You’ve heard WFAN host Boomer Esiason talk Monday about the false Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl boycott story that originated on Boomer and Gio late last week. On Tuesday during his regular weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers spoke more about it.
Esiason said Monday on WEEI in Boston that the story was completely fabricated, as it was originally shared on a Twitter account with the handle @BackAftaThis. The account is verified and has more than 116,000 followers. The video, which is clearly edited together, has more than 1.8 million views. Esiason and co-host Gregg Giannotti acknowledged the story was fake, and the Twitter account has in its bio that Rodgers would not be boycotting the Super Bowl should the Packers get to LA.
Rodgers said normally he wouldn’t give the time of day to stories like that. But because Boomer and Gio were cited as the ones to break the story based on a text message from someone claiming to have sources close to Rodgers, the Packers QB couldn’t stay silent.
“I just felt like it was time to end that,” he told McAfee, noting he, Packers backup quarterback Jordan Love and others had fun on Twitter in response. He also made it clear that he wasn’t pleased that it became such a big deal.
“Why would I play in, to the majority of people, a meaningless Week 18 game and then what I care about and train for in the offseason, and focus on during the season, and manifest thoughts to my teammates to have this on our mind. Winning a Super Bowl,” he said. “You think I would do all that and play in a meaningless game to most people in Week 18 and then boycott the Super Bowl? You don’t know me.”
“It’s the dumbest f***ing thing,” he added. “It’s so dumb I wouldn’t even joke about it. That’s how dumb it is.”
Rodgers insisted no one in his inner circle was talking to the media.
“Whether you’re ‘Porn Hub’ (Hub Arkush) or whoever this direct source is, you don’t know me, so stop talking as if you do know me or you have some sort of idea.”
This is one of those times where some media members may call for the Packers QB to be challenged more by The Pat McAfee Show because ‘Boomer and Gio’ never treated the story as plausible on air. Both have since gone on separate shows to set the record straight that the video Rodgers responded to in the first place was edited to make it look like something it wasn’t.
Rodgers though has had most of his time and focus on football, so he’s appeared to take this personally, even though there are other layers to the story which make it clear that the New York radio hosts shot down the report. Given how much off-field chatter Rodgers has dealt with this year, it’s understandable why he might be ticked off with the sports media.
Suzyn Waldman ‘Still here’ at WFAN after 35 years
I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”
Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman is celebrating 35 years on the air. Waldman, the first voice heard on WFAN, is thankful to be where she is.
“I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”
Waldman looked back on the experience of doing the very first update on the air at WFAN. While doing the first update alongside Jim Lampley, a fill-in for Pete Franklin, she was shocked when listeners did not approve of her updates and tied it to her being female. She thought, “Oh my God, this is not what I thought it was going to be,” she said.
That was not something she was accustomed to in the theater. Waldman had a background in musical theater before getting into radio and eventually joining WFAN as it went on the air in 1987.
“It was a rude awakening,” she said. “But it was at that moment that everything changed.”
Waldman eventually began working the overnight shift alongside Steve Somers. It was there she really honed her craft.
Suzyn has been calling Yankees games alongside John Sterling since 2005. This is her eighth season calling Yankee games on WFAN.
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.