Survey: Rush Limbaugh Still The Most Important Talk Radio Host


rush-limbaughRush Limbaugh doesn’t seem to have suffered any loss of stature within the radio industry as a result of the recent Sandra Fluke controversy.

The most popular syndicated talk-show host in the country also remains the most important, according to the annual “Heavy Hundred” list just released by the trade publication Talkers.

Limbaugh, heard in New York on WABC (770 AM), remains No. 1, as the top of the Talkers list remains steady from last year.

Sean Hannity, also heard on WABC, stays No. 2, and Michael Savage, heard on WOR (710 AM), is No. 3.

After that, though, the list has some interesting shifts.

For starters, three of the top 10 hosts are progressives – or, as they are known on most of talk radio, those liberals who are ruining America.

Ed Schultz is No. 4, and Thom Hartmann is No. 8. Both are heard on WWRL (1600 AM).

Joe Madison, the highest-rated black host, is No. 10. He’s heard on Sirius XM satellite.

The rest of the top 10 includes Laura Ingraham (not heard locally) at No. 5, Dave Ramsey (WOR) at No. 6, Mark Levin (WABC) at No. 7, and Glenn Beck (Sirius XM) at No. 9.

The rest of the top 100 includes:

Mike Gallagher (WNYM, 970 AM) is No. 14, and Alan Colmes (Sirius XM) No. 15.

Three more WNYM hosts follow: Dennis Miller at No. 21, Bill Bennett at No. 23, and Michael Medved at No. 24.

WOR grabs two shortly after, with George Noory at No. 26 and Dr. Joy Browne at No. 28.

WABC’s Don Imus is No. 33 – surprisingly low – and Dennis Prager of WNYM is No. 35.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Sirius XM) is No. 37, and Randi Rhodes (WWRL) No. 38.

Phil Hendrie (WWRL) is No. 43, and Jim Gearhart of WKXW (101.5 FM) is No. 48.

John Gibson (Sirius XM) is No. 51, and Mike Huckabee, who just started on WOR, is No. 58.

Hugh Hewitt of WNYM is No. 65, and Curtis Sliwa, also of WNYM, is No. 68.

Terry Gross of NPR is No. 72, with Geraldo Rivera (WABC) debuting at No. 75.

The Rev. Al Sharpton of WWRL is No. 92, Mark Riley of WWRL is No. 94, and Aaron Klein of WABC is No. 98.

Talkers editor Michael Harrison says the list is based on “courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.” He has also said since the list began that it is “as much art as science.”

In the past, the list has included sports talk personalities, but that’s such a booming field now, says Harrison, that Talkers will publish a separate sports talk list later this year.

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}