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Brady Farkas Out At 101.3 The Game in Burlington, VT

“Farkas co-hosted The Huddle with Arnie Spanier and Rich Haskell weekdays from 3 – 6pm on The Game.”

Brandon Contes

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The outlook might be improving for the sports media industry, with live games returning and the economy on a mini upswing, but it doesn’t signal the end of negative impacts caused by a global pandemic. On Friday, program director and on-air personality for 101.3 The Game in Burlington, VT, Brady Farkas announced he was let go by the station. 

https://twitter.com/1013RadioBrady/status/1289273627939086336?s=20

Farkas pointed to the pandemic as the reason for his departure, whereas station general manager and co-owner Ken Barlow spun ratings as the reason according to Alex Abrami of the Burlington Free Press. “Frankly, the ratings weren’t where they should be for a sports station in this market,” Barlow said. 

“We felt the station was mired in the position it’s in and we need revenue to be able to have it grow an audience, and the program director is one of the primary people responsible for that,” the GM added.

But Farkas, who co-hosted The Huddle with Arnie Spanier and Rich Haskell weekdays from 3 – 6pm on The Game says that’s not the full truth.

“We went through an affiliation switch from ESPN to Fox Sports Radio in fall of 2018 and delivered a number one rated station in fall of 2019,” Farkas told The Free Press. “I am proud of the work our staff accomplished in order to achieve that.”

Despite finishing strong 2019, building on last year’s momentum has been hard in 2020 due to the pandemic shutting down sports across the country. Burlington’s sports station is experiencing what many in the format have over the past few months.

“I’m disappointed that the pandemic finally reached 101.3 The Game.” Farkas added. “I feel we accomplished great things and I will miss working every day with Arnie, Rich and Aaron (Wells). We built something special and I will miss being a part of it.” 

Farkas joined the Burlington sports station in Sept. 2016, following a near three-year run with ESPN Radio 104.5 in Albany. His afternoon co-hosts on The Game, Spanier and Haskell will continue to host The Game’s local weekday show, a role they’ve filled since the station launched in 2011.

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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