Blue Jackets Record Ratings

"Monday’s Game 3 was the most-watched Blue Jackets game ever aired on Fox Sports Ohio, drawing an 8.27 rating that equates to roughly 77,000 households. The previous most-watched game was Game 1 vs. the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, the first post-season game in franchise history."
- , The Columbus Dispatch

This new record is 44% higher than the previous highest-rated game. (Game 1 between the Jackets and Red Wings on 4.16.2009 earned a 5.73 HH rating on FOX Sports Ohio.)

Games 1 and 2 of this playoff series are also in the record books. Game 2 garnered a 4.7 and Game 1 a 4.5, making them now the 3rd and 4th most-watched Blue Jackets games on FOX Sports Ohio.

Golf on SportsTime Ohio cover story in Crain's Cleveland

FOX expands reach of Jimmy Hanlin's SportsTime Ohio golf shows
'18 Holes With Jimmy Hanlin' and 'Swing Clinic' will be available in more than 50 million homes

For golf fans in Northeast Ohio, Jimmy Hanlin is as ubiquitous as Cleveland Browns draft chatter, Chief Wahoo debates or pleas for LeBron James to return home.
Soon, Hanlin really will be everywhere — or at least in 31 states and more than 50 million homes. Fox Sports Ohio, which purchased SportsTime Ohio from the Cleveland Indians in December 2012, is rebranding Hanlin's popular “Tee It Up” show as “18 Holes With Jimmy Hanlin.” That program, along with “Swing Clinic,” the 30-minute show on which Hanlin gives golf tips, will be televised this spring and summer on 10 Fox Sports regional networks.

The total reach of the 10 Fox Sports affiliates — which include the New York-based YES Network, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Arizona and Sun Sports (Fox's regional network in Florida) — spans 135 designated market areas. “18 Holes” and “Swing Clinic” will air in 13 of the nation's 25 largest designated market areas.

“When Fox bought STO, I was really nervous,” said Hanlin, who also owns three golf courses in Ohio, co-hosts a Saturday morning show on WKNR-AM, 850, and is the men's and women's golf coach at Notre Dame College in South Euclid.

Hanlin's worry turned to excitement when Mike Roche, director of programming for Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio, sent a sample of Hanlin's “Tee It Up” show to Tim Ivy, director of programming at Sun Sports.

“Tim Ivy would ask me to pick up one of his high school football games,” Roche said of the programming that is often shared by Fox's regional networks. “So we would do that and I would say, "Hey, we have this golf show.' ”

Ivy's reaction, according to Roche: “Wow, this is really good.”
Photo credit: JANET CENTURY
Jimmy Hanlin
New name, more road trips
“Tee It Up,” once an all-Ohio program on which Hanlin and his longtime production partners, Willoughby-based BMA Media Group, would play a course and show some of the nearby area's best attractions, was expanded in 2013.

Roche said the show was “tested” on four Fox Sports regional networks last year — Sun Sports, Sports South, Arizona and San Diego. The response was so positive that Fox elected to more than double the program's reach in 2014 — and give it a jazzed-up new name.

Hanlin said he has been working with the “same six or seven guys” — his team, as he calls them — since “Tee It Up” debuted on SportsTime Ohio in 2006. The group, which works on a freelance basis for Fox Sports Ohio, includes friend Dean Cummings, the show's producer and editor.

Hanlin — in case he wasn't busy enough — coordinates the travel plans, which are much more extensive than past trips around the Buckeye State. The owner of Little Mountain Country Club in Concord and StoneWater Golf Club in Highland Heights said his goal is to eventually shoot an “18 Holes” episode at a golf course in proximity to each Fox Sports regional network on which his show appears.

That probably won't happen this year, Hanlin said, but he and his crew will be all over the country for the program's 13-episode run in 2014.

The shoots, which used to take one or two days, have turned into three-, four- and five-day trips.

To accommodate the show's broader focus, “Tee It Up” changed its format in 2013. In past years, the show would focus on Hanlin and co-host Carling Nolan — a 2010 winner of the Golf Channel's “Big Break” who joined “Tee It Up” in 2011 — playing a golf course's signature hole and feature footage of the rest of the course.

“Now, we actually show all 18 holes of the golf course,” Hanlin said. “A lot of the places we're going to are large resorts with a lot more to shoot than a Little Mountain or a public golf course in Ohio. These places have spas and tennis courts and huge hotels.”

“When we go to these places,” Hanlin said, “we're really trying to show the whole experience.”

Indians get into the swing
“18 Holes” will debut on SportsTime Ohio on Wednesday, May 7, following the station's broadcast of the Indians' 7:05 p.m. game against the Minnesota Twins. The first episode of 2014 will feature Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis and recently demoted relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano, who last month drove from the Tribe's spring training home in Goodyear, Ariz., to meet Hanlin at SunRidge Canyon Golf Club in Fountain Hills.

“They drove like an hour and 15 minutes to come down and do a show — I kind of told them it was 45 minutes,” Hanlin said of Kipnis and Pestano.

The good-natured Indians players matched Hanlin's signature flashy wardrobe piece for piece.

Pestano wore a sweater vest over a short-sleeved golf shirt, complete with a bow tie and plaid pants. Kipnis was more understated — with a white collared shirt and light plaid pants.

“They were hilarious,” Hanlin said. “They tried to outdress me.”

Hanlin's attire sometimes overshadows what Roche describes as a down-to-earth personality who won't hesitate to give a golf tip to anyone — anywhere.

“One thing I don't think people understand about Jimmy is how good of a teacher he is,” said Roche, the Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio programming director. “It's one thing that he's on air and does things like that, but he hasn't forgotten where he came from.”

Said Hanlin, laughing: “I give more free golf lessons than any human being in the entire world.”

Roche turned that Hanlin trait into yet another program.

During the early days of SportsTime Ohio, Roche, in an effort to promote “Tee It Up,” would take Hanlin to a local golf course and ask him to give a brief pointer on camera.

“He had 26 seconds to do a quick golf tip, and that was the promo campaign that year for STO,” Roche said.

Last year, “Swing Clinic” aired for the first time, and this year its seven episodes also will be shown in more than 50 million homes.
The new logo for "18 Holes With Jimmy Hanlin"
Helping hands
Hanlin's third SportsTime Ohio program, “The Golf Zone With Jimmy Hanlin,” a Sunday night viewer call-in show, will expand from one to two hours on April 20. His ESPN Cleveland radio show is also two hours, making it difficult to find a day during the spring and summer in which he isn't on the air.

“And at some point, I have to show up at my golf courses,” he said.

With his schedule even more hectic, Hanlin said he will focus on the day-to-day management of Little Mountain, and let the general managers at StoneWater and Cumberland Trail Golf Club (located in Pataskala, 20 miles east of Columbus) manage those facilities.

When he's not filming a show, taking calls on ESPN Cleveland or managing one of his courses, Hanlin is spending time with his 9- and 6-year-old sons. Their names — Hogan and Palmer — are fitting for a father who devotes so much of his time to promoting the game and the courses on which it's played.

“The freelancers (his production team) are great. They do a lot of the work,” Hanlin said. “And the same for the guys at my golf courses — or I'd be in trouble.”