For sports fans, one of the constants over the last 20 years was waking up in the morning to hear Mike Golic co-hosting either Mike & Mike or Golic and Wingo on ESPN Radio. On August 17, that will all change as the morning show will now feature Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti as the hosts.
According to Richard Deitsch from The Athletic, Golic is still under contract with ESPN, but a future role has yet to be determined.
In the last 24 hours, many current and former ESPN personalities took to Twitter to talk about their experiences working with Golic on the air. We will start with Golic and Wingo, producer Evan Wilner, and ESPN Director of Talent Production and Guest Booking Ray Necci.
Over the years, many different people have filled on either morning show to co-host with Golic and a few of them shared their experiences. Adnan Virk, who is currently at DAZN, remembered when he first worked with Golic and Mike Hill credits Golic for getting him on the air to fill in on Mike & Mike
Golic received some praise on Twitter from former colleagues Will Cain, who is now at FOX News and Doug Gottlieb (host on FOX Sports Radio). Cain and Gottlieb would both fill in on Mike & Mike from time-to-time:
For other people, it is Golic’s kindness that helped them feel comfortable working with him, such as Jason Romano. Romano worked at ESPN for 17 years and felt more relaxed working with Golic. ESPN contributor Bobby Carpenter also explained how Golic pushed him to be with his family for the holidays rather than worry about filling in on the show.
Even though Golic had the national spotlight on ESPN, he would give a helping hand to people in the business as well. Randy Scott, who now works at ESPN, met Golic in 2009 and shared his story of meeting him and giving him advice that eventually led to them being colleagues:
Danny Kanell, who used to work with Golic at ESPN (now at CBS Sports and Sirius XM), tweeted about what made Golic different compared to others currently in the industry. So too did Paul Pabst, Dan Patrick’s producer. Also weighing in was Barstool’s PFT Commenter, who acknowledged being a longtime morning listener and fan of Golic’s work.
Last, but not least, Golic’s wife Christine, one of his sons, Mike Jr., and his daughter Sydney thanked the people on Twitter for their kind words and support. Golic Jr. will be in the new national ESPN Radio lineup co-hosting with Chiney Ogwumike from 4-7 p.m ET.
The kind words will keep pouring in for Golic and it is clear to see the impact that he has in the industry on and off the air. There are many memorable moments to look back on from Golic over the last two decades and it will feel different when the new ESPN Radio lineup launches.
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.