Posts Tagged ‘Derek Jeter’

NY Radio Owes Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter’s final days as a Yankee boosted Sports Talk Ratings in New York. There’s not conclusive evidence in the article linked that it was entirely a Jeter phenomenon, but media aren’t allowed to post daily ratings and I suspect you can track the listening patterns directly to his farewell tour. Sure, no doubt NFL is helping these stations too.

But, taking the idea that Jeter’s final days drove ratings increases at face value; what are the lessons for radio here? That was the first question issued in Tuesday night’s sports radio twitter chat (#srchat). Refreshingly, there are many.

Play the hits. That was my first reaction along with @TimFisherOnAir. But there’s more to this than that.


Connecting with your community is paramount to success. Radio hosts must capture the passion, imagination, and conversation of the listeners and reflect it back to them. The “hit” is knowing WHAT to talk about, knowing HOW to talk about — the context — is what makes it resonate and stick with your listeners.


I agree with @bksportstalk that stories are powerful tools to drive listening especially when a community has a common or shared experience. Few hosts are telling great, compelling stories instead they just skip from fact to fact to fact leaving out the emotion, the details, and the arc of the story which are the most compelling parts.


@ChaddScott makes a great point here. Personalities drive ratings. Find the WHO in your stories and start from there. I used to work with a host who insisted all stories be pitched to him with this opening line, “There is this guy/gal who…” Stories about people are more engaging than stories about things. Stories about famous people provide a quick hook.

I’ll also add that the Derek Jeter story is one of legacy, celebration and at the very core; heroes and villains. Everybody enjoys a story about a hero or a villain. And Jeter filled both roles for New York baseball fans.


Radio Stuff “Radio News Quiz” – Week 3

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Radio News Quiz 3The Weekly Radio Stuff “Radio News Quiz” debuts on Thursday in the podcast. It’s 10 Questions about this week in radio news. In the podcast, we discuss the stories and use lots of great audio. Here we post the question and offer links to the answers. If you get all 10 correct you win the respect and admiration of your peers.


1. What RADIO event kicked off this week with a live, rocked-out version of the national anthem?


2. At the Talkers 2014 session, Radio insider Jerry Del Colliano said music radio has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. This week, he made headlines for predicting the demise of another genre. What was it?


3. A Yankees reporter learned a valuable lesson this week about recording press conferences on an iPhone app. What was it?


4. Why did the Morning Zone at 91.3 Modern Rock in Victoria, Canada dial-up its sister-station 95.3 The Peak in Calgary?


5. Which popular radio host just launched a clothing line at Macy’s?


6. What did Mike Tyson do on Canadian TV that all radio interviewers can learn from?


7. Why did the San Francisco 49ers suspend play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson?


8. What inappropriate or insensitive song was used to launch a format change in Rochester from Oldies to Country on 9/11?


9. Which talented podcaster was the host of the Fox Sports Radio 2001 Year in Review which paid tribute to 9/11 from a sports perspective?


10. What RADIO STATION did Joan Rivers debut on as a talk show host?


Putting New & Social Media to Work

This entry is based on an interview with 1050 ESPN New York Program Director Justin Craig. Justin Craig Interview Podcast

Justin Craig, Program Director at 1050 ESPN NY

When Derek Jeter and the Yankees began contract negotiations, 1050 ESPN New York was all over the story. After several hours of discussing it, the hosts began to wonder if they had exhausted the story. That’s when recently appointed program director Justin Craig called his counter-part at and asked how the story was doing online. In an interview with, Craig describes how the show hosts shifted and put even more focus on the story, because it was such a hot topic and trending so high on the website. “We use (the website) as a meter to find out what’s hot and what’s not. That’s kind of the judge and jury.”

Welcome to your new reality. Stations all over the country are now using New and Social Media to help prep and guide their shows. When he was PD at ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Craig and his team used Twitter to test topic angles and ask fans what they should talk about next. “Every single day we’re using social media like it’s nothing. It used to be, ‘call us!’ Now it’s, ‘Tweet us! Send us a text!’”

The first thing Craig does each morning is check Twitter and Facebook to see what people are talking about. He cautions that you have to be careful not to over react to a trending topic. “You still have to take everything with a grain of salt. Ask yourself, is this truly something everyone cares about? You still have to know, have a sense for news and information and an understanding about what it means.”

Craig is blown away by how the importance of social media for radio stations has exploded. “It’s not just important, it’s mandatory. If you’re not using it, you’re going to have a hard time winning.”

In his career, Craig has seen his daily routine evolve from checking the AP wires and cleaning newsprint off his hands, to using the Internet, facebook and Twitter. He wonders aloud, “What’s next? Considering all information is at your fingertips 24 / 7 – this medium is changing, and it’s changing right before us, and we better get a head of it.”

Listen to the entire interview with 1050 ESPN New York Program Director Justin Craig in which he reveals what he looks for when hiring talent and how to prep for a show.

Justin Craig Interview Podcast