The BSM Top 20 of 2020 continues, as we recognize the best in sports radio for the sixth year in a row, although this was one year that 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 Carton & Roberts on WFAN in New York was eligible for voting consideration, even though they got a late start. A program such as Chad Dukes vs. The World in Washington DC on the other hand was not eligible since the show exited 106.7 The Fan’s lineup in late October.
#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 35 shows were eligible for voting consideration in the Major Market Afternoon 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 Afternoon Shows. After winning this category in 2018, and finishing second in 2019, ‘The Michael Kay Show‘ on 98.7 ESPN NY bounced back to reclaim the top spot in 2020. The New York trio featuring Michael Kay, Don La Greca, and Peter Rosenberg narrowly edged out 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Felger & Mazz’ to secure the win. The top two shows have occupied the 1-2 positions for the past three years. BSM congratulates Michael, Don, Peter, Andrew Gundling, Ryan Hurley and the entire 98.7 ESPN NY staff 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 Afternoon Shows of 2020!”
- The Michael Kay Show finished seven (7) points ahead of Felger & Mazz to win the category, but F&M secured the most first place votes with eight (8).
- Spots 21-25 belonged to Sedano & LZ, Bob & Dave, Steve Czaban, Chuck & Chernoff and Hochman & Crowder.
- The closest races saw The Hardline hold off the Danny Parkins Show by two (2) points, and Carton & Roberts edge Marks & Reese by one (1) point. The Drive, Scott Kaplan and Jorge & LZ were each separated by two (2) points each.
- Of the 35 shows eligible for consideration this year, thirteen (13) received at least one (1) 1st place vote.
Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.
- Friday February 5 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid Market Program Directors
- Monday February 8 = The 2020 Top 20 Major/Mid-Market Sports Stations
- Tuesday February 9 = The 2020 Top 20 Original Sports Podcasts