Jim Rome is returning to where it all began in Southern California. His show will now air on The Mightier 1090. The homecoming is effective immediately.
Before it was The Jim Rome Show, the longest running nationally-syndicated long-form sports talk program in America, it was a weeknight program that was taking roots to becoming beloved in the early 1990s at San Diego’s all-sports station, XTRA Sports 690, the predecessor to The Mightier 1090.
The show will air from 12-3 p.m. PT daily.
Rome is understandably excited. “You know the saying, “You can never go home again.” Lie. I’m calling B.S. on that. You can. And I am! And I am hyped beyond belief for the opportunity. The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio is getting after it on the daily in San Diego and when Bill Hagen and Scott Kaplan asked me if I wanted to be part of this, I asked, “When the hell do we start?!”
The SoCal city holds a fond piece of Rome’s heart. “San Diego is where the Jungle really took hold. It’s where I met my wife. And where I experienced some of the greatest moments of my entire life. There is no better town, no better market and you absolutely CAN go home. And that’s what I plan on doing. And I can’t wait. Let’s do this!”
“If there’s any market where The Jim Rome Show belongs in this country, it’s right here where it all started in San Diego and Southern California,” said Bill Hagen of The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio. “When it comes to Jim Rome, you’re talking about one of the most iconic hosts in sports talk radio history and for “Clones” throughout Southern California there’s no better fit for The Jim Rome Show than right here at The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio.”
The show was nicknamed “The Jungle” by Rome and his loyal listeners during it’s beginning stages in the evenings. The Jungle later moved to middays in San Diego and became known as The Jim Rome Show. It was first syndicated in 1996 from XTRA Sports 690.
The Jim Rome Show had been off the air in San Diego since February 2022.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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”
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.