The wait is over. It’s time to reveal the best in the sports radio format for 2016, but before you sprint ahead to see who made the list, let me first explain the process for assembling these results.
The first thing to remember is that this is an inexact science. Our panel consists of 53 radio industry members, and they each have different insights and preferences, and may or may not favor members of their own company or programs they’re most familiar with. I try to keep things fair and balanced by involving executives from multiple companies and different cities across the United States, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
You should know that I do not vote on the awards. My role is to present the findings of the sports radio industry, and present them from a neutral point of view. Once the project is completed, I will write a column and offer my analysis and takeaways on what stood out.
There is also discretion promised to our executive panel. That’s necessary in gathering honest feedback and receiving strong participation. Revealing their identities would harm my relationships in the business and risk future participation, so please understand that this is non-negotiable.
In order to measure the collective view of the sports radio industry, we use a point system. Each 1st place vote is worth 20 points, and we deduct a point for each lower position, with a 20th place vote being the lowest at 1 point. Each voter uses their own judgment in determining where to rank each show but operates by considering the following criteria.
- Strong local ratings success in 2016
- An established track record in the format
- Quality content delivered on a consistent basis
- Finished 2016 employed at the station
- Spent more than six months with the radio station
*** If a host or show was changed or cancelled in January 2017, it has no effect on our voting. These results are based solely on 2016.
We place an emphasis on ratings, stability and impact when determining the initial list of 25-35 shows. If a show didn’t generate ratings or spend the majority of the year on the air, they probably didn’t make the final cut. In some cases, a show may have done both, but didn’t perform as high as the others. The goal is to feature the best performing shows of 2016, not who we’d hire if they were available.
For example, Jorge Sedano, Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson occupy mornings in Los Angeles on ESPN LA 710, but because they didn’t get started until September, they weren’t eligible. If this project continues in 2018, and they remain in their current timeslot and perform strongly, they’d be up for consideration then.
The one exception we allow is if a show retains its key members but experiences a change due to the departure of another individual. Two examples would be Kirk and Callahan on WEEI in Boston, and Jamie and Stoney on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. Each show lost a member in 2016 but the key components of each program remained intact.
As is the case with most lists, there will be plenty of debate and discussion. The goal of this project is to highlight those in our format who perform at a high level, and each of these shows are deserving of the industry’s appreciation. I tip my cap to all who earned our voters respect and gained a spot on this year’s Top 20.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me present to you the Barrett Sports Media Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2016!
- Boomer & Carton earned the most 1st place votes (17) and highest point total of a local program in any category
- The Musers gained the second most 1st place votes (5), Toucher and Rich received the third most (4)
- A total of only 7 morning shows recorded 1st place votes, the lowest number of any Major Market category
- This is Cooley & Kevin, MaD Radio and Schlereth & Evans’ first appearance on the list of top morning shows
- San Francisco’s Joe, Lo & Dibs finished in 21st, three points away from 20th place
- The 22-25 spots were filled by Zaslow, Roms & Amber, Fricke and Douglas, The Proper Gentlemen and The Rude Awakening