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ESPN 1000 Edges 670 The Score in the Chicago Summer Ratings Book

“ESPN 1000 won most dayparts head to head including M-F 6a-7p. The Score recorded a victory for the full week, M-SU 6a-Mid.”

Brandon Contes

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ESPN 1000 and 670 The Score are often involved in a close race for sports radio bragging rights in Chicago, and the summer book was no exception. The numbers for both brands were stable for the most part, but the return of sports and a few lineup changes have both brands optimistic about the future.

The news was a little bit brighter though for ESPN 1000 in the key demo of Men 25-54, as the station won most dayparts head to head against their local rival including winning all three summer months with M-F 6a-7p. 1000 beat The Score in July 3.3 to 2.8, in August 3.1 to 2.5, and in September 3.0 to 2.6. The Score did record a victory for the full week M-SU 6a-Mid, edging 1000 for the book 2.9 to 2.5.

In mornings, ESPN 1000’s new duo featuring David Kaplan and Jonathan Hood are off to a strong start, topping their local sports radio competition since their August debut. For the full summer book, ESPN 1000 did a 3.5 share from 5 – 10a. Their new lineup, which began during the final month of the book features ESPN Radio’s national morning show Keyshawn, J-Will & Zubin from 5 – 7a, followed by Kaplan and Hood from 7 – 10a.

In comparison, 670 The Score trailed ESPN by almost a full point in the morning hours. From 5 – 7a, The Score earned a 2.7 share, and from 7 – 10a, they did a 2.5 while going up against ESPN 1000’s first local morning show in decades. During those hours, The Score features Mully & Haugh from 5 – 9a, and the first hour of Dan Bernstein’s midday show.

From 10a – noon, ESPN 1000 finished ninth with a 3.5 share. The first two months of the book still featured Kap & Company in the late morning timeslot, but the station’s new lineup saw Carmen & Jurko move to the 10a – noon block as of Aug. 17. The Score, which airs The Dan Bernstein Show during the 10a – noon hours, earned a 2.3 share.  

The Score’s highest rated daypart during the summer quarter came in the noon – 2p hours, where Laurence Holmes has proven the ability to perform well with or without sports, earning a 3 share. ESPN 1000, which previously aired Carmen & Jurko in the noon – 2p hours and now features Mike Greenberg’s national show, did a 3.2 share for the summer book, narrowly beating Holmes.

Rounding out the weekday lineup, ESPN 1000’s afternoon duo of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman finished tied for 13th with a 3.1 share, an increase of more than a full point from their spring performance. Even better than that was the recent news from Silvy, announcing last week that his cancer is in remission. Despite being diagnosed with the disease in April, Silvy continued to co-host ESPN 1000’s afternoon show in both the spring and summer books.

The Score meanwhile finished 16th from 2 – 6p as their afternoon show with Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins earned a 2.6 share, down half a point from the spring book. The Score has since fired longtime afternoon host Dan McNeil for an insensitive tweet, but that lineup change took place after the summer book was complete.

The evening block was The Score’s big win, topping ESPN 1000 by almost three points from 8p – midnight and almost five points in the 7pm hour. In the summer ratings period, The Score did a 6.1 during the 7pm hour and a 4 share from 8p – midnight. ESPN 1000 did a 1.2 in the same block.

Another positive for The Score was their cume, which was higher than their competitor among daytime shows with Men 25-54. They also held head to head advantages with Men 18+.

The Score serves as the Chicago Cubs flagship radio station, signaling the importance of baseball radio rights in the market. The station also airs Chicago Bulls basketball, which could see improvement with Billy Donovan now in place as the team’s new head coach. ESPN 1000 on the other hand is reportedly close to a deal with the Chicago White Sox to begin airing their games starting with the 2021 MLB season. Adding Sox baseball may not help the station win the nighttime matchup, but it should make things closer.

Jason Barrett Podcast

Jason Barrett Podcast: Jeff Smulyan, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down

Jason Barrett

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There would be no sports radio if not for Jeff Smulyan. He takes JB through the triumphs and disappointments of his career and explains why he is sharing so many stories in a new book, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down. To pick up your copy, click here.

iTunes: https://buff.ly/3nTJC5K 

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Sports Radio News

Zolak & Bertrand: Kirk Herbstreit’s Comments A Wake Up Call For Patriots Fans

“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Zolak and Bertrand

Things appeared to come to a head for the New England Patriots and their fans last week as the team fell to the Buffalo Bills 24-10.

Many fans of the Patriots with the loss seem to have accepted the fact that the glory days of the franchise are officially over. Thursday Night Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit even noted that it was off-putting that fans near his broadcast vantage point were fine with the Pats coming out on the losing end.

“I just felt the sense of acceptance of where they are,” Herbstreit said during a Friday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “It really shocked me. I’m just so used to the Patriots’ 20 years of excellence, and not just the NFL in all of professional sports. And to see their fan base just like, we suck, whatever, game’s over, like early they were like that.”

On Zolak & Bertrand Monday, co-host Scott Zolak disagreed with Herbstreit’s take.

“I don’t know what you want from a fan base to do after that when the game’s over, and the place starts to dump out,” he said. “The game was well in hand.”

Zolak’s cohort Marc Bertrand felt differently, praising Herbstreit for offering that sort of perspective.

“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough,” Bertrand said. “They let ’em off the hook.”

Bertrand felt like Patriots fans had every right to be pissed off with the product the team put on the field last week and have done so far this season. Especially when people are paying top dollar for admission to games.

“That product doesn’t match those prices last Thursday night,” he said, continuing to agree with what Herbstreit said. “You don’t hear that a lot around here. So I thought it was a nice change up.”

Zolak and Bertrand both seemed to determine that perhaps it was a case of fans being too nice and being willing to accept failure from head coach Bill Belichick and his staff.

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Sports Radio News

Paul Finebaum: ‘I’ve Been Accused Of Giving Up Objectivity For Nick Saban’

“I’ve been a flag waiver for Nick Saban since the day he got there.”

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People not from the state of Alabama may not realize that there was a time when there was no more vocal critic of the football team than Paul Finebaum. On Monday morning, he told Cole Cubelic of JOX 94.5 in Birmingham that his perspective began to change in January 2007.

“I’ve been a flag waiver for Nick Saban since the day he got there,” Finebaum admitted.

To be fair to Finebaum, Saban and the Crimson Tide have won five national championships and eight SEC championships since his arrival. It has been way easier to wave the flag than find fault.

Paul Finebaum says that some people don’t see it as that simple though and he has had to learn to accept some criticism.

“I’ve been accused of losing all my objectivity and focus to support Saban,” he said. “I believe in that because I believe he has completely transformed that school into what it is today.”

Acknowledging that Saban has been a game changer not just for Alabama football, but for the university itself, doesn’t mean that Paul Finebaum never has anything critical to say about the coach and his team. In fact, he told Cubelic that he was really put off by the way Saban campaigned for Alabama to be included in the upcoming College Football Playoff.

“For a coach of Nick Saban’s intellect to go on national television and use the point spread as a reason for entrance, when he was a big favorite in the two games he lost, he was an overwhelming favorite at Texas, the game where he needed a last-second field goal, and probably was the game that cost him the birth in a TCU head-to-head comparison.”

Saban appeared on multiple television shows and halftime shows stating that if you put Alabama up against any of the other teams in consideration for the final two spots, they would be the favorites. Finebaum thought it was a step too far.

“I want to make it clear,” he said. “I understand Nick Saban standing up for his program. I’ve hear people say ‘well, every coach would do that’. Well, you know what? I didn’t see Ryan Day doing that. I didn’t see Josh Heupel doing that. I saw Nick Saban doing that and I think that is what was so startling to me.”

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