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The Top 20 Major Market Program Directors of 2016 Are…

For the past four days, the on-air talent have been the focus of conversation. But now it’s time to recognize the brand leaders who guide and design some of America’s top sports radio stations. They may not be known beyond an email address or social media account, but make no mistake about it, these folks play a vital role in developing top notch programming, identifying talent, and making sure the audience and the station’s advertisers and business partners have reasons to remain loyal to their brands.

In order to determine the Top 20 Sports Radio Program Directors, our panel uses the criteria below. I do not vote in this process. I simply present the group’s findings so that people inside and outside of the industry have a better idea of how the format views its top people.

  • Ratings success in their local market
  • An established track record of success in the format
  • Spent more than six months managing a Top 20 market sports radio station
  • Finished 2016 employed and in the same executive role at the same radio station
  • Points are given for each ranking (EX: 20 points for 1st place, 1 point for 20th place)

Due to that criteria, someone for example like Joe Zarbano who took over as PD for WEEI on December 1st, isn’t eligible for consideration. If we do this again in 2018, and Joe remains in his current position and his brand continues to performs strongly, the committee would have an opportunity to vote for him then.

These results are a reflection of the group’s collective opinions, and I remind you that they are subjective. That said, few can argue that each of these individuals have earned the industry’s respect, and are known for having done excellent work on a consistent basis.

I extend my congratulations to each person who made this list, and am now proud to present “BSM’s Top 20 Major Market Sports Radio Program Directors of 2016”!

Additional Notes:

  • Mike Thomas edged Mark Chernoff by 2 points to take the top spot
  • Chernoff had the most 1st place votes (11), Thomas produced the second most (9)
  • Armen Williams finished in 21st place, only 6 points behind Mike Salk for 20th
  • 22-25 belonged to Terry Foxx, Len Weiner, Mike Shepard and Brad Lane
  • 12 of the 30 Program Directors eligible for consideration received a 1st place vote
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