The Houston sports radio market is crowded. It features a number of quality brands and talent, all capable of rising up and winning the quarter. For the 2021 spring book though, the story was SportsTalk 790’s return to the top.
790 was first among local sports talkers in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 2.3 share. Sports Radio 610 was next with a 2.2. ESPN 97.5 placed third with a 0.6. 97.5 did gain another .1 for HD2 listening.
The best performance for 790 this quarter came from ‘The Matt Thomas Show’, which airs weekdays from Noon to 3p CT. Thomas turned in a 3.4, the best overall format performance in the market for the book.
‘In The Trenches with ND Kalu’ which airs in middays from 10a-12p was the next best performer for 790 with a 3.0. The afternoon show, ‘The A-Team with Adam Clanton and Adam Wexler’, which airs weekdays from 3p-6p CT produced a 2.5. Sean Salisbury popped a 0.9 in mornings during the hours of 6a-10a CT. Not to be forgotten, the Houston Astros hot start to the 2021 baseball season paid dividends too, generating a 2.3 share at night.
Sports Radio 610’s best performance came in middays courtesy of ‘In The Loop’ hosted by Landry Locker and John Lopez. The 10a-2p show delivered a 2.5 for the quarter. Next best was the afternoon show featuring Clint Stoerner & Ron ‘The Show’ Hughley. They earned a 2.2 share between April-June. Last among 610’s weekday shows this book was the morning team of Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast with a 2.1.
ESPN 97.5’s top rated show this quarter was its morning show, ‘The Bench’ featuring John Granato and Lance Zierlein. The familiar local team tied with 790’s Salisbury delivering a 0.9. The station’s other three weekday shows were tied with a 0.5. All four shows also gained one tenth of point courtesy of the station’s HD2 channel.
With football season around the corner, and 97.5 needing to replace AJ Hoffman as a result of a new opportunity in Las Vegas, the market should be a fun follow in the months ahead.
Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys
“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.
“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.
Danny O’Neil is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously hosted morning and afternoon drive for 710 ESPN Seattle, and served as a reporter for the Seattle Times. He can be reached on Twitter @DannyOneil or by email at Danny@DannyOneil.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.