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BSM Top 20

The Top 20 Major Market Morning Shows of 2016 Are…

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The wait is over. It’s time to reveal the best in the sports radio format for 2016, but before you sprint ahead to see who made the list, let me first explain the process for assembling these results.

The first thing to remember is that this is an inexact science. Our panel consists of 53 radio industry members, and they each have different insights and preferences, and may or may not favor members of their own company or programs they’re most familiar with. I try to keep things fair and balanced by involving executives from multiple companies and different cities across the United States, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

You should know that I do not vote on the awards. My role is to present the findings of the sports radio industry, and present them from a neutral point of view. Once the project is completed, I will write a column and offer my analysis and takeaways on what stood out.

There is also discretion promised to our executive panel. That’s necessary in gathering honest feedback and receiving strong participation. Revealing their identities would harm my relationships in the business and risk future participation, so please understand that this is non-negotiable.

In order to measure the collective view of the sports radio industry, we use a point system. Each 1st place vote is worth 20 points, and we deduct a point for each lower position, with a 20th place vote being the lowest at 1 point. Each voter uses their own judgment in determining where to rank each show but operates by considering the following criteria.

  • Strong local ratings success in 2016
  • An established track record in the format
  • Quality content delivered on a consistent basis
  • Finished 2016 employed at the station
  • Spent more than six months with the radio station

*** If a host or show was changed or cancelled in January 2017, it has no effect on our voting. These results are based solely on 2016.

We place an emphasis on ratings, stability and impact when determining the initial list of 25-35 shows. If a show didn’t generate ratings or spend the majority of the year on the air, they probably didn’t make the final cut. In some cases, a show may have done both, but didn’t perform as high as the others. The goal is to feature the best performing shows of 2016, not who we’d hire if they were available.

For example, Jorge Sedano, Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson occupy mornings in Los Angeles on ESPN LA 710, but because they didn’t get started until September, they weren’t eligible. If this project continues in 2018, and they remain in their current timeslot and perform strongly, they’d be up for consideration then.

The one exception we allow is if a show retains its key members but experiences a change due to the departure of another individual. Two examples would be Kirk and Callahan on WEEI in Boston, and Jamie and Stoney on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. Each show lost a member in 2016 but the key components of each program remained intact.

As is the case with most lists, there will be plenty of debate and discussion. The goal of this project is to highlight those in our format who perform at a high level, and each of these shows are deserving of the industry’s appreciation. I tip my cap to all who earned our voters respect and gained a spot on this year’s Top 20.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me present to you the Barrett Sports Media Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2016!

Additional Notes:

  • Boomer & Carton earned the most 1st place votes (17) and highest point total of a local program in any category
  • The Musers gained the second most 1st place votes (5), Toucher and Rich received the third most (4)
  • A total of only 7 morning shows recorded 1st place votes, the lowest number of any Major Market category
  • This is Cooley & Kevin, MaD Radio and Schlereth & Evans’ first appearance on the list of top morning shows
  • San Francisco’s Joe, Lo & Dibs finished in 21st, three points away from 20th place
  • The 22-25 spots were filled by Zaslow, Roms & Amber, Fricke and Douglas, The Proper Gentlemen and The Rude Awakening

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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