Sports Radio News
D.C. Sports Radio Overcomes The Political Chaos
A polarizing election featuring two of the most high profile and controversial personalities of our lifetime wasn’t enough to slow down sports radio in the nation’s capital during the November book. Although News/Talk still occupied the top of the ratings ladder, Chris Kinard and his team at 106.7 The Fan, and Chris Johnson and his staff at ESPN 980, the market’s two leading sports stations, have plenty to feel good about.
Starting with 106.7 The Fan, they retained bragging rights as the market’s top rated sports station, finishing in the top three with Men 25-54 6a-7p (5.9), and in the top 5 (5.0) with Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid. The station’s morning and midday shows also placed in the top 3, and the afternoon show was just four tenths of a point off of placing inside the top 5.
Another encouraging sign for The Fan is their year to year growth. Twelve months ago, the Sports Junkies produced a 4.8 and Chad Dukes’ afternoon show delivered a 4.5. Both shows have since increased their overall share. Grant and Danny, The Fan’s midday show, was slightly down in share year to year, but they’ve maintained strong consistency while fluctuating between 2nd and 3rd place.
Meanwhile at ESPN 980, there were also some very positive signs.
Year to year the station saw a huge gain in afternoons, soaring from a 2.7 to 4.4, which was good enough for 9th place. Inside The Locker Room which airs weekdays from 1p-4p, climbed from a 2.9 to 4.2 to finish 10th. And despite losing local icon Tony Kornheiser to the podcasting world in June, 980 lost little momentum in his timeslot, as Bram Weinstein produced a 3.9 and cemented a spot inside the top 10. Three of 980’s core four weekday programs were ranked in the top 10.
Another item that should have the 980 staff feeling hopeful is the progress being made in mornings. Chris Cooley and Kevin Sheehan took over the timeslot in April, and although they have more work to do in terms of growing the time slot’s overall share, the station is now local and stable in that position. Their ratings are also up year to year.
Given the turmoil that surrounded 980 last year (the station hired Jason Reid and Chris Paul, then pulled the show before it started, reversed course and let it debut, only to cancel the show for low ratings 7 months later) that progress is something the station can build upon.
At a time where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton captivated the country and fueled increased media attention and conversation, it would’ve been understandable if both stations experienced a decline, especially in a market where politics takes center stage. Fortunately though for both sports stations that wasn’t the case. They provided a much needed distraction for their local audiences, and that approach led them to a strong November, and healthy year to year gains.
One thing to take into account as you process the information below, the weekday lineups for these two stations are structured differently. To make it easier to consume, I’ve listed both brands individually so you can see how each show and daypart performed. From strictly a ratings perspective, The Fan is comfortably in front in the head to head battle. 980 though has done a nice job of making inroads.
106.7 The Fan:
- M-F 6a-7p – 5.9 (3rd)
- M-SU 6a-Mid – 5.0 (5th)
- The Sports Junkies (5a-10a) – 6.7 (3rd)
- Grant & Danny (10a-2p) – 6.3 (3rd)
- Chad Dukes (2p-7p) – 5.1 (7th)
- Evenings (7p-12a) – 3.6 (11th)
- M-F 6a-7p – 3.7 (12th)
- M-SU 6a-Mid – 3.4 (tied for 13th)
- Al Galdi (5a-7a) – 2.3 (14th)
- Cooley and Kevin (7a-11a) – 2.9 (13th)
- Bram Weinstein (11a-1p) – 3.9 (tied for 10th)
- Inside The Locker Room (1p-4p) – 4.2 (10th)
- The Sports Reporters w/ Czaban/Pollin (4p-7p) – 4.4 (9th)
- Evenings (7p-12a) – 1.4 (22nd)
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
Chase McCabe Named Director of Operations & Sports Programming at Cromwell
“Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team.”
Congratulations are in order for Chase McCabe. He is adding a new title to his already full plate at Cromwell Media in Nashville. He has been promoted to Director of Operations & Sports Programming at the company.
“I’m very fortunate to have been to be able to grow into this opportunity under one roof,” McCabe said in a press release. “Our owner, Bud Walters, opened the door for me almost 12 years ago as an intern and I’m honored to continue to be a key member of the Nashville leadership team. I am forever grateful, but none of this could have happened without the great group of people we have here at Cromwell Media.”
McCabe has spent his whole career with 102.5 The Game and its sister station, now called 94.9 The Fan. He was named Program Director and Brand Manager of the stations in January of last year. He has maintained an on-air presence as well. He hosts Chase & Michelle weekdays at 9 AM on The Game.
In his new role, Chase McCabe becomes the number two man in Cromwell’s Nashville building. Shawn Fort was recently named the cluster’s general manager.
“Chase and I have developed a great working relationship in the two and half years since I’ve joined Cromwell Media,” Fort said. “We share similar visions on how to create compelling sports programming all while driving revenue growth. I’m excited to have Chase as my right-hand man as we move forward together with this new chapter of leadership at Cromwell Media Nashville.”
Sports Radio News
Mark Schlereth: People Outside of Denver Aren’t Paying Attention to NBA Finals
“There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”
The Denver Nuggets took to the National Basketball Association’s largest stage on Thursday night as they defeated the Miami Heat for the organization’s first-ever NBA Finals victory. Early reports reveal that the game had a 2.21 demographic rating between people ages 18-49, attracting a total of 7.62 million viewers on ABC. The figure is considerably lower than the audience for Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors last year – which averaged 11.9 million figures across ABC and ESPN2. Ratings for the alternate NBA in Stephen A’s World broadcast Thursday night on ESPN2 have not yet been released by Nielsen Media Research.
Sports fans in the Denver market have felt as if the play of the Nuggets was largely being neglected by the national media throughout these playoffs. Now that the team is the last one standing in the Western Conference, there is no one else to focus on and their play is beginning to be realized by basketball fans throughout the country. It is a narrative that Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan’s Mark Schlereth and Mike Evans felt was especially obvious by watching the press conferences after the game. The duo was able to deduce as such through the questions posed to Nuggets players and head coach Michael Malone by members of the media cohort.
“The national media – it’s like, ‘Oh, wow. We’re just kind of becoming aware of how these guys play,’ and they keep asking the Nuggets about their unselfishness and how everybody is willing to share the ball,” Evans said. “Nikola Jokić [is] being asked about not taking a lot of shots, and they’re all just kind of shrugging their shoulders like, ‘Yeah, this is who we are. We’ve been doing this for a long time.’
Schlereth was curious to find out the ratings from the game last night because he watched the game from a sports bar in Chicago. He is away from Denver, Colo. to help his son’s family move there for the summer and surmises there were about 50 people in the bar with him. What he noticed was that their interest was fixated elsewhere.
“I’m the only person that was watching the Nuggets,” Schlereth said. “There was not one group of people – they’re all in there together – that was paying attention to the NBA Finals.”
“Their loss,” Evans pithily replied.
Denver ranks 19th on Nielsen Media Research’s metropolitan market size list, but the Nuggets have been a contending team for the last five seasons. Most media analysts expect diminished ratings for the NBA Finals this year because of the lack of a storied franchise, even with the Miami Heat as the team’s opponent.
Sports Radio News
Nielsen Releases List of Markets Where Most People Use AM Radio
“In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis”
Amid concerns regarding the future of AM radio, Nielsen Media Research has unveiled a list of 141 markets where at least 20% of consumers regularly listen to programming on the medium. The list is reflective of the percentage of monthly total radio listening being funneled to AM as opposed to total radio listening as a whole. The top three markets are all in the Great Lakes region, and Westwood One has found large proportions of these listeners are derived from the upper Midwest.
Buffalo-Niagara Falls leads the list with 56% of its audience tuning into AM radio in a month. It is a figure that makes sense based on the variety of AM stations, including leading news talk outlet WBEN and leading sports outlet WGR. The city of Chicago is ranked second, complete with 670 The Score, WGN and WLS. Nearby Milwaukee, Wis. ranks third on the list, another city with various AM stations such as WTMJ and WISN.
In a recent survey, Nielsen Media Research found that AM radio still reaches over 82.3 million Americans on a monthly basis – a measurement that equates to one-third of AM/FM radio listeners as a whole. Fifty-seven percent of the audience listens to stations in the news and/or talk format, utilizing the public service the outlets provide to learn of breaking news and other concerns.
There is a wide variety in market size represented throughout the list, but a trend of markets with undulating topographies tends to have larger shares of AM listeners because of the challenges the landscape presents to FM signals.
The full list compiled by Nielsen Media Research can be found below:
|Metro market rank||Market name||Percentage of radio audience that listens to AM radio|
|59||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||56%|
|3||Chicago, IL [PPM]||48%|
|43||Milwaukee-Racine, WI [PPM]||48%|
|253||Grand Forks, ND-MN||45%|
|39||San Jose, CA [PPM]||43%|
|33||Cincinnati, OH [PPM]||42%|
|11||Seattle-Tacoma, WA [PPM]||42%|
|187||St. Cloud, MN||41%|
|75||Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||39%|
|4||San Francisco, CA [PPM]||39%|
|244||Sioux City, IA||38%|
|25||San Antonio, TX [PPM]||38%|
|7||Atlanta, GA [PPM]||38%|
|176||Wausau-Stevens Pt (Centrl WI), WI||36%|
|114||Johnson City-Kingspt-Brstl, TN-VA||36%|
|27||Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo [PPM]||36%|
|202||Cedar Rapids, IA||35%|
|34||Kansas City, KS-MO [PPM]||35%|
|71||Des Moines, IA||34%|
|73||Metro Fairfield County, CT||33%|
|231||Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA||32%|
|13||Phoenix, AZ [PPM]||32%|
|12||Miami-Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood [PPM]||32%|
|9||Philadelphia, PA [PPM]||32%|
|28||Sacramento, CA [PPM]||32%|
|15||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN [PPM]||31%|
|2||Los Angeles, CA [PPM]||31%|
|5||Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX [PPM]||31%|
|68||Grand Rapids, MI||31%|
|223||Eau Claire, WI||30%|
|20||Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) [PPM]||30%|
|14||Detroit, MI [PPM]||29%|
|30||Orlando, FL [PPM]||29%|
|10||Boston, MA [PPM]||29%|
|189||Bryan-College Station, TX||29%|
|18||Denver-Boulder, CO [PPM]||28%|
|41||Hudson Valley, NY||28%|
|17||Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater [PPM]||28%|
|116||Ft. Wayne, IN||27%|
|35||Cleveland, OH [PPM]||27%|
|22||Portland, OR [PPM]||27%|
|183||Green Bay, WI||27%|
|6||Houston-Galveston, TX [PPM]||26%|
|54||Hartford-New Britain-Middletown [PPM]||26%|
|175||Sioux Falls, SD||25%|
|180||Lima-Van Wert, OH||25%|
|1||New York, NY [PPM]||25%|
|119||Corpus Christi, TX||25%|
|237||Grand Island-Kearney-Hastngs, NE||25%|
|51||Memphis, TN [PPM]||25%|
|151||Ann Arbor, MI||24%|
|208||Las Cruces-Deming, NM||24%|
|178||Traverse City-Petoskey, MI||24%|
|87||Colorado Springs, CO||24%|
|126||New Haven, CT||22%|
|79||Wilkes Barre-Scranton, PA||22%|
|29||Austin, TX [PPM]||22%|
|24||St. Louis, MO [PPM]||22%|
|23||Baltimore, MD [PPM]||22%|
|77||Baton Rouge, LA||21%|
|205||Santa Barbara, CA||21%|
|50||New Orleans, LA||20%|
|19||San Diego, CA [PPM]||20%|
|32||Las Vegas, NV [PPM]||20%|
|37||Raleigh-Durham, NC [PPM]||20%|