Sports Radio

What’s Right and What’s Wrong with Sports Media- Sports Radio

There really hasn’t been any glaring changes in the sports radio industry since 2007 when I first wrote of what I liked about sports media.

Living within the Boston media market, I now have two reputable choices for my sports radio listening pleasure.  Both have very knowledgeable hosts who, when they want to be, are very, very good.

What I said four years ago about what I like about sports radio holds true today…I like when hosts talk sports.  Novel idea, isn’t it?  But for some reason there are times when hosts think they need to expand their horizons and talk about topics not associated with the hometown teams.   Case in point…one of the Boston area sports radio morning shows last month spent its entire four hour show on two topics; Mark Sanchez dating a 17 year-old and whether the husband of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords should leave her side and command the last space shuttle mission.  That’s the kind of sports I love!

Hosts who delve into the non-sports realm say they’re bringing up topics that “guys” are talking about, specifically “guys” in the 18-49 or 25-54 demographic.  We may have interests outside of sports on our mind, but we tune in to sports radio to hear a discussion of sports.  If we want to hear about other topics we can find those elsewhere on the dial.

As much as all radio stations live and die on ratings, sports radio remains a niche format with low ratings.  That’s why in most markets sports radio consists of a blend of local sports shows and those from ESPN Radio or other national syndicators.  Boston is one of the only markets where sports radio has consistently scored high in the desired male demographics.

I tend to value local sports talk radio to national programs, because I get more information on the teams I follow.  The downside to this is because local sports shows focus on the regional sports scene, they tend to ignore other sports when in season.  Back to what I hear in Boston, sports radio programs focus exclusively on the four major sports teams and rarely, if ever, talk college sports or individual sports like golf and tennis. The nationally syndicated shows tend to give me more variety, so I’ll check in with them more during golf and tennis majors, etc.

The best sports radio programs are the ones where the hosts are knowledgeable and respect the views of the callers.  They are also the ones that include interviews of local and national newsmakers.  Unfortunately there are many hosts who feel that because they have control of the microphone, they are why people listen.  These hosts may have good ratings numbers, but not for the reasons they think.

Like newspapers, sports radio faces competition on other media platforms.  There are now satellite and online audio programs which focus on a specific sport or team that are gaining market share with audiences.   Some of these programs are better than others, but isn’t it great that we have these choices?  I like that.

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Morning Journal- November 27, 2009

I hope you had a festive Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I also hope you don’t get too frustrated trying to shop on this Black Friday.  We are upon another packed sports weekend.  Here are some sports media news items to get you started…

Sean Leahey at USA Today’s The Huddle reports on an apology issued by the NFL Network for the airing of a curse from Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels…

Michael Hiestand at USA Today looks at the dwindling NASCAR ratings..

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the play of Brandon Jennings has put the Bucks back on the national television radar… Bob also has the Fox NFL team’s thoughts on the Packers’ fate after yesterday’s win…

Ray Holloman at Fanhouse catches up with CBS’ Gus Johnson

TJ Simers at the LA Times is bothered by local fans reactions to Pete Carroll and the Clippers announcing team…

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star also looks at political correctness playing a role in the Clippers’ broadcast team troubles…

Diane Pucin at the Times writes of the uniqueness of now former Angels broadcaster Rex Hudler…

Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News has his “Dubious Dozen” in sports media for 2009…

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe has an interview with the biggest name to jump ship between sports radio behemoth WEEI and the new Sports Hub

In media notes this week, Mel Bracht at the Oklahoman notes of the return of a former Seattle Sonics voice calling the relocated Oklahoma City Thunder…

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle says more changes await Houston area sports radio…

Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post Dispatch looks at the end of a run for a local sports radio host… Dan also has news of Fox Sports Midwest’s choice of high school football over the Blues today…

Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald likes what he hears out of Dolphins’ linebacker Channing Crowder on local radio…

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union Tribune looks at why the 7-3 Chargers don’t sell out their home games…

Jim Carlisle at the North County Times previews Pats/Saints on Monday Night Football with the ESPN crew…

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN’s Hubie Brown on the fate of the Wizzards…

Dave Kindred, writing at the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University, debates whether journalists should “clean-up” quotes to make them more readable

Chris Zelcovich at the Toronto Star says look for plenty of Grey Cup programming heading into Sunday’s game…Chris also has a Canadian sports viewing guide for the weekend…

Bill Houston at Truth and Rumors looks at the potential for big ratings numbers for Sunday’s Grey Cup… Bill also has advice for the Grey Cup announcers…

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union questions what’s up at the local sports radio station?

Ed Sherman at Crains Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers

Chris Byrne at Eye on Sports Media looks at what happened to the CBS television crew 25 years after telecasting Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass against Miami…

The Associated Press reports on the official retirement of longtime Yankees p.a. announcer Bob Sheppard

Mike Puma at the NY Post has the Sheppard story

The NHL Network has announced it will air a special Sunday on spectacular goaltending achievements

Tim Cronin at the Southtown (IL) Star catches up with ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen and the venture he is involved with today…

Western Kentucky University announces its slate of televised men’s basketball games…

The Huntington (WV) News reports on the Marshall men’s basketball television schedule…

PR Newswire reports that New England Cox cable subscribers will be able to catch the Providence/Northeastern game on ESPN360...

Former Detroit Tigers announcing great Ernie Harwell pens his favorite things for the Sporting News…

Huliq News looks at ESPN’s multi language coverage of next year’s World Cup…

The Associated Press (via USA Today) looks at how ESPN Desportes will telecast the World Cup in the United States…

Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Deseret News looks at how Real Salt Lake spoiled the ESPN coronation of the LA Galaxy…

The Evansville Courier & Press looks at the expansion of local high school sports coverage on television…

Morning Journal- November 20, 2009

It’s another TGIF!  Here are some sports media news items crossing our desk this morning…

Michael Hiestand at USA Today looks at the announcing teams ABC and FOx will use for the upcoming BCS games

Bob Raissman at the NY Daily News writes how the media have over analyzed the motivations of the Jets and Patriots…

Phil Mushnick at the NY Post says the NFL should take heed to the concerns around concussions…

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the contract extension given ESPN’s John Gruden…

John Maffei at the North County Times is puzzled why NBC did not flex this weekend’s Sunday Night Football match-up…

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle has a talk with CBS College Sports’ Tony Barnhart

Tom Van Riper at Forbes looks at the 25th anniversary of Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary touchdown pass…

The Associated Press (via Entertainment Daily) reports that the Browns/Lions contest in Detroit will be blacked out...

Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald has some good and bad points to make about the NFL Network…

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union Tribune writes that local Time Warner cable is still battling the NFL Network over a carriage deal…

Diane Pucin at the LA Times reports on the difficulties that faced Marv Albert during a recent visit to the Jimmy Kimmel Show…

Leslie Monteiro at the Bleacher Report does not like what he hears out of NY sports radio…

Ed Sherman at Crains Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star looks at a FSN West special celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LA Lakers...

Eric Young at MSN reports on a long term radio deal for the Oakland A’s

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks with ESPN’s Sean McDonough..

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe looks at the unsung heroes of Boston Sports Media

Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette looks at Comcast SportsNet New England’s challenge in getting the eyeballs of Boston sports fans…

Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News talks with former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas in preparation of this weekend’s MLS Cup… Tom follows up with more on Lalas as part of his Media Learning Curve blog post

Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake City Deseret News would like former Jazz analyst David James back behind the desk…

Ted Cox at the Chicago Daily Herald talks about a special on Comcast Sports Net Chicago remembering the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of Ben Wilson…

Chris Zelkovich at the Toronto Star says former Rogers Sportsnet talent Mike Toth is looking forward to his next stop…

Mel Bracht at the Oklahoman reports that local high school football coverage for the post season is non existent…

The Tallahassee Democrat has the sad news of the passing of reporter Steve Ellis…

Morning Journal- November 13, 2009

It’s the end of another week…time for some sports media news items to begin your Friday…

Richard Sandomir at the NY Times wonders what Dick Ebersol’s role could be in a Comcast/NBC merger

Bob Raissman at the NY Daily News writes the future of the new Giants and Jets stadium will ride on the success the remainder of this season

Phil Mushnick at the NY Post looks at some expensive Yankees World Series memorabilia

The NY Post has 5 questions for CBS College Basketball analyst Seth Davis

Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News sits down with CBS’s James Brown to discuss his new book…Tom has more with JB in his Media Learning Curve blog post…

Sean Leahy at the Huddle at USA Today says he did not mind the audio glitch during the early parts of last nights Bears/49’ers game on NFL Network.

Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News talks with NFL Network COO Kim Williams…

Diane Pucin at the LA Times says the NBC football analysts have strong opinions on this Sunday’s Pats/Colts match-up

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also has a piece on NBC’s Tony Dungy

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star also previews Colt/Pats on NBC

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union Tribune talks with Fox Sports NFL analyst Brian Billick

Tim Lemke at the Washington Times looks at a new partnership between the Redskins and Comcast Sports Net

Michael Hiestand at USA Today talks with CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson on the state of the SEC..

Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake City Deseret News says ESPN is giving more respect to the Mountain West Cnference

Mel Bracht at the Oklahoman chats with ESPN college football analyst Criag James .  Mel also looks at the local top 10 TV college football match-ups…And here’s Mel’s Media Notebook

Steve Kelly at the Seattle Times talks Sonics with ESPN’s Bill Simmons

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle talks with a new edition to one of Houston’s sports radio morning shows

The Detroit Free Press looks at Bob Costas’ interview with Ernie Harwell next week on the MLB Network…

Ed Sherman at Crains Chicago Business has his weekly Winners and Losers..

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe follows-up on the dismissal of a local television sports anchor

Brian D. at the Bleacher Report looks at the work of the sports media in Portland...

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has a Q&A with Sienna play-by-play voice Robert Lee….

Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette looks at how Holy Cross is airing archived sports footage and interviews on its web site

Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports on the gamble of a local sports radio host.  Dan also questions the decisions of Fox when it comes to its selection of games to air in the local market…

John Maffei at the North County Times reports on the return to the mic of a local sports radio host, stricken earlier this fall by a hear attack

Todd Leskanic at the Tampa Tribune has the story of a local sports photographer killed this past week

Chris Zelkovich at the Toronto Star writes that Canadian college sports fans have plenty of options to view games online

Ray Buck at the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that former college coaches play a prominent role int he new movie The Blindside

Fox Sports announces its agreement to continue to provide coverage of the English Premier League to its Australian viewers..

Morning Journal- November 6, 2009

Welcome to the end of another work week.   Here are some sports media news items to look over…

Michael Heistand at USA Today looks at how a potential Comcast/NBC merger could compete on the sports stage with ESPN

Radio Online reports that that Fox Sports Radio will simulcast the Fox NFL Sunday program, which will come from Afghanistan, to troops overseas…

Mark Maske at the Washington Post (through the St Augustine Record), looks at how people in a down economy turn to the NFL on TV

Bob Raissman at the NY Daily News tells us about the mistakes made by the MLB Nework following Wednesday’s Yankees clincher.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the strong ratings number for the Series clincher

Richard Sandomir at the NY Times also has news of the strong Series ratings...

John Crowe at the Crowe’s Nest lets us know that the MLB Network will cover the Yankees victory parade today

Steve Johnson at the Chicago Tribune look at the announced collaboration on a sports news satire program between the Onion and Comedy Central…

The Landry Hat looks at allegations of the media and ESPN slanting the Tony Romo/Roy Williams incident…

John Maffei at the North County Times has the story of the laying off of a long time San Diego sports television anchor

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union Tribune also has the story

Ken Fang at Fangs Bites has posted the promo NBC is using now to promote the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver…

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle has the latest local sports radio ratings

Speaking of sports radio ratings, Chad Finn at the Boston Globe has the Beantown numbers…and a newcomer is making waves…

Jessica Heslam at the Boston Herald reports on the release of the sports anchor at the Fox affiliate

More sports radio news locally out of St. Louis from Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post Dispatch

Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald looks at how college basketball schools are making concessions to appear on ESPN’s opening night of games

Diane Pucin at the LA Times takes another angle in the impact social media is playing in sports

Ed Sherman at Crains Chicago Business has his weekly Winners and Losers…

Bill Doyle at the Worcester (MA) Telegram and Gazette tells us about a local man who will be working for the Miami Dolphins soon after their game with the Patriots this weekend

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Times looks at the remaking of Matt Millen

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner recounts John Riggins’ meltdown over Redskins owner Daniel Snyder on Showtime’s Inside the NFL

Mel Bracht at the Oklahoman says ESPN’s Ron Franklin is not too pleased with the changes to the WWL’s college basketball coverage…

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has a Q&A with NBC’s Tiki Barber…Pete also has the local Time Warner college basketball television schedule…and the Time Warner hockey schedule

Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake City Deseret News says the MTN will soon be available in HD…in some locations…

Tim Lemke at the Washington Times looks at how movie studios are placing more ads during sports telecasts

Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News reports on a former Dodger doing work for television for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup…And Tom expands upon his column here

William Houston at Truth and Rumors talks about the firing of a Montreal shock jock…

Chris Zelkovich at the Toronto Star talks with Rogers Sportsnet hockey analyst John Shannon

The Tampa Tribune reports on the return of suspended sports radio host Dan Sileo…

Morning Journal- November 2, 2009

It was a busy Sunday in sports.  Here are some of the sports media stories that surfaced since yesterday…

Matthew J. de la Merced and Andrew Ross Sorkin at the NY Times report that the Comcast/NBC deal may be coming close to completion

Paulsen at Sports Media Watch has the ratings numbers for Game 3 of the World Series

Here’s the AP story on the World Series ratings..courtesy of Entertainment Daily…

MLB.com reports on Fox’ move to relocate the right field camera which played a role in Alex Rodriguez’ home run in Game 3 of the World Series…

Mike Jensen at the Philadelphia Inquirer has the story of how the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins is sought out daily by the media

Chris Zelkovitch at the Toronto Star thinks Fox is making strides in its coverage of the World Series……

Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball has an interview with MLB Network’s Victor Rojas

John Lewin at the Faster Times criticizes MLB Network for an online poll which seemed to omit one obvious choice…(I agree)

Phil Mushnick at the NY Post accepts and issues a challenge from WFAN’s Mike Francesa

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox let the pictures tell the story during Brett Favre’s return to Green Bay yesterday…

Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post enjoyed the work of CBS’ Dan Dierdorf during yesterday’s Broncos’ loss to the Ravens…

Chris Shellcroft at Just Blog Baby looks at the ESPN report that Raiders coach Tom Cable may have a history of violence toward women

David White at the San Francisco Chronicle also has the story of ESPN’s Outside the Lines piece on Cable

As does Mark Maske at The League at the Washington Post

David Xaviel at the Bleacher Report does not think highly of ESPN’s report on Cable…

Fox Sports reports on how it will conduct a special segment of Fox NFL Sunday next week from an undisclosed location in Afghanistan

Dissenting Justice accuses a CBS Sports.com writer for allegedly taking joy in seeing Florida QB Tim Tebow go down with an injury…

Steve Lapore at Puck the Media has a look at the NHL Network feature schedule for this week..

Ed Sherman at Crains Chicago Business talks with local sports personality Mike North about his future…

Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times has his Monday Shooting from the Lip column

Sunday Journal- November 1, 2009

Welcome to November.  Here are some sports media stories making the rounds this Sunday…

Larry Brown at Larry Brown Sports looks into last night’s World Series Game 3 issue of A-Rod’s homer hitting a Fox camera.

Bob Raissman at the NY Daily News also discusses A-Rod’s homer off the camera

And Kevin Baxter at the LA Times

Andrew Godfrey at the Bleacher Report has his first year report on the MLB Network...

Phil Mushnick at the NY Post reports on plans today for the networks to over saturate their air with coverage of Brett Favre’s return to Green Bay…

The AP reports that the blackout has been lifted for San Diego fans in the Chargers game today against the Raiders…

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner says despite Redskins fans complaints, they watch their team

KEZI’s Don Corcoran takes fans inside ESPN’s College Gameday in Eugene, Oregon

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel leads with Bucks news in his Sunday column…

Crenk has word of an innovation at one of ESPN’s websites where people can record their own SportsCenter demo.  Looking at the site, it appears to be only accessed by those in the Far East…

Ray Buck at the Fort Worth Star Telegram has word of the retirement of a legendary colleague

Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post (through Mail Tribune) profiles Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith

LSU announces the addition of a former Tiger into its basketball announcing booth…

Enjoy your NFL Week 8!!!!