Twitter Poll: Sports Radio Listeners Don’t Place a Lot of Value in Callers

Jason Barrett is a former radio program director who now runs a company called “Barrett Sports Media.”

He ran a Twitter poll recently asking the following question:

What do you value least when listening to a sports radio morning show?

Choices were:

  1. callers
  2. guests
  3. sports updates
  4. news/traffic/weather

The poll itself got 22,000 votes, so a good sample size, and more than 10,000 of the respondents said that callers provided the least value to the show:

This is not stunning. Literally everybody else in the world thinks that listener phone calls are incredibly boring and vapid, yet Philadelphia sports radio seems to rely heavily on “Bob in Manayunk” for content.

Barrett wrote up some blurbs for each choice in the poll and had this to say about the “callers” selection:

What this poll should make obvious is that people aren’t in love as much these days with shows being driven by the audience. The sports format’s first 20 years were built on turning the airwaves over to listeners to voice their thoughts, but often shows lacked direction and focus. With social media, texting, and podcasting a bigger part of our lives now, interaction is still important, but it’s done differently.

Another key factor is that younger people have less desire to talk on the phone. The majority of voices you hear call into sports talk shows tend to be older, and often times they call back a few times per week. Each time that same individual hits the air, it creates the impression that there isn’t a lot of interest in calling the show because the same person can get thru multiple times. Listeners under 35 are less tolerant and loyal than those of us who are older and have grown up with the format, and younger hosts tend to be less adamant about needing calls than older hosts who’ve made it part of their routine for years.

Yeah, it’s all true. Pretty spot on right there.

I’m just fascinated with the way we program sports radio in this here town. Go anywhere else in the country or up into Canada, and some stations don’t even take a single listener phone call during the entirety of a four hour show, whether it’s morning or afternoon. It’s very uniquely Philadelphia, for better or worse.

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  • Kate Devlin September 19, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    I used to love calling into It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle when that was on CN8. She was always such a sweetheart.

    – Kate

  • Dave from Center City is an idiot September 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    It’s definitely for worse.

    • Hank Hill - Assistant Manager, Strickland Propane September 19, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Top 3 worst Fanatic callers:

      1. Jimmy from Mount Holly
      2. Dave from Center City
      3. Rodrigues

      • I agree with this especially, Jimmy September 20, 2019 at 10:59 am

        This clown calls every show on both stations all hours of day. Puts on this fake tough guy voice.

  • Mitchie tools September 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Nothing more boring than an player or doctor as a guest on sports radio. One caller I do enjoy is brother Scott from Barrington. Guy is a legend & love his details of what he’s doing when he calls

  • The Boognish September 19, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    It’s doubtful non-binary Roary the Lion approves of sports radio, so it soon will be gone.

    It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle – good reference, Kate Devlin.

  • Dwayne From Swedesboro September 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Yo brutha mike i gotz my brutha suit on yeah dawwwwggggg, jawn, wawa

    • Mikey Miss Is So Woke September 19, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      Lol 😂…Mikey Miss wants to be a “Brutha” so bad it’s nauseating…just another reason why I stopped listening to him.

  • sheckler September 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Radio callers are the absolute worst type of sports “fan.”

    Nothing pisses me off more than a caller getting on the air only to start off saying “I have 3 points to make so please give me a minute and don’t hang up…”

    They’re a bunch of unaware asses

  • King of the Toys September 19, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    sports radio would be vastly improved if they lost the callers, especially the recurring ones. I’d love to know how many listeners change the dial as soon as they hear Angelo say ” we’ve got Shirley on the line..”. Bring back Innes for the love of god!

    • Can’t stand homeless people September 19, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      I can’t turn the channel fast enough when I hear Shirley calling .

      • SHIRLEY September 19, 2019 at 3:33 pm

        GOOD MORNING FAMILY!!!!!!!!

  • Butch from manayunk September 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Wanna hear my new song, Ang?

    • Not butch September 22, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      I can’t believe they give this moron with the is of a rock any air time. Hey Ang wanna heat me song about eagle Shirley to the tune of meet the flinstones and then I can talk about some pitcher from Reading who’s all star material.

  • Eg September 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I think there should be more Eagles cheers! What great radio!

  • Pork roll egg and cheese September 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Along same lines it’s excruciating that CSN airs that radio show for four straight hours everyday, multiple times. Cannot be worse television

  • Ron September 19, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    To let Butch from Manayunk and Shirley and all the other regulars go on for more than a minute at a time is insane. Every. single. time. I turn it off, it is so crazy that the producers of these shows have not realized it. I listen to podcasts so much more than sports talk anymore. I love the national scene just as much as the local scene and dont care that a bunch of delco plumbers fought mike scott in the parking lot. They spent three days talking about it on both stations, and let the idiot with the bull horn talk to the village idiot for fifteen minutes to apologize over some white trash tailgate fight.

  • Deputy Van Halen September 19, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    First time, long time

  • Innes' Failed Diet September 20, 2019 at 9:25 am

    I didn’t use to mind the callers when it seemed like a varied bunch that had different ideas than the hosts. But it seems like lately they are just unpaid regulars. The same 5 people with the same opinion as the host. If someone does slip in with an opposing view the hosts usually get short with them, hangs up after 10 seconds and then berates them. This is also why I used to like when shows had crossovers. A host could only be so outlandish because the next host would call him out on it. Now you have 4 hours of unlistenable Joe Giglio telling your why Kapler is already a hall of fame coach with no one to rebut.

  • I value Joe D Camera least on WIP September 20, 2019 at 10:56 am

    He thinks he is God’s gift to radio.

    • Not butch September 22, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Yes! He’s horrendous. They should can the hammer and replace him with josh innes. John innes and John Ritchie would be Golden radio

  • Mike Francesa on the FAN up in NYC never gives a caller more than 30 seconds September 20, 2019 at 11:09 am

    And that’s the way it should be. Who wants to hear the same caller call every show. I guess local shows here don’t get enough callers because there is absolutely no reason a caller should be able to call a show and then a hour later call the next show. They use to restrict callers to once a week or once every three days.

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