Everyone’s looking for good news where it can be found these days, and there was a glimmer of hope for Houston sports radio during the first three months of 2020.
For the first time since 2013, KILT (610 AM) finished among the top 10 stations in Houston for morning drive time (6-10 a.m.) Nielsen Audio ratings among men 25-54, sports radio’s key advertising demographic.
KILT ranked 10th on the nose in morning drive audience shares for the January-March quarter. KFNC (97.5 FM) and KBME (790 AM) were 24th and 25th, respectively, and KILT doubled their combined ratings for the three-month period.
The obvious reason for KILT’s strong quarter in morning drive was the Texans’ brief playoff run, followed by the outrage prompted by coach/general manager Bill O’Brien’s decision to trade DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals.
Still, it represents a noteworthy milestone in the yearlong tenure of Armen Williams as the station’s program director.
KILT also tied for 11th among all stations for the quarter during middays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), with KBME in 24th and KFNC tied for 26th. It was tied for 15th in afternoon drive (2-6 p.m.), leading KFNC at 23rd and KBME at 25th.
For radio’s prime time hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., KILT was 14th, and KFNC and KBME were 24th and 25th, respectively. The three sports stations combined for 4.4 percent of market share among men 25-54; for the same of comparison, six stations single-handedly beat that number for the January-March quarter.
In summary, Houston sports radio is still middle of the pack, at best, in terms of the market’s pecking order. But at least it showed progress during the first quarter. The full ratings can be found at the end of this column.
Bruno joins SB Nation Radio network
Tony Bruno, a longtime fixture of syndicated sports talk radio, will join David Gow’s SB Nation Radio on May 11, hosting a show called “Into the Night” with on-air partner Harry Mayes.
The show will air from 9 p.m.-midnight on participating SB Nation stations. Craig Larson, the network’s program director, said the show will include elements of Bruno’s SiriusXM show that launched in early April and new content that will be exclusive to the SB Nation time slot.
Bruno has hosted shows in Philadelphia and on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio and on the Sporting News Radio network, which was the precursor to SB Nation Radio.
He is the second sports radio veteran to strike a distribution agreement with SB Nation Radio in recent weeks, following the addition of former CBS Sports Radio host Scott Ferrall to the network’s lineup,
Four DVRs, no waiting
• Speaking of the aforementioned SB Nation Radio, it’s now been 10 years since David Gow’s Gow Media purchased what was the Sporting News Radio network and moved operations from Santa Monica, Calif., to Houston.
The company continues with its 24/7 talk lineup, which Larson said has about 30 affiliates with hosts located in different cities, including an overnight show hosted from Houston by Patrick Creighton, plus weekend shows and a customized headline/update service for individual stations. …
• Houston talk show host Cody Stoots, who was furloughed last month by Gow Media, said on Twitter this week that he is no longer with the company. …
• Houston’s three-day average for the NFL draft was a 5.7 Nielsen rating, which ranked 22nd among the major markets. Dallas-Fort Worth averaged 5.3 (25th), Austin was at 5.0 (28th) and San Antonio averaged 4.8 (33rd).
The three-day event totaled 55 million viewers on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ABC, NFL Network and NFL digital channels, up 16 percent from 2019.
• ESPN at 6:30 p.m. Friday airs “Project 11,” a documentary about Washington quarterback Alex Smith’s recovery from a 2018 injury in a game against the Texans when he was tackled by J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson.
‘Project 11’ includes unprecedented access, new interviews & more
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) April 28, 2020
Smith required 17 surgical procedures after the wound became infected, and doctors at one point considered the possibility of amputation. His recovery included a February 2019 trip to the Center for the Intrepid, a rehab facility at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
The film includes graphic photos of Smith’s injured leg at various stages of his injury and recovery.
HOUSTON SPORTS RADIO RATINGS
Here are the Nielsen Audio rankings for local Houston sports radio shows for the period Jan. 30-Feb. 26.
1 (1). Sean Pendergast/Seth Payne (6-10 a.m., KILT)
2 (2). John Lopez/Landry Locker (10 a.m.-2 pm, KILT)
3 (3). Clint Stoerner (2-6 p.m., KILT)
4 (5). Fred Faour/A.J. Hoffman (4-7 p.m., KFNC)
5 (6). Joel Blank/Barry Laminack (1-4 p.m., KFNC)
T6 (T8). Sean Salisbury (6-10 a.m., KBME)
T6 (4). Lance Zierlein/John Granato (7-9 a.m., KFNC)
T8 (T8). Matt Thomas (noon-3 p.m., KBME)
T8 (7). Ross Villarreal (6-7 p.m., KBME)
10 (11). Adam Clanton/Adam Wexler (3-6 p.m., KBME).
11 (10). N.D. Kalu 10 a.m.-noon, KBME)
12 (12). Charlie Pallilo (11 a.m.-1 p.m., KFNC)
13 (13). John Granato/Raheel Ramzanali (9-11 a.m., KFNC)
Here are the Nielsen Audio rankings for local Houston sports radio shows for the period Feb. 27-March 25.
1 (2). John Lopez/Landry Locker (10 a.m.-2 pm, KILT)
2 (3). Clint Stoerner (2-6 p.m., KILT)
3 (1). Sean Pendergast/Seth Payne (6-10 a.m., KILT)
4 (T8). Ross Villarreal (6-7 p.m., KBME)
5 (T8). Matt Thomas (noon-3 p.m., KBME)
T6 (10). Adam Clanton/Adam Wexler (3-6 p.m., KBME).
T6 (4). Fred Faour/A.J. Hoffman (4-7 p.m., KFNC)
8 (11). N.D. Kalu 10 a.m.-noon, KBME)
9 (5). Joel Blank/Barry Laminack (1-4 p.m., KFNC)
10 (T6). Sean Salisbury (6-10 a.m., KBME)
11 (12). Charlie Pallilo (11 a.m.-1 p.m., KFNC)
12 (T6). Lance Zierlein/John Granato (7-9 a.m., KFNC)
13 (13). John Granato/Raheel Ramzanali (9-11 a.m., KFNC)