Another week of activity in the sports radio world, which is why this column has become one of the most popular written pieces on our website. I’d like to remind you that if you or your company have any news to share, it can be sent via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the latest developments you may not have been aware of.
According to sources, 95.7 The Game in San Francisco is making changes to its weekday lineup. The radio station is expected to add JT The Brick in middays. The Brick has downplayed any involvement but sources say a deal is close. His show on FOX Sports Radio would be unaffected by the addition of a local program. In fact, he’s worked under that arrangement before.
SB Nation Radio 1560 in Houston is adding a new morning show with former Sports Radio 610 KILT evening host Brien Straw. “BStraw Radio” debuts today and will broadcast weekdays from 8a-10a CT. The program will focus on the local Houston teams, but also include a heavy college football focus.
Former Rip City 620 morning host Andy Bunker has landed an on-air role at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. Bunker will be hosting Part Time for the station. He moved to Atlanta in June in order to be closer to his girlfriend who works locally for CNN. Prior to joining The Game, Bunker was part of Rip City Mornings with Taylor Danforth. He left the show in May, Danforth exited as well in July.
TSN 1050 in Toronto and midday host Mike Richards mutually parted ways in late August. The radio station has since been rebranding the 1p-4p timeslot as TSN 1050 Today. That’s expected to be a temporary situation until a permanent show is identified.
After making a series of lineup changes, 102.5 The Game in Nashville is now searching for a new Program Director. Jeremy Bennefield had run the stations since 2011 but is no longer with the company. The Cromwell Radio Group which owns the two Nashville sports stations has posted the position and is now accepting applications. If interested in the vacancy visit the jobs section.
Word out of Pittsburgh is that TribLive Radio has stopped operating as a live programming outlet. Instead, the company will feature a number of pre-recorded podcasts. The last true on-air talent, Josh Taylor, was let go a few weeks ago.
101 ESPN in St. Louis has rolled out an NFL pre-game show featuring midday host Anthony Stalter and Kevin Wheeler’s producer Brandon Kiley. Although the Rams departed for Los Angeles, St. Louis fans still have passion for the NFL, and Stalter and Kiley are hoping to tap into that interest on Sunday mornings.
More news out of St. Louis. The All-New 590 The Fan KFNS has signed an agreement to air Arizona Cardinals football games this NFL season. The Cardinals last played in St. Louis in 1987. KFNS co-owner Tim McKernan says the organization couldn’t have been easier to work with during negotiations, and he’s excited about the partnership.
Alpha Media is strengthening its sports talker ESPN 1230 in Columbia, South Carolina by adding an FM signal, and the syndicated Paul Finebaum show to its weekday lineup. The FM translator will make the station’s programming available locally on 94.9FM.
1500 ESPN in Minneapolis has added Andy Carlson‘s “Purple For The Win Podcast” to their digital offerings, and the PodcastOne platform. 1500 ESPN is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, who have ownership stakes in PodcastOne. Carlson describes the podcast as being “dedicated to the pain and pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings”.
Turning to the television world, sources say that the NFL Network and reporter Rand Getlin have parted ways. BSM received an inside tip about this on Friday but was still waiting on confirmation. Since then, Getlin has changed his Twitter bio to reflect “NFL Insider” and his Linkedin page now states that he worked for the NFL Network from July 2015-September 2016. No word has been given on why the two sides are no longer continuing their relationship.
Alexa Datt has signed on with 120 Sports as the new co-host of “The Morning Run” with former ESPN anchor Michael Kim. Datt has been a part of the New York Mets coverage on SNY for the past few seasons. She also previously worked as the Mets in-stadium host.
“The Goose” Tony Siragusa has joined Yahoo Sports as host of a special video series called “In The Trenches” which will be available on Yahoo Sports throughout the NFL season. The former NFL Defensive Lineman and FOX NFL Analyst will share stories from his career and offer analysis each week on the NFL’s biggest stories.
Philadelphia sports radio host Marc Farzetta is spreading his wings and adding some television work to his portfolio. The WIP personality announced that he’s joining the cast of The 700 Level, a local show which airs in the Philadelphia market on CSN Philadelphia. The program airs every Thursday.
Houston Chronicle columnist Jerome Solomon and Randy McIlvoy are now hosting a new program on Houston television titled “Houston Chronicle Texas Sports Nation“. The show airs Sunday night at 11pm CT on Channel 2 (KPRC-TV) and features Solomon and McIlvoy, as well as special guest appearances from other members of the Chronicle’s sports staff.
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.