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Carton & Roberts Score Their First Afternoon Drive Ratings Win on WFAN

“‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off ‘The Michael Kay Show’, which finished 4th with a 4.8.”

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Mark Chernoff’s final run as program director of WFAN may be coming to an end in the near future, but the longtime PD of New York’s dominant sports radio station is making sure that when he passes the baton, he’s turning over a well oiled machine with strong ratings success to whoever follows him.

The Winter Book results were released today in the big apple, and the headline that will generate the most attention throughout the industry was Craig Carton and Evan Roberts unseating The Michael Kay Show for the top spot in afternoon drive according to the Nielsen Audio ratings. ‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off Kay’s program, which finished 4th with a 4.8. Those numbers take into account both the over the air, and streaming numbers (combined audience) for both brands. The winter book reflects the ratings generated by both stations between January 7th and March 31st.

The win was an important one for the WFAN afternoon duo. It was their first full book together and it reversed a trend that saw Kay enjoy previous success against Roberts and his former partner Joe Benigno. Carton and Roberts did team up for part of the Fall 2020 book, but because they started their show on November 9th, they weren’t responsible for most of the quarter’s performance.

One additional point worth sharing, Kay’s program, which previously started at 3pm ET, has since moved up an hour to 2pm ET. That means during the spring book, we’ll see the two shows battling for audience during similar time periods. The reason that’s important, 98.7 ESPN NY got crushed during the 2pm hour in this book. Carton & Roberts smoked Max Kellerman’s national show 9.0 to 2.1, leaving Kay with ground to make up. Regardless, Carton & Roberts did what they had to do, they put WFAN back in the win column in PM drive.

In middays, WFAN had to be satisfied with the performance turned in by Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray. The midday team placed 2nd overall with a 5.9 share from 10a-2p ET. During that same period, 98.7 ESPN NY received a 2.4, 16th place finish from Mike Greenberg, and a 2.9, 12th place showing from Bart Scott & Alan Hahn.

Closing things out in mornings, the WFAN powerhouse team of ‘Boomer & Gio’ led the market once again, finishing 1st overall with a 7.6. Their performance was the best of WFAN’s weekday programs for the quarter. The mixture of ESPN Radio’s ‘Keyshawn, J-Will & Zubin’, and 98.7 ESPN NY’s trio of Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty, and Dave Rothenberg came in 17th between 6a-10a with a 2.6 share.

For WFAN, this has to feel good, because it’s what the station expected when it brought Carton back. Craig’s ability to create interest, entertainment, and conversation is unquestioned. The buzz around WFAN’s afternoon show has been very different because there’s a daily question of what Carton might do next. Craig’s skill combined with Evan’s insight and ability to adjust to the #2 chair, and show another side of himself that hadn’t been heard as much previously, has allowed the show to perform well, and the station to generate new momentum. With the lineup strong and in a consistent place, New York’s sports radio king is positioned to enjoy future wins.

On the other hand, 98.7 ESPN NY is paying a price for shaking up its lineup. The Michael Kay Show is still a force and has nothing to feel bad about or apologize for. Moving up an hour earlier should help them in trying to reverse the latest results, and given the show’s dynamic, they’re good enough to bounce right back next book. The bigger question is the rest of the lineup. Kay’s show is drastically outperforming everything else on 98.7’s airwaves. It does take time for new shows to connect with an audience, but national programs have always faced an uphill climb in New York City. Making matters worse, Carton & Roberts started in November and six months later they’re riding high. If ESPN New York can get their national shows to finish in the Top 10, they’d probably feel good about it because there’s money to be made if you’re ranking that high in market #1. If they continue to hover around 16th-20th though, that might create more discussions inside their Bristol and NYC offices.

Sports Radio News

107.5 The Fan To Present Stage Show in June

“Tickets for the event went on sale Wednesday morning.”

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All four local weekday hosts from 107.5 The Game in Indianapolis will take part in a live stage show next month. The event, titled A Night in the Fan Cave, will take place at the Indiana Historical Society.

Kevin Bowen Jake Query, Dan Dakich, and JMV will be on stage to talk sports, tell a few jokes and take listener questions.

Tickets for the event went on sale Wednesday morning. For $65, fans get access to the show and free food and beverages. There will also be a pre-show reception and a chance afterward for attendees to take pictures with the 107.5 The Fan crew.

A Night in the Fan Cave is presented by Forum Credit Union. The preshow reception is presented by Larceny and Evan Williams Bourbon.

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Sports Radio News

Jim Nantz: ‘Players Are Realizing Being In A Top NFL Booth Is A Big Deal’

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Much has been made in the media about Tom Brady joining the NFL on FOX booth after his playing days are over. The majority opinion has been that Brady won’t succeed.

But if you ask Jim Nantz, Brady is going to be a home run.

“He’ll be very well prepared. That goes without saying,” Nantz told Rich Eisen on Tuesday. “I think he’ll be very good. I don’t have any question about it.”

Nantz speaks from having spent the last five seasons alongside former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo at CBS. Romo has been widely praised for his analytical skills and abilit

“I’m thrilled that he’s going to have a voice in the sport,” Nantz continued. “I think what’s happened here recently is that everybody has realized that that platform, being an elite analyst on one of the very few, handful of packages in the NFL, it’s a big deal. And you’re extremely relevant and people are listening to everything you say. And Tom will be up to the challenge.

“I never had a doubt that he would be a genius at this. I had a friendship with Tony that went back many years before the arranged marriage by CBS that put us in the booth together.

“I don’t pull against anybody. I’m not trying to outsmart, outdo this. We’re just trying to be the best that we can be, and I just like our situation of having the chance to work 21 weeks a year together having fun conversing, looking at one another face-to-face.”

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Sports Radio News

Andre Knott Joins ESPN Cleveland

“Knott is no stranger to Cleveland sports fans. He is currently an in-game reporter covering the Guardians for Bally Sports Ohio. He is also a contributor to FOX 8 locally.”

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ESPN Cleveland has added Andrew Knott to fill a variety of roles for the station. He will join the station’s content team and contribute both on air and online.

“I’m excited and can’t wait to go back to 850 ESPN Cleveland,” Andre Knott said in a press release. “Not only will I be talking sports but working with some of my favorite people in our business.”

Knott is no stranger to Cleveland sports fans. He is currently an in-game reporter covering the Guardians for Bally Sports Ohio. He is also a contributor to FOX 8 locally. Prior to that he was part of the Browns Radio Network.

“Andre adds great experience and personality, and he is an incredible storyteller,” said Matt Fishman, Director of Content, ESPN Cleveland. “He also helps to encourage the development of teammates newer to the industry, and we look forward to seeing him do that at ESPN Cleveland.”

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