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WFAN Wonders If Boomer Esiason Era Is Worst In New York Sports History

“Esiason said the next Giants leader would be the 50th different head coach in the city since he began at WFAN in 2007.”

Jordan Bondurant

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It’s been no secret that New York’s pro sports teams have struggled mightily to produce championship-winning and championship-caliber seasons over the last decade.

Sure, the Giants won Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011, and the Yankees did win the World Series in 2009. But since 2011, no other New York or New Jersey team has won a title in a major professional sport. You do have a New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2011, followed up with a New York Rangers Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2014, and Mets World Series run in 2015 that inspired hope in New Yorkers too.

But sprinkled in between all that have been plenty of seasons and coaches that have frustrated one of the nation’s most passionate sports fan hubs.

Over on WFAN on Wednesday, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannatti discussed the carousel that has spun at a surprising pace for sports teams in the city.

With the announcement that Joe Judge would indeed no longer be the head coach of the Giants, Esiason said the next Giants leader would be the 50th different head coach in the city since he began at WFAN in 2007.

“The Devils have had seven, the Knicks have had seven, the Nets have had seven, the Islanders and Rangers have had five, the Mets have had six, and the Jets and Giants getting ready to hire their fifth,” Esiason said.

“The Yankees are the most stable franchise of all, believe it or not, and it’s easy to understand why,” he added. “Brian Cashman has been the general manager since I’ve been here. He had (Joe) Torre, didn’t re-up him. Had (Joe) Girardi, had a 10 year run, didn’t re-up him, and now he has Aaron Boone.”

Gio asked if that list included interim head coaches, and Esiason said he only considered a couple. CBS Sports Network, which simulcasts Boomer and Gio on TV, showed a graphic outlining all the different New York coaches since 2017.

The two agreed former Jets coach Adam Gase was the worst of them all, but he had company, according to Esiason, with the most recent Giants coach.

“Joe Judge is right there with him right now,” he said.

They then recapped the Mets run at managers and the failed coaches of the Knicks before Gio summed things up.

“Just shows you how much of an abyss this has been,” he said. “A negative abyss.”

WFAN tweeted the conversation and asked the question if this was currently the worst era in New York sports history. One could make a point in favor of that notion, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much end in sight, at least not in the near future.

Sports Radio News

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.”

Jordan Bondurant

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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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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Streaming Radio

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.

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MLB Radio

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.

Radio Listeners to MLB

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.

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