Top 30 Local Sports Talkers (2014)


For the third year in a row WFAN’s Mike Francesa has been chosen the number one local sports talker in America by Radio Ink‘s panel of sports experts. That panel includes program directors, sports hosts, managers of sports stations, and consultants. Mike Francesa has over 27 years of sports talk on the books already, having started out when the format was hardly as cool or lucrative as it is now. And after nearly three decades he continues to be ranked number one in the demo WFAN targets. Francesa is knowledgeable, influential, and opinionated. It’s an amazing accomplishment that Francesa has been successful for so long in such a large and media-savvy city. He’s by far the most influential sports talker in New York, which was made crystal clear this past year when Alex Rodriguez got into hot water over allegations of steroid use. Rodriguez went racing to Francesa to get his story out.

For Francesa radio is a very different business than when he began in the ’80s. “The credo has always been to inform and entertain,” he says, “but information is now a button or a key away. It is also a saturated business, with programs and podcasts flooding every market. The key is to cut through, to become a voice that gets noticed. You must have a point of view.”

There are over a dozen Twitter accounts using Francesa’s name, both reporting his every move and regularly tweaking him (Francesa does not use Twitter). “Social media and the utilization of technology will continue to be a growing part of the process,” Francesa observes. “Mobile is everything in every walk of life. To the sports talk show host on the way up, social media will be as basic an application as the microphone. Personally, I have a unique relationship with that part of the industry: no direct application, but an enormous Internet following. Plus, my staff is completely immersed. By the way, they call my digital following Mongo Nation. It is very loyal, very large, and very active.”

Francesa has won a number of awards from charities in the New York area and very quietly makes many donations to local charities and individuals. He won a Marconi in 2012 as Major Market Personality of the Year and earlier took the same award as half of Mike and the Mad Dog (with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo). And he might have won even more if CBS had been an NAB member for the entire time Francesa’s been on the air. He’s also been named one of the most influential people in New York sports by the Daily News — and it appears at times that New York City newspapers are obsessed with anything and everything Francesa says and does on the air.

Who follows the three-time champ? Here’s a look at how some of the industry’s best talent finished on Radio Ink‘s Top 30 Local Sports Talkers in America list.

1. Mike Francesa

WFAN/New York
CBS Radio
1-6:30 p.m., M-F
Sundays, 9 a.m.-noon during football season

2. Boomer and Carton
WFAN/New York
CBS Radio
6-10 a.m., M-F
Twitter: @cc660 (81,000 followers)

3. Angelo Cataldi
CBS Radio
5:30-10:00 a.m

4. Michael Kay
(with Don LaGrecca)
WEPN-FM (ESPN New York)/New York
3-7 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @realmichaelkay (129,000 followers)

5. Boers and Bernstein
WSCR-AM (670 The Score)/Chicago
CBS Radio
1-6 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @dan_bernstein (44,000 followers)

6. Felger and Mazz
WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)/Boston
CBS Radio
2-6 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @tonymassarotti (70,000 followers)
@felgerandmazz (59,000 followers)

7. Mully and Hanley
WSCR-AM (670 The Score)/Chicago
CBS Radio
5-9 a.m, M-F
Twitter: @mullyhanley (197,000 followers)

8. Gary Radnich
(with Larry Krueger)
KNBR-AM/San Francisco
Cumulus Media
9 a.m.-noon, MF

9. The Sports Junkies
WJFK (106.7 The Fan)/Washington, DC
CBS Radio
5-10 a.m., M-F
Twitter: @ebjunkies (35,000 followers)

10. Toucher and Rich
WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)/Boston
CBS Radio
6-10 a.m., M-F
On Twitter: @toucherandrich

11. George Dunham & Craig Miller (with Gordon Keith)
The Musers
KCTK (The Ticket)/Dallas
Cumulus Media
5:30-10 a.m., M-F

12. Tony Kornheiser
WETM (ESPN 980)/
Washington, DC
Red Zebra Broadcasting
10 a.m.-12 p.m., M-F

13. Mitch Levy
6-9 a.m., M-F

14. Valenti and Foster
WXYT (97.1 The Ticket)/Detroit
CBS Radio; 2-6 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @terryfoster971 (62,400 followers)
@mikevalenti971 (74,300 followers)

15. Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey
KNBR-AM/San Francisco
Cumulus Media
5-9 a.m.

16. Waddle and SilVy
WMVP (ESPN1000)/Chicago
2-6 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @waddleandsilvy
@twaddle87 (56,000 followers)

17. Schopp and The Bulldog

WGR 550 (550 Sports Radio)
Entercom Communications
3-7 p.m., M-F

18. Dave Mahler
3-6 p.m., M-F
Twitter @softykjr

19. Mike Missanelli
WPEN (97.5 The Fanatic)/Philadelphia
Greater Media
2-6 p.m., M-F

20. Tom Tolbert
KNBR-AM/San Francisco
Cumulus Media
3-7 p.m., M-F

21. Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley
KSPN (710 ESPN)/Los Angeles
3-7 p.m., M-F
On Twitter: @marcelluswiley (196,000 followers)

22. Howard Simon and Jeremy White
Entercom Communications
6-10 a.m.
On Twitter: @howardwgr (20,000 followers)
@Jeremywgr (35,000)

23. Ron Cook and Andrew Fillipponi
KDKA-FM (93-7 The Fan)/Pittsburgh
CBS Radio
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

24. Adam and Joe

WCMC (ESPN Triangle)/Raleigh, NC
Capitol Broadcasting; 3-7 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @agoldfan (8,500 followers)
and @joeovies (12,000 followers)

25. Matt Moscona
WNXX (104.5 ESPN)/Baton Rouge, LA
Guaranty Broadcasting
3-6 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @MattMoscona (8,000 followers)

26. Heath Cline
WNKT (1075-FM The Game)/Columbia, SC
Cumulus Media
4-7 p.m., M-F

27. Dan “Common Man” Cole
12-3 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @commonmanfan

28. MAD Radio with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne
KILT (SportsRadio 610)/Houston
10 a.m.-2 p.m., M-F
Twitter: @mikemeltser (11,300 followers)
@paynenfl (19,700 followers)

29. John Bishop
NRG Media
2-6 p.m., M-F
@johnbishop71 (8,000 followers)

30. John Canzano
KXTG (750 The Game)/Portland, OR
Alpha Media
12-3 p.m., M-F


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