After recently returning as host of a daily radio show for the first time in two years, Nashville’s George Plaster is already heading to his second station in a month. Just one week ago, Plaster parted ways with WSM 650, now he’ll join Nashville Sports Radio WNSR 560 AM and 95.9 FM.
Beginning September 3rd, Plaster will host weekdays from 2 – 4pm on WNSR.
“After all these years, it’s great to have George join our team,” WNSR general manager, Ted Johnson said in their press release. “George has brought a unique perspective to his award-winning and highly popular sports talk show to Nashville radio audiences for decades. We are excited for him to join our veteran sports talk show lineup that we feel is the strongest in the market.”
The longtime Nashville sports radio host spent the last two years as Belmont University’s Associate Athletic Director of Marketing before returning to the airwaves in July. Prior to his work with Belmont, Plaster hosted afternoon drive on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone from 2003 – 2012 and later spent four years with 102.5 The Game.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Plaster said of his new opportunity with WNSR. “I’ve never done the two o’clock hour before, so there’s probably a learning curve there, but there was probably more of a learning curve on just getting back on the air and figuring out what is it that is effective today as opposed to say five years ago.”
Plaster will replace The Herd with Colin Cowherd to become the fourth local show on Nashville Sports Radio WNSR’s weekday lineup. The station will feature The Bill King Show from 6 – 9am, The Greg Pogue and Big Joe Show from 9 – 11am, Jim Rome until 2pm, George Plaster from 2 – 4pm and The Johnny “Ballpark” Franks Show in afternoon drive from 4 – 7pm.
“To me the exciting part of it is they have very quietly put together a really good lineup of people,” Plaster added in the press release. “The chance to work with Bill King and Greg Pogue and Joe (Dubin) and Johnny “Ballpark” Franks, that excites me. I mean, that’s a very good lineup with a lot of really talented people that have been in this market for a long time.”
A CBS Sports Radio affiliate, WNSR is the flagship station for Vanderbilt baseball, Vanderbilt women’s basketball, Ensworth High School football and Memphis Grizzlies basketball. WNSR is also Nashville’s home for Atlanta Braves baseball.
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.