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BSM Top 20

America’s Top 20 Local Sports Morning Shows of 2015 Are…

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It’s time to reveal America’s Top 20 local sports morning shows for 2015. Before you race ahead though to see who made the list, let me first explain how the results were produced. Although this is an inexact science and the results are subjective, I tried to create a formula that made sense. Whether it worked or not is in the eye of the beholder, but I’m comfortable with the way it turned out.

In total, 35 radio executives took part in determining these results. I did not cast a vote myself. I will though write a full column next week analyzing the results of this process and share my thoughts on the biggest takeaways.

Each member of the executive committee was given 35 shows to choose from, and asked to select their Top 20 in exact order. They were asked to use the following criteria when making their decisions:

  • Strong local ratings success in 2015
  • An established track record in the format
  • Quality content delivered on a consistent basis
  • Spent more than 2/3 of the year with the radio station
  • Finished 2015 employed at the station and without the show’s lineup being changed
  • Points are given for each ranking (EX: 20 points for 1st place, 1 point for 20th place)

The point system worked great because it made it easy to capture a show’s total impact among 35 different executives. That was important in determining where a show finished in the final rankings.

One thing to keep in mind, if a show didn’t generate ratings or spend the majority of the year on the air, they didn’t make the final 35. In some cases, a show may have done both, but didn’t perform as high as the 35 others. The goal was to feature the best shows for 2015, not the longest tenured show or the ones we’d draft if all were free agents.

For example, Bernie Miklasz in St. Louis, and John Fricke and Hugh Douglas in Atlanta didn’t make the list of 35 because they spent less than half of the year hosting morning drive for their respective stations. However, if we do this project again in 2017, and they remain in their current positions and perform strongly, they’d be up for consideration.

To make things fair and balanced, I sought out people for the executive committee who have worked in the format for a long period of time. Some have worked for a number of companies, and influenced brands in multiple markets. Others have remained with one group in top markets and delivered strong results for over a decade. I wanted to avoid company bias and geographical influence playing a key role in the determination of the final results, and by involving 35 members from 23 U.S cities, and 15 different broadcast companies, I think that goal was accomplished.

Some will ask for the identity of the voters to be made public, but as I mentioned previously, I promised anonymity to those who participated. That is something I will not compromise. To do so would affect future participation, and damage my relationships in the industry.

There will be plenty of debate over these selections, but I hope that you remember that the purpose of this project is to highlight those in our format who perform at a high level, and to give you an idea of who the industry’s brightest minds viewed as the format’s best in 2015.

Now without further adieu, Barrett Sports Media proudly presents “America’s Top 20 Local Sports Morning Shows” as part of “The 2015 Best in Sports Radio Awards“!

AM1-BoomerCarton

AM2-TandR

AM3-Cataldi

AM4-Musers

AM5-DandC

AM6-MullyHanley

AM7-MitchLevy

AM8-Junkies

AM9-MurphMac

AM10-Gargano

AM11-BrockSalk

AM12-StoneyBill

AM13-DougWolf

AM14-PowerTrip

AM15-CJL

AM16-DanSileo

AM17-ShanRJ

AM18-JoeRose

AM19-DunlapMiller

AM20-BobFescoe

Additional Notes:

  • Houston’s “In The Loop” with Nick Wright & John Lopez missed 20th place by 2 points
  • Boomer & Carton” earned 20 1st place votes & finished no lower than 6th on any ballot
  • Toucher & Rich” had 8 1st place votes, second highest among morning shows
  • Mully & Hanley” (2) & Mitch Levy (3) were the only others with multiple 1st place votes

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts of 2020

“As decided on by radio industry programmers and executives, here are the Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts of 2020.”

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After six days of BSM Top 20 madness, we’ve finally reached the finish line. To close out the series, we shift our focus today to the Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts of 2020. This is the most competitive category of all of our lists due to the sheer volume of content available. Given how this area of the audio business has exploded in recent years, it’s likely we’ll be giving even more attention to this space in the future.

If you read any of the prior lists, then you’re aware that Steve Stone Voiceovers was our sponsor for this year’s BSM Top 20 series. Feel free to shout him out on social media to say thank you, and if your station has a need for voice work in the future, Steve’s excellent to work with. I’ve also shared with you that my son Dylan Barrett handled all of the creative for this year’s Top 20 series. Being able to teach him how this process works and watch him apply himself was very cool. It’ll help him in the future as he dives into college and decides which professional path to take in life. Hopefully you guys like the way this year’s layout turned out.

For today’s final category, Original Sports Podcasts, here are a few things to know about the voting.

#1 – These results are based solely on taste. There was no deep dive into total downloads, which shows retained audience longest, or who produced the most revenue. It was simply about talent, content, brand, relevance, success, and originality. Radio programmers and executives have their ear on radio programs daily. If they’re making time to listen to a podcast given everything else they have on their plate, it means the host/show has done something to cut thru. As I’ve said before, this isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we can think of to showcase the best in sports audio.

#2 – Our executive panel consists of program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, Emmis, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of groups in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to avoid the results heavily favoring one company. BSM President Jason Barrett does not vote, he simply presents the results.

#3 – A total of 110 original podcasts were eligible for voting consideration. Executives also had the opportunity (if they wished) to add other titles to the list.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Original Sports Podcasts of 2020. After taking the crown in 2018, and relinquishing it last year, Barstool Sports’ ‘Pardon My Take‘ featuring Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz and PFT Commenter are once again the kings of digital sports audio. PMT won the category this year in convincing fashion, earning the most first place votes with fourteen (14), and holding a commanding ninety nine (99) point lead over runner up ESPN Podcasts ’30 For 30′. BSM congratulates Big Cat, PFT, Erika Nardini, Dave Portnoy and the entire Barstool Sports crew on being chosen as the best original sports podcast of 2020.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts of 2020!”

Additional Notes:

  • Pardon My Take received fourteen (14) first place votes, 30 for 30 was next closest with five (5).
  • Spots 21-25 belonged to Mina Kimes ShowToken CEO, Spittin’ Chiclets, Talk Is Jericho and Men In Blazers.
  • The tightest races involved Peter KingAll The Smoke and Stupodity narrowly beating ESPN Daily, The Right Time w/ Bomani Jones and Wins & Losses w/ Clay Travis by one (1) point.
  • Of the 110 original sports podcasts eligible for voting consideration, seventeen (17) earned at least one (1) 1st place vote.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020

“As decided by radio industry executives, here are the Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020.”

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When I started the BSM Top 20 five years ago, the idea was to end it on the Monday following the Super Bowl, essentially putting a bow on the year, just like the NFL does. The explosion of podcasting though forced us to create an extra category, so we now save the final two days for the top sports radio stations, and original podcasts.

If you read any of the prior lists, then you’ve heard me praise Steve Stone Voiceovers for sponsoring this year’s series. An independent platform like ours can’t deliver the surplus of content that we do without support, and thankfully folks like Steve step up to make cool things like the BSM Top 20 possible. I also want to acknowledge my son Dylan Barrett, who handled all of the creative for this year’s Top 20 series. He dug thru hundreds, if not thousands of images, editing them in Photoshop to put together the creative layouts that you’re either sharing on social media or hanging inside your office or studio. Putting together 240 graphics each year isn’t easy, but he dove in and did a great job on it.

For today’s category, Mid Market Sports Radio Stations, here are a few things to remember about the voting.

#1 – These results are based on 2020’s performance. 2021 changes have no impact on the voting. It doesn’t matter if a station added a superstar show in January or crushed it during the first month in the ratings. The sole focus is on what was produced in 2020.

#2 – Our executive panel consists of program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, Emmis, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of groups in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to avoid the results heavily favoring one company. BSM President Jason Barrett does not vote, he simply presents the results.

#3 – A total of 50 sports stations were eligible for voting consideration in the Mid Market Sports Radio Stations category.

#4 – Our executive panel picked the Top 20 sports stations by taking into account ratings success, strength of lineup/talent, creative ideas, multi-platform excellence, local market impact, and brand relevance and respect. It’s important to remember that our voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and work for different companies, so certain things may be given more or less merit depending on who’s casting a vote. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we can think of to showcase sports radio’s best.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020. The top honor for this year goes to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. This is the station’s second time in a row winning the award, and represents The Fan’s third category win in this year’s Top 20. BSM congratulates Michael Spacciapolli, Jim Graci, and the entire programming team on earning the top spot, as well as all of the other stations who were featured on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020!”

Additional Notes:

  • 93.7 The Fan scored the most 1st place votes with five (5), WJOX was second with four (4).
  • Spots 21-25 belonged to KXNO, 102.5 The Game, Sports Radio WNML, 104.5 ESPN and 1620 The Zone.
  • The tightest races saw 104.5 The Zone edge WFNZ by one (1) point, and 610 Sports slip by 98.1 The Sports Animal by three (3) points.
  • Of the 49 sports stations eligible for voting consideration, eight (8) received at least one (1) 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.

  • Tuesday February 9 = The 2020 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020

“As decided on by industry executives, Barrett Sports Media presents the Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020.”

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When I started the BSM Top 20 five years ago, the idea was to end it on the Monday following the Super Bowl, essentially putting a bow on the year, just like the NFL does. The explosion though of podcasting forced us to create an extra category, so we save the final two days now for the top sports radio stations, and original podcasts.

If you read any of the prior lists, then you’ve heard me praise Steve Stone Voiceovers for sponsoring this year’s series. An independent platform like ours can’t deliver the surplus of content that we do without support, and thankfully folks like Steve step up to make cool things like the BSM Top 20 possible. I also want to acknowledge my son Dylan Barrett, who handled all of the creative for this year’s Top 20 series. He dug thru hundreds, if not thousands of images, editing them in Photoshop to put together the creative layouts that you’re either sharing on social media or hanging inside your office or studio. Putting together 240 graphics each year isn’t easy, but he dove in and did a great job on it.

For today’s category, Major Market Sports Radio Stations, here are a few things to remember about the voting.

#1 – These results are based on 2020’s performance. 2021 changes have no impact on the voting. It doesn’t matter if a station added a superstar show in January or crushed it during the first month in the ratings. The sole focus is on what was produced in 2020.

#2 – Our executive panel consists of program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, Emmis, and independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large number of groups in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to avoid the results heavily favoring one company. BSM President Jason Barrett does not vote, he simply presents the results.

#3 – A total of 36 sports stations were eligible for voting consideration in the Major Market Sports Radio Stations category.

#4 – Our executive panel picked the Top 20 sports stations by taking into account ratings success, strength of lineup/talent, creative ideas, multi-platform excellence, local market impact, and brand relevance and respect. It’s important to remember that our voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and work for different companies, so certain things may be given more or less merit depending on who’s casting a vote. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best system we can think of to showcase sports radio’s best.

And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Major Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020. The best in the nation according to our executive panel is none other than 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. This marks the third straight year, and fourth time in five years that the Boston sports radio station has been voted #1 in this category. BSM congratulates Mary Menna, Rick Radzik, and the entire programming team on being recognized as the top brand once again, as well as all of the other stations who earned a spot on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Stations of 2020!”

Additional Notes:

  • 98.5 The Sports Hub earned the most 1st place votes with nine (9), Sports Radio WIP was second with four (4).
  • Spots 21-25 belonged to WDAESports Radio 950 KJR, AM 570 LA Sports, XTRA Sports 1360 and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5.
  • The tightest races saw 106.7 The Fan slip by KFAN by one (1) point, and 92.9 The Game hold off WDAE by two (2) points.
  • Of the 36 sports stations eligible for voting consideration, twelve (12) received at least one (1) 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.

  • Tuesday February 9 = The 2020 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts

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