I read the David Zirin article “The Confederate Flag, the Washington Football Team, and the Owners Who Love Them.” I choose to listen to the July 17 episode of both the Ben Maller Show on Fox Sports Radio and the Mike & Mike Radio show on ESPN radio. It was clear to the two radio shows have very different formats, host styles, and target audiences.
The Ben Maller Radio show is on from 1:00am to 5:00am Monday through Friday. The fact that it is an overnight show has a clear impact on the format and style of the show. The Ben Maller show has just one host, Ben Maller. The Ben Maller show has far less segments for listeners to call-in than most shows, most likely because there are less call-ins at night in general. The only sponsor I heard during the time I listened was Geico insurance, and that was because Geico sponsored the radio studio the show was using, not the show itself (Ben Maller Show).
As a host, Ben Maller seems to be much more combative with his opinions and even starts many shows with the “Maller monologue” segment where he general gives a decisive or unpopular opinion. In the night I listened, he did not have a “Maller monologue” segment, but rather led off with the British Open golf tournament. Maller focused on Tiger Woods’ performance in the British Open (Ben Maller Show). Ben Maller’s radio show does a good job of using pop culture references. The target audience for Ben Maller shows is people who work or overnight or people who are simply up late at night.
The Mike & Mike Show airs from 5-9 on ESPN Radio. The show is usually hosted by Mike Greeney and Mike Golic, on the day I listened, however, Tim Kurkjian and Ryan Ruocco were filling in for the regular hosts. In the hours I listened the only sponsor mentioned was SportsClips haircuts (Mike & Mike Show). The show has two hosts which makes host interaction a large part of the show, during the segment I listened to; Tim Kurkjian and Ryan Ruocco would usually ask each other questions and did not fight with one another often. The Mike & Mike show also started off with British Open Coverage, though they focused on golfers other than Tiger Woods (Mike & Mike Show). The target of the Mike & Mike Show is early morning commuters, people with 9-5 jobs, so hosts are slightly more professional on the Mike & Mike Show.
The biggest difference between the radio shows and the David Zinn article seemed to be that the sports radio shows focused almost entirely on sports. The radio shows focused on games, scores, and sports storylines. Most of David Zirin’s articles discuss sports and how they interplay with larger societal issues. David Zirin’s most recent articles include the controversy over the Washington Redskins and how it compares to the current Confederate flag debate (The Confederate Flag, The Washington Football Team, and the Owners Who Love Them).and how womens sports is viewed by society. This difference makes sense when you consider the formats. Sports Radio needs to appeal to a wide variety of people, and focusing on only how sports interplays with society would likely make many listeners turn of their radio. A small internet blog like David Zirin’s can afford to have a deeper analysis since is a bit smaller and those interested in the blog will seek it out.
This difference in the listenership and viewership between the sports radio shows and the sports blogs deals with a theme in society today; entertainment versus deep analysis. The content of the Ben Maller and the Mike & MIke shows is meant to be superficial and entertaining to a wide swath of people while David Zirin’s blog posts are insightful thoughts on relatively complicated issues. Despite being far more insightful David Zirin’s viewership is extremely small compared to the number of people that listen to the Ben Maller and Mike & Mike shows. This issue of entertainment versus substance is occurs very often in society when it comes to general news coverage.
“7-17 Ben Maller Show Hour 1.” Fox Sports Radio. Retrieved from http://www.foxsportsradio.com/media/podcast-ben-maller-hours-ben_maller/717-ben-maller-show-hour-1-26205332/
“Mike & Mike: The Open, Carlos Correa.” ESPN Radio. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=13273264
Zirin, Dave. “The Confederate Flag, The Washington Football Team, and the Owners Who Love Them.” Edge of Sports. Retrieved from http://www.edgeofsports.com/2015-07-05-1047/index.html