Sports Radio News
The Tide Is Turning In The Houston Ratings Race
The January ratings are now available for Houston, and this month there were some new developments which are certain to have one brand celebrating, another frustrated, and a third feeling encouraged but far from satisfied.
The ratings report covers December 31st to January 27th, and during that period SportsTalk 790 (KBME-AM) made some noticeable adjustments to their programming. The radio station moved Matt Thomas to mornings opposite Lance Zierlein, and shifted Adam Clanton from mornings to middays where he debuted a new program alongside former NFL player Sean Jones.
Additionally, Sports Radio 610 KILT made a change to their evening programming, giving Paul Gallant an opportunity to host a solo show.
In analyzing the numbers, here is the comparison for M-Su 6a-Mid among Men 25-54.
- Sports Radio 610 KILT = 3.4 (tied for 11th)
- ESPN 97.5 = 2.6 (tied for 18th)
- Sports Talk 790 = 1.5 (25th)
- KGOW 1560 = 0.1 (tied for 39th)
*** 610 added a half of a point from month to month, and 97.5 and 790 also added three tenths of a point. KGOW remained flat. Overall the format saw a spike from the Holiday book to January, but if you go back to the same period last year, KILT is down nearly a full point. They delivered a 4.3 last January. During that same time, 97.5 has gained a point, climbing from 1.6 to 2.6, and 790 is down seven tenths going from a 2.2 to 1.5. KGOW also has seen a major decline dropping from 0.6 to 0.1.
Next up is morning drive M-F 6a-10a. Here’s the Men 25-54 breakdown.
- ESPN 97.5 = 3.5 (10th)
- Sports Radio 610 KILT = 3.2 (12th)
- Sports Talk 790 = 2.7 (tied for 16th)
- KGOW 1560 = 0.1 (37th)
*** This was the third book in a row where ESPN 97.5 won mornings and they continue to gain share which is very impressive. When you consider that KILT and 790 go with local programming and 97.5 features “Mike and Mike” and 1-hour of the local program “Reality Check” hosted by Dylan Gwynn and Barry Warner, this is a major win for the brand. Making it even more impressive is that one year ago, the station was producing a 1.3 in mornings. This means they’ve gained more than 2 points in morning drive year to year. For KILT the news isn’t bad. They were up month to month and only three tenths away from tying 97.5. They’re also consistent year to year. For 790, they too saw an increase, which is great news given that they recently made a change in mornings. They improved by three tenths of a point from the Holiday book to January. The one concern would be the decline year to year which has seen the brand slip from a 4.1 to 2.7. However, with a new show in place, I’m sure they’re expecting bigger things to come in the future.
When you examine M-F 10a-3p this is what the midday story looks like with Men 25-54:
- Sports Radio 610 KILT = 3.0 (13th)
- ESPN 97.5 = 2.4 (tied for 18th)
- Sports Talk 790 = 1.6 (25th)
- KGOW 1560 = 0.1 (tied for 35th)
*** Middays are where KILT regains the lead and holds a comfortable six tenths of a point advantage. However, 790 rew from a 0.9 in December to 1.6 in January which is really strong and indicates that Clanton and Jones may have attracted an extra meter or two. KILT was up a tenth month to month, and 97.5 saw growth as well, picking up four tenths from the Holiday monthly to January. Looking back to the same time last year, KILT has lost 2 points slipping from a 5.0 to 3.0, 790 has dropped eight tenths falling from a 2.4 to 1.6, and 97.5 which has added John Granato to the local mix and also includes Sean Salisbury, has added nine tenths growing from a 1.5 to 2.4. Also, KGOW has fallen hard dropping from 0.9 to 0.1 during the past 12 months.
Rounding out the key prime time matchups is the afternoon drive slot. Here’s how M-F 3p-7p with Men 25-54 stacked up.
- ESPN 97.5 = 3.6 (11th)
- Sports Radio 610 KILT = 3.2 (15th)
- Sports Talk 790 = 1.4 (25th)
- KGOW 1560 = 0.0 (tied for 41st)
*** This was a huge win for 97.5 as KILT has consistently led the afternoon battle. Month to month the radio station grew eight tenths of a point, improving from a 2.8 to 3.6, and during the past twelve months that number has risen from 2.3 to 3.6. Congrats are in order for AJ Hoffman, Fred Faour, and Russillo and Kanell who all contributed to the station’s afternoon growth. For KILT, I’m sure they’re not satisfied finishing behind 97.5 but they are only four tenths away, and one ranking position behind. They did experience slight growth month to month going from a 3.0 to a 3.2 but year to year they’ve suffered some bad luck, falling from a 4.9 to 3.2. For 790, they saw slight improvement climbing from a 1.2 to 1.4, but year to year they too are down, dropping from 1.9 in 2015 to 1.4 in 2016. KGOW had no impact for the month and are down 0.6 to 0.0 year to year.
Taking a look at the evenings, where KILT debuted a new program, here’s what the picture looked like M-F 7p-12a among Men 25-54.
- Sports Radio 610 KILT = 2.5 (18th)
- ESPN 97.5 = 1.3 (24th)
- Sports Talk 790 = 1.2 (25th)
- KGOW 1560 = 0.0 (tied for 39th)
*** It was a good start for KILT’s new evening program, as the show added two tenths month to month. The concern however would be a drop year to year from 3.9 to 2.5. Given though that this is the first month of a new program, we’ll need a longer sample size to see how the changes are received, but so far so good. For 97.5 and 790, this is the area where they’re not as strong. Given that these are the off-peak hours, I’m sure they’re not too concerned about it.
To summarize, it was a big month for ESPN 97.5. Make no mistake about it, when you win mornings and afternoons and unseat the leading brand in the market, it’s going to be a little sweeter entering the workplace. We weren’t privy to the M-F 6a-7p numbers with Men 25-54 but I’m sure the story is a strong one for 97.5, and as this train continues to pick up steam, I’m sure local and national advertisers are taking notice.
For KILT, they’re used to winning so this isn’t familiar territory. That said, they are only a few tenths of a point away from reversing the latest setback. The real test will come next month when the February monthly offers little play-by-play benefit and the market’s best personalities and content stand out. Their decision to run a trade deadline promotion around their personalities was smart, but only time will tell if it made a difference in the numbers.
Last but not least is 790. Where they have to feel really good is when they look month to month and they see their latest changes paying immediate dividends. To grow four tenths in mornings, and seven tenths in middays is excellent. Now the station needs to continue that momentum in order to make up ground from where they were last year and ultimately unseat one of the top two leading brands.
As for KGOW, they’re in a different category and not a factor in the ratings.
Credit to the Houston Chronicle who were first to report this story
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Larry Krueger Accuses 49ers of Leaking Information to Rich Eisen
“The SF Gate is not buying Krueger’s theory.”
Very few voices in the Bay Area carry as much weight with sports fans as Larry Krueger. The former KNBR host took to Twitter on Thursday to openly question how Rich Eisen seems to know so much about the team’s quarterback plans.
The quarterback room in San Francisco is crowded and trying to make sense of a preseason depth chart is complicated. Yet somehow, the NFL Network host seems to know exactly how the team plans to handle Trey Lance, Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold.
“If Purdy starts throwing now, and he starts showing up, and he can go in training camp, and they’re looking at him saying, ‘Oh, he looks just like the kid last year,’ and he’s not sitting there with his arm in ice, and he does what he needs to in training camp, and he does what he needs to do in the first preseason game, then he’s your guy,” Eisen said on his Tuesday radio show.
He added that if that happens, the team will begin taking calls about trade offers for Lance. His contract features a team option for a fifth season. Given how little Lance has played through his first two seasons, Eisen said that whether or not to pick up the option is a decision the 49ers are happy to let someone else make.
Larry Krueger does not think this is just Eisen saying what he would do.
The SF Gate is not buying Krueger’s theory. Writer Gabe Fernandez noted that if Eisen did have insider knowledge of the team’s quarterback plans, surely he would be sharing juicer information than just what could be inferred by any football fan.
Larry Krueger was let go last year from KNBR, a station he had worked for for 25 years. He has been busy though. His YouTube show boasts over 10,000 subscribers. He has also hosted shows for KNBR’s crosstown rival 95.7 The Game.
Sports Radio News
Q Myers Celebrates Memorial Day With All Military Guest Lineup on Raider Nation Radio
“One of my most satisfying moments is when I get a text or a tweet from a veteran or an active military member that thanks us for recognizing them and how essential and important they are in our local community.”
Raider Nation Radio is all about giving Las Vegas extensive coverage of its local NFL team. On Friday though, it became about something more. Host and programmer Q Myers used his show to pay tribute to everyone that served the country heading into the Memorial Day weekend.
Friday’s edition of Unnecessary Roughness featured guests with military backgrounds and ties. All of the guests will offer insight and opinions on the Raiders and the NFL, but also share their experience in the military and serving veterans.
Among the guests are three former players. Nate Boyer was a long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks as well as a former Green Beret. He joins Myers at 2:10 PT. Former Raiders quarterback Jay Schroeder was the team’s 2022 Salute to Service nominee for his work with veterans and advocacy for issues affecting them. He will be on at 3:15 PT. Finally, former Raiders running back Napolean McCallum, who played his college football for the US Naval Academy, will be in the studio at 4:30 PT.
Before taking over Lotus’s stations in Las Vegas, Q Myers was in Waco, Texas. It also has a large military community. Myers told BSM that is where he first learned the importance of acknowledging those listeners’ experiences.
“I came to realize how important we were to the Military community and the fact that there are so many people from many different parts of the country and different walks of life in our community. It was always important to take a few moments a segment or two, incorporate guests with military backgrounds or even former athletes that have that military background and acknowledge them and appreciate them,” he said.
Myers says he has been making similar efforts ever since arriving in Las Vegas, which is home to Nellis Air Force Base.
“One of my most satisfying moments is when I get a text or a tweet from a veteran or an active military member that thanks us for recognizing them and how essential and important they are in our local community,” he said. “It’s one of the things I take a lot of pride in and make sure I always reiterate to my staff not to forget.”
In addition to former players, fans and analysts that served in the military will also call in.
Sports Radio News
Share of Ear Survey: Most Radio Listening Still Done Via Broadcast Signal
“Among people 13 and older, 86% preferred to listen to their favorite station via the over-the-air signal.”
We talk a lot about the changing consumption patterns for our listeners, but according to Edison research, radio is still the most popular way to consume radio. The latest “Share of Ear” study asked respondents how they listen to their favorite radio stations. The terrestrial signal won by a large margin.
Among people 13 and older, 86% preferred to listen to their favorite station via the over-the-air signal. When it comes to adults between 18 and 49, that number drops slightly to 80%. That is clearly still an overwhelming favorite.
More overall listening is done via streaming, with the phone being the most popular option. When it comes to listening to the radio though, only 8% of people 13 and up said it was their top choice.
Computers and smart speakers represented the next two most popular means of listening to the radio. Internet-connected smart televisions showed up at number four. Those devices are becoming an increasingly more popular means of consuming radio content.
“Late last year we reported that for total audio listening, the phone surpassed the radio set for the first time,” a statement from Edison reads. “While it is always risky to predict the future, it seems reasonably safe to bet that the phone will be the primary battle zone for consumers’ time spent listening going forward. As of today, only a relatively small portion of time spent listening to audio on the smartphone goes to ‘radio.’ As radio charts a future that is less dependent on the single-function ‘radio set,’ success on the phone, as well as other internet-enabled devices, is imperative.”