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The Top 20 Mid-Market Morning Shows of 2016 Are…

The wait is over. It’s time to reveal the sports radio format’s best of 2016. Before we get started though, if you’re wondering what the term mid-market represents, it simply means all radio markets ranked 21 and higher.

One big difference this year compared to the 2015 results, we’re separating the larger and medium sized markets and doing an even deeper dive to showcase the best from all regions. When smaller cities get lumped in with larger ones they almost always get ignored and many don’t deserve to.

As far as the process is concerned, here’s a few things to be aware of.

First, this is an inexact science. We involve 53 radio industry members in our panel, 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. We aim 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, Braden and Fitz occupy mornings on 102.5 The Game in Nashville, but because they didn’t hit the air until late August they weren’t eligible. If this project continues in 2018, and they remain in their current timeslot and perform strongly in 2017, they’d be up for consideration then.

There will be plenty of debate over these selections, but I hope that you remember that the purpose of this project is to highlight those in our format who perform at a high level. Each of these shows are deserving of the recognition they’ve been given, and I congratulate each of them on earning a place on our Top 20.

Now that we’ve taken care of that business, let’s reveal the Barrett Sports Media Top 20 Mid-Market Sports Radio Morning Shows of 2016!

Additional Notes:

  • Bernie Miklasz finished 15 points ahead of The Fan Morning Show. Both were tied for the most 1st place votes (4)
  • The Fan Morning Show finished 2 points ahead of the Wake Up Zone, and 3 points ahead of Carman & Lima
  • Sacramento’s Dave, Kayte & Nate finished 21st, seven points out of 20th place
  • The Morning Rush, The Show with No Name, Cole Cubelic & The Deener Show finished 22-25
  • Eight of the 30 shows that were eligible for consideration received at least one (1) 1st place vote

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