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The Zone Prevails In The Omaha Winter Ratings

Jason Barrett



The city of Omaha may not have a professional sports team to call its own, but that doesn’t mean its passion for sports doesn’t run deep. It’s because of that desire that the market’s two top local sports radio brands are producing healthy ratings.

In the latest winter book, 1620 The Zone reaped the benefits by leading in all Men 25-54 categories. AM 590 ESPN turned in a respectable finish, but was the clear runner up. However, with 590 adding the rights to the Nebraska Cornhuskers last February, that momentum can change quickly.

What’s undeniable at this point in time is that local listeners have two great options to listen to and each provide a different style of programming. To get a better idea of how each brand stacks up, here’s a look at the individual show performances, and a couple of the traditional timeslots.


M-SU 6A-MID = 6.6 (3rd)

M-F 6A-7P = 8.1 (3rd)

M-F 7A-11A (Sharp & Benning) = 8.8 (2nd)

M-F 11A-2P (Game Time with Nick Bahe) = 8.8 (2nd)

M-F 2P-6P (Unsportsmanlike Conduct with John Bishop and Josh Peterson) = 8.9 (1st)

*** A big month for The Zone headlined by the afternoon show hitting #1. Overall the radio station won the head to head matchups in every timeslot which is huge, but even more importantly was the fact that they finished in the Top 3 in every category. That speaks to the station’s consistency and content/personality appeal.


M-SU 6A-MID = 3.8 (8th)

M-F 6A-7P = 4.4 (8th)

M-F 5A-9A (Mike and Mike) = 7.1 (3rd)

M-F 9A-12P (Dan Le Batard) = 2.4 (12th)

M-F 12P-2P (Russillo and Kanell) = 4.0 (8th)

M-F 2P-6P (The Drive with Joe Quinn and Nick Handley) = 4.3 (8th)

*** 590 is getting a GREAT performance from Mike and Mike. Russillo and Kanell and the afternoon show each turn in Top 10 finishes which is respectable. Le Batard right now is the one program which isn’t popping. We’ll have to see if that’s seasonal or a regular trend. Overall the station is in the Top 10 and during the Fall it’ll likely perform much higher with Huskers football on the station’s airwaves. The key is holding that audience over during the week.


M-F 6A-10A:

  • 1620 The Zone = 7.5 (2nd)
  • AM 590 ESPN = 5.4 (5th)

M-F 10A-3P:

  • 1620 The Zone = 9.6 (2nd)
  • AM 590 ESPN = 3.4 (10th)

M-F 3P-7P:

  • 1620 The Zone = 7.8 (2nd)
  • AM 590 ESPN = 4.3 (7th)

One other item I was able to examine was the Men 18-49 category. Although this isn’t the focus for determining success, it is an area to keep an eye on because as older listeners age and exit the desired demo, younger listeners enter it for the first time, and judging by what I’ve seen, both brands are in good shape.

Similar to the Men 25-54 story, The Zone is in a stronger position with younger listeners. They gain an extra point on many of their key shows. For example, Sharp and Benning delivered a 9.8, Nick Bahe had a 9.9, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct turned in a 9.5. For AM 590 they lost a point on Mike and Mike, and two tenths with Le Batard. However, they gain three tenths with Russillo and Kanell, and one tenth with The Drive.

The interesting book to look at will be the Fall when 590 can leverage the power of Cornhuskers football, and use the increased attention to help drive additional tune ins to its weekday programs. At this point in time though, the market belongs to The Zone. The talent are consistent and providing exceptional programming, and based on the latest numbers, the audience agrees.




Sports Radio News

Angelo Cataldi Bans Andy Reid’s Voice From WIP Morning Show

“25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”





As Super Bowl LVII approaches, many storylines have emerged. One includes Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid facing off with the team he coached for 14 years, the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid is a beloved figure in NFL circles, but 94WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi couldn’t hold back his disdain for the coaching legend.

On Tuesday morning, Cataldi mentioned he couldn’t believe Reid was so highly regarded in NFL media circles. The longtime host said Reid was never truthful during interviews.

After playing clips that included Reid saying the Eagles “were a good team” and how the Chiefs “would need a good game plan” to grab a victory, Cataldi took issue with the generalities Reid spoke with. When asked what he expected from an NFL head coach, Cataldi compared Reid to current Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.

“I was expecting something like Nick gives me every time,” Cataldi said. “I hate Reid ’cause he never won me the Super Bowl, I hate Reid that it took him six years to get there, it took Nick two, and I hate Reid because he never bothered to share a damn thing. If you’re out there, with 25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

Cataldi — who admitted “I don’t like the man, and I’ve never liked the man” — said he received more than 300 emails about Reid, noting he didn’t realize he was “widely regarded as the all-time Andy Reid critic” in Philadelphia.

The 94WIP host added listeners will not hear the voice of the “phony, fraud” Reid any longer on his morning show.

“I do not control the other dayparts here. I don’t control the newsroom. I’m done playing anything said by Andy Reid. ‘Cause I learned over 14 years it’s a waste of time.”

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Sports Radio News

Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution

“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”





Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.

“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.

A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.

“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.

The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.

“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”

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Sports Radio News

Mully & Haugh: Mike Florio Had Perfect Response About NFL Games Being Fixed





There were questionable calls — both made and not — that played into the eventual outcome of the AFC Championship Game. Cynics have pointed to the officiating in the game’s final quarter as proof that NFL games are fixed. On 670 The Score, Mully & Haugh praised Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for his response to those accusations.

“I always assume it’s incompetence and not corruption,” Florio said when asked about whether or not the league purposely got the matchup it desired. “The NFL does not rig its games. I will say that loudly, and I will say that clearly. Sometimes I will add ‘because I don’t think the NFL would be sufficiently competent to rig its games if it wanted to. That’s why I think they don’t even try.”

Florio then added that being lied to all the time doesn’t mean you’re being lied to all the time, adding that the NFL does need to be proactive against games being fixed, rigged, or altered after the expansion of legalized gambling.

Later in the program, Mulligan and Haugh returned to the discussion about whether or not a conspiracy was at play when Mulligan levied his praise for the Pro Football Talk founder.

“I thought Mike Florio handled that very well,” Mike Mulligan said. “They’re too incompetent to have a conspiracy. It’s true!”

When asked about whether the NFL would actually want to alter the outcome to pit the Chiefs against the Eagles, Haugh said it’s just not realistic.

“That’s a leap you can’t make. It’s not logical. It’s logical to think the referees stink and their incompetent,” David Haugh said. “They have proof of that. To me, it’s a bridge too far to say they wanted a certain team to win because it makes a better matchup or its better for the league. That, to me, makes no sense and is based on no fact at all.”

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