ESPN is bringing some young, fresh faces to join its “SportsCenter” team.
Will Reeve, son of late “Superman” star Christopher Reeve, comedian Reese Waters and social media correspondent Sarina Morales are joining the network’s team in Bristol, Connecticut, and intend to tap into the digital landscape to reach the millennial generation.
The trio will be doing special reports for the franchise show — such as going on the road with a college football team or reporting from the 16th hole at this weekend’s Phoenix Open — and it will be easy to spot their segments amid the sea of veteran talent.
“I’ll be different from a traditional ‘SportsCenter’ reporter because I won’t be behind a desk in a suit,” Reeve, 22, who shares the square jaw and broad shoulders of his father, told TheWrap. “These stories are not going to appear on air and then fade off — they are going to get an extended life digitally and on social media.”
“We are looking for new voices who can tell stories through their eyes and not in the ways we typically do,” said Glenn Jacobs, Senior Coordinating Producer for SportsCenter Digital, Now and Next-Generation Content. “It is really about making ‘SportsCenter’ an active part of sports fans’ lives, not just a passive one.”
As for Reeve, “he is just impressive, the way he thinks about things and sees the world. He has a really good sense of the stories he wants to tell that both interest him and ‘SportsCenter’ fans,” said Jacobs.
His father Christopher Reeve, who died in 2004 after being paralyzed in a riding accident nine years earlier when Will was just 11 years old, and mother Dana, who died from lung cancer in 2006, would have been equally impressed.
“Hopefully they would get a kick out it,” said Will. “The things I am interested in and passionate about are similar to what they were. My parents definitely define who I am.
“My dad and I had a huge bond and shared a love of sports. I hope they would be proud and say, ‘Great job,’ no matter what. Then my dad would probably tell me to straighten my tie!” he laughed.
To read the rest of the article visit The Wrap where this was originally published
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.