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Lane Kiffin: ‘I’m Sure I Increased Michael Wilbon’s Ratings’

“The offensive-minded head coach told Patrick that people asked if he had wronged Wilbon before.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: The Dan Patrick Show

ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and Ole Miss Football head coach Lane Kiffin made news throughout this week, and Kiffin gave his first on the record thoughts regarding the media scuffle to Dan Patrick.

Kiffin appeared on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his team’s massive game against Alabama this weekend, but Patrick wanted to get some back story on why Wilbon has such a big problem with Kiffin. 

Wilbon went off on Kiffin’s career during a Pardon The Interruption segment earlier this week. He labeled Kiffin “a clown,” while saying he “has been an embarrassment everywhere he goes,” and summed him up as nothing more than “a cute little story for guys like us who have to talk about sports every day.”

“Yeah, it’s interesting from a guy I’ve never met,” Kiffin said to Patrick when asked about the comments. “So, someone sent it to me. I was like, ‘wow, that’s pretty aggressive,’ that was more kinda like a chat room or a Tennessee fan or something like that, not a national media member.”

Kiffin clapped back at Wilbon on Twitter Tuesday with an angry-face and praying emoji to ensure Wilbon that he is keeping him in his holy thoughts.

“And way to go out on a limp and pick the number one team in the country at home who is a huge favorite,” Kiffin continued on Twitter. “How long did you watch film to come up with that surprise pick??? Really Newsworthy captain obvious.”

The offensive-minded head coach told Patrick that people asked if he had wronged Wilbon before. 

“People are like, ‘did you do something wrong to this guy?’ I’ve never met him,” Kiffin claimed. “So whatever, I’m sure it increased his ratings.”

Kiffin is one of the most active college football coaches on Twitter, and it seems to be working as this week, #12 Ole Miss reached its highest ranking in either the AP or Coaches Poll since Oct. 2016.

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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