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Sports Radio Thrives In The Summer Book

Jason Barrett

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How did sports radio stations perform during the month of September or for the summer book? Below are a few details from a number of top markets. Stations are always invited to be included in this quarterly column and help tell their story and reinforce the power of the sports talk radio format. To have your brand represented in the future please reach out via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Los Angeles:

The shares may not be high in the city of Angels but growth has been a positive for ESPN LA 710 AM. For the summer book, the radio station finished ahead of local competitor AM 570 LA Sports in all M-F 6a-7p head to head battles. 570 did gain an advantage during evenings thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Leading the way for 710 was the popular midday team Mason & Ireland with just under a 4 share. Equally as encouraging for 710 was an increase of a full point or better for all of the station’s key weekday shows year over year. 570 received its best ratings in midday thanks to a solid performance from Colin Cowherd.

Chicago:

The competition is always fierce in the windy city between 670 The Score and ESPN 1000 and the summer book was no exception. This quarter belonged to The Score as the station placed 3rd overall M-SU 6a-Mid with just under a 5 share. 1000 finished 15th for the full week with slightly over a 3 share. Given the power of the Cubs though, that’s not a big surprise. Once again 670 led the way in mornings, with Mully and Hanley nearly doubling Mike and Mike. M&H were 3rd with just under a 6 share. M&M produced a 3 share. In middays, The Score’s team of Parkins and Spiegel got some great news, finishing seven tenths of a point ahead of David Kaplan and the first hour of Carmen and Jurko‘s show (670 and 1000 schedule their shows differently). The Score was 6th between 9a-1p. ESPN 1000 was 9th. Where ESPN 1000 received its biggest win was in PM drive between 2p-6p. Waddle and Silvy finished tied for 1st with just over a 5 share. The Score’s team of Bernsein and Goff were three tenths of a point behind in 4th. One item to point out, Bernstein and Goff’s show is an hour longer though than Waddle and Silvy’s so if you measure their entire 1p-6p program the news is slightly different, the two stations are even during those hours at just under a 5 share. Nonetheless, Waddle and Silvy have been rolling in 2017.

San Francisco:

The Giants and Athletics weren’t chasing world series trophies, and the Raiders, 49ers, Warriors and Sharks weren’t involved in regular season action yet, but that didn’t stop KNBR 680 from turning in a strong September book. Summer book totals weren’t yet made available. For the overall month, KNBR led all head to head weekday show comparisons against 95.7 The Game. The station was 2nd M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid among Men 25-54, led by a 1st place finish from Gary and Larry in middays. The station also got a 2nd place performance from Fitz and Brooks, a 3rd place ranking in afternoon drive with Tom Tolbert and John Lund and a 6th place showing in mornings from Murph and Mac. 95.7 The Game received its best performance M-F 10a-1p and saw a slight uptick year to year for its morning show numbers.

Philadelphia:

Last year Sports Radio WIP took a few lumps for its ratings lagging behind where they normally were, but the tide has begun to turn in 2017. For the summer book, WIP advanced into the Top 3 among Men 25-54 M-SU 6a-Mid, up from 7th one year earlier. Leading the charge was Angelo Cataldi, who turned in a Top 3 performance in mornings with a low 7 share. The midday team of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie finished 4th with a mid 6 share, up year to year from 10th and a high 3 share. Rounding things out in afternoons were the team of Chris Carlin and Ike Reese, who registered a Top 5 finish with just under a 5 share, up nearly a point and 4 positions year to year. The one area where 97.5 The Fanatic remained ahead and in strong shape was in PM drive thanks to Mike Missanelli.

Washington DC:

History was made in the nation’s capital and this time it had zero to do with politics. 106.7 The Fan saw its morning show, The Sports Junkies, register a 1st place finish in AM drive for the summer book beating the nation’s dominant news talk brand WTOP. The market victory was a first for the Junkies. Making the feat even more spectacular was that the show produced a low 10 share to earn the win among Men 25-54. That number was strong enough to place the show 2nd with Adults 25-54 too. The Fan also received positives news in middays and afternoons, with Grant and Danny and Chad Dukes each placing 3rd for the summer book. G&D were #1 overall for the month of September, and Dukes was 2nd in afternoon drive. The Fan finished 2nd overall M-F 6a-7p and M-SU 6a-Mid with Men 25-54.

Boston:

The summer book produced positive stories for both local sports radio brands but momentum appears to have shifted in the direction of WEEI. The quarter saw WEEI edge 98.5 The Sports Hub by three tenths of a point for 1st overall M-SU 6a-Mid. The two stations were tied for 1st M-F 6a-7p with each delivering slightly above a 10 share. In the head to head matchups, Kirk and Callahan won morning drive again by finishing 1st with just under a 14 share. The Hub’s Toucher and Rich were also in double digits with just above a 10 and a half. K&C also finished 1st for the quarter with Adults 25-54 and Men 18+ and 35-64. In middays, Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria finished 2nd, nipping The Hub’s Zo and Bertrand by four tenths of a point with Men 25-54. OMF were just above a 9 share. The Hub remained in control in afternoons with Felger and Massarotti taking top honors among Men 25-54 with a little better than an 11 share. WEEI’s Dale, Holley and Keefe continued to increase their share and finished 2nd. The Hub also won evenings from 6p-10p by three tenths of a point. One stark difference between the two brands is how their streaming performances factor into their monthly and quarterly numbers. Entercom, which owns and operates WEEI subscribes to Total Line Reporting which includes over the air and streaming listening. CBS Radio, which owns and operates The Sports Hub, lists them separately.

Seattle:

Summer listening wasn’t as hot as it normally is, but in September the audience was back and clamoring for more. The beneficiary of the interest was 710 ESPN Seattle which had 3 shows finish the month in the Top 10, led by Danny, Dave and Moore and Bob, Groz and Tom each placing in the Top 6 in their respective dayparts. With football season now in full swing, and the Seahawks making noise on and off the field, listening should continue to increase, helping the market end the 2017 campaign on a high note.

Denver:

The summer book provided another powerful story for 104.3 The Fan. Denver’s leading sports radio brand finished 1st overall among Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p with just under an 8 share. Making the news more remarkable was that the brand grew from a low 5 share in July to a high 10 share in September (think football might create a little interest?). The biggest benefactor was the morning team of Mike Evans and Mark Schlereth. The duo increased their share from the mid 8’s in July to the high 13’s in September. The morning show has finished 1st overall every single month in 2017 except July (finished 2nd) and has increased their overall double digit share year to year by three full points.

St. Louis:

101 ESPN continues to dominate the marketplace, pulling in another Top 3 finish among Men 25-54 with just under a 10 share. Leading the way once again was the station’s afternoon show, The Fast Lane, which finished the quarter 1st overall with a mid 11 share, highlighted by a mid 12 performance in September. The drive time program has been rated 1st overall every month this year. 101’s remaining weekday shows hosted by Bernie Miklasz, Kevin Wheeler and the team of Anthony Stalter and Chris Duncan finished between 2nd and 4th in their respective dayparts.

Additional Market Notes:

97.1 The Ticket in Detroit turned in another big ratings book. The radio station was #1 overall with Men 25-54

In Dallas, Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket was #1 with Men 25-54. 105.3 The Fan also performed well coming in 3rd.

The Charlotte sports radio scene once again was led by WFNZ which received a strong midday performance.

And to wrap things up, KFAN in Minneapolis continued to cruise, finishing in the Top 5 among Adults 6+, 18-49 and 25-54. The station finished #1 overall with Men 25-54.

Sports Radio News

1140 The Bet Cancels ‘The Playmakers’

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

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In another cut from Audacy, 1140 The Bet has cancelled The Playmakers on their Las Vegas station.

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Brown tweeted the news, saying “Sadly I have been informed that yesterday was our final show. I am thankful for the people it brought into my life & the experiences we created I am incredibly proud of our work & the boundaries we are eager to push in sportz radio. Today is a tough day. Tomorrow is on the way.”

Hernandez followed up by tweeting “I can’t put into words right now how I feel right now but in my radio journey from College in Tampa to Phoenix and now Las Vegas you were the best teammate I’ve ever had in radio and more importantly a great person. I appreciate and will miss you Badass Brown.”

According to the station’s website, it will replace The Playmakers with You Better You Bet from the BetQL Network.

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Sports Radio News

1250-AM The Fan in Milwaukee Reportedly Cancels Local Programming

The station is streaming CBS Sports and has removed the local daily lineup from the 1250 AM The Fan website.

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1250 AM The Fan

Stunning sports radio news out of Milwaukee. 1250-AM The Fan has suddenly removed all of its local programming and switched over to CBS Sports Radio.

The news came as a shock to local listeners but even more surprising to the station’s staff. Here’s a tweet from Evan Heffelfinger noting that today was “everyone’s” last day at the station.

The station’s stream is currently airing CBS Sports Radio. The local daily lineup has also been removed from the 1250 The Fan website although show podcasts still remain.

In regards to the station’s talent, most have been quiet since the news began to trickle out. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that recent NFL Hall of Famer and former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was part of the cuts. Bart Winkler, Tim Allen, and Gary Ellerson are expected to be out as well.

One host who may remain involved is Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer. Fifer was part of the midday show, and also helped behind the scenes. According to sources, he’s likely to contribute off-air and with additional brand projects. The rest will have an opportunity to explore opportunities should any become available at 97.3 The Game, ESPN 94.1, WTMJ or any other local outlets.

Upon learning of the news, a few former 1250 hosts, Mike Wickett and Cliff Saunders, took to social media to share their sadness.

Ryan Maguire, who served as the PD of 1250 The Fan from 2006-2009, and is currently the PD of crosstown rivals ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ, provided his perspective.

One host who left before the station was dismantled was former afternoon man Ramie Makhlouf. The longtime Milwaukee voice exited in June to join Sactown Sports 1140.

This is a developing story and as more information becomes available we’ll pass it along. 1250-AM The Fan is owned by Audacy, which just announced plans to reduce 5% of its programming staff.

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Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher: Fred Roggin Rant ‘Is Why Everyone Thinks Radio Sucks’

“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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A recent piece in the L.A. Times painting the picture of why the sports radio audience in Los Angeles is smaller than that of Boston struck a nerve locally.

And when AM 570 LA Sports host Fred Roggin tried to explain why Boston does so much better with listeners, Fred Toucher couldn’t contain himself.

Let me give it to you in a nutshell real, real quickly,” Roggin said in a clip that played during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Tuesday. “The implication here is that you don’t care. Do they have as many Latinos living in Boston? I don’t think so, and if you look at the ratings, they don’t. We’re a melting pot, we’re very different here. Sports is a niche audience.

Toucher and company laughed at the sound byte before Toucher laid into Roggin.

“Does that mean that Latinos don’t like sports?” he asked. “To do well in Los Angeles, you have to adapt to the market, you jackass! Latinos have to listen to ya.”

Roggin and co-host Rodney Peete sounded even more out of touch in the clip by saying that part of the reason more people listen to sports talk in Boston is because of weather and an affinity for baked beans. Additionally, there’s just more to do in LA versus Boston.

“He is under the impression that the east coast is really something else,” Toucher said. “But he’s painting the east coast as if like no one lives out here. Like New York City and Philadelphia are these minor flyover states. It’s really funny.”

Toucher understood Roggin taking the time to go on the defensive, but he just couldn’t get over the way in which the defense was presented.

“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said. “What do you care if the station in Boston does better than you? What does it matter to you?! Clean up your own business! Jesus Christ!”

“This is the first time I think I’ve ever heard the northeast described as like toothless hicks that like got nothing better to do,” Toucher added.

Toucher finished his point by piling on the hosts further, saying that if their show aired anywhere else, it would fail.

“This is why everyone thinks radio sucks,” Toucher said before the rest of the Roggin clip was played.

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