They may not steal the headlines in the sports media world but news is news. Here are a couple of smaller items you might have missed. A reminder, if you have news to share and would like to have it included in a future column please pass it along via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest.
Michelle Smallmon has announced her exit from ESPN Radio. Her final day at the network was Friday where she helped produce Will Cain‘s afternoon show. During her past few years in Bristol, Smallmon produced Ryen Russillo, Danny Kanell, Jorge Sedano, Cain, and a slew of others. All the best to her as she prepares to write the next chapter of her career.
Speaking of ESPN, former producer Jason Romano has added the title “author” to his resume. Romano’s brand new book Live To Forgive went on sale this week. To pick up your copy and support a member of the sports media fraternity click here.
All the best to 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s Marc Bertrand. The midday host was involved in an accident on Saturday which resulted in his vehicle being totaled and a trip to the hospital. Bertrand says he sustained injuries but has been sent home from the hospital. The police and fire departments in Norwood, MA arrived on the scene of the accident quickly and used the jaws of life to free him from his vehicle.
Barstool Sports‘ kicked off the launch of their 24-hour channel on SiriusXM by welcoming an industry icon to the airwaves. Former WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa appeared on Barstool Breakfast with Julie Stewart-Binks, Willie Colon and Francis. Francesa acknowledged during the interview that not being behind the microphone in January when the NFL Playoffs take center stage has felt strange. To hear some of the interview click here.
After parting ways with Eric Davis, ESPN LA 710 has confirmed they’re returning their afternoon show to a two-man program. Marcellus Wiley and Sean Farnham will work together in afternoon drive going forward.
Congratulations to Adam Gold of 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh. The Triangle Sports Talk Host is celebrating a milestone of 20 years in sports radio this month. Gold was initially hired by 850 The Buzz, and has been installed in afternoons on The Fan with co-host Joe Ovies since 2010.
Ric Bucher has teamed up with Atlanta producer Shaine Freeman to launch the United We Cast Network. The new platform will include a collection of shows from established names in various parts of the sports and entertainment industry. Among them are comedian/movie actor Gary Owen (GetSome Podcast), actor Isaiah Washington (Isaiah Washington Speaks…Again) and former NBA center Ryan Hollins who will co-host a program (The SwRL) with Bucher. All three podcasts will delve into issues of race and race relations in different areas of the entertainment industry. The network’s goal is to create discussion and share personal experiences on issues and topics which may be considered too risky for other mediums. To learn more click here.
In other podcasting news, San Diego afternoon host Scott Kaplan has launched a solo podcast. The Mighty 1090 personality’s latest episode includes a no holds barred conversation with Kaplan’s former radio partner Sid Rosenberg who now hosts middays on WABC in New York City. One particularly interesting part of the episode includes a detailed discussion between the two men over the way their former show in the big apple was set up for failure. To take a listen click here.
FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM in Indianapolis has canceled its local morning show which was added to the weekday schedule one year ago. The radio station has dropped “The Flagrant Foul” featuring Don Stuck and Dave “Gunner” Gunn. Taking over the morning time slot is FOX Sports Radio‘s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis“.
If you missed it, Dino Costa has resurfaced. The controversial talk show host who was dropped by 750/102.9 The Game in Portland in August has joined AM 970 The Answer in New York City. Costa now hosts the overnight shift from Midnight to 3am ET.
And in play by play news, Elijah Gonzalez has been hired by the Fort Myers Miracle as the team’s #2 broadcaster.
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.