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Craig Carton Anticipates An Encounter With Mike Francesa at BSM Summit

“So it’s going to be a thing where we’re gonna have to cross paths.”

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Just as we are here at Barrett Sports Media, plenty of radio and podcast hosts, content creators, producers, programmers and executives are excited for the BSM Summit, happening on March 2 and 3 at The Anne Bernstein Theater in New York City.

But WFAN’s Craig Carton is anticipating his appearance at the Summit for reasons beyond his conversation on stage with Jason Barrett on Thursday. On Tuesday’s Carton & Roberts show, Carton noted that he will be in the same room with former WFAN host Mike Francesa, whom he has publicly said he does not like. And the feeling appears to be mutual.

“I’m being interviewed at a big radio gala, a morning thing,” Carton said after co-host Evan Roberts asked if he was going to see Francesa. “And apparently, after I go on stage and I’m interviewed, to talk about radio and all that stuff, right after I go, he’s coming on stage to present Felger and Massarotti in Boston with the Mike & The Mad Dog Award, which is some new radio award. So it’s going to be a thing where we’re gonna have to cross paths.”

Roberts asked Carton if he would say hello to Francesa, to which Carton said, “Of course. I always do.” But will Francesa say hello back to Carton?

“He will not, no,” said Carton. The two then guessed that Francesa would just look down and not acknowledge him. Or he might have BSM Summit organizers keep the two away from each other until Carton has left the theater.

Roberts encouraged Carton to make an effort to say hello to Francesa and maybe mention that he’s in Francesa’s old time slot at WFAN. How might that go over?

“Mike does not like me; I do not like Mike,” Carton explained to Roberts last October. “I respect Mike’s career, but he and I just don’t [get along], and that’s OK. You don’t have to get along with everybody. I typically do, of course. Too much was said back and forth. Most of it said by me, of course! But yeah, he and I, too much was said back and forth.”

Carton’s discussion at the BSM Summit is scheduled for 10:25 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET And shortly thereafter, as announced by Jason Barrett on Tuesday, Francesa will present Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz with the newly created Mike & The Mad Dog Award, honoring the top local sports radio show in the country.

As Jason pointed out, Francesa’s appearance will be part of Thursday’s 2022 BSM Summit Awards Ceremony scheduled from 11:50 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. And within that 50-minute window, there will be another discussion on stage with CBS Sports Radio’s Maggie Gray talking to ESPN’s Mike Foxx and Steve Braband from WWE about successfully executing digital content.

So it’s entirely possible that Carton and Francesa won’t encounter each other. The Summit will keep moving along, running on schedule. Yet Carton seems to think it’s likely because they’ll be in the theater with the other attendees.

Those in attendance may have to provide eyewitness accounts of Carton and Francesa possibly meeting. There could be some bonus activity to monitor at the BSM Summit. Or we may have to wait until Friday’s Carton & Roberts show to get a recap.

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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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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