The relationship between on-air personality Drew Lane and Greater Media Detroit has come to an end. It was learned today that Lane will leave his afternoon show on Detroit Sports 105.1 immediately, after a new contractual agreement could not be reached.
Greater Media Detroit Vice President and Market Manager Steve Chessare said “The issue wasn’t money. The only issue we had is in show content. Drew has done a phenomenal job for Greater Media for 24 years, and he was instrumental in us getting the sports station launched, but we’ve come to recognize that we’ve got to be true to our format, which is sports, both to the audience and our clients and partners, that we deliver a sports product.”
Chessare added ““I was trying to impress on Drew to infuse more sports into the show, and Drew was not comfortable doing any more than he was doing right now. We had an issue, in that we weren’t recycling the audience throughout the rest of the day and vice versa. Out of respect for Drew and what he’s built and how successful he’s been, we’re OK with his decision not to continue and we wish him nothing but the best.”
Lane had been with the station since its inception in August 2013. He was previously part of the “Drew and Mike” show for WRIF-FM for years before that. He confirmed that the change of direction with the show was the biggest reason for departing.
“We’ve been talking about this for awhile, so it was no big shock today,” Lane said Monday. “It was not about money, absolutely not. It was about adding a third person to the show would’ve been a sports person, somebody from the sports world, whether it was a media member or maybe a (former) player. They talked about that in the past. Having the chemistry our show had for all these years, I just didn’t really want to do a three-person show.”
While on air at 105.1, Lane worked with Marc Fellhauer, who goes back with him; he was a producer and online personality on “Drew & Mike.”
It is unclear if Fellhauer will stay on at 105.1. He did not return phone and text messages. Lane said he didn’t know what would happen, but was hopeful that the station would keep Fellhauer on.
Lane said he’s made it known to 105.1 brass for months that he wasn’t comfortable with a third person on the show, and he told them Wednesday that he would not do it. During talks over the weekend, it was clear to Lane he was going to be out.
“I said I couldn’t do that. They were surprised, and I was surprised they were surprised because I thought I was pretty clear,” Lane said. “I pleaded my case Wednesday of last week, that I really believed in the show, the chemistry and how important it is. It’s not a personal thing.
“Three-people shows tend to be a big mic fight. Nothing sounds worse than a mic fight — where you’ve gotta be careful about taking too big a breath.”
It’s unclear who 105.1 was thinking about in terms of adding a sports personality, though Program Director Dave Shore has put Sean Baligian and Drew Sharp on the air extensively since coming aboard.
Baligian hosts a popular daily show in Grand Rapids, and Sharp writes columns for the Detroit Free Press.
Baligian and Jake Chapman, who works on the station’s Pistons broadcasts, did the midday show from noon to 3 p.m. Monday, filling in for Matt Dery, who will fill in for Lane from 3-7 p.m. until a permanent replacement is hired. Dery appears a candidate for that show, though it’d likely be with a co-host. He did his midday shows solo. Sharp was on with him Monday.
Lane’s show drew easily the best ratings for 105.1, recently finishing fourth in its target market, 25- to 54-year-old men.
“It was as amicable a parting as you could have, under the circumstances,” said Loretta Ames, Lane’s agent of Plunkett Cooney law firm. “He’s been a longtime member of the Greater Media family, and that’s a relationship that’s been important to him.”
To read the full article visit the Detroit News where it was originally published
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.