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Barrett News Media’s Top 20 Major Market News/Talk Midday Shows of 2023

The second annual Barrett News Media Top 20 series continues recognizing News/Talk radio’s best of 2023. Our Morning Shows lists were released on Monday. If you missed them, you can access the Major Market list here, and the Mid Market list here. To stay updated on all results please bookmark our website, follow BNM on Twitter at @BNMStaff, visit us on Facebook at Barrett News Media or sign up for our daily newsletter, ‘The Rundown‘ by clicking here.

The six categories featured are news/talk radio’s Major and Mid market morning, midday, and afternoon shows, the top local program directors and radio stations, and the format’s best national talk shows. Major Markets represent shows, stations, and PDs operating in markets #1-#20. Mid Markets are for markets #21 and below. Not included in our lists are NPR brands and shows. Maybe in the future we’ll change that or add an extra category but for now, mainstream news/talk radio outlets are the main focus.

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As you review the results in this category, please remember that they represent the collective opinions of fifty four (54) news/talk radio programmers and executives. We try our best to make sure the top shows, hosts, programmers and brands are listed for voting consideration. Industry decision makers are then asked to vote on categories based on where their stations/shows operate. BNM’s role in the voting process is to simply gather the feedback, add it up, and present the results.

I want to thank Barrett Media’s Digital Director Alex Reynolds for doing an awesome job on this year’s graphics, as well as each PD and executive who participated in this process. We had representation from fourteen companies and forty different cities, which was even better than last year. For those who didn’t vote and were invited to do so, I hope you’ll change your mind next year. It’s good for the format if you’re involved, and depending on the final votes, it can benefit your staff, sales team, and company, and excite your audience and advertisers.

Moving on to the voting, here are a few things I’d like you to be aware of.

#1 – Our executive voters are asked to rank 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 is not a perfect system but it’s the best one we’ve come up with to showcase the industry’s best. Having done this for eight years with the sports talk format, we’re going to stick with it until a better option arises.

#2 – The executive panel consisted of program directors and corporate executives from a number of top broadcasting companies including Audacy, iHeart, Cumulus, Hubbard, Cox Media Group, Townsquare Media, Salem Media Group, Radio One, Alpha, Bonneville, FOX News Radio, Westwood One, Federated Media, and Zimmer Communications. We involve a large number of people in this process in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, and to avoid the results heavily favoring one group. Given the variety of people in this process, it means there’s no guarantee that success last year will be duplicated this year.

#3 – A total of 37 major market midday shows appeared on ballots turned in by our executive panel in the Major Market Midday News/Talk Shows category. There are many strong choices broadcasting across America’s airwaves, but only one gets top billing.

For this year, that honor goes to KFI’s John & Ken. The legendary team featuring John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou has created decades worth of success in the format, becoming one of the most popular shows in Los Angeles. The future will be different though as Chiampou just retired on Friday. John and Ken become the first show to finish #1 in two different categories. They won the afternoon show slot last year before moving earlier in the day. BNM congratulates John, Ken, Robin Bertolucci and the entire KFI staff on the well earned recognition, as well as every other show that gained a spot on this year’s list.

Now, here are the full results of “Barrett News Media’s Top 20 Major Market News/Talk Midday Shows of 2023!”

Jessica Mendoza
Norm Hitzges

Additional Notes:

  • John & Ken won the midday category by 96 points over Mark Simone of 710 WOR. The KFI duo finished with a category best ten (10) first place votes.
  • Spots 21-25 were claimed by KRLD’s Midday News, Newsline with Brigitte Quinn, WBBM Midday News, Dawn Stensland, and Ross Kaminsky.
  • The closest contests saw Greg Kelly finish ahead of WTOP Midday News by 4 points, and John Williams nip Laurie Kirby by 3 points.
  • Of the 37 shows to receive votes, eleven (11) received at least one 1st place vote.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BNM Top 20 of 2023.

  • Wednesday December 13 = BNM’s Top 20 Major/Mid Market News/Talk Afternoon Shows of 2023
  • Thursday December 14 = BNM’s Top 20 National News/Talk Shows of 2023
  • Friday December 15 = BNM’s Top 20 Major/Mid Market News/Talk Program Directors of 2023
  • Monday December 18 = BNM’s Top 20 Major/Mid Market News/Talk Radio Stations of 2023
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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