“Phillies GM Matt Kentak is incompetent,” wrote WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi in an article for the Philly Voice earlier this week.
The team improved by 14 games over last season and exceeded their Vegas expectations, but the Phillies still finished with a losing season after being 15 games over .500 on August 7th, struggling to draw fans to the ballpark. Cataldi put blame on the GM, the manager and their analytic philosophy as to why the team collapsed and failed to get support from the local fan base.
On Wednesday morning, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler called into Cataldi’s WIP morning show to support the team’s GM and discuss the article written by the iconic radio host.
“I take issue with what you said. I am a compassionate and competitive man, but generating anger for the sake of anger means that you just end up flat out wrong like you were in that piece. That isn’t what the Phillies need,” Kapler told Angelo.
“You’ve been angry about the team year in and year out, yes, a team that got worse every year since 2011,” continued Kapler. “You were angry about it. Now it’s getting better but you’re still doing the same thing Angelo. You talk about the definition of insanity? I’d take a minute to look in the mirror about that.”
Still, Cataldi defended his take, citing his connection and understanding of the Philly fan base over the course of his 29 years as a morning radio host.
“The only people that don’t get their fans are you guys. I’ve been doing this a hell of a lot longer than you guys have and I’m telling you have not listened to your fans yet,” said Cataldi.
“They didn’t come out because they can’t stand analytics, they think it’s boring. They don’t find a 3-2 count exciting the way you do Gabe! This is one of the detachments your organization has right now with the city and I think I’m servicing…I’m helping you guys, trying to explain to you how your customers feel, but no one wants to hear it.”
Kapler later stated the team does listen to its fan base and admitted he might need to change by not being so upbeat about everything surrounding the Phillies, because he doesn’t want to lose credibility.
While both Angelo and Kapler remained respectful to each other, it was a radio conversation between host and coach that offered more raw emotion than the listener usually gets from a weekly interview. The full segment can be heard on demand at WIP’s website.
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, 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.