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BSM Top 20

BSM’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Radio Stations of 2019

“A look at BSM’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Stations as voted on by sports radio professionals.”

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Last night, the NFL crowned the Kansas City Chiefs as their Super Bowl champion. Today, we do the same for the sports radio format by recognizing the best sports radio stations for 2019.

Before scrolling ahead to see who made the list, remember that our Top 20 results are based on the collective votes from forty seven radio pros representing thirty cities and eighteen companies. Yours truly (Jason Barrett) does not vote on the awards, I simply recruit the voters, collect their information, add up the votes, design the images, and present and promote the results.

We asked those participating to consider the criteria below to judge the best in the sports talk format, but keep in mind that each individual knows and values different things and that can have an influence on the final order. That makes this project an imperfect science. Nonetheless, it provides a collective snapshot of who radio folks consider to be the format’s best programmers.

  • Strong ratings in 2019
  • Great Reputation and influence
  • Makes a difference in its local community
  • Exceptional talent and content offered on a regular basis
  • Points are given for each spot (EX: 20 for 1st, 1 for 20th)

Moving on to the rankings, we have a brand new winner this year. The top spot for 2019 belongs to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. 101 ESPN in St. Louis won this category each of the past 2 years. The Fan finished 2nd in 2018, and 4th in 2017. Rounding out this year’s Top 5 were 92.3 The Fan, WWLS 98.1 The Sports Animal, 101 ESPN, and 104.5 The Zone.

We congratulate Jim Graci and the staff at 93.7 The Fan on their well deserved honor, and now bring to you the full results of BSM’s Top 20 Mid Market Sports Stations of 2019.

Additional Notes:

  • 93.7 The Fan received the most 1st place votes (4), en route to a 22 point win over 92.3 The Fan.
  • The closest finishes were for 3-4 and 7-8. WWLS and WFNZ edged 101 ESPN and WGR 550 by just 1 point.
  • 21-25 belonged to 102.5 The Game, KHTK 1140, 97.5/1280 The Zone, ESPN 680 and Sports Radio WNML.
  • 12 of the 48 stations eligible received at least one (1) 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2019.

  • Tuesday February 4 = The 2019 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts

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.”

Published

on

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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