Top 30 Local Sports Talkers

When: December 22nd, 2015

From: Radioink.com

It was a year filled with talk about deflated footballs. And no matter what market you were in, that was the biggest topic — for a very long time — for sports talk radio hosts. The question they all faced, depending on what part of the country they were in (outside of New England), was how to make that topic compelling for their local audiences. But that’s a challenge sports talkers face every day they crack the mic, in every market. It’s not every day a subject as juicy as “Deflategate” falls in their laps, and there’s no music between the talk topics to give them a break.

Compelling, local content that keeps (mostly male) listeners tuned in is the daily goal. Consultants will tell you that to win, you have to mix pop culture in with sports to keep listeners engaged and perhaps pull in some women. And for some on our list, that is exactly what they do. But for others, the winning comes from their deep knowledge of all sports, especially their local sports teams.

This is the third year we’re publishing a list of the Best Local Sports Talkers in America. We start the process by taking nominations three months before the issue goes to print. Then we reach out to the nominees and ask them to answer a few questions. We also closely examine who nominated each host or show, and why. How long have the hosts been in a particular market? How are the ratings — are the numbers consistently strong? How active are the hosts in the community? Are they getting local press from other media?

We also ask dozens of sports radio PDs, consultants, and managers for their honest, off-the-record feedback on who they believe are the top sports talkers in the country. While we believe they are all being honest, understandably there’s also a lot of lobbying for their people. Hosts have even lobbied for themselves, hoping for a high placement.

Despite all the research and help and feedback we receive from PDs, GMs, and experts in sports radio, this is admittedly not an exact science. There is no clear way to determine how or why a host in Philadelphia is better than a host in San Francisco or Dallas.

There are many veteran sports talkers on this list who continue to dominate in their markets. There are also quite a few youngsters making a name for themselves and just waiting for an opportunity to move up, honing their skills and getting ready to make it to the big time. We’ve done our very best to bring you the Top 30 Local Sports Talkers for 2015, and added in some of their compelling comments on what makes them the very best at what they do.
1. MIKE FRANCESA – WFAN

New York (Market 1)
CBS Radio
1-6:30 p.m.
28 years on WFAN

 

2. BOOMER ESIASON & CRAIG CARTON – WFAN

New York (Market 1)
CBS Radio
6-10 a.m.
Eight years on WFAN

 

3. ANGELO CATALDI – WIP-FM

Philadelphia (Market 9)
CBS Radio
5:30-10 a.m.
25 years in radio and on WIP

 

4. TOUCHER & RICH – WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)

Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb
Boston (Market 10)
CBS Radio
6-10 a.m.
8 years in radio, 10 years on WBCN/WBZ
5. THE MUSERS – KTCK-FM (The Ticket)

Craig Miller, George Dunham, and Gordon Keith
Dallas-Fort Worth (Market 5)
5:30-10 a.m.
21 years in morning drive on The Ticket
6. MIKE VALENTI & TERRY FOSTER – WXYT (97.1 The Ticket)
Detroit (Market 12)
CBS Radio
2-6 p.m.
Together as a show for 13 years, first on AM and since the inception of WXYT-FM in 2007.

 

 

7. MIKE FELGER & TONY MASSAROTTI – WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)
Boston (Market 10)
CBS Radio
2-6 p.m.
On the air since 2009

 

 

8. GARY RADNICH & LARRY KRUEGER – KNBR-AM
San Francisco (Market 4)
Cumulus Media
9 a.m.-noon
Radnich has 23 years on the air, Krueger 12

 

 

9. MULLY & HANLEY – WSCR (670 The Score)
Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley
Chicago (Market 3)
5-9 a.m.
Hanley has 24 years on the air, Mulligan 12.
They’ve been a team for 10 years.

 

 

10. TOM WADDLE & MARC “SILVY” SILVERMAN – WMVP (ESPN 1000)
Chicago (Market 3)
2-6 p.m.
Tom Waddle has 15 years in radio, 8 of those with ESPN 1000. Silvy has 20-plus years on Chicago radio, 17 at ESPN 1000.

 

 

11. THE SPORTS JUNKIES – WJFK-FM (106.7 The Fan)
J.P. Flaim, Eric Bickel, Jason Bishop, John Auville
Washington, DC (Market 7)
CBS Radio
5-10 a.m.
On the air 19 years in DC, 17 at WJFK

 

 

12. TERRY BOERS & DAN BERNSTEIN – WSCR-AM (The Score)
Chicago (Market 3)
CBS Radio
1-6 p.m.
On the air together for 17 years

 

 

13. MICHAEL KAY & DON LAGRECA WEPN (98.7 FM ESPN)
New York (Market 1)
ESPN Radio
3-7 p.m.
25 years in radio and 14 years at the station

 

 

14. TOM TOLBERT – KNBR
San Francisco (Market 4)
Cumulus Media
3-7 p.m.
19 years at KNB

 

 

15. MURPH & MAC – KNBR

Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey
San Francisco (Market 4)
Cumulus Media
5-9 a.m.
On the air together 10 years
16. JOSH INNES – WIP-FM

Philadelphia (Market 9)
CBS Radio
2-6 p.m.
On radio 12 years, on WIP for 2

 

 

17. MIKE MISSANELLI – WPEN (97.5 The Fanatic)
Philadelphia (Market 9)
Greater Media
2-6 p.m.
7 years at The Fanatic
18. MITCH LEVY – KJR
Seattle (Market 13)
iHeartMedia
6-9 a.m.
20-plus years at KJR
19. JOHN DENNIS & GERRY CALLAHAN – WEEI
Boston (Market 10)
Entercom
5:30-10 a.m.
On the air 18 years

 

 

 

20. TONY KORNHEISER – WTEM (ESPN 980)
Washington, DC (Market 7)
Red Zebra Broadcasting
10 a.m.-noon
On the air 6 years
21. SCHOPP & THE BULLDOG – WGR (Sports Radio 550)
Bulldog15Mike Schopp and Chris Parker
Buffalo (Market 59)
Entercom
3-7 p.m.
On the air together for 12 years
22. GARY SHARP & DAMON BENNING – KOZN (1620 The Zone)
Benning15Omaha (Market 75)
NRG Media
7-11 a.m.
On the air together for 4 years

 

 

23. ADAM GOLD & JOE OVIES – WCMC-FM
Raleigh (Market 40)
Capitol Broadcasting
3-7 p.m.
On the air together for 7 year

 

 

24. DAN SILEO – The Mighty 1090
San Diego (Market 17)
BCA (operator)
6-9 a.m.In radio 24 years, 2 years at The Mighty 1090

 

 

 

25. HEATH CLINE – WNKT-FM (1075 The Game)
Columbia, SC (Market 88)
Cumulus Media
4-7 p.m.
In radio for 21 years, at 1075 The Game all eight years of its existence

 
26. MARK MILLER & DAVID MOULTON – WWCN (ESPN 99.3)
Ft. Myers, FL (Market 60 )
Beasley Broadcasting
2-6 p.m.
On the air 12 years

 
27. MATT MOSCONA – WNXX & KNXX (104.5/104.9 ESPN)
Baton Rouge (Market 80)
Guaranty Media
3-6 p.m.
3-6 p.m.
12 years in radio, 5 years on 104.5/104.9 ESPN Baton Rouge

 

 

28. JOHN CANZANO – KXTG (750 The Game)
Portland, OR (Market 23)
Alpha Media
Noon-3 p.m.
On the air 9 years
29. BILL MICHAELS – WSSP
Milwaukee (Market 38)
Entercom
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
23 years in radio, 4 years on WSSP
30. NICK BAHE – KOZN (1620 The Zone)
Omaha (Market 75)
NRG Media
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
On the air 3 years