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!”
- 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