The Things I Think: Yes, I AM Beating Eskin

The other sports station in town keeps saying it's beating my show. But the real numbers tell a different story

Radio program directors can sometimes be very neurotic and desperate people.

After all, in radio, especially in Philadelphia radio, there is immense pressure to succeed. If a station doesn’t get good ratings, that station brings in less advertising revenue. If the station brings in less revenue, there’s a pretty good chance that the program director is going to get fired, along with anyone else who had his hand in the poor ratings.

And there is a program director at a competitor radio station who has become so desperate and embarrassed, he has resorted to lying about his station’s ratings. [SIGNUP]

And it’s about time that he be exposed.

For the last several months, this competitor program director has fostered propaganda that his evening drive sports talk show has forged ahead of the show I do on 97.5 FM The Fanatic, and 950 ESPN AM. My spies who actually listen to that other station say that this PD actually came on the air to say that, and that he later recorded an ad boasting of the same triumph.

The only problem is that it’s not true.

Before we get to the actual numbers proving such a lie, here’s a little bit of a background on ratings. Radio ratings are compiled by a corporation called Arbitron. The company measures a carefully selected group of people’s radio listening habits electronically via a contraption called a People Meter. This gizmo takes note of the radio station to which selected people listen, and the amount of time they spend listening. Sports talk stations are measured by males listeners in the age 25 to 54 demographic, because that’s the audience, for advertising purposes, most interested in our programming.

And the latest Arbitron ratings, in the head-to-head hours that the Mike Missanelli Show (on WPEN-FM The Fanatic, and WPEN-AM 950 ESPN) goes against the other radio station in evening drive time, are this:

3 p.m.-6 p.m.
The other station: 5.7

That’s a sound thrashing. Our rating numbers also beat the other station in two other blocks of hours, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (when I’m not even on the radio for the full 6 p.m. hour, giving way to my producer Jon Marks and our hour long show with former Phillie Darren Daulton).

If the other station were, say, a furniture store, they would be sanctioned by the Better Business Bureau for misleading advertising. It’s quite pathetic, really. To mislead the public into believing that they have won the ratings war, they are using their number against only ONE of our stations. Since we are heard on two stations these days, our total listening audience is compiled by Arbitron to include both the AM and FM listeners. After all, it’s just a personal preference for people whether they want to listen to us on the AM or FM. It’s the same programming. We’re like a stock that split. By going to two stations, we obviously diluted the audience for each of our stations individually. But the combined audience is the true measure, and Arbitron says we are pounding them. The other station obviously can’t stomach those facts. But their faulty claims only serve to insult your intelligence.

Within one year, when we were just known as 950 ESPN and heard only on the AM radio band, The Mike Missanelli Show had topped the other station in the 25-54 demo. We were able to do that because the great fan base of Philadelphia sports determined that we were a lot more informative, entertaining and fun to listen to than the other’s station tired programming at that time. When we moved over to 97.5 FM, the clarity and distance of the FM signal gave even more folks a chance to listen to us and they have responded in kind.

Our goal is to continue to serve you by giving you everything we have everyday you listen. I’m not fool enough to think that I’m the show. My show belongs to the people. I’m merely a conduit of the people, whether I’m defending us as a fan base, criticizing our teams when I don’t think they’re giving us enough, praising them when they do, and keeping open a line of communication for the fans who want to do the same. I do this because true blood Philadelphia sports fans deserve that.

So disregard these flimsy claims from a little, desperate program directing weasel, who reeks of desperation and whose job, I’m guessing, is probably in jeopardy because he lost the evening drive war to a radio station that’s only been in business for just a couple of years. My advice to the other station: spend your energies trying to improve your station’s content instead of relying on cheap ass misdirection. The sports fans of Philadelphia are too smart to be conned.