Miami’s two leading sports stations will look very different next week. Entercom has decided to re-brand WQAM as 560 The Joe and place a greater focus on national content. 790 The Ticket will become more locally focused and add a few familiar voices from WQAM’s weekday lineup.
The changes which are expected to go into effect on Monday August 5th will see Brendan Tobin, Leroy Hoard and Brian ‘The Beast’ London take over mornings on The Ticket from 6a-10a. The former morning team of Jonathan Zaslow and Amber Wilson will move into middays and host from 10a-2p. Rounding out the station’s weekday lineup in afternoons from 2p-6p will be Marc Hochman and Channing Crowder who move over from WQAM. Zach Duarte will pick up an extra hour at night and host 6p-10p on the station.
Meanwhile on 560 AM, the station will be re-named but continue to feature Joe Rose and Zach Krantz in morning drive. ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard will move over from The Ticket to occupy the 10a-1p slot. His local Miami hour will no longer be available. From 1p-3p 560 will add the Stephen A. Smith Show and the final 3-hours of Hochman and Crowder’s afternoon show are expected to be simulcast on 560. Best of programming will air from 6p-7p and a combination of ESPN Radio and/or play by play will be featured at night and overnight.
In a statement issued in the Miami Herald, Keriann Worley, senior vice president and market manager for Entercom South Florida, said: “Our stations are the home of sports in Miami. These strategic enhancements to our programming allow us to better serve fans and increase opportunities for our partners. We are committed to maximizing fan engagement and look forward to bringing them more coverage of their favorite local sports teams.”
The changes have resulted in Josh Friedman and Brett Romberg no longer working for the company. Alex Donno is being moved to a different role, and former Ticket afternoon host Curtis Stevenson has lost his weekday hosting spot but will continue in an off-air role.
Both WQAM and 790 The Ticket have long been well respected brands in the format with a local first approach. How this will impact the local sports radio landscape in the future remains to be seen, but starting next week, both Miami brands will have a different look and feel.
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The 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 their 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.