pro career that he is technically in the NFL record books.”
Media members are often friends with their colleagues that work at competing outlets. They are often fans of people that may be their direct competitors regardless of whether or not they have ever actually met. Sometimes, it is nice just to acknowledge that. Surely that was Scott Hanson’s thinking when he shouted out Greg McElroy on NFL RedZone on Sunday.
McElroy was a seventh round selection of the New York Jets in 2011 after winning a national championship as a quarterback at the University of Alabama. He played two seasons in the NFL, including one start during the 2012 season. Now he calls college games for ESPN and ABC on Saturdays.
Scott Hanson used a rough day for Justin Fields to remind those that had forgotten about McElroy’s pro career that he is technically in the NFL record books.
“Shout out Greg McElroy, if you’re watching. Love your work on television. Loved you in college as well,” said Hanson before lowering the boom with a stat McElroy would probably prefer history forget. “But Greg McElroy, in his rookie NFL debut, got sacked 11 times. That’s the all-time NFL quote unquote record.”
The Bears worked hard to get that record for their rookie quarterback but came up short. Chicago gave up 8 sacks to the Browns in Justin Fields’ debut as an NFL starter.
There is nothing quite like a good radio partner. That is where Cole Cubelic comes in. He co-hosts McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on WJOX in Birmingham and caught the shoutout and wanted to make sure his audience did too.
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