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Talkers Magazine Slights Sports Talk

Talkers Magazine is out with its HEAVY 100 talk show hosts for 2011. The criteria are subjective, but they use a combination of hard and soft factors for evaluating candidates including; courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and unique-ness.  Here’s the breakdown for sports hosts.

#34 Boomer & Carton (WFAN)

#36 Jim Rome (Premiere)

#38 Mike Francesa (WFAN)

#49 Mike & Mike (ESPN)

#67 Glen Ordway (WEEI)

#88 The Sports Junkies (WJFK)

Determining a list like this is hard. It’s subjective. There are no “right” answers. But, based on this list, I believe the definition of what makes a sports talk radio host and show great is too narrow. The list leans awfully far to the East coast and half the list feels like a lifetime achievement award instead of a true representation of what is good sports talk radio in 2011. Yes, I’m looking at you Jim Rome.

I don’t believe Jim Rome deserves such a high ranking. Yes, I know he was a trail-blazer, he created a unique style and has longevity. Great, put him in the hall of fame. Sports talk has evolved behind his schtick and as far as I can tell he’s doing the same show he did in 1997. He’s the second best show in our format?   

Here is another question. Are there really only six sports radio hosts worthy of the Talkers 100? There are nearly 700 sports talk stations nationwide and three major sports radio networks that crank out programming 24/7. Yes, not every sports radio host is of the caliber of Rush Limbaugh or Phil Hendrie, but sports hosts are entertaining  and relevant enough to be worthy of more than 6% of the list. By my math, if there are 2200 talk stations and 700 sports stations, sports talkers should make up about 24% of the list.

It’s mind-numbing to me that Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick, and Angelo Cataldi are also-ran on this list.  And where are Mitch Levy from Seattle, Gambo & Ash in Phoenix,  Herbstreit, Spielman & Hooley in Columbus,  Walddle & Silvy, Mike North or the Afternoon Saloon in Chicago and others? These shows are great.

There are a lot of great sports radio talent omitted from this list that deserve recognition. Who would you add and how would rank ‘em?

Thanks to Perry Simon at AllAccess.com for some of the stats cited.

 OTHERS (in alphabetical order) Who made the Talkers 250

  • Ralph Barbieri & Tom Tolbert (KNBR)
  • Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts (WFAN)
  • Angelo Cataldi (WIP)
  • Colin Cowherd (ESPN)
  • Dennis & Callahan (WEEI)
  • George Dunham & Craig Miller (KTCK)
  • Howard Eskin (WIP)
  • JT The Brick ( Fox Sports Radio)
  • Dan LeBatard (WAXY)
  • Mason & Ireland (KSPN)
  • Loose Cannons (Fox Sports Radio)
  • Petros & Money (Fox Sports Radio)
  • Dan Patrick (Premiere)
  • George Plaster (WGFX)
  • Sid Rosenberg (WQAM)
  • Steve Somers (WFAN0
  • Two Live Stews (WQXI)
  • Dan Sileo (WDAE)
  • Mike Valenti & Terry Foster (WXYT)
  • Scott Van Pelt & Ryen Russillo (ESPN)
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