The folks at Barrett Sports Media do a thing every year where they rank sports talk radio stations.

They’ll do a top 20 overall, list program directors, and go through the main dayparts to come up with an arrangement of the top shows in the country.

In years past, 94 WIP and 97.5 the Fanatic have been all over these lists, though in 2024 it’s mostly WIP.

Top 20 Major Market Radio Stations:

  • WIP: #3
  • Fanatic: unranked

Major Market Program Directors:

  • Spike Eskin: #1 (WFAN)
  • Rod Lakin: #4 (WIP)
  • Matt Nahigian: #5 (now in San Fran, but was at Fanatic for a long time)
  • Fanatic: unranked

Major Market Afternoon Shows:

  • Marks and Reese: #8
  • The Best Show Ever? – unranked

Major Market Midday Shows: 

  • Joe Giglio and Hugh Douglas: #11
  • Fanatic (some Gargano, some Salciunas) – unranked

Major Market Morning Shows:

  • DeCamara and Ritchie: #8
  • John Kincade: #19

As for how the lists are created, here’s what BSM notes:

“Our executive panel consists of fifty eight (58) program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Beasley, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, and a number of independently owned and operated radio stations. We involve a large group in this process in order to include feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to prevent the results from heavily favoring one company.”

The panel really likes Spike. He won this thing a few years ago when he was running WIP.

What’s interesting to me in terms of WIP is that the panel ranks the station #3 overall, but none of the shows crack the top five. Maybe the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

But yeah, John Kincade was the only Fanatic representation on any of the lists.* The executive panel obviously feels a certain way about the direction of the station in 2023. For background, WIP was #3 last year and the Fanatic was #15. And Gargano and Missanelli have both found themselves on this list in years past, so this is a recent turn of events.

Beyond Philadelphia, a lot of the usual suspects make the list. WFAN in New York, 670 the Score in Chicago, plus all of the insufferable Boston douchebags like Felger, Mazz, and Fred Toucher.

*EDIT – I’m gonna update this to reflect some of the footnotes that Barrett places in their stories, revealing spots 21 to 25 outside of the list. FWIW, Fanatic finished 23rd overall in the station voting and Best Show Ever was 25th in the afternoon.