After enjoying a quiet semi-retirement, former Sportsradio 94.1 WIP host Tony Bruno is slamming his former employer for money he claims the station owes him but refuses to pay.
The revelation came on Twitter during an exchange about radio ratings between Bruno’s former co-host, Josh Innes, and Crossing Broad’s Kyle Scott.
Bruno claims he is owed about $30,000 for co-hosting “The Innes and Bruno Show,” which was tops in the market among men 25-54 during the spring ratings book, one of four quarterly measurements of a show’s popularity that usually determines a host’s bonus. Bruno, who surprised listeners by walking away from the popular show in July, claims the money is owed for the last month of the winter ratings book, and the three months that comprise the spring ratings book.
“I’m not asking for millions of dollars from CBS or some ridiculous buyout I didn’t earn,” Bruno said, noting that the station paid him everything else he was owed, including salary, endorsements and unused vacation time. “I’m just asking for what I earned.”
Officials at WIP were unavailable to comment.
Bruno claims Andy Bloom, operations manager for WIP, made the case he wasn’t owed the bonus money because he never received a signed contract by March 1, which voided the station’s letter of intent. But Bruno says he never received a fully executed contract from Bloom to sign.
“I never actually got a contract from Andy until March 31, and even then it wasn’t fully executed,” Bruno said in an interview, noting there were differences between the two on vacation time and the length of the program that Bloom simply crossed out and wrote into the contract.
“I’d never sign a contract with lined-out things,” Bruno said. “My lawyers insisted that it has to be a clean contract.”
Despite his sudden retirement, Bruno has attempted to take the high road, refusing to blame his departure on anything other than a desire to leave radio. He has continued podcasting “The Tony Bruno Show” without mentioning his former employer, and insists he doesn’t want to drag either CBS or Bloom through the mud.
“I even asked [Bloom] if it’s really worth it for him and CBS to not pay me $30,000,” Bruno said. “I’m not trying to get him in trouble, but I know he’s screwing me to protect his own hide with CBS.”
“Maybe he just thinks it’ll go away in a couple of days. I’m calling his bluff.”
Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article
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.