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Sports Radio Ratings From Around The Country

Jason Barrett

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The December ratings are in for a number of cities and that means the Fall Book has now come to an end. Rather than doing a number of market specific pieces, I figured I’d share some key details from a couple of top brands in various cities. As other stations report their data I’ll be sure to update that as well.

New York: WFAN bested 98.7 ESPN NY for the Fall Book. In mornings, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton did a 6.2 to finish third with Men 25-54. ESPN’s Mike & Mike was 11th with a 3.6. In middays, Joe & Evan on WFAN were 5th with a 6.1, ESPN’s Dan LeBatard Show which had recently signed on the radio station in September, turned in a 2.3 to place 15th.

From 1p-3p, Mike Francesa’s first two hours of his show on WFAN delivered a 7.9 which was more than triple the number of Alan Hahn & Rick DiPietro who produced a 2.5. The positive news for ESPN’s program is that this was their first ratings book and they were up from 1.8 which Mike Lupica’s show previously generated.

In afternoons, Mike Francesa won the head to head battle with Michael Kay. Francesa’s show between 3p-6:30p turned in a 6.8 compared to Kay’s program which did a 4.2 during that same time period. Overall, Francesa’s full show from 1p-6:30p registered a 7.2 which placed the program 2nd overall, only a tenth of a point behind WCBS.

Chicago: ESPN 1000 won the Fall Book versus 670 The Score. The station finished 1st M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8, narrowly edging The Score which was 2nd with a 4.7. They also came in 6th with a 4.2 M-SU 6a-Mid while The Score was 8th with a 3.8.

In show by show comparisons, The Score won the morning battle with Mully & Hanley finishing 4th with a 5.2 while Mike & Mike came in 6th with a 4.7. In the middays, Spiegel & Goff on The Score were 2nd with a 5.1 opposite  Carmen & Jurko who were 7th with a 3.8.

David Kaplan who joined ESPN 1000 in September after leaving WGN finished 1st with a 4.9 during his hours of 12p-2p. In the afternoon matchup, ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy produced a 5.5 to finish 1st while The Score’s Boers & Bernstein were 5th with a 4.2.

The Score airs an hour of Spiegel & Goff and an hour of Boers & Bernstein between 12p-2p opposite Kaplan’s show.

San Francisco: KNBR won the month with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8 to 3.8 against 95.7 The Game. However, it was their lowest number in the demo in two years and down from a 6.1 last year. The Game during that same time has grown from a 3.4 to 3.8.

Head to Head, KNBR won in mornings with Murph & Mac delivering a strong 6.1 compared to The Game’s Chad, Joe & Lo program turning in a 3.9. Gary & Larry on KNBR produced a 3.5 from 10a-12p which was slightly ahead of Haberman & Middlekauff’s 3.0. The Game once again beat KNBR 12p-3p, with Papa & Lund beating Fitz & Brooks 4.2 to 3.1. In afternoon, Tom Tolbert had a big month finishing with a 5.3 which was ahead of Damon Bruce who had a 3.0. Although the 49ers and Raiders haven’t turned in big numbers, KNBR has seen a lift from the Warriors thanks to the team’s hot start to the season.

Dallas: Both The Fan and The Ticket have stories to celebrate heading into the holidays. In the December book, The Fan won the head to head matchup with The Ticket for M-SU 6a-Mid. The Fan was 5th with a 4.2, The Ticket was 6th with a 4.0. For M-F 6a-7p the nod went to The Ticket which delivered a 5.0 to place 4th. The Fan came in 5th with a 4.2.

In show by show comparisons, The Musers dominated morning drive finishing 1st with an 8.3. The Fan was 9th with a 3.3. In middays (10a-3p) The Ticket (6th) edged The Fan (8th) 4.0 to 3.8 and in afternoons it went 5.4 for The Ticket (3rd) and 4.4 for The Fan (6th). When you analyze the data year over year, The Ticket has lost a ratings point and The Fan has gained one, which is a big reason why the two stations are locked in a very tight battle. Expect more of that to continue with both brands in 2016.

Philadelphia: WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic were once again locked in a fierce battle in the city of brotherly love for the December book. In morning drive, WIP’s Angelo Cataldi delivered a 8.5 and beat The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano who turned in a 7.4. In middays, WIP led by Michael Barkann and Ike Reese generated a 6.5 which was ahead of The Fanatic’s Harry Mayes & Rob Ellis who produced a 5.5. In afternoon drive, Mike Missanelli won the month for The Fanatic with an 8.1, one tenth of a point ahead of Josh Innes who had an 8.0. Innes did however best Missanelli for the Fall Book with an 8.3 to 8.1 victory.

One item that figures to be a hot topic of conversation in 2016 in the market is streaming. When digital numbers are added to the equation, The Fanatic is seeing a bigger lift than WIP. That’ll be something for us to keep an eye on.

Washington DC: The month belonged once again to 106.7 The Fan, as the station finished 7th with a 4.9 with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p, and 9th with a 4.1 M-SU 6a-Mid. The stations numbers were two tenths of a point lower than November. By comparison, ESPN 980 was 16th with a 2.4 for M-F 6a-7p and 17th with a 2.5 M-F 6a-Mid. Last month they were 15th M-F 6a-7p with a 2.5 and 15th with M-SU 6a-Mid with a 2.7.

For the talk shows, The Fan held serve as the top dog in the market with Men 25-54. In mornings, The Sports Junkies lost a tenth of a point between November and December, going from a 4.8 to a 4.7 to finish in 7th. ESPN 980 experienced slight growth going from a 2.2 and 15th in November to 2.6 and 14th in December. The station’s decision to drop “The Man Cave” and replace them with “Mike & Mike” did not hurt the radio station.

In middays, Grant and Danny also lost a few tenths, dropping from 6.8 in November to 6.4 in December. They remain in 2nd place and are the top rated show in the market. For 980 during the 10a-2p hours (Tony Kornheiser and The Sports Fix), the station grew from 2.4 and 16th in November to 2.5 and 15th in December.

During afternoon drive, Chad Dukes had a 4.2 to place 9th which was slightly down from last month’s 4.5 when he also finished 9th. 980 meanwhile between 2p-6p (Inside The Locker Room and two hours of Steve Czaban’s show) had their biggest decline, falling from 2.8 and 13th in November to 2.3 and 19th in December.

What I particularly found interesting is that both brands experienced a minor dip during a period when the Redskins were picking up steam in the NFC. One would think that with Kirk Cousins making his presence felt on the field and on camera (You Like That?), and the team battling for the NFC East crown that the numbers would increase. That’ll be something to watch heading into next month.

Boston: The nation’s most competitive market didn’t disappoint as sports radio finished 1st and 2nd respectively for the Fall Book with Men 25-54. 98.5 The Sports Hub led the way with a 13.6 while WEEI was behind them with a 9.1.

In sizing up the head to head show comparisons, The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich finished first in mornings with a 14.6. WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan which includes Kirk Minihane was second at a 13.4. Incredible numbers from both shows. In middays, Zolak & Bertrand on The Sports Hub came in 1st with a 12.3. WEEI’s Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni & Christian Fauria placed 3rd with an 8.5. In afternoons, Felger & Massarotti were 1st on The Sports Hub with a phenomenal 16.9. WEEI’s Dale & Holley which also features Jerry Thornton, were strong with a 9.6.

During the evenings, The Sports Hub which airs Adam Jones’ Show and Bruins and Celtics play by play, came in first with an 11.4. WEEI which offers The Planet Mikey Show finished second with a 7.8.

St. Louis: 101 ESPN had an excellent Fall Book, producing an 8.3 to finish 3rd overall with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p. The station was also 9th with Persons 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with a 4.8. Those performances helped the station finish the month as the market’s top rated spoken word station. In addition, Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler, Stalter & Duncan and The Fast Lane with Karraker, Farr & Thompson all finished 3rd in their respective timeslots.

Minneapolis: KFAN in Minneapolis finished the month once again in 1st with Men 25-54 but this time the brand also occupied the top spot with Persons 25-54. Their performance this year is among the best in the format across the entire country. The station generated a massive 15.7 rating with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p and a 15.0 M-F 6a-Mid.

For the individual shows, The Power Trip morning show and Paul Allen’s midday show were both 1st overall with Men 25-54 with a 16.8. The Common Man’s midday program finished with a 14.2 and was also #1, and afternoon host Dan Barreiro turned in an outstanding 16.0 to also finish 1st. When you register #1 in every single daypart on your radio station, that my friends is called massive success.

As additional information comes in from other markets we’ll keep you updated!

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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