iHeartmedia Launches Gambling-Centric Station In Toledo


Maybe the city of Toledo, Ohio needs a new slogan. They’ve been rocking the “You’ll Do Better In Toledo” for a few years now, but at least one radio station in town seems to think their listeners will do better across the state line in Michigan.

On Monday, iHeartMedia Toledo debuted Fox Sports 1230 The Gambler in Toledo. The station will have a sports betting and fantasy sports focus, according to a report in Radio Ink. Branded “Toledo’s Sports Action Starts Here,” the underlying message is that the sports action will end in Michigan, where online sportsbooks debuted in late January.

Radio listeners are more engaged with online sports betting and more aware of sports betting brands,” said Matt Bell, area president for iHeartMedia Toledo, according to the report. “This station is great for our local advertisers and clients as recent data from Nielsen Scarborough has found the more time listeners spend with radio, the greater their sports betting engagement. The study also found that listeners of live sports on radio are more than twice as likely to participate in sports betting than the average U.S. audience.”

Of course, Ohio does not have sports betting, be it online or in person. At least, not yet. Gov. Mike DeWine says “it’s coming” to Ohio, a refrain he’s been singing for years. Currently, the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming is hearing arguments for and against legalizing sports betting on Wednesday afternoons at 4 p.m. for an hour. That will continue until anyone who has anything to say says it.

Quick ride to Michigan

In the meantime, would-be bettors in Toledo have a short trip over the border, and they can listen to 1230 AM the whole way there and back.

Featuring programming from VSiN, BetR Network, Fox Sports Radio, and Toledo-based sports talk host Anthony Bellino in the morning drive, the station will also feature the regular Fox radio lineup of shows, including The Dan Patrick Show and The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“Fox Sports 1230 The Gambler is the future of sports radio,” said Scott Sands, senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Ohio and West Virginia in a Radio Online report. “We are thrilled to bring this hot new format to Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, assisting our growing audience in navigate the ever-growing world of sports wagering.”

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