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Barrett News Media’s Top 20 Mid Market News/Talk Program Directors of 2022

The first week of our inaugural BNM Top 20 of 2022 series presented by Steve Stone Voiceovers comes to an end with a look at the News/Talk radio format’s top program directors. Next week, we’ll wrap up the year’s series with a look at the top News/Talk stations and Original Digital Shows. Those come out on Monday and Tuesday, followed by a big announcement from Barrett Media President Jason Barrett on Wednesday.

If this is your first time checking out our website and you missed the prior announcements, be sure to get caught up on the top National Shows, Major  and Mid Market Morning Shows, Major and Mid Market midday shows, and Major and Mid Market Afternoon Shows. The results represent the collective input shared by 44 radio industry programmers and executives from 15 companies in 36 cities. We thank them for making time to be part of this process.

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The seven categories we are examining in this year’s series include the industry’s top national and original digital shows, the best morning, midday and afternoon shows, and the top stations and programmers in both Major (#1-#20) and Mid-Sized (#21-Below) markets. We separate large and mid-sized cities since the opportunities and challenges they face are different. Not included in our lists are NPR brands and shows. Maybe down the line we’ll change that or add an extra category but for now, terrestrial outlets are our main focus.

For those who are unaware, the News/Talk radio format is offered on over two thousand stations. The only larger format is country. We try our best to make sure the top shows, hosts, programmers and brands from the News/Talk world are listed for voting consideration on our ballots but we also allow room for our voters to add nominees if for some reason someone isn’t listed. Additionally, though we triple check everything before publishing the lists and hope to present a perfect layout, sometimes mistakes happen. If you notice an error, please let us know. We want to shine the light on the format’s best brands and shows in a way that makes them feel proud to be recognized, not frustrated by an incorrect detail.

As it pertains to the voting, here are a few things to be aware of.

#1 – Our executive voters were asked to pick their Top 20 selections for each category based on a few key factors; quality of show (ear test), originality, ability to entertain-inform-connect across multiple platforms, ratings success, clearance (national shows) and industry buzz. Remember, our voters live in different cities, have different tastes, work for different groups, and value certain factors higher than others. This isn’t a perfect system but it’s the best one we’ve been able to create to showcase the industry’s best. Having done this for seven years for the sports talk format, we’re going to stick with it until another approach makes more sense.

#2 – Our executive panel consists of program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Beasley, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, Cox Media Group, Radio One, Alpha, Bonneville, FOX News Radio, Hearst, Federated Media, Zimmer Communications, and Westwood One. We involve a large number of people in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, and to avoid the results heavily favoring one company.

#3 – A total of 64 programmers appeared on ballots turned in by our executive panel.

Which brings us to the results for today’s category – Mid Market News/Talk Program Directors. The men and women charged with guiding America’s top brands and personalities earn respect and admiration inside the hallways of their respective employers but far too often they fly under the radar in the public eye. So, we’re changing that. One thing to address in advance, some of these folks may occupy titles such as VP of News/Talk, Director of Operations, GM/PD, etc.. Rather than making it complicated, we’re sticking with the title of Program Directors since they all play key roles in managing programming departments.

Our winner in this category is WLW’s Scott Reinhart. Under Scott’s guidance, WLW remains a force in the News/Talk format, and one of the crown jewels of Cincinnati radio. During this year’s series, the station has enjoyed wins in the morning and midday categories, and earned a Top 10 finish in the afternoon category. That’s a testament to the great work Scott and his team deliver on a daily basis. BNM congratulates Scott on the well deserved honor, and every single brand leader who appeared on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BNM’s Top 20 Mid Market News/Talk Program Directors of 2022!”

Additional Notes:

  • Scott Reinhart won the midday PD category by 29 points. The WLW programming boss received the most first place votes with five (5).
  • Finishing 21-25 were Levi May, Anne Gress, Josh Everett, Peter Thiele and Jared Hart.
  • The closest contests saw Mike Ragozino nip Pete Mundo by 1 point, and Dave Labrozzi and Keith Abrams finish ahead of Allan Furst and Diane Newman by 2 points.
  • Of the 64 programmers to receive votes, eleven (11) received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BNM Top 20 of 2022.

  • Monday December 19 = The Top 20 Major/Mid Market N/T Radio Stations of 2022
  • Tuesday December 20 = The Top 20 Original N/T Digital Shows of 2022

A reminder, BNM will have a big announcement following the Top 20 series on Wednesday December 21st. Make sure to visit the website that day to learn what else we’re up to.

Jason Barrett
Jason Barrett
Jason Barrett is the President and Founder of Barrett Media since the company was created in September 2015. Prior to its arrival, JB served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He also spent time programming SportsTalk 950 in Philadelphia, 590 The Fan KFNS in St. Louis, and ESPN 1340/1390 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Jason also worked on-air and behind the scenes in local radio at 101.5 WPDH, WTBQ 1110AM, and WPYX 106.5. He also spent two years on the national stage, producing radio shows for ESPN Radio in Bristol, CT. Among them included the Dan Patrick Show, and GameNight.You can find JB on Twitter @SportsRadioPD. He's also reachable by email at [email protected].

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