This was posted Friday, March 24, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Talkers magazine, in its fifth ranking of the 100 most influential sports talk show hosts in the nation, gave Atlanta the most love it’s ever gotten: five shows made the cut, two from 92.9/The Game and three from 680/The Fan.
In fact, this is the first year any Game hosts have been on the list. (See the entire 100 here.)
Carl Dukes and Mike Bell, the afternoon show on the Game, debuted at No. 32. (They were also Creative Loafing readers’ favorite sports talk show last year.)
The Game’s morning duo John Fricke and Hugh Douglas are on for the first time at No. 46, ahead of 680 and 93.7/The Fan’s morning rival the Rude Awakening at No. 53.
The Rude Awakening has seen its rankings bounce around over the years, from 62 in 2012 to 36 in 2013, 37 in 2014 and 46 in 2015.
The top-rated Atlanta show on the list remains The Fan’s afternoon combo of Matt Chernoff and Chuck Oliver. They were ranked 24 for the second year in a row in their third appearance. They were No. 15 in 2014.
John Kincade and Buck Belue, early afternoons on the Fan, came in at No. 84, down from 78 in 2015 and 76 in 2014.
Again, Talkers skipped over the Fan late morning show’s Front Row featuring Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran. Plus, Rick Kamla and John Michaels in mid days on the Game were excluded.
The list came out a little late. The last one came out in late 2015. And as you scroll the list, you’ll notice it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges since almost all the shows are focused on particular markets and are not syndicated nationally.
From a popularity standpoint, 92.9/The Game continues to win in overall ratings by a wide margin. Coming off a best ever 4.4 rating in January off the Falcons playoff run, the station settled back to a still solid 3.1 in February. I can’t disclose The Fan ratings because they don’t subscribe to Nielsen Audio but it’s fair to say the station still draws substantial audience, just not as large as the Game. (Its FM signal pales in comparison to that of the Game, which places the station at a disadvantage, especially as AM listening wanes.)
For former 99X fans, Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb are near the top at No. 12, up from 13 last year, courtesy of their Boston talk show WBZ-FM.
As for former Atlanta sports talk hosts, Jason Goff (who was at 92.9/The Game briefly) is at No. 18 at WSCR in Chicago.