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104.5 The Zone Shines In Nashville Summer Book

“Mickey Ryan and Blaine Bishop in particular stood out, finishing 2nd in their slot during all three months during the book.”

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Photo Credit: Hotels.com

The summer book numbers are in for Nashville and there were a lot of positive takeaways for folks involved with the market’s sports radio stations. The quarter was led by 104.5 The Zone which finished 3rd for the full week (M-SU 6a-Mid) with a 7.6 share, and 4th in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p) with a 7.7 share. All numbers are with Men 25-54.

What especially caught my eye was the year to year growth across all dayparts. Sports started to come back at the start of July in 2020, so Summer 2021 provided a big boost which should serve The Zone in the upcoming fall book. Compared to 2020, The Zone’s prime and full week numbers grew by 3.6 points. Prime also enjoyed a six position improvement. The full week performed even better gaining seven spots.

In mornings on The Zone, J-Mart and Ramon featuring Jason Martin and Ramon Foster secured a 4th place finish for the quarter with a 6.6 share. That was up from 9th and a 3.9 share in 2020.

During the midday hours of 10a-3p, the combination of Buck Reising’s show from 10a-1p and Blaine Bishop and Mickey Ryan from 1p-3p helped The Zone produce an 8.3 share to finish 3rd in the timeslot. Ryan and Bishop in particular stood out, finishing 2nd in their slot during all three months during the book. The station also doubled its production in the 10a-3p timeslot year over year, picking up 4.2 points and eight positions over that time period.

Moving to afternoon drive, 3HL which features Brent Dougherty, Dawn Davenport and Ron Slay generated a 5th place finish thanks to a 7.3 share. The afternoon trio also improved from 8th and a 4.7 share in 2020.

On the other side of town, the news was also great for 102.5 The Game. The station produced its best summer book in station history. The Game saw all of its weekday shows deliver above a 3 share for the first time since May 2018.

Making the most noise for the quarter was the morning show featuring Robby Stanley and Joe Rexrode. The Nashville duo, which took over the morning slot in October 2020, popped a 4 share for the summer book.

Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher: ‘I’d Rather Hear Crowd Noise Than Tony Romo’

“I don’t know why they throw so much money at these guys. Who goes ‘Wow, Aikman is the greatest’?”

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The Toucher and Rich show from 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston was not happy with the calls made in Sunday’s Bills-Chiefs divisional playoff game. No, not the play-calling by either team, but the broadcast call from the booth.

The duo went on a tangent discussing blunders made by Tony Romo and Jim Nantz in the booth — Romo, specifically. Towards the end of the game as Buffalo and Kansas City were trading scores, Romo was ecstatic but also fumbling over his words and couldn’t get his clearest thought out. Some probably didn’t notice or understood the excitement at that point which caused Romo to babble. However, Fred Toucher was very annoyed with it.

“It’s something massive that happened in that game and he ruined it!” he said. “Why is that better than crowd noise? How is that better than crowd noise? I’d rather just hear the crowd noise.”

This was in reference to one of the touchdowns late in the game. Later, Toucher stated that announcers don’t add much value to the game anyway and asked why networks give so much money to color commentators.

“I don’t know why they throw so much money at these guys. Who goes ‘Wow, Aikman is the greatest’? It’s like, Aikman doesn’t bother me. It’s just the ability not to bother you. That’s all.  And you can do that by staying out of the way.”

While a former player like Romo is newer to the booth, many enjoy his style due to his ability to break down plays or at times predict exactly what will happen on an upcoming play down to the smallest detail. However, he is still learning and even the best announcers babble at times. 

Everyone seems to have an opinion on each football analyst and announcer. It’s safe to say Toucher and Rich have had enough of Romo.

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Sports Radio News

850 AM ESPN Cleveland Knocked Off Air Friday Due to Damaged Transmitter

The transmitter issues were fixed later in the day and ESPN Cleveland was back on the air shortly after 4 p.m. Friday.

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Sports radio station WKNR, 850 AM ESPN Cleveland, was off the air Friday morning due to a transmitter that was damaged during last Monday’s snowstorm.

As the station told listeners on Twitter and Facebook, ESPN Cleveland programming was still available on the ESPN app, The Land on Demand website, the TuneIn App, and smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home.

So features like an NFL roundtable with the station’s Cleveland Browns analyst Tony Grossi could still be heard by ESPN Cleveland listeners, just not on the radio via 850 AM for most of the workday.

But the transmitter issues were fixed later in the day and ESPN Cleveland was back on the air shortly after 4 p.m. Friday, as announced on social media.

Afternoon drive-time listeners got to hear The Next Level with Emmett Golden, Jerod Cherry, and Matt Fontana on their way home from work. (Well, some listeners probably only got an hour’s worth of programming before the station powered down its signal at 5 p.m.)

As some listeners pointed out on Twitter, it seemed strange for the transmitter to break down four days after the snowstorm. But the damage obviously wasn’t an immediate problem and apparently something that deteriorated. Or it was an issue that needed to be addressed for the transmitter to continue working properly.

Monday’s snowstorm was no joke. Snowfall totals at the Cleveland airport were measured at 8.2 inches. The region was also battered by 35 mph winds, temperatures in the mid-20s, and wind chills in the teens. At least sports fans could listen to ESPN Cleveland at the time…

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Sports Radio News

TV Reporter Tori Yorgey Surprised By Eagles’ Brandon Graham During WIP Appearance

“This is the craziest early morning call I’ve ever had!”

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports/ Tori Yorgey Twitter

WSAZ-TV reporter Tori Yorgey became news last Thursday for getting hit by a car during a live shot on the West Virginia station. Despite what looked like a scary collision on television, Yorgey got up right away to let anchor Tim Irr and the viewing audience know that she was all right.

The following day, Yorgey, a Philadelphia native, was a guest on the 94WIP morning show as the “Winner of the Week” to talk about the incident. But host Angelo Cataldi made the interview even better by bringing on Yorgey’s favorite Philadelphia Eagles player, Brandon Graham.

“No way!” exclaimed Yorgey. “Oh my God, I love you!”

“You’re a trooper,” said Graham. “Like when performers fall down the stairs, the show must go on. That’s how you approached it.”

“Thank you so much,” Yorgey responded. “Whoa, this is the craziest early morning call I’ve ever had.”

Last week after video of Yorgey went viral, Graham’s Eagles teammate, Lane Johnson, said he’d send her a jersey.

Yorgey told fans on Twitter that she was “just a little sore” after the incident, but she’s still feeling discomfort in her right leg. As so many have pointed out, it could have been so much worse for her.

Amazingly, the on-air collision was one of the last assignments Yorgey covered for WSAZ. She’s moving on to Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV, where she’ll be a nighttime reporter. Yorgey starts her new job on Feb. 1. There don’t appear to be any worries that she’ll become a Steelers fan, especially after talking to her favorite Eagles player on WIP.

“I hope you come to Philly instead of Pittsburgh,” said Graham toward the end of his call.

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