The Baltimore Orioles announced multiple changes to their 2020 team of broadcasters which features three new voices and a lot of moving parts. Scott Garceau, Melanie Newman and Geoff Arnold join the team of 18 announcers for Orioles broadcasts this season, which are seen on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and heard on their flagship radio station 105.7 The Fan.
According to the team’s announcement, they will take a more innovative approach to the 2020 season for their radio and TV broadcasts, utilizing their on-air talent in a variety of multiplatform roles.
Longtime broadcasters Jim Hunter and Tom Davis will move to “new roles as regular on-air contributors,” but those roles were not defined by the team in their announcement. Hunter has been with the team since 1997 and last year, took over as their lead radio voice and backup TV announcer after Joe Angel retired.
“We are continually looking for innovative ways to engage with fans, expand our audience, and enhance our content,” said Greg Bader, Orioles SVP of Administration & Experience. “Through this new, multiplatform approach, our talent team will be empowered to deliver news, insights, analysis, and creative storytelling directly to our fans, regardless of medium.”
Scott Garceau returns to call games for the Orioles as one of their play-by-play announcers this season, a role he previously filled for 13 years. He will also contribute to MASN as a pre and postgame studio host for Orioles telecasts according to 105.7 The Fan.
For four decades, Garceau has covered Baltimore sports, recently contributing as afternoon co-host of the Scott and Jeremy Show on 105.7 The Fan. The station just retooled their lineup, moving his co-host Jeremy Conn to the evening timeslot, as Garceau will no longer host a daily show on The Fan. The longtime Baltimore sportscaster also served as the play-by-play voice for the Ravens during their first ten years in the city.
Melanie Newman joins the Orioles team of broadcasters after spending last season as the play-by-play announcer for the Salem Red Sox, Boston’s Single-A affiliate. Newman’s broadcasting career has also seen her contribute to the ACC Network, GameDay Radio, sideline reporting for Fox Sports Southwest and working as play-by-play announcer for the Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders.
Geoff Arnold is added to the Orioles as he gets called up to the Majors after spending the last five years with Baltimore’s Class A-Advanced affiliate as the team’s Director of Broadcasting & Public Relations, along with serving as their lead radio voice.
A number of announcers for the Orioles will remain in the rotation for 2020 as the full 18-member broadcast team is listed below.
- Geoff Arnold
- Mike Bordick
- Kevin Brown
- Tom Davis
- Rick Dempsey
- Scott Garceau
- Jim Hunter
- Dave Johnson
- Roch Kubatko
- Rob Long
- Paul Mancano
- Ben McDonald
- Steve Melewski
- Melanie Newman
- Gregg Olson
- Jim Palmer
- Brian Roberts
- Gary Thorne
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.