Barrett Sports Media’s 20 Best Mid-Market Sports Radio Program Managers in 2020


The 2020 BSM Top 20 is moving forward, and this time rather than shining a light on the shows that occupy the airwaves of sports radio, we’re going to shine a light behind the curtain on the men and women responsible for guiding some of the biggest radio brands. American sports. Programmers have been tested more than ever in 2020, as a pandemic forced adjustments to daily communication, daily operations, and rethinking how to reach audiences across multiple platforms due to changes in listening behavior day-to-day. Combined with the challenge of creating an on-air sports conversation at a time when the world of sports offered no new live moments, and industry professionals and members of the public learned which stations were in between. good hands and which were not.

Before you jump in to see the results, please join me in thanking Steve Stone Voice over for sponsoring our Top 20 series. As an independent platform we depend on industry support, and Steve’s help makes this series possible. Second, I want to thank my son Dylan barrett, who handled all of the creation of this year’s Top 20 series. He’s spent the whole month of January digging through personality and brand accounts to find images, edit them in Photoshop, and the images you’ll share on social media or print out to hang in your office or studio are the a reflection of his hard work. If you don’t like the photo we used to recognize your show or station, may I suggest pissing off your program manager or market manager to spend a few bucks in 2021 on new photos from? the station 🙂

Finally, radio companies recently tried to rename the title of head of programming service. Some are now called Brand Managers, other Operations Managers. We’ll call them what they are: program directors. After all, they run the PROGRAMMING department. Having spoken to as many people in this field as I have heard many say that they would like to become a program director. I have yet to hear a person say that they aspire to be a brand manager. If the industry can create a better headline that takes into account a PD’s involvement in ratings, revenue, strategy, innovation, content, creativity, digital, vision, marketing, recruiting, leadership, negotiation and audience development, we’ll be looking at redefining that category, but until that happens, we’re not going to stick them a title that makes them feel like they operate a local Walmart.

When it comes to voting, here are a few things to keep in mind.

# 1 – These results are based on performance for 2020. The changes for 2021 have no impact on voting. Our specific rule that has been in place since we started this series in 2015 is that a show / individual must complete the year in the position for which they are considered. Therefore, someone like Tom goslowski, who left 104.5 The Team in Albany, NY in January, was eligible to vote as he scheduled the radio station until the end of 2020. A programmer such as Tony Di Giacomo, who was with WFNZ for the first three months of 2020, was not eligible as he did not complete the year as head of the radio station.

# 2 – Our executive committee is made up of program directors and business executives from a number of leading broadcast companies including Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, SiriusXM, Spotify, Hubbard, Good Karma Brands, Emmis and independent radio stations. . We involve a large number of groups in order to receive feedback from all parts of the country, as well as to prevent the results from strongly favoring a business. BSM President Jason Barrett doesn’t vote, he just presents the results.

# 3 – A total of 52 programmers were eligible to vote in the Mid Market Program Director category.

# 4 – Our executive committee selected its top 20 program directors based on a few factors; station success, multiplatform excellence, respect for the industry and creative ideas. Keep in mind that our constituents live in different cities, have different tastes, and work for different companies, so some factors are likely to have more or less merit. It is not a perfect science, but it is the best system we can think of to present the best in sports radio.

And that brings us to this year’s ranking of mid-size sports radio program directors. It is a pleasure for BSM to congratulate Jim Graci of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on being named # 1 Mid Market Sports Radio PD for 2020. The man responsible for developing content strategy for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh finished six (6) points ahead of 92.3 The Fan’s Andy Roth to win this year’s top prize. We offer our best to Jim and the entire programming staff at 93.7 The Fan on a well-deserved honor, as well as all of the other programmers who made this year’s list.

Now here are the full results of “BSM’s 20 Best Mid-Market Sports Radio Program Managers in 2020! “

Additional Notes:

  • Ryan haney received the most votes for 1st place with four (4); Jim graci and Andy Roth were tied for second with three (3).
  • Spots 21-25 belonged to Tim scott from 97.3 The Game, Andy sweeney from ESPN Louisville, Mike thompson from 1620 La Zone, Jimmy clark of 107.5 The fan, and Cade Neighbor from 104.5 ESPN.
  • The tightest races have seen Chris Boulanger edge Jeff rickard one (1) point, and Paul mason and Kyle Englehart to hold onto Steven spector and Ryan porth of two (2) points each.
  • Of the 52 program directors eligible to vote, ten (10) received at least one (1) vote for 1st place.

Here is the remaining schedule for the BSM Top 20 of 2020.

  • Monday February 8 = The 20 best major / mid-market sports resorts in 2020
  • Tuesday February 9 = The 20 best original sports podcasts of 2020


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