Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

ESPN 980 and The Fan Still Deadlocked

A contribution from WaPo radio reporter Paul Farhi

Washington's great sports-talk radio war is starting to resemble the Battle of Verdun--a long, bloody standoff with the advantage measured in tiny increments. After two three months of head-to-head yakking, Dan Snyder-owned ESPN 980 and CBS-owned WJFK-FM have failed to take much ground from the other among local listeners.

Overall, in fact, both stations are almost exactly where they stood before WJFK (aka "106.7-The Fan") switched from general guy-talk to an all-sports talk format in July.

According to new figures from Arbitron Inc., the two stations were in a dead heat among all listeners, morning till night, over the past three months. WJFK captured an average of 1.9 percent of the listening audience--the same as ESPN 980 (AM). The two stations finished tied for 19th among all stations.

Among the 25-to-54 year old audience that radio advertisers target, neither station has budged much. WJFK had a 2.9 share (tied for 16th) back in June; in September, it had...a 2.9 share (16th). Similarly, ESPN 980 attracted a 2.6 percent slice of the audience in June (ranking 18th); in September, it stood at 2.3 percent (again 18th).

If you really want to get nerdy, however, look at the stations' demographics. WJFK's program director, Chris Kinard, says his outfit is winning among adult men, the prime prime audience target. Kinard says WJFK is winning in that category--including Mike Wise and LaVar Arrington's shows against Tony Kornheiser's and Thom Loverro's/Kevin Sheehan's in middays--during every part of the day. Big exception: ESPN 980 is way ahead on weekends, when it broadcasts Redskins games.

On the other hand--more radio nerd-ism coming--ESPN 980 is comfortably ahead on "cume," the total number of individuals who tune in to the station for at least 15 minutes over the course of a week. Helped by Redskins game broadcasts, ESPN 980 had 315,000 "unique" listeners each week in September vs. 231,700 for WJFK.

Score one for both sides. It's sorta like having a 2-2 record.

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 8, 2009; 4:56 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Redskins as The Titanic, The Movie
Next: Two Explanations of the Lewis Hiring

Comments

Oh no you've stolen DCRTV's beat!

Posted by: JDP_ | October 8, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

well then, I guess each station should hire a programming consultant and let rumors fly that they want to fire their programming director. where are all of the radio fans calling for the program directors heads? oh wait, its the on air talents fault. no, its the owners fault. no, wait, its the medias fault

Posted by: --swb | October 8, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You're wrong and they just called you out.

Posted by: legelsegel | October 8, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I've tried to listen to Lavar's show because I have always liked him, but I can't stand Chad Dukes and all I have ever heard them talk about the times I have tried to listen was Redskins bashing...it got really old really quick and I changed the channel back to ole' faithful 980. At least they talk about Caps, Wiz, Nats and other subjects. The Skins/Snyder bashing just went overboard on the Fan. I am a sports fan & like to hear discussions about alot of different sports. I love the Skins and although there has been quite alot to talk about, enough is enough already

Posted by: PGM17 | October 8, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I came here after listening to Chad's rant too, but honestly I don't know what he's so upset about. The headline doesn't lie - they are deadlocked overall. But the article also says that 106.7 is #1 in their demo, and that's what really counts (and that's probably also where the DJs earn their bonuses).

I also think The Fan will gain ground on weekends eventually. Obviously they can't broadcast the games, but I know I for one would much rather listen to the Junkies pre-game show and Chad's post-game show on the Fan than listen to Larry Michael or Kevin Sheehan toeing the company line on 980.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 8, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

well one thing I forgot to say is Chad needs to grow the "f" up. Last week when Jason Campbell was coming on he said something to the effect of, how pissed off do you think the "OTHER" station is that Jason comes on our show? I have heard references to the "other" station on several occasions and I have not heard that kind of talk on 980. It just seems so childish and It makes me want to throw up to listen to him so I will stick with the OTHER station and not even try anymore on the fan

Posted by: PGM17 | October 8, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I heard Chad Dukes go on&on about how he dislikes hockey. So, even though I appreciate Lavar's Danni-free opinion on the skins, I will not listen too often to TheFan. And those sports junkies aren't very knowledgeable on sports, just poker and chasing 20year old girls. YeeHa!
Trash the Skins, Caps, Wizards or Terps, and you've lost an employed, adult male listener, in the demographic.

Posted by: Max231 | October 8, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I've tried to listen to Lavar's show because I have always liked him, but I can't stand Chad Dukes and all I have ever heard them talk about the times I have tried to listen was Redskins bashing...it got really old really quick and I changed the channel back to ole' faithful 980. At least they talk about Caps, Wiz, Nats and other subjects. The Skins/Snyder bashing just went overboard on the Fan. I am a sports fan & like to hear discussions about alot of different sports. I love the Skins and although there has been quite alot to talk about, enough is enough already

Posted by: PGM17 | October 8, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Amen. Chad Dukes is the awful and makes the LaVar show impossible to listen to. He's just not very bright and kills the show. LaVar's Redskins bashing is over the top too.

But I will never listen to the station again after they handed out brown paper bags at the last game. They're just amateurs.

Posted by: Barno1 | October 8, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

chad dukes is the worst. would rather listen to static than that fool.

Posted by: the_shocker1 | October 8, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

To get really nerdy on you, since WJFK is now getting the same ratings for much less money, they must be very happy. I believe that was their goal.

Posted by: filmjoy | October 8, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

@Max231 - Chad Dukes loves the Caps, so not sure who you heard. and Dukes is the only reason the Lavar show with Chad Dukes is even listenable. I love Lavar, but he does not have any clue how to run a talk radio show, and Dukes is there to babysit him and be the voice of "the fan".

Posted by: VTUnited | October 8, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The Fan is no more a sports radio station than anything else in this area. They pretty much just cover one sport and one team. Chad Dukes is often unbearable and reason to change channels. Lavar is better than I expected although he can be bad when allowed to stay on a topic too long. I never thought I'd say a sports radio station covers anything other than the Redskins too much, but the MMA coverage just isn't at all proportional to the interest. They've covered the Wizards more than the Caps although Caps game have been on the station and the Wiz are in preseason. They don't know hockey at all. The only thing that keeps them from taking cheap shots at the sport is the increased interest in the Caps. Soccer isn't as fortunate. They don't even have decent college football coverage so the station is pretty much unofficial Redskins radio. I only listen to the other channel during games and even that is becoming harder to do now.

Snyder's station may get more overall listeners, but that's not going to last past the season. If The Fan is able to expand their topical coverage, they can grow their base in the NFL off-season and could have a sizable lead going into the next NFL season. The region loves the Skins, but there is going to be a time when the listeners get tired of the non-stop coverage in the off-season. It wasn't too bad this Summer because the station was new and a differing opinion was pretty much a gimmick. It will wear on listeners.

Posted by: sitruc | October 8, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I had never heard of Dukes until listening to him and Lavar on their new show. I see two kinds of sports-talk jocks. Those with thought provoking opinions and ideas looking for genuine debate. And then there's the shock-jock whose sole purpose is to light up the phone lines with whatever crap flows from their pie hole. Didn't take long to put Dukes in the second column. He's Sam Kinison only not funny. Plus Lavar has his own axe to grind with the Skins. I stopped listening pretty quickly.

Posted by: pwilly | October 9, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

"Kinard says WJFK is winning in that category--including Mike Wise and LaVar Arrington's shows against Tony Kornheiser's and Thom Loverro's/Kevin Sheehan's in middays--during every part of the day."

Have to say, I'm a little surprised that Wise is ahead of Kornheiser in any category. Congrats to Wise, I thought he'd get blown away with Tony back on the radio.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 9, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I said I would give the switch a chance and did, I loved the old WJFK and still miss the Mike O'Meara show.

The Junkies are a lot better now that they are back to just sports, they were so detached from reality when it came to politics and the rest of the world, getting back to what they know was a good move.

Wise is okay but sometimes he goes to Bill O'Riley with callers that disagree with him, never was more obvious then the whole Redskins Name Issue. But the guy can do a great intervew.

LaVar and Dukes- I go hot and cold on them. I think others above have stated it better then me, and if LaVar improves his skills in radio over the next year Chad could be gone.

The night time show though has been surprisingly good, mostly because its a level headed guy who just lets the callers talk. And he tries to talk about all of the sports in DC as best as the callers will alow.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

980 was always beating JFK in cume, JFK was always beating 980 in men 18-54.

They gained nothing, got rid of two really great shows, and destroyed a Washington-Area Icon in converting to "The Fan."

The only time I have listened to that station since the flip was the Caps-Bruins game, because I would rather listen to Cap announcers than Bruins announcers on XM.

Apparently the Caps thing was a short time deal, for the flyers game, "The Fan" was broadcasting a wizards preseason game or something.

I wish nothing but failure for "The Fan" and eagerly await the day (around next March-May) when the station becomes El Zol Dos.

Posted by: VTDuffman | October 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Where's the raw data? Can we see that?

How do podcasts fit in?

Posted by: WorstSeat | October 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Dukes/LaVar is unlistenable. Period. Dukes is a d-bag and LaVar is mostly incomprehensible. They are two know-nothings who offer no insight. On the other hand, the Sports Reporters offers humor, intelligence, and a sense of perspective that makes for great sportstalk.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | October 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the Caps thing was a short time deal, for the flyers game, "The Fan" was broadcasting a wizards preseason game or something.

Posted by: VTDuffman | October 9, 2009 10:49 AM

106.7 will broadcast every Wizards game, from Pre-season to that last disappointing post-season loss.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 9, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow I had no idea Chad Dukes was that polarizing. If you've only listened to the Lavar Arrington Show once or twice, you should give it more of a chance. When they first started I really wasn't impressed, but they've definitely grown on me. Their on-air chemistry just keeps getting better. I used to flip back and forth between Mike O'Meara and the Sports Reporters before the switch, but now I stay plugged into Lavar & Dukes my whole drive home.

I do really question what they're going to do though when the Redskins season is over. I feel like they're not going to have much to talk about on January 1st.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 9, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"To get really nerdy on you, since WJFK is now getting the same ratings for much less money, they must be very happy. I believe that was their goal."

Not really. They're still paying O'Meara for some time yet in addition to what they're paying Lavar and Dukes to fill his old time slot. (And while Dukes may come cheap, I doubt Lavar does.) Are the Lavar and Dukes ratings in that time slot any better at all that what O'Meara was pulling?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 9, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

i'm still on the fence with lavar/dukes. i want to like 'em, but they try way to hard to talk ishh on the "other" station (we get it, you don't like them, i DGAF). and dukes tries too hard to be mr. wacky fired up radio guy which is tiresome. the jury is still out on lavar but we should all be able to agree that he was hired because of his controversial position with regards to the redskins (i.e., forced out by snyder). dude isn't exactly made to talk for a living.

Posted by: dpkennedy | October 9, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Lavar and Dukes have to go, and I suspect they will after the initial 6-month trial run. The rest of the lineup is great and easy to listen to throughout the day. Dukes should spend some time trying to learn something about football or sports in general, and less time trying to be such a radio hard-ass. How he screwed his old partner Oscar is just unforgivable. Friends have loyalty to each other, Dukes would sell his mother to terrorists for just to keep a radio gig. I want to like LaVar but he is just too bitter about being cast off by the Redskins. At the end of the day, he's really just a quitter that tries to use big words but can't quite pull it off.

Posted by: Magsdad | October 9, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company