By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Talkers magazine placed three of 680/The Fan's shows in its fourth annual Heavy Hundred national ranking of sports talk hosts but didn't include any programs from rival 92.9/The Game.
For the second year in a row, Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff's afternoon show was the highest ranked Atlanta show on the list at No. 24 (down from No. 15 in 2014.)
The Fan morning show the Rude Awakening with Christopher Rude, Chris Dimino, Nick Cellini and Brandon Leak was placed at No. 46 (vs. 37 in 2014 and 36 in 2013 and 62 in 2012).
The Fan early afternoon show featuring John Kincade and Buck Belue came in at No. 78, down from 76 last year.
Again, Talkers skipped over the Fan mid-morning show’s Front Row featuring Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran.
The Game was blanked completely this year including its most popular show - Carl Dukes and Mike Bell.
In the latest ratings, covering October, the Game pulled in a 2.4 share. While I can't report the Fan's ratings because they do not subscribe to Nielsen Audio, its overall numbers lag behind the Game (partly due to a weaker signal) but its mid-day and afternoon shares compete with those on the Game.
This list seems arbitrary to a degree since sports talk is so heavily local. How do you compare one local show with one from another city? It strikes me as very difficult indeed. Here's how the magazine explains itself:
This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from #1 to #100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors. The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 15 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming. With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio. The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective. Being true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due. Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.
And for those of you who loved 99X back in the day, alums Fred Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb have become a dominant sports talk morning show in Boston and ranked nationally at No. 13.