After three days of what now seems like unnecessary drama, Tom Brady officially announced his retirement on Tuesday with a long goodbye on Instagram.
Within the series of eight images within the post, Brady explained that he could no longer make the “competitive commitment” for success in the NFL before going on to thank his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates, the team’s fans, the city of Tampa, team ownership Bucs general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians, coaches, staffers, trainer Alex Guerrero, agents Don Yee and Steve Dubin, his parents and friends, and wife and children.
New England Patriots and Boston sports fans quickly noticed that Brady didn’t thank the team with which he won six of his seven Super Bowl championships and established his legendary career, nor the community that supported him during his 20 seasons in Foxborough.
That lack of acknowledgement offended some, particularly some Boston sports radio hosts. Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub were angry about it.
“This would be a massive F You to the fans, to [Patriots owner Robert Kraft], to anybody that helped develop him to the maniacal nutjob of a player that he is now,” said Zolak, a former Patriots quarterback (via Mediaite).
“Whatever his issues are with the Krafts and Bill Belichick, those are their issues. Should he have any issue with the fans of New England?” added Bertrand.
Zolak also noted that the photo Brady used in his Instagram post was of him in a Buccaneers uniform when Tampa Bay won in New England’s Gillette Stadium earlier this season.
Elsewhere in Boston sports radio, WEEI’s Gresh & Keefe seemed less outraged than Zolak & Bertrand, but noted that Patriots fans were offended by Brady’s perceived slight.
“He had to have known, I think, that this would become a topic,” said Rich Keefe. “There’s no way that he wants this to become the story.”
However, the two pointed out that Brady may have felt that he already said his goodbyes and gave thanks to the Patriots and their fans when he left New England in early 2020.
Regardless, it does seem strange that Brady only acknowledged his time with Tampa Bay in that Instagram post. If Brady ends up not addressing that, reading into that decision could fuel Boston sports radio for weeks to come.
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.