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Charlotte FC, Sports Radio WFNZ Announce Flagship Broadcast Team

Will Palaszczuk previously contributed to Atlanta United coverage for 92.9 The Game, while Jessica Charman was the voice of Mercer Soccer.

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WFNZ

Charlotte FC announced the radio broadcast team for its inaugural season in Major League Soccer.

Will Palaszczuk and Jessica Charman will be the English-language announcers for all Charlotte FC matches on the club’s flagship station, WFNZ (610 AM, 102.5 FM). The 2022 regular season will begin on Feb. 26 at D.C. United.

Palaszczuk will call play-by-play. He’s been a field reporter at WFNZ and previously contributed to Atlanta United coverage at 92.9 The Game. Palaszczuk has also worked at South Carolina Radio Network, Yahoo! Sports/SB Nation Radio, and ESPN Radio’s Columbia, Missouri affiliate.

He’s called play-by-play for Missouri Women’s Basketball and Softball, and minor league baseball for the Kinston Indians and Savannah Sand Gnats.

“I’ve been impressed with Charlotte FC’s build from afar and now up close. Everyone throughout the organization has exhibited the epitome of class. I’m honored they found me worthy to carry the responsibility of telling their amazing story to the fans of the Carolinas,” said in Charlotte FC’s official announcement.

“I’m also thrilled to work with an analyst of Jessica’s caliber. Her background as a player and broadcaster will provide a distinct perspective which I’m sure all listeners will enjoy. I thank the management of WFNZ for recognizing, developing and bringing this partnership into reality.”

Charman will be the color commentator, the first female to take that broadcast role full-time in MLS history. She was most recently the voice of Mercer Soccer, following the Bears’ run to the SoCon Championship, and has called the CAC Women’s Championship and Peach Belt Conference Finals.

Originally from Harefield, England, Charman played goalkeeper at Clayton State and won the Peach Belt Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year award.

“It’s truly an honor to have been selected as one of the inaugural voices of Charlotte FC’s radio broadcast. I am excited for the opportunity to help bring CLTFC’s incredible product on the pitch to fans at home,” said Charman.

“I am hopeful listeners will love my passion for the sport from both a player and fan perspective. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of an opportunity like this and couldn’t have wished for a better Club to have earned it with.”

As mentioned, Charlotte FC’s season opener will be Feb. 22 at D.C. United. The Club’s home opener is March 5 at Bank of America Stadium against the LA Galaxy.

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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