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670 The Score, ESPN 1000 Take Hits In Chicago’s Spring Ratings Book

“The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7.”

Brandon Contes

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The spring ratings period from March 26 through June 17 was overall less than impressive for Chicago’s two sports stations. Still, the total drop-off was minimal considering COVID-19 forced a sports shutdown, with some shows even outperforming their winter numbers. 

According to Nielsen Audio, the stations were in a tight race for weekday prime (M-F 6a – 7p). The Score finished tied for 12th with a 2.9 share while ESPN 1000 was four spots behind earning a 2.7. In comparison, both stations did a 3.3 in the winter book, which largely took place before the sports hiatus.

In morning drive, The Score’s Mully and Haugh finished the book in 13th place with a 2.8, down from their 4.5 winter number. Year-over-year, Mully and Haugh dropped nearly five points from the 2019 spring book which occurred while the Cubs were in action. ESPN 1000’s simulcast of Golic and Wingo placed ninth in their final book as morning co-hosts. Surprisingly, the show saw a ratings increase in the spring with a 4.3 share, up a half point from the winter book. 

For a national host, Golic developed a solid connection with the Chicago audience, in-part thanks to his 18 years with Mike Greenberg, who launched his radio career at The Score in the early ‘90s. But with Greeny having left ESPN Radio’s morning show in 2017, and Golic on his way out next month, a new trio of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti are set to take over the national airwaves. 

Will they get the chance to compete in Chicago? With Good Karma Brands now in control of ESPN 1000, it will be interesting to see if the company elects to go local in mornings or continue featuring network programming courtesy of their partnership with the worldwide leader.

From 9a – noon, both stations were again in a tight ratings battle. ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan finished 12th with a 2.9, while Dan Bernstein was right behind with a 2.8 for The Score. Kap & Company dropped from a 3.5 share in the winter, while Bernstein was up almost a half point from what was his final book with co-host Connor McKnight. 

The noon – 2p timeslot went to The Score, as Laurence Holmes fared well during the sports hiatus, tied for 11th with a 3.1 share which was up from his 2.9 in the winter book. For ESPN 1000, Carmen & Jurko dipped from a 3.2 share during the winter, to a 19th place finish and a 2.4 rating in the spring book.

Rounding out the weekday lineup, The Score finished 13th from 2 – 6p as their afternoon show with Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins earned a 3.1 share, a slight drop from their 3.4 over the winter. ESPN 1000’s afternoon duo of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman finished tied for 18th with a 2 share. But more importantly, it was great to hear Silvy has been able to continue co-hosting the afternoon show on ESPN 1000 while battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a diagnosis he revealed in late April.

Sports Radio News

105.3 The Fan’s Shan & RJ Do Battle With 95.7 The Game’s The Morning Roast Ahead of 49ers vs Cowboys

“Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.”

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Sports radio content has fueled the hate between Dallas and San Francisco this week as the Cowboys get set to visit the Bay Area. A joke made by 105.3 The Fan’s GBag Nation made some 49ers fans angry. Gavin Dawson and Bryan Broaddus said the Cowboys “could use an injury” to 49ers running back Christian McCaffery.

Other hosts at 105.3 The Fan took to Twitter after a 49ers fan spread the clip on social media calling the joke “pathetic.” Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy were among them. They argued that it is crazy for anyone to think Dawson and Broaddus were serious.

The vitriol between the two towns played out Friday morning on two Audacy stations, the aforementioned Fan in Dallas and 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. Shan & RJ connected with Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky of The Morning Roast for a quarter-hour of smack talk.

“We’d like to congratulate you guys on still being there,” Shariff said. “We know the rotating door there normally. We didn’t think you’d still be there from last year.”

He then gave credit to Sahsky for contributing his winnings from their last bet to the families and community in Uvalde affected by the Robb Elementary shootings.

From there, the niceties were over. Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.

All five hosts explained their pick for the game. Only Shariff went against his home team, predicting the 49ers to win by double digits. Belt and Choppy didn’t give a second thought to supporting the Cowboys.

Joe Shasky wasn’t buying the confidence.

“It’s gonna be Rangers and Bocci talk Monday when they lose,” he said as the two shows signed off.

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Sports Radio News

Sweeny Murti Departing WFAN

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here.”

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WFAN New York Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti has announced today is his final day with the radio station.

In a tweet announcing the move, Murti said “I tried to bring the right amounts of confidence and humility on the air. I strived to hold my own with the great hosts on our station and just tried to make good radio with every appearance.”

Sweeny started as a producer at WFAN in 1993, before eventually ascending to the role of the station’s Yankees reporter in 2001. He was grateful to his colleagues and friends for his time at the New York station.

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here. Thanks to so many wonderful friends and colleagues who made going to work fun. And thanks to every one of you for listening and taking this ride with me. It has truly been my honor, and I hope you will join me on the next adventure.

Sweeny Murti did not disclose what his next move would entail.

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Sports Radio News

Westwood One Releases Study of NFL Fans Following Playoffs on Radio

“The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL will be one step closer to determining who will play in this year’s Super Bowl after this weekend, and one thing is for certain, football fans will follow the games any way they can. That includes listening to games on the radio.

Westwood One, which is the official network radio partner of the NFL, revealed just how strong listenership of the NFL on the radio is thanks to a recent study.

According to Westwood One’s Audio Active Group, which unveiled the data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough USA+ and MRI Simmons USA, NFL playoff listeners on AM/FM radio are more likely to work full-time and have higher disposable income compared to TV viewers.

Additionally, MRI Simmons found that radio listeners are keener to attend sporting events, look up sports information on their phones more frequently and be more active in fantasy sports than their TV watching counterparts.

The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.

The average age of radio listeners is younger than the average TV watcher. The study found that the average age of people who listen to the playoffs/Super Bowl on the radio is 46, while the average age of folks who watch on TV is 53.

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