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October Sports Radio Ratings Across The Country

Jason Barrett

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The fall is one of the strongest periods of the year for the sports radio format. The recent information supplied to BSM confirms that a lot of stations are experiencing strong success as they head towards the finish line in 2016. For the month of October here’s what we learned.

  • In Minneapolis, KFAN may have produced the highest monthly in the entire country for sports radio. The radio station finished 1st M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54 with an incredible 17.4. Even more amazing, the brand came in 1st with 6+ delivering a phenomenal 8.9. That rating was 1.3 points higher than AC station KS95 who came in 2nd. The return of the Vikings has certainly helped but there’s much more to the brand’s success than just football games. All shows on the station led the market.
  • One brand that mirrors KFAN for monthly dominance is 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. The station ruled the local market yet again, turning in a 1st place finish among Men 25-54 M-Su 6a-Mid (15.9) and M-F 6a-7p (16.3). If that wasn’t enough, every show on the station was 1st with Men and Adults 25-54, and the brand gained four share points month to month. Mornings did a 17.6, middays an 18.7, and afternoons a 16.2. When you provide a 16 or 17 share and don’t lead your station, that tells you how powerful a brand is.
  • With the Patriots kicking off their 2016 campaign and the Red Sox advancing to the playoffs, ratings remained high in Boston. 98.5 The Sports Hub finished 1st with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (14.3) and M-Su 6a-Mid (12.8). Felger & Massarotti had The Hub’s best performance delivering a 17.2 in afternoons. Meanwhile WEEI also had a big month. The station was 2nd M-Su 6a-Mid and M-F 6a-7p delivering a 10 share in both demos which was two and a half points higher than their previous month. Kirk and Callahan was WEEI’s highest rated show delivering above a 12 share which was three and a half points higher than their previous month. One additional item of interest, among Men 35-64 WEEI remains the market leader. The Hub leads the way in the younger male demos.
  • Moving to St. Louis, 101 ESPN received some incredible news. Despite losing the Rams to Los Angeles and entering the fall without a local football team’s rights on the air for the first time since the station launched in 2009, the station’s performance didn’t miss a beat. 101 was dominant yet again, finishing 3rd M-Su 6a-Mid with Men 25-54 with more than a 7 share. Each of the station’s key weekday shows (Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler, The Turn, and The Fast Lane) recorded between a 7.5 and 9.2 and were inside the top 3. 101 ESPN continues to be the highest rated spoken word brand in the entire market despite not having the rights to one of the market’s local teams.
  • Shifting to Dallas, it was another positive month for 105.3 The Fan and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket. The Ticket finished 1st with Men 25-54 in both M-Su 6a-Mid (6.8) and M-F 6a-7p (8.7). The Fan was 2nd M-Su 6a-Mid (6.2) and 4th M-F 6a-7p (5.4). Among Men 18-34 The Fan (5.9 – 4th) remained ahead of The Ticket (5.3 – 5th) M-F 6a-7p. One other big positive, both stations weekday shows finished inside the Top 5. The Musers were the highest rated show on The Ticket finishing 1st in mornings with a 9.8. G-Bag Nation provided The Fan’s best performance, coming in 3rd in middays with a 6.5.
  • 97.1 The Fan continues to set the Columbus, Ohio market on fire. The station finished October in 1st place with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (14.3) and M-Su 6a-Mid (13.5). One additional item of interest, despite a ratings decline on television for the NFL, the same story didn’t ring true for The Fan. The station’s radio broadcasts of NFL games courtesy of Westwood One were 1st across the board. Sunday night football games recorded a 16.1. Monday Night football games delivered a 12.8, and Sunday afternoon games recorded a 9.4.
  • Over in Omaha, 1620 The Zone remains atop the local leaderboard. The station finished 5th with Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p (5.0) and 7th M-Su 6a-Mid (4.2). The station’s morning show featuring Gary Sharp and Damon Benning were 4th with a 6.8, middays with Nick Bahe were 9th with a 2.8, and afternoons with John Bishop and Josh Peterson were 5th with a 5.1.
  • Down in Tampa, despite dropping its local morning show for ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, WDAE remained in excellent shape. The radio station finished 4th among Men 25-54 M-Su 6a-mid with a 5.3.

As we gain additional information from other markets around the country we’ll keep you updated. Stations can send along updates via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Sports Radio News

Joe Starkey, Voice of the Cal Golden Bears and of “The Play,” To Retire After 2022

“It has been an incredible privilege to have the best seat in the house to watch Cal football since 1975,” Starkey said.

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Joe Starkey

Joe Starkey will call it a career after the 2022 season, his 48th as voice of the California Golden Bears.

Starkey, best known for his call of “The Play” during the 1982 Cal/Stanford game, will turn 81 in October.

California will have a memorable season for Starkey’s final one with the team. Cal plays Notre Dame for the first time in 55 years. They will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of “The Play” when the two teams square up in the 125th edition of the Big Game.

“It has been an incredible privilege to have the best seat in the house to watch Cal football since 1975,” Starkey said. “My first position in sportscasting was in 1972, and I have had some truly special assignments. But of all the places I have worked, the one constant has been Cal football.

Cal will celebrate “Joe Starkey Day” for the team’s regular-season finale against UCLA. Starkey began his career at Cal in 1975 and has been on the call for 538 of the 545 Cal football contests since. He celebrated his 500th Cal game against Oregon on Sept. 29, 2018.

“Joe Starkey’s commitment and service to Cal football have been unwavering for nearly a half-century,” Cal’s Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “I’m excited to celebrate and honor all of Joe’s great work over the years and make 2022 his best season yet with the Bears. He will always have a home in Berkeley and with Cal football.”  

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Williams Named Brand Manager of BetQL Network

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Audacy has announced Andrew Williams as the Brand Manager of the BetQL Network, the company’s sports betting platform.

Williams comes to BetQL after working as the Senior Producer for SiriusXM FC. He has also spent the past year as the Executive Podcast Producer for Chicago Fire FC.

“I am delighted and honored to join the BetQL Network and the Audacy family,” Williams said. “The opportunity to join the leaders in Wagertainment is something that I could not pass up. My family and I are extremely excited about this next chapter.”

“Andrew possesses a proven track record of creatively reaching audiences through the creation and development of rich multimedia content, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to BetQL Network as that is one of the core principles of the network,” said Matthew Volk, Audacy Senior Vice President of Sports. “We look forward to welcoming him and his leadership to our brand, which has seen rapid growth across all platforms over the last year, and watching his experience and expertise help continue to grow the network.”

BetQL Network distributes roughly 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms, and features shows like BetQL Daily, You Better You Bet, The Daily Tip, and BetMGM Tonight.

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Sports Radio News

Reese Waters Exits The Team 980

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In what appears to be another budget cut from Audacy, The Reese Waters Show on The Team 980 has been cancelled.

“It is in fact true The Reese Waters Show on The Team 980 has come to an end,” Waters confirmed during a video posted to Twitter. Waters went on to thank his producers, guests, and listeners for helping him grow both personally and professionally during his stint hosting the show.

Waters, who told Barrett Sports Media his sportscasting career began by happenstance, joined the station in February of 2021. His show aired from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM daily. He will remain the host of Open Mic on WUSA TV.

Audcay has made several cuts over the last week. Jerry Coleman has departed 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, while the entire staff of 1250 The Fan in Milwaukee was dismissed.

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