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Francesa Number One Sports Talker in America


It would be hard to imagine heading home from work, stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway, and Mike Francesa not being there to make that ride tolerable. The WFAN icon tops the list of local sports talkers on Radio Ink's inaugural listing of the Top Thirty Local Sports Talkers in America.

Francesa is recognized as the Godfather of Sports Talk having been a part of the early, and sometimes difficult, days at the first sports talk station to ever launch. He's been a household name in New York ever since. "I have incredible affection and love for my audience, because my audience put me here and has kept me here for 25 years," Francesa told Radio Ink.  ESPN New York's Michael Kay comes in second on our list and Mike Mulligan & Brian Hanley finished third.

Here's a look at the entire list.
Download a PDF of the 30 Top Talkers as it appears in Radio Ink Magazine

This is the first year Radio Ink has put out this list, and we believe its long overdue. Many names on this first list of top local sports talk personalities are pioneers in the Sports Talk format, and still going strong. Others have been entertaining listeners, ribbing callers, and posting big ratings for years. In fact, the people on this list have well over 400 combined years of sports talk experience. And many of our 2012 stars not only have longevity in the format, but loyalty to their stations.

Here are some interesting facts we uncovered in our research for this issue: New York City, Chicago, and Boston are the most competitive sports markets in America, CBS and Entercom produce talented sports talk hosts like Purdue produces chickens, and former or current sportswriters and TV sportscasters occupy quite a few positions in Sports Talk radio.

These sports superstars come to us from every daypart, from big cities where the competition for ratings is fierce, and from small towns where they moonlight at their local high school or college as public address announcers. One team on our list is made up of a group of guys who grew up on the same block and were in the same kindergarten class.

Weve named individuals, duos, teams, and crews. As long as theyre not syndicated, are focused on the local sports scene, and were nominated by their station or company, they were eligible to be on our list. Following the nominations, our panel of sports experts went to work to determine the order.

So let the debate begin. Here is our list of the 30 Top Local Sports Talkers in Radio for 2012.

#1) Mike Francesa - WFAN in New York
It is no surprise to any of us at CBS Radio that Mike has been awarded this outstanding honor as he has been unquestionably the dominant personality in the format for over two decades now and counting. His iconic position in afternoon drive on the nations # 1 sports station in the nations # 1 market has become the gold standard in our industry and we are proud to see his contributions and accomplishments being recognized with such a deserving distinction.      Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS RADIO.

#2) Michael Kay - WEPN (ESPN) in New York
#3) Mike Mulligan & Brian Hanley - WSCR-AM (CBS) in Chicago
#4) John Dennis & Gerry Callahan - WEEI (Entercom) in Boston
#5) Gary Radnich - KNBR (Cumulus) in San Francisco
#6) Eric Bickel, John-Paul Flaim, Jason Bishop and John Auville (The Sports Junkies) - WJFK (CBS) in DC
#7) Boomer & Carton - WFAN in New York
#8) Angelo Cataldi - WIP (CBS) in Philadelphia
#9) Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman - WMVP (ESPN) in Chicago
#10) George Dunhm, Craig Miller and Keith Gordon - KTCK (Cumulus) in Dallas
#11) Charlie Pallilo - KBME (Clear Channel) in Houston
#12) Dan McNeil - WSCR (CBS) in Chicago
#13) Petros & Money - KLAC (Clear Channel) L.A.
#14) Brian Murphy and Paul Mccaffrey - KNBR (Cumulus) in San Francisco
#15) Mike Gastineau - KJR (Clear Channel) Seattle (Mike retired after our issue published)
#16) Glenn Ordway & Michael Holley - WEEI (Entercom) Boston
#17) Randy Galloway - KESN (ESPN) in Dallas
#18) Fred Toettcher & Rich Shertenlieb - WBZ-FM (CBS) in Boston
#19) Sandy Clough - KKFN (Lincoln) in Denver
#20) Tom Tolbert - KNBR (Cumulus) San Francisco
#21) Mitch Levy - KJR (Clear Channel) in Seattle
#22) Michael Joseph - WYGM (Clear Channel) Orlando
#23) Jeremy White and Howard Simon - WGR-AM (Entercom) in Buffalo
#24) Mike Schopp & Chris Parker - WGR-AM (Entercom) Buffalo
#25) Jody Oehler - KFFN - (Journal) in Tucson
#26) Adam Gold and Joe Ovies - WCMC (Capitol) Raleigh
#27) John Bishop and Mike'l Severe - KOZN (NRG) in Omaha
#28) Bob Fescoe - KCSP (Entercom) Kansas City
#29) Matt Moscona - WNXX (Guaranty) in Baton Rouge
#30) Joby Fawcett - WEJL ( Shamrock) Scranton

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