The BSM Top 20 of 2020 continues, as we celebrate sports radio’s best for the sixth straight year, a year which none of us will soon forget. Rocked by a pandemic, sports radio’s finest persevered to continue playing an important role in their listeners lives. Whether broadcasting from office desks and kitchen tables apart from one another or behind plexiglass dividers while wearing masks, operations were tested this year. Combine that with the world of sports shutting down in March and offering no new content for months, and it put a huge strain on all involved.
The show’s you see listed below deserve tremendous credit for finding ways to stay mentally sharp, and provide a needed daily distraction for their audiences. Before you jump ahead to see who our panel of 51 industry executives voted for, please join me in thanking Steve Stone Voiceovers for supporting the Top 20 as our exclusive sponsor. Steve is not only a tremendous voice talent but a huge supporter of sports radio. His support for this series makes it possible. I also want to acknowledge my son Dylan Barrett, who handled all of the creative for this year’s series. He spent all of January digging thru personality and brand accounts to find photos, editing them in Photoshop, and the images you’ll soon be sharing on social media or printing off to hang inside your office or studio are a reflection of his hard work.
As it pertains to the voting, here are a few things to keep in mind.
#1 – These results are based on 2020’s performance. 2021 changes have no impact on the voting. Our one specific rule that has been in place since we started this series in 2015 is that a show must finish the year on the air in the timeslot for which it’s being considered. Therefore, a show like Bart & Hahn in New York, which moved on to the national circuit in January 2021, was eligible for voting consideration since they were a local midday show thru the end of 2020. Dan Bernstein was also listed without Leila Rahimi since she didn’t officially join The Score’s midday show until January. A program such as Purple Daily in Minneapolis on the other hand was not eligible since the show was dropped from SKOR North’s lineup in May.
#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 44 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the Major Market Midday Shows category.
#4 – Our executive panel picked their Top 20 shows based on a few factors; the ear test, originality, ability to entertain, multi-platform excellence, market where impact is created, on-air chemistry, and ratings success. Keep in mind that voters live in different cities, have different tastes, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect science, but it’s the best way we can think of to showcase how sports radio’s braintrust views the best in the format.
And that brings us to the rankings for this year’s Major Market Sports Radio Midday Shows. Taking the top spot for the first time in their history together is the team of Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand. The 98.5 The Sports Hub pair have consistently placed in the top 3 over the years, but 2020 is the year where they ascended to the top. The Boston duo finished with the biggest lead over a 2nd place finisher in any of the Top 20 categories this year. BSM congratulates Scott Zolak, Marc Bertrand, Rob ‘Hardy’ Poole, Tom Morgan, Rick Radzik and the entire 98.5 The Sports Hub team on a job well done, along with every other show which earned a spot on this year’s list.
Now, here are the full results of “BSM’s Top 20 Major Market Midday Shows of 2020!”
- Zolak & Bertrand earned the most 1st place votes with ten (10), Mason & Ireland and DeCamara & Ritchie were tied for second with four (4).
- Spots 21-25 belonged to Stokley & Zach, In The Loop, Steiny, Guru & Dibs, Josh Innes and Roggin & Rodney.
- The tightest races saw Bad Radio hold off Bart & Hahn by 2 points, and K&C Masterpiece edge Norm & Donovan by 1 point.
- 13 of the 44 shows eligible for consideration this year received at least one (1) 1st place vote.
Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.
- Thursday February 4 = The 2020 Top 20 Sports Radio Afternoon Shows
- Friday February 5 = The 2020 Top 20 Sports Radio Program Directors
- Monday February 8 = The 2020 Top 20 Major and Mid-Market Sports Radio Sports Stations
- Tuesday February 9 = The 2020 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts