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Spanish Broadcaster Exits Panthers Booth Over Support For Trump

“Moreno Jr. is a freelancer whose contract is on a season-by-season basis. When he contacted the Panthers to discuss his contract for the 2020 season, his calls and emails were not returned.”

Jacob Conley

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Half of the Carolina Panthers’ Spanish Language radio broadcasting duo was missing when Carolina kicked off the 2020 season against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. And now fans know the reason why. Luis Moreno Jr. strongly supports President Donald Trump and the conspiracy theory group Qanon.

“I don’t think that me showing support for the president of a country that I love — and that I just became a citizen of — should have a backlash to the point where now I am no longer a part of a great organization that I was with for 10 years, simply because my freedom of speech was too much for them,” Moreno Jr. told The Charlotte Observer on Monday.

Moreno Jr. has acted as a color analyst for the Panthers’ Spanish broadcast team for the past 10 seasons. Along with his uncle, play by play man Jamie Moreno, the pair gained national attention in 2015 when they sang and danced in the press box, bringing a soccer-like feel to the broadcasts during the Panthers’ Super Bowl run.

Due to the surge in popularity, the Los Panthers radio network has expanded to 20 stations in both North and South Carolina and six across the border in Mexico to help reach at least some of that country’s estimated 28.3 million NFL fans.

Moreno Jr. began to slip from the Panthers’ good graces during the COVID-19 pandemic when he says he began to focus on politics and read information online.

“(I) found out that there are a lot of things that are happening that I wasn’t aware of that make me support him (Trump),” Moreno Jr. said.

That’s when Moreno Jr. began tweeting support for President Trump and the controversial Alt-Right group Qanon from his personal account. He was contacted by the Panthers and asked to remove all mention of the organization, which he did. But according to Moreno Jr., that wasn’t enough for the Panthers.

“If what they want me to do is stop supporting the president, I’m not gonna do that,” he said.

Moreno Jr. is a freelancer whose contract is on a season-by-season basis. When he contacted the Panthers to discuss his contract for the 2020 season, his calls and emails were not returned.

“I’m hurt because this has nothing to do with my performance on-air,” Moreno Jr said. “This has nothing to do with how good I am at what I do. I’m one of the best, and I’ll put myself against anybody in the country when it comes to what I do in Spanish. None of my support for the president was done on any of their (the Panthers) social-media pages. It was never done on any of the airtime — whether it was a podcast or a broadcast or anything related to the Panthers. This was solely on my personal time, on my personal accounts.”

Antonio Ramos was in the booth Sunday as color analyst, partnering with Jamie Moreno. It is not known if the pairing is permanent, as the Panthers have not updated the Spanish Broadcast information on their official website.

The Panthers’ Spanish Flagship station is WGSP 102.3 FM in Charlotte.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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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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