Sports talk radio is alive and well, according to a panel at the Covington & Burling Sports Media & Technology Conference Wednesday. The panel consisted of Steve Cohen of Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Chris Corcoran of WestwoodOne Sports, Traug Keller of ESPN and Chris Oliviero of CBS Radio, according to Forbes.
“More people listen to radio during the day which is our prime time than watch sports on cable (TV). We need to do a better job of educating people about that,” Oliviero said.
Keller added, “The perception is that radio has declined but that is not the case. (People) may spend less time listening than they used to but there is still an appetite for it. The new radio listening, or audio as I call it, is way up. Listening is 65% higher than what is recorded by Arbitron if you add podcasts and its 220 million downloads.”
The main sports talk show host in any major city has become the new measuring stick for teams and coaches to gauge how they are doing. “It’s not the T.V. anchor on the 11 p.m. news or the newspaper columnist they look at. It’s the local sports talk host. They want to know what he’s going to say,” Oliviero said, who has one of the best in WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Despite the loss of popular co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo in 2008, Oliviero said afternoon ratings for Francesa’s show have “never been stronger” as he beats ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay by a 3-to-1 margin.