America plays host to several thousand talk-radio hosts. But Talkers Magazine, a leading industry source, has winnowed down that list and revealed its Heavy Hundred — the 100 “most important radio talk show hosts in America,” the news organization says.
“Inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness,” says executive editor Kevin Casey.
These hosts are national icons as well as those “laboring in relative obscurity,” according to publisher Michael Harrison.
Without further ado, here’s a sampling of the Heavy Hundred — just the top-20 talk radio hosts, a listing that includes their syndication affiliation or corporate identity:
In first place, it’s Sean Hannity (Premiere Networks), who is heard by 14 million people on 565 radio stations. In second place is Rush Limbaugh (Premiere Networks) — followed by Dave Ramsey (Ramsey Solutions), Mark Levin (Westwood One), Howard Stern (Sirius XM), Joe Madison (Sirius XM), Brian Kilmeade (Fox News), Thom Hartmann (WYD Media), Mike Gallagher (Salem Radio Network), Glenn Beck (Premiere Networks), George Noory (Premiere Networks), Ben Shapiro (Westwood One); Michael Berry (LTRH Houston), Joe Pagliarulo (Compass Media Networks), Lars Larson (Compass Media Networks), Howie Carr (Howie Carr Radio Network), Dana Loesch (Radio America), Hugh Hewitt (Salem Radio Network), Jim Bohannon (Westwood One) and Michael Savage (Westwood One).
And a few other names of note on the list: Sebastian Gorka (Salem Radio) at No. 27, Dennis Prager (Salem Radio) at 33, Michael Medved (KTTH, Seattle) at 43, Terry Gross (National Public Radio) at 58, Herman Cain (WSB Atlanta) at 59, and John Batchelor (Westwood One) at 91.
THE BODACIOUS TALK RADIO AUDIENCE
Yes, there’s a huge variety of broadcast, cable and online TV to be had. But Nielsen Media Research reminds everyone that radio remains the giant in the marketplace.
According to the industry source, radio reaches 92% of the U.S. adult population — “the highest reach” of any media platform. The “news/talk” genre remains the No. 1 format for the eighth year in a row.
“Audio plays a large role in people’s media day. Evaluated through the same Nielsen lens as other media using directly comparable metrics, radio reaches more people of every generation than nearly any other content,” Nielsen noted in its report.
How many people are we talking about here? Nielsen says the “legacy” radio audience numbers 227 million, with another 106 million who listen on their smart phones and 33 million streaming the audio on a tablet.
MYSTERY: ILLEGAL immigrants AND VETERAN STATUS
U.S. Customs and Border Protection now estimates that the nation will be the preferred destination of 1.2 million illegal immigrants this year, a challenge for the stalwart federal agency on many levels. At the moment, the U.S. Government Accountability Office is interested in a certain segment of that population, however.
“Noncitizens who serve in the U.S. military may be eligible for citizenship. If a noncitizen veteran violates immigration law, Immigration and Customs Enforcement may seek to remove the veteran from the country. However, ICE policies require it to take additional steps prior to removal actions, such as considering their service record,” the GAO says in a synopsis of a 40-page report.
“We found ICE did not consistently follow these policies from 2013-2018. ICE also does not maintain complete electronic data on these veterans. As a result, ICE does not know how many veterans have been placed in removal proceedings or removed. We recommended that ICE collect and maintain data on veterans.”
‘THE MOST ON-MESSAGE MOMENT’
The hostile news media got a little less hostile during a recent historic occasion. President Trump’s most outspoken critics had surprisingly glowing words of praise following the president’s speech to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.
“This is perhaps the most on-message moment of Donald Trump’s presidency today. We were all wondering if he would veer from his remarks, go off of his script but he stayed on script, stayed on message and, I think, rose to the moment,” said CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who has repeatedly sparred with the president during press conferences.
“No matter what I think about the current president of the United States, he said the right thing at Normandy. He did the right thing at Normandy,” he added.
CNN’s Dana Bash noted that Mr. Trump’s speech “moved people, and he did so by understanding exactly what he was supposed to do.”
On MSNBC, morning host Joe Scarborough called Mr. Trump’s speech “the strongest speech of his presidency,” while co-host Mika Brzezinski said the president’s words and manner “measured up to the moment and really was a true salute to the unity of this day.”
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius complimented the meaningful moments of the speech and Mr. Trump’s delivery. Veteran NBC newsman Tom Brokaw praised the content and style of the speech, then simply declared that Mr. Trump “got it right.”
Kind words for the president became a story in itself, sparking at least a dozen reviews in news organizations. “Hell freezes over as Jim Acosta, Joe Scarborough praise Trump’s D-Day speech,” wrote Fox News analyst Brian Flood.
POLL DU JOUR
• 69% of U.S. voters say they are “absolutely certain to vote” in the 2020 presidential primary or caucus in their state; 75% of Republicans, 56% of independents and 75% of Democrats agree.
• 14% overall say it is “very likely” they will vote; 17% of Republicans, 13% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.
• 10% overall say it’s a 50-50 chance they will vote; 5% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.
• 3% overall say it’s not too likely they will vote; 2% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 1% of Democrats agree.
• 3% overall say it’s not likely at all they will vote; 1% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,997 registered U.S. voters conducted May 31-June 2.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
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