Once again the month of February was not a good one for most of the sports radio station ratings around the country. Only the participating markets are interested enough in the constant Super Bowl talk during the first week. And it's the middle of the regular season for the NBA and NHL, and before tournament time for college hoops.
Both Boston sports powerhouses showed up in the top 6 in the market even though both stations dropped for the month. WBZ-FM Sports Hub, although the flagship station for the Patriots, dropped .4 and came in #5 in overall audience. WEEI-FM dropped .6 of a rating point and finished at #6. WBZ-FM's Felger & Mass finished #2 (in the market) in the afternoon drive battle.
WFAN-FM New York dropped to #14 in the market, losing .8 from January, while WEPN-FM held steady to again finish several notches below. The Fan is adding to its baseball coverage, signing the newly retired Mark Teixeira to join Michael Kay for a segment each Thursday afternoon, in what could really be an audition for Teixeira to possibly join ESPN at some point.
At WEPN-FM, Ryan Hurley has been moved up to Program Director following the promotion of Justin Craig from that position on up to ESPN Radio (national).
Chicago's two sports stations both dropped as well, with WSCR 670 The Score falling another half-point to only 22nd in the market. WMVP ESPN 1000 only dropped .2, but is now out of the top 25 overall even though it beat WSCR in a couple of key demographics.
In Dallas, it depends on the time of day. KTCK AM/FM The Ticket finished 8th in the market between 6 AM and 7 PM but vanishes the rest of the time. The station dropped to 27th at night and 20th on the weekends. KRLD-FM, now without Cowboys football until August, dropped a full ratings point, losing more than 35% of its total audience from the previous month.
In Atlanta, with the Falcons season ending with the Super Bowl, and little hope for the Hawks or the Braves, WZGC-FM The Game lost 1.3 rating points and slipped to #14 overall. WCNN, with roughly 40% of the audience size of The Game (even after The Game's big drop), lost .2 for the month.
Minneapolis area listeners like KFXN-FM The Fan during the afternoon with the station coming in #2 in the market during that time. However, the station dropped .6 overall for the month.
Tampa's WDAE-AM has now dropped .5 in both of the two most recent ratings periods.
Three other large markets are suffering when it comes to sports radio ratings.
After showing some promise for the previous few months, Houston's sports stations are all back to having overall ratings under 1.0. KILT dropped .6 to only a .8 overall. KMBE-AM and KFNC-FM both trail at .5 each.
Similar story in Los Angeles, where once again the two major sports talkers are also under a 1.0. And, unfortunately, it's the same story in Miami, where WQAM-AM, WAXY-AM, and WINZ-AM are also under a 1.0 rating, with two of those three dropping slightly from January.
While we await more announcements from ESPN regarding hosts and analysts for its NFL studio programming, we do know that former head coach Rex Ryan is joining the staff. Unconfirmed reports (as of press time) have Ryan joining the NFL Countdown show. This is part of a major change, as neither Chris Berman or Tom Jackson will be a part of Countdown moving forward.
Fox Sports Radio adds Doug Gottlieb for its 3 PM to 6 PM ET show starting between mid-April (when his CBS Sports Radio contract runs out) and mid-May.
CHICAGO: WMVP ESPN 1000 is swapping its highly rated early afternoon show "Kap & Company" to late mornings and expanding it to three hours. David Kaplan's show will air from 9 AM to Noon, while "Carmen & Jurko" will switch to Noon to 2 PM. The station has also added the network's MLB analyst Rick Sutcliffe for a weekly segment during its afternoon drive show hosted by Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago has named former Cub outfielder David Dejesus as its new pre and post-game studio analyst for its Cubs telecasts. Dejesus replaces Todd Hollandsworth in that roll, with Hollandsworth having moved to the Miami Marlins TV booth.
WTRO 1200 has picked up ESPN Deportes, dropping its Spanish talk format.