This Friday will be the last time that Mike Golic will sign off on ESPN Radio after being part of the network’s morning show for over 20 years. This week, he joined Sarah Spain this week on the That’s What She Said podcast.
Spain started by asking the question whether or not it will be easier for Golic to say goodbye this time after doing it when Mike & Mike ended.
“I wouldn’t say it is easier because both times, it wasn’t my choice. I might have been caught off guard on both of them in all honesty. I didn’t think Mike & Mike should have ended and I didn’t think this should have ended,” said Golic. “While I say I wanted to keep going, I compared it to being cut by the Houston Oilers and Miami Dolphins, I don’t think it was the right move, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Golic explained why he is going back to do college football if/when a season resumes as an analyst:
“I actually told the bosses I said, ‘let me go back and do college football.’ I hope there’s a college football season, If there is, I will call college games. I’m still going to be around. I’m still going to be in the business…nothing is off the table.”
Golic knows that many want to know the full story of why he won’t be on ESPN Radio in the mornings, but wasn’t ready to offer an explanation.
“I am always a say it to your face guy…. I have never been a locker room talking guy. Someday I will tell the full story of everything, but now is not the time…As far as any story behind it or why, that is something they [management] have to explain, not me. But I will say my peace in that it is the wrong move, but that doesn’t mean I won’t wish the next hosts all the best in the world.”
Golic did reveal that there would be 2 guests on the show on Friday that he wanted to talk with on the final show, but he would not reveal who those guests were, which will make for some interesting guesses. He did reveal some of his favorite guests such as Charles Barkley, Bill Curry, Mark Schlereth, and Darius Rucker to name a few.
“His wisdom is unbelievable and he has that soft delivery that we would probably get the most response from listeners and viewers when he was on because they just stopped and listened because he was so smart,” said Golic of Curry.
Golic also mentioned some of his favorite segments, including Just Shut Up on Fridays, saying that the production for that segment was fantastic and that it “resonated the most with a lot of people.” Plus, he said he has never overslept and missed a portion of a show, so that in itself is an accomplishment.
At the end of the show, Golic left some advice for the new morning hosts (Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, Zubin Mehenti) when their show starts August 17:
“The biggest piece of advice I can give to any radio host is let people know who you are. Let them know you, let them in. Let them know about your family. Become kind of friends with them. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
During this podcast, you will get a little bit of a walk down memory lane with Golic and the next 36 hours or so are going to be emotional for people that grew up listening to him on the radio.
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.