Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Detroit Station Gets Its 'Ticket' To The Top Spot

While it is probably due to the "in between" period before the NFL season kicks in to high gear, the mid-July to mid-August period was not a good one for a lot of big market sports radio stations, based on the latest Nielsen radio ratings.

In Boston, the two high flying sports stations held steady, with WEEI-FM at #5 overall, while WBZ-FM Sports Hub closed the gap slightly (now .7 behind) coming in at #7 in the market. The usual very strong showing for this format in Boston.

A huge irony in Detroit, where WXYT 97.1 The Ticket fell to #2 in the entire market. The station which passed it was the former WMGC The Game, which earlier this year dumped its dismal showing as a sports station and went to a music format. Obviously it worked.

In San Francisco, the impact is felt from the end of the Warriors season (reflected in the previous ratings book). KNBR 680, while still #1 overall in the market (now tied for #1), lost .5 in its rating (which is one-half of a ratings point) from the previous month, along with just having lost the Warriors broadcasts. (The Warriors move from KNBR to KGMZ starting this coming season, where they will have full priority. On KNBR, they were behind the Giants and 49ers.)

KNBR has little to no reason to be alarmed, since it did not lose anything to what little competition it has for the sports audience. KGMZ-FM The Game also lost .5 of its audience over the same one month period, which in their case was losing nearly one-third of its total audience.

This while KNBR airs the Giants games and KGMZ airs the A's. Over in San Jose, which is among the 40 largest ratings markets in the country and has separate radio ratings, KNBR suffered a drop of 1.3 from the previous month, while KGMZ literally lost more than half of its audience.

While baseball failed to hold the San Francisco audience, the strong season by the Rangers has made a big difference in Dallas for KRLD-FM. The Rangers flagship station is now up .5 over the past two months and has increased its total audience by nearly 75% since the MLB season began. KTCK-AM The Ticket dropped .4 over the last month and now trails by .7, while KESN-FM ESPN now has less than 33% of the audience size KRLD-FM is now enjoying.

Sports radio continues its dismal pace in Houston, where KBME-AM, KILT-AM, and KFNC all combined to gain .1. That was by KILT-AM. However, none of the three stations appears in the market's top 20 most listened to list.

In Philadelphia, WIP-FM holding steady in the ratings (#11 overall) is not the big story. After nine consecutive months of afternoon drive with Josh Innes losing to WPEN The Fanatic, this time around WIP-FM shows more listeners during that time slot. This information comes out one week after Innes was fired days after the phony caller controversy on Mike Missanelli's show on The Fanatic.

In Los Angeles, neither sports radio station made the top 30 most listened to station list. In fact, both KLAC 570 (with the Dodgers broadcasts with the team in contention and Vin Scully's final season) and KSPN dipping from the previous month.

Although it made for some unique live programming, KLAC having a live report from L.A.'s Dedeaux Field (at USC) on Tuesday (8/30) from the Tim Tebow workout for MLB scouts seemed a bit of a stretch for a station looking for a bigger audience.

Also in Houston, it's a brilliant move for KGOL 1180 ESPN Deportes and still more publicity for NFL games. The Texans' Spanish language flagship station has increased its radio network by adding three special affiliates to its network. What makes this big news is that those stations are XEN 690 Mexico City, XEDKR 700 Guadalajara, and XESTN 1540 Monterrey. This gives the team unprecedented live radio coverage in Mexico. In addition, the Spanish broadcasts will also air on KHHL 103.1 San Antonio, and in El Paso on XEJ 970 from nearby Juarez.

If you don't think that Spanish broadcasts are important for the Texans, keep in mind that the new #1 most listened to station in the new ratings book is KLTN, which is a Spanish station.

Mike Torico will handle play-by-play for NBC's first three Notre Dame Football telecasts instead of Dan Hicks. One of those games will be on Sept. 17th when N.D. takes on Michigan State in a prime time telecast. That will be an interesting TV ratings night, as Fox has Ohio State vs. Oklahoma as their feature game that same evening.

Torico will also begin as studio host on Sunday Night Football, replacing Bob Costas in that role.
On Sunday Sept. 18th, when CBS has the NFL doubleheader game, Fox Sports plans to test the waters with adjacent MLS soccer telecasts. Fox will show games at 2 PM ET or at 5 PM ET, depending on whether the local station has an early or late NFL telecast.

In a welcome move for NBA fans, ESPN is finally moving Doug Collins out of the disastrous studio show and back to being a game analyst. He is expected to work 25 to 30 telecasts for ESPN and ABC this coming season. No word yet on who will be brought in for the pre-game, half-time, and post-game studio segments instead. Maybe this will be taken as the chance to blow it up and start all over again for that part of their telecasts.

beIN Sports is ready for its Conference USA football telecasts to begin this weekend. The network has added Donovan McNabb as a studio analyst for its weekly telecasts. This Saturday it shows the New Mexico vs. UTEP game. However, while the network has a streaming service, their web site fails to show (or it isn't easily found) any TV stations carrying the telecasts.

Sirius/XM begins its expanded college football coverage this weekend when it offers 60 live games to its subscribers. In addition to its previous deals to carry Notre Dame, USC, and Texas broadcasts, the service now airs select Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-12 games. In addition, its College Sports Nation channel now airs several of the coaches shows during the week.

Fox Sports is planning a special pre-game show on Sept. 11th, which is also opening Sunday of the NFL season. The Fox NFL Sunday show will originate from Houston, where the Texans open against the Chicago Bears. This gives Fox the chance to showcase in Houston, for which it only gets either one or two Texans telecasts each season (barring a flex game trade), and to better serve the usual large Chicago audience.

Those interested in pre-season telecasts should be aware that the anticipated major storm in Florida has caused the NFL to move up the Washington at Tampa game by one full night. The game will air live on NFL Network (as well as in the local markets) on Weds. 8/31 at 8 PM ET, instead of its previously scheduled Thursday Sept. 1 time.

CHICAGO:  Baseball fans received a wonderful treat this past Sunday (8/28) when Comcast SportsNet Chicago partnered with SportsNet L.A. and carried the 3rd inning of the Cubs vs. Dodgers game with Vin Scully on the call.

Scully spent much of the time talking to the Chicago audience (which was probably significantly larger in Chicago than in L.A. where 70% of the market can't get those telecasts).

At the same time, the TBS national telecast was blacked out in Chicago, but not in Los Angeles. Ironic that, even for the one inning, more people in Chicago could hear Scully while most fans in Los Angeles had the national call.

This coming Sunday's (9/4) TBS telecast of the Giants and Cubs will be available in both markets as well as nationally.

KANSAS CITY: While the Royals try to make a comeback into the post-season race, the fans are taking notice. The Monday (8/29) telecast of their game, vs. the Yankees, on Fox Sports Kansas City had the highest ratings ever for a Royals telecast, higher than any other station in the K.C. market. At the game, the team had its smallest crowd of the entire season.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let The NFL Hype Begin...........

More than in past seasons, the NFL is aggressive about showing exhibition games on the national level, even this week, which is only the third week of pre-season.

In addition to Thursday's (8/25) NBC prime time game between Atlanta and Miami, the national audiences have more NFL action available than during most regular season weekends. Proving this point is that Friday (8/26) CBS is actually airing the Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay game in prime time.
Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay? If this was a regular season game it would be hard to imagine this early game going anywhere beyond the local team's regular markets. Yet, CBS is devoting its prime time to this game.

On Saturday, CBS is back, this time with a prime time telecast of Tennessee vs. Oakland. In New York, WCBS-TV is, of course, airing the local Jets vs. Giants exhibition game at 7 PM. There will be only one telecast of this game, which will be considered a Jets telecast on Channel 2 and called by Ian Eagle and Greg Buttle. WCBS will then air the Tennessee vs. Oakland game on delay at or after 10:30 PM. Yes, nothing like a delayed telecast of an NFL exhibition game to complete a Saturday night of TV viewing.

This Sunday fans could make like the regular season. Incredibly, Fox is airing a national pre-season doubleheader, with San Diego vs. Minnesota followed by Arizona vs. Houston. Then NBC takes over for Sunday Night Football, with Mike Torico (now on NBC) and Chris Collinsworth calling the Cincinnati vs. Jacksonville game. Yes, it's Jaguars on in prime time with an exhibition game.

It will be interesting to see the national ratings for a couple of the prime time games featuring teams that won't be anywhere near primary game feeds during the regular season.

PHILADELPHIA: Josh Innes finally got the whip from WIP-FM 94.1. After several months of losing in the ratings during afternoon drive to Mike Missanelli on The Fanatic, while clearly winning in the overall ratings battle between the two stations, Innes was let go earlier this week. His contract had been scheduled to run out after this year.

WIP used an on-air attack against Missanelli's show, which reportedly used at least one "fake" caller, which Innes commented on, as their excuse to end his run. Clearly they were looking for the excuse to dismiss him prior to his contract running out.

The bigger news will be the naming of his replacement, especially with the Eagles' season starting in just two weeks. With the uncertainty at CBS Radio (parent company of WIP), we will see if they spend the money to attract prime talent for their all important afternoon spot.

CHICAGO:  WMAQ-TV Channel 5 wasted little time in moving recently hired sportscaster Mike Berman to a weekday role within some of its newscasts. Berman will replace Peggy Kusinski, who will continue with the station on a freelance basis and will focus on occasional investigative pieces.

WCIU-TV will again televise a series of eight regular season high school football telecasts on one of its substations and its web site. However, five of the eight games will air on delay at 10 PM although they will be streamed live. CSN Chicago continues to air the high school football playoff games in November.

DETROIT: Best wishes to WXYT-FM The Ticket 97.1 co-host Terry Foster, who continues to recover from a stroke suffered last week. Foster now says he is "going to be fine" and expects to return to co-host his show along with Mike Valenti no later than October 3rd.

BILLINGS MT: KBLG 910 ESPN is adding a local show, which, however, will only be once per week. Billings Gazette Sports Editor Jeff Welsch will host "Billings Sports Talk", focusing on local and area college and high school sports, each Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM.

LUBBOCK TX: Those of you who don't believe how important high school football is in Texas will be amazed at KFYO 790 and its sister stations and their plans for the local season.

The three major high schools (Coronado, Monterey, and Lubbock High) will all have their games broadcast live on either KFYO, 98.1 FM or KRFE 580, complete with 15-minute pre and post-game shows for each. After the games, SportsRadio 1340 will air a high school scoreboard show with reports from other area games. Play-by-play voices will be David Thetford, Chris Due, and John Hill.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS CO: KTYV 98.9 has become the latest station to dump ESPN Radio and take the chance with going to Fox Sports Radio. The station will, however, continue to air every NFL game it can (but not the Broncos), planning to air the NFL prime time games on Thursdays, Sundays, and Monday nights.

The Broncos broadcasts have moved, starting this season, to KQZR 95.5, which also continues to air "select" Rockies baseball games, even though this is a classic rock station all other times.

HELENA MT: ESPN Radio 94.9, along with 99.9 in Great Falls, have added a new local show focused on area high school and college sports. What makes this unique is that this show will air weekly - in morning drive. As of this week, Jason Walker (who calls the local Carroll College games) and John Kemper (who calls Helena High School football) will co-host the show each Monday morning from 8 to 9 AM. Stranger things have happened, but this would seem to be the only such weekly program to air in morning drive in any market.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sports Media Notes - August 18th

Last Saturday's (Aug. 13) NFL exhibition game between Dallas and Los Angeles didn't mean a thing for the standings, but it does in the TV ratings.

This was the first game for the L.A. Rams since leaving an understandably disgruntled St. Louis fan base. No longer the local team, the game was only available in St. Louis via the ESPN national telecast. The ratings in St. Louis were 2 and one-half rating points LESS than the average for the market for the entire 2015 pre-season.

In fact, St. Louis finished 24th in terms of local market rating, with cities such as Alburquerque and Norfolk being among those with a larger local audience. We might get a better indication as to whether or not enough people in St. Louis will care to watch the Rams. This weekend's (Aug. 20) game vs. Kansas City will air in St. Louis on KMOV-TV Channel 4. The radio broadcast will, ironically, air on the mighty KMOX 1120, which signed on as a K.C. Chiefs affiliate for this season.

This means that KMOX will be airing the Rams game, with the broadcasters rooting for the other team.

On the Los Angeles side, it may be from curiosity or being the first home game for the Rams since their return, but the Los Angeles market had the 3rd highest audience of any. The game was shown locally as well as on ESPN, with only Dallas and (nearby) San Antonio having a larger audience.

Elsewhere on the St. Louis scene, long time sports talker Kevin Slaten has left his latest sports show from KFNS 590 after last week. The controversial Slaten claims he is heading over to KQQX 1190 to host a political news talk show.

It was obviously a surprise to KFNS, which is stuck airing replays of his show until they can find a replacement.

NEW YORK: In another surprise move, the Islanders have named their new TV play-by-play voice to start for the upcoming season.  Brendan Burke, known for calling college football and basketball for Fox Sports, takes over for the retired Howie Rose. Rose had called their games for the previous 21 seasons.

CHICAGO: WMVP ESPN 1000 has one staying and one going. John Jurkovic, who is in his 16th year as a co-host, has signed what was reported as a "multi-year" extension. At the same time, Ray Flores, who had been an update anchor, is not being retained by the station. Flores is known to some around the country for his work on MMA telecasts, on which he will continue.

DETROIT: It's a long way from trying to compete with the #1 rated The Ticket, but WDFN 1130 has started a three hour afternoon drive sports show this week. In a surprise move, the station has picked up the "Gregg, Big Drew, and Jim Show" from Grand Rapids ESPN 96.1.

What makes this so unique is how rare it is, even in today's radio climate, for a show to go from Grand Rapids to Detroit, instead of the other way around.

Nothing further, yet, as to whether or not WDFN is looking at adding any more sports programming. Perhaps the next couple of ratings books will be an indication one way or the other.

SAN DIEGO: XTRA 1360 continues to make an effort to grow its ratings, beginning a new local morning show this week. "Hardwick & Richards" airs from 6 to 9 AM, with Nick Hardwick (a former Charger) and Judson Richards (already an XTRA personality).

The station recently placed "The Mark & Rich Show" from Noon to 3 PM, with Mark Willard co-hosting with former NFL lineman Rich Ohrnberger.

PHILADELPHIA: WIP-FM has, understandably, expanded the role of local sports writer Ray Didinger in time for the Eagles season. Didinger will continue with his Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 1 PM shows, co-hosted with Glen Macnow. In addition, he will appear on sister station WPHT on Fridays (during football season) with Chris Stigall.

NASHVILLE: The Game 102.5 began its new afternoon drive show this week. "Jared and the GM" is co-hosted by former Titans GM Floyd Reese. Jared Stillman is the co-host. This is a great idea for a football heavy town, having a former GM of the local NFL team for football analysis.

DENVER: Colorado State University football, heard on Mile High Sports 104.7 and 1340, will have Mark Driscoll as the analyst starting this season. Driscoll seems to be a perfect fit, having been the starting QB for 2 seasons, and later both assistant coach and Athletic Director. Brian Roth continues in his play-by-play role.

RALEIGH/DURHAM: Morgan Patrick will return as pre-game and post-game host for 99.9 The Fan's broadcasts of Hurricanes hockey starting next month. Patrick hosted these shows from 1999 until 2006. The station plans to continue to have afternoon drive co-host Adam Gold continue to handle the daily coverage of the team for the staton.

ALBANY: Now we know why Rodger Wyland moved his morning show to WTMM 104.5 back in June. The University of Albany, for whom Wyland has done football and basketball play-by-play for the past 19 years, has moved its broadcasts to WTMM starting next month with the Sept. 2nd football opener vs. Buffalo. Wyland and the games had both been on WOFX 980.

What we don't know is whether Wyland moved because of the game broadcasts, or if the game broadcasts changed stations because of Wyland.

BURLINGTON: Hard to say if the writing is on the wall or not, but it's been a tough two weeks for WCPV 101.3. Days after Ryan Matlack resigned as Program Director (although, to his credit, it was to take a production position with ESPN in Bristol) comes word that on-air host A.J. Kanell would be leaving as well. That puts an end to the "A.J. and Rich Show". Co-host Rich Haskell will be joined by Arnie Spanier, who most recently has done weekend co-hosting for Fox Sports Radio.

MATTOON IL:  The town has a new sports station as Victory 103.9 has been launched. Thus far, its only play-by-play will be originating Charleston High School football broadcasts (with Rob Calhoun and Jack Ashmore. However, the station is only airing NBC Sports Radio including its morning show with no other local programming at this time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sports Media Mourns John Saunders

A huge loss to the sports media today (Aug. 10) with the passing of John Saunders at the age of 61. It seemed appropriate that the news was broken live on SportsCenter by Hannah Storm, who has been in the national sportscasting spotlight for about as long as Saunders.

Saunders was with ESPN since the mid 80's, mostly hosting and anchoring, including hosting The Sports Reporters since 2001. Among his other hosting duties was hosting ESPN's NHL coverage back when they televised regular season and post-season games, which showcased his hockey expertise.

He was one of the hard working breed of sportscasters who, even in recent years, didn't get caught up in the speculation and rumor stories which comprise far too much of today's sportscasts. He will be missed big time.

Although NBC's ratings for the Olympics have yet to be what they hoped for, the network's coverage is generating a buzz. The best example was on Monday (8/8) night, when the producers thought to have constant camera coverage of Michael Phelps surrounding the events of his incredible performances. Capturing the much talked about "death stare" while an opponent tried to rattle him in the locker room prior to the meet was pure television gold. These days, not every production crew would have known to be on top of that.

Regardless of what fans think about Alex Rodriguez as his playing career likely comes to an end this Friday (8/12) night, chances are the fans will be curious about how the Yankee Stadium crowd reacts to him.

Nice move by Fox Sports to pick up the telecast in east coast prime time and to air the game on Fox Network, instead of burying it on FS1 where few will know it exists. Fox even plans a pre-game show to begin at 6:00 PM ET. Kevin Burkhardt and John Smoltz will call the game, which has the Yankees hosting Tampa.

So Tim Tebow says he wants to try baseball. So what? This would only be "news" if a pro team actually signed him to something. The fact that some of the national reporters actually spent time on this story and gave it a degree of prominence is hard to stomach.

ESPN has, at least for now, decided to put Brent Musburger back on the telecast map beyond doing a few SEC Network telecasts. Brent will be on ESPN, along with Jesse Palmer, on Saturday Sept. 3rd to call the Clemson vs. Auburn game. This will be in addition to his previously scheduled telecasts for the coming season on SEC Network. No additional ESPN (or non-SEC Network) telecasts have been announced yet for Brent, who last called a game for ESPN/ABC in 2014.

SAN FRANCISCO: Not sure if this has happened before or not, but this weekend will have a female play-by-play announcer for an NFL pre-season broadcast. With 49ers pre-season TV voice Ted Robinson on assignment in Rio for NBC's Olympic coverage, 49ers radio broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald moves over to the TV booth for this Saturday's (8/13) exhibition opener vs. Houston.

Because of this, KNBR 680 will have Kate Scott, who provides morning sports updates during the Murph & Mac Show, on the play-by-play. She is no stranger to play-by-play, however, having called games for Comcast SportsNet and the Pac-12 Network. Scott will also do the radio call on Aug. 20th when the 49ers play the Broncos.

LOS ANGELES: Exhibition football is big news this week, at least in L.A. The Los Angeles Rams make their official return on Saturday when they play the Dallas Cowboys in their first pre-season game. J.B. Long and Maurice Jones will have the call as the Rams begin on flagship station KSPN 710, with 100.3 The Sound on the simulcast. The Rams Radio Network of stations also carrying their broadcasts already includes KTIE Riverside, KKBZ Fresno, KHTY Bakersfield, ESPN 103.9 Palm Springs, KMET Banning, and KSMA Santa Maria in California. In addition, the Rams games will air on KBAD Las Vegas and KPLY Reno.

WASHINGTON D.C.: The popular Sports Junkies morning show on 106.7 The Fan will soon be simulcast each morning on Comcast SportsNet, which will also include CSNMidAtlantic.com. This will be similar to what CSN already does with Boston's WBZ-FM Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich morning show. In Boston, CSN also airs the Sports Hub's afternoon show with Felger & Massarotti.

CHICAGO: Cubs radio play-by-play voice Pat Hughes still has a couple more scheduled days off this season, and will be taking them both later this month. Next Tuesday (8/16), when the Cubs have a day-night doubleheader vs. Milwaukee. Pre and post-game host Mark Grote will call both of those games, while Bears play-by-play voice Jeff Joniak will fill in for Hughes on Monday Aug. 29th.

Even though WGN Radio has not aired play-by-play of the Bears games since 1999, the station continues to program as if it still does. Keep in mind it is a news talk station (with play-by-play of the Blackhawks and Northwestern University football and basketball).

The station has announced that, again this season, it will air a full three-hour post-game show following each Bears regular season game, hosted by three former Bears players. Yes, three hours, and they don't even air the games. The former players hosting are Dan Hampton, Ed O'Bradovich, and Glen Kozlowski. In addition, they will have another former Bears standout, Doug Plank, as a call-in guest each Monday night to further discuss the weekend's Bears game.

WFLD-TV has moved George Smith off its morning show and into the roll of sports anchor in time for football season.

BIRMINGHAM: This week saw the debut of a new sports station, 99.1 The Game, which includes a local morning show, "Smashmouth Talk" with Scott Griffin. Although the station is currently filling time with Fox Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio programming, it does plan to add local weekday programming in the near future. The station plans to air Homewood High School football, along with NFL action as an Atlanta Falcons affiliate.

The Game has a tough battle ahead, since WJOX 94.5 has a strong audience. In addition ESPN 100.5 airs ESPN national programming, while WJOX-AM 690 airs Fox Sports programming.

LAS CRUCES: KWML 570 has dropped Fox Sports Radio, as well as the NFL game package it used to air, returning the station to a music format. Interesting time to drop the NFL games, since the season is about to start.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sports Radio Ratings On Summer Vacation

The mid-June to mid-July radio ratings period is always an interesting one for sports radio stations since it is the time of year when the NFL, NBA, and NHL are either concluding or not started, and baseball rules the roost.

It's no surprise that the baseball crazed markets show the strongest while other major markets show declines in overall audience. The point is that this trend shows that sports radio is really more driven by sports content than the individual shows and personalities in markets where there are not two strong competitors.

Once again, Boston is the exception, as sports radio continues its ratings dominance compared with other radio formats. WEEI-FM, helped by a solid season from the Red Sox broadcasts, remains #1 in overall audience at night, and finished a solid #4 in total audience for the market.

WBZ-FM Sports Hub held steady (compared with WEEI-FM losing .4 from the previous month) and finished at #7 overall, while getting ready for its Patriots broadcasts to begin next week. This next ratings period could be significant for both stations and the format in Boston.

In Chicago, the Cubs broadcasts continue to bolster WSCR 670 The Score, which finished #6 overall in the market. After trailing WMVP ESPN 1000 early in the year, The Score now has more than two and one-half times the total audience of WMVP, and that's with WMVP actually gaining more audience than The Score did during this most recent ratings period.

San Francisco's KNBR 680 remains a solid #1 overall despite a half-point dip in audience size from the previous month. KGMZ-FM The Game held steady with just over 25% of the total audience of KNBR.

Detroit's WXYT-FM The Ticket remains #1 overall, winning every daypart except for morning drive.

In Dallas, the Rangers broadcasts have helped KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan to a .8 ratings increase in the past three months. KTCK The Ticket has lost .4 of a ratings point during that same period.

In Philadelphia, while WIP-FM has more than twice the total audience of WPEN-FM The Fanatic, WPEN-FM continues to win the afternoon drive battle. For the 9th consecutive ratings period (going back to last year) 97.5 The Fanatic with Mike Missanelli continues to lead his afternoon time slot ahead of WIP and Josh Innes. To that point, the station has yet to announce anything regarding Innes' contract, which is reported up at the end of this year.

If you separate the Baltimore and D.C. markets it makes it curious. In DC neither WJFK-FM or WTEM-AM are in the top 15 stations, with both showing slight audience decreases from the prior month. This, of course, figures to change with the Redskins pre-season games coming next week.

Over in Baltimore, WJZ-FM, which broadcasts the Orioles (having their best season in a while), is #5 overall in total audience.

Another interesting market this month is the Twin Cities. KXFM-FM The Fan increased over the previous month to finish #10 overall in the market, now with literally four times the audience size of KSTP-AM. While the struggling Twins air on KTWN-FM, otherwise an alternative music station, that station showed a 30% audience dip overall from the previous month, dropping it behind both of the sports stations.

Some markets have their sports talkers struggling because of the time of year, such as Miami, Seattle, and Kansas City.

None of Miami's three sports talkers placed in the top 20 stations, and none of the three gained in audience. While WAXY-AM held steady, both WQAM and WINZ lost some of their audiences from the previous month.

KIRO-AM in Seattle dipped .6 of a ratings point to #18 overall, while KJR-FM finished even lower and lost .3 of a ratings point at the same time. KFNQ 1090 The Fan is nowhere to be found in the ratings listings.

KCSP Kansas City is down, but it is not entirely due to the Royals' dip in the MLB standings. From a top of the market status in May, Sports 610 is now in 11th place in the market. The station is still #1 during the evening time slot (when most of the Royals games take place), but the rest of the day is down.

Other markets, such as Los Angeles and Houston, where sports talk stations struggle most of the time, don't have much to report.

KLAC 570, the Dodgers flagship station, still did not even make the top 25 in the market, holding the same rating as the previous month. KSPN 710, the Angels flagship and ESPN Radio, lost 10% of its audience from the previous month. This market bears watching with the NFL season coming upon us, and the L.A. Rams being back on the scene.

Houston's KBME-AM has taken over the sports station lead from KILT, although KBME-AM only came in at #23 overall. None of the three sports talkers (also KFNC-FM) have more than a 1.0 rating again.

MIAMI: WAXY 790 The Ticket has a five-year contract extension to continue as the flagship station for the Heat. This agreement runs through the 2020-21 season.

PHILADELPHIA: WIP-FM has signed the BGN Radio (Bleeding Green Nation) weekly Eagles program to its schedule for two hours each Saturday afternoon beginning next month. The popular program, taken from the BGN podcast, aired last season on 97.5 The Fanatic. In addition, program host John Barchard has been officially hired by WIP-FM.

LEXINGTON: WLEX-TV is adding a half-hour weeknight show next month which will have its fair share of sports content. The host will be Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio. This show, still not titled as of press time, will air at 7:30 PM beginning the week of September 19th.