Bobby Curran provided an update on his health on Thursday, and things have taken a very serious turn. What started as a mild case of Emphysema has advanced to the point that Curran needs a double lung transplant.
Curran told Josh Pacheco, who has been filling in for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors play-by-play man on his ESPN Honolulu morning show, that he hopes that by talking publicly about his battle more people will feel the need to go see a doctor and get a potentially lingering issue looked at.
The Aloha State broadcasting legend is already registered at the Mayo Clinic and is going through the evaluation process.
“It’s going to be kind of a long road, but I think it’s necessary if I’m going to be around a while, and I’m otherwise fairly healthy,” he said. “So I really would like to extend this and be with my family and do all the things at work, et cetera that other people do. That’s really where I’m at.
“I just think I can put myself in other people’s shoes and say, ‘OK I get the urge to keep everything to yourself.’ But I just don’t think that’s helpful here. I think too many people are probably paralyzed by their own fear because this stuff is scary stuff.”
He said he contracted Covid-19 after attending a wedding back in April, but the doctors have so far not been able to say definitively whether or not the virus made his Emphysema worse.
The Mayo Clinic is what Curran’s medical providers in Hawaii told him was his best chance of survival right now.
“When someone puts it in those stark terms it makes it a lot easier to pull the trigger on what I would’ve said a year ago was fairly dramatic action,” Curran said.
He has two sons, ages19 and 17. One just finished freshman year of college, while the other is headed into their senior year of high school. Curran spoke of his wife before talking about the support he’s received from his employer.
“I’m going to have the support I think I need to get through this,” he said. “My biggest worry I think at this point is that they don’t find a donor in time. That’s a legit worry. You don’t really know that that’s gonna happen. But you hope.”
While not immediate, Bobby Curran said he is cleared by his doctors to return to work in a limited capacity. But fatigue and stress, in addition to other health factors, can make matters worse. Still, he expressed his excitement to eventually get back behind the microphone.
“I can’t wait to get back,” he said. “I’m gonna do the best that I can to get back as fast as I can and we’ll take it from there.”
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
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 Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All 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 its 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.
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”
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”
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.