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Under The Radar – August 21, 2017

Jason Barrett

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BSM is Los Angeles bound for the week for the Podcast Movement Conference and to visit a few familiar sports media industry faces. If you have news to share on behalf of yourself or your organization and wish to be included in an upcoming edition of UTR, please send it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now onto this week’s industry developments.

BSM is pleased to announce the addition of four sports media members to our writing team. FOX Sports Radio host Brian Noe, 610 Sports General Sales Manager Dave Greene, former KHTK Program Director and 104.3 The Fan Assistant Program Director Kevin Sherrets, and former 620 The Buzz executive producer and SB Nation Radio fill-in host Demetri Ravanos will all be providing content for the website in the future. BSM still has a few openings so if interested in writing about sports media, send an email along with a writing sample by email by clicking here.

Congratulations to Gregg Henson. After being the victim of a budget cut in Pittsburgh, while performing a dual role as program director of ESPN Pittsburgh and co-host of Jim, Droo and Gregg for iHeart Detroit and Grand Rapids, the veteran host and programmer has landed a new opportunity. Henson has relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska where he’s joined Alpha Media as program director and morning host. Henson began his new assignment last Monday. Be sure to keep an eye out this week for his review of 5 Podcasts in 5 Days on SportsRadioPD.com.

This year’s NAB radio conference in Austin, Texas will include a special appearance by WEEI morning host Kirk Minihane. One of the most successful local sports radio hosts with a popular podcast that has outperformed industry standards, Minihane will take part in a panel titled “Radio’s New Strategies and New Platforms” with Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs and Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein. A live performance by songwriter and recording artist Robert Earl Keen is also planned for the session. For more information click here.

It looks like John Kincade will be staying a little longer in Atlanta. The 680 The Fan talk show host has confirmed he’s signed a new contract with the radio station to remain partners with longtime running mate Buck Belue. Buck and Kincade have been together for 17 years, and are on the verge of celebrating 4,000 shows together. Truly a remarkable feat.

Another congratulations is in order for ESPN Radio‘s Pete Gianesini who recently celebrated 20 years with the company. Gianesini has climbed the ladder to become a trusted part of the network’s management team, having made a positive impact on the careers of many who have worked under him. He currently serves as ESPN Audio’s Senior Director of Digital Programming.

WDAE in Tampa won’t be sticking around for the end of Mike and Mike and the start of Trey Wingo and Mike Golic. Instead, the station plans to introduce a brand new local morning show starting Monday August 28th. Details on the station’s new team will be available soon.

After 18 months writing and reporting on the Bay Area sports scene, Kevin Jones‘ time at KNBR has come to an end. Jones joined the radio station in February 2016 after working for the Cleveland Browns, Pro Football Focus, Sports Illustrated’s The Cauldron and radio stations 91.3 WZMB in Greenville, NC and WUSA-9 in Washington D.C. He’s looking for his next opportunity and can be reached by clicking here.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, it’s good to see Mychael Urban getting more involved in sports media work again. Urbs as he’s known to Bay Area sports fans has been filling in on 95.7 The Game and working on a writing project for The Athletic SF.

SiriusXM is bringing in the ole ball coach. College Football Hall of Fame coach and quarterback Steve Spurrier has signed on to contribute three times per week on the College Sports National channel. He’s expected to chat on Tuesdays with Chris Childers and Rick Neuheisel, Wednesdays with Mark Packer, and Thursdays with Greg McElroy and Taylor Zarzour.

Speaking of satellite radio, it didn’t take long for Mitch Moss and Paul Howard to rise up the ranks at VSIN, the Brent Musburger fronted sports handicapping network which is carried on SiriusXM. Moss and Howard’s show, Follow The Money, which began in April in middays is moving to morning drive starting Monday August 28th. For more information on the show/network click here.

1500 ESPN in Minneapolis took advantage of the power of national celebrities to create a successful event for their audience. The radio station welcomed Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. to town for their first ever Fantasy Football Convention. Over 400 people attended the event which included a Q&A with the Golic’s, giveaways of Super Bowl tickets, Vikings tickets, 65′ TCL Roku TV, Mystic cash and 300 RotoWire Fantasy FB magazine giveaways. Minneapolis for a station event. To read about the promotion click here. For photos click here.

Former 670 The Score host and update anchor Matt Abbatacola has landed work outside of the radio industry. The former Chicago sports personality has been named Director of Sales and Marketing at The Health Guardian.

Congratulations to Denver sports media personalities Nate Lundy, Brad Evans and Lauren Gardner. After launching The Fantasy Football Hour television show last year with Brad Evans and Lauren Gardner on regional channel Altitude TV, the program will be extending its reach for the 2017 season. Lundy reports that the show will be carried by MSG in New York and on several FOX Sports regional outlets. The show will have the ability to reach roughly 70 million homes this football season.

T.J. Weber is returning to his alma mater, Lindenwood University, to become the school’s new play by play voice for football and men’s basketball. Weber previously called games for SIUE and the Gateway Grizzlies.

A tip of the cap goes out to 680 The Fan host Steak Shapiro who recently had his Atlanta Eats television show picked up and extended to seven days per week on Peachtree TV in the Atlanta market.

A former ESPNer is reuniting with Bill Simmons. Justin Verrier has joined The Ringer as senior editor of the website’s NBA section.

Bay Area sports writer Courtney Cronin has left the Bay Area News Group to join ESPN covering the Minnesota Vikings for its NFL Nation section. Cronin says she’ll be relocating to Minneapolis soon.

Morgan Beard is returning to Baton Rouge. The sports anchor and reporter has been added at WVLA Local 33 to cover LSU, the New Orleans Saints and other local sports stories.

Another reunion is taking place in Spokane, Washington. Alyssa Charlston is on her way back to work for KXLY-Channel 4 as a sports anchor and reporter.

Paloma Villicana has been hired as a sports anchor and reporter for WOAY-TV.

Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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Sports Radio News

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”

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Jeff Dean Show

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”

Jeff Dean Facebook

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.

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