ESPN Radio has developed a footprint in New York over the course of the past fifteen years, one which has seen the radio station add the play by play rights for the New York Jets, New York Knicks, and New York Rangers, and a television simulcast of its afternoon program “The Michael Kay Show”. The station also recently added a television highlights show of its midday program “Hahn and Humpty” which features Alan Hahn and former Islanders goaltender Rick DPietro.
During its history, a number of talented high profile personalities have called ESPN New York home. Notable personalities such as Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, Mike Missanelli, Brian Kenny, Brandon Tierney, Jody MacDonald, Mike Lupica, and Ryan Ruocco have worked for the brand, so a lack of talent has never been the issue.
However, despite a ton of talent, none of the moves have propelled the radio station past New York’s ratings leader WFAN.
The recent Winter book was released, and according to the New York Daily News, in the key demographic of Men 25-54, the Fan cruised to victory in all key dayparts.
In mornings (6a-10a), “Boomer and Carton” were 2nd in the market with a 6.5. ESPN New York’s “Mike and Mike” placed 15th with a 2.7.
In middays (10a-1p), WFAN’s “Benigno & Roberts” delivered a 7 share to finish 2nd. ESPN New York’s combo of “The Dan Le Batard Show” (10a-12p) and “Hahn & Humpty” (12p-1p) produced a 2.1 share and came in 15th.
In afternoons on WFAN (1p-6:30p) Mike Francesa recorded a 6.9 and was in 2nd place, while ESPN New York’s combo of “Hahn & Humpty” (1p-3p) and “The Michael Kay Show” (3p-6:30p) generated a 3.6 to place 10th.
If you dive deeper into afternoons, and look at the traditional daypart (3p-7p), Francesa was 2nd with a 6.2, and Michael Kay had a 4.2 which put him in 8th. Kay’s performance was easily the best on the radio station once again.
Right now WFAN continues to lead by employing a live and local strategy. The radio station also is the home for the New York Yankees, New York Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and New Jersey Devils. They also are carrying some New York Islanders playoff games.
ESPN New York meanwhile pays the price for its national offerings. When they feature a high profile talent like Kay, they provide strong local competition. The challenge going forward is to find a way to provide more of it.