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Barrett News Media’s Top 20 Major Market N/T Radio Stations of 2022

Welcome to day 6 of our 7 day BNM Top 20 of 2022 series presented by Steve Stone Voiceovers. If this is your first time visiting our website and you missed the prior Top 20 announcements, be sure to catch up on the top National Shows, Major and Mid Market Morning Shows, Major and Mid Market Midday shows, Major and Mid Market Afternoon Shows, and Major and Mid Market Program Directors. 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.

If you’re 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.

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One thing to add, we haven’t included NPR brands and shows on our lists. Maybe down the line we’ll change that or add an extra category but for now, terrestrial outlets are our main focus. This series will conclude on Tuesday with a look at the top Original Digital Shows, and then on Wednesday, we’ll have a big announcement from Barrett Media President Jason Barrett. Stay tuned.

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 52 radio stations appeared on ballots turned in by our radio industry panel.

Which brings us to today’s category – Major Market News/Talk Radio Stations. Congrats to WTOP in Washington D.C. on being voted #1. This was the first time a Major Market category was won by a brand other than KFI in Los Angeles. BNM congratulates Joel Oxley, Julie Ziegler and the entire WTOP team on a well deserved honor, as well as every other station that earned a spot on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “BNM’s Top 20 Major Market News/Talk Radio Stations of 2022!”


Additional Notes:

  • WTOP won a close contest finishing four (4) points ahead of KFI in this category. The D.C. talk station recorded the most first place votes with seven (7).
  • Spots 21-25 belonged to WJR in Detroit, WCCO in Minneapolis, 710 WOR in New York City, WRKO in Boston, and KRLD in Dallas.
  • Our closest contest had KIRO and WBAP ahead of WMAL and KOA by two (2) points.
  • Of the 52 radio stations to gain votes from our panel, nine (9) received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BNM Top 20 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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