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Top 100 Radio Host List Takeaways

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Talkers released its 2020 version of the Heavy Hundred, an annual list that ranks the top 100 radio hosts in America.

The full list is found here. The top 10 is as followed:

  1. Sean Hannity
  2. Rush Limbaugh
  3. Dave Ramsey
  4. Mark Levin
  5. Brian Kilmeade
  6. Joe Maddison
  7. Howard Stern
  8. Thom Hartmann
  9. Mike Gallagher
  10. Glenn Beck

Any radio host list that has Howard Stern ranked seventh has issues. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2020 or 2002 — Stern is the G.O.A.T. He’s at worst, on a bad day, fourth behind the big three political hosts: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. On a good day, he’s still No. 1. Stern was fifth last year.

Hannity, again, topped Limbaugh. You could go either way, though, Limbaugh is still the more influential radio voice. His audience is also slightly larger. Hannity, with the second-most listened to radio program, is more impactful from his primetime show on Fox News. Limbaugh’s show features the still unmatched format of three hours without guests. A skill few radio hosts ever born could pull off at a high level.

Mark Levin, again, comes in at No. 4 behind Ramsey. The genre for business talk still starts and ends with Ramsey. The Great One, Levin, is as fiery as ever. (Maybe even more so.) Most hosts can’t fill three hours; the flamethrower could do double that, if need be.

Kilmeade jumps up two spots to fifth. In my mailbag this week, I was asked “who is Fox News’ third most valuable talent after Hannity and Tucker Carlson?” There are three options: Kilmeade, Chris Wallace, and Laura Ingraham. Kilmeade, in part, as he’s the voice of the Fox News Radio network with his eponymous daily show. By the way, is anyone in the media busier than Kilmeade? Doubt it.

While conservative talk still owns the radio airwaves, the hosts of the Breakfast Club, DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne tha God, came in at 20.

Fun list.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

6 Comments

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  1. Bobby…Bobby…C’MON MAN!!!
    We all gotta grow up sometime…maybe now’s a good time to put on your big boy pants, yeah?
    Time to enter the real world where real people have to live and exist.
    Howard Stern is a GOAT fukker, maybe..but the GOAT…no way no how. I’m embarrassed for ya, bra.
    Rick

  2. 30 year daily Stern listener here who dropped my Sirius subscription for Outkick mid-lockdown. The last few years his show has gone seriously downhill and he became outright insufferable during coronavirus with his paranoia. He had an unbelievable career but it’s just not for me anymore.. he’s become just a part of the MSM now. Sad.

  3. who cares about “radio host” alone anymore?!? It’s all about content.. who are the top/most/best content creators. I couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to the radio or even my “free” subscription to xm radio. #jre #1 and there is no second… OuthKick and Cowherd are the best in sports but you can’t compare to JRE because Joe wouldn’t know the difference between a rugby ball or a football.

  4. There is still no comparison, Stern is the best of the best. If Stern retires at the end of this year, anyone who’s on the radio during that time slot will be clamoring for his audience.

  5. For me Rush is still the best on this list. Hannity is hard to listen to anymore. He brings on people to debate a subject/topic and it turns into a shouting match. Really poor radio in my opinion. And if I have to hear how his grocery store buddy wears a mask I’m going to shove a nail in my ear. Stern lost his fastball years ago.

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