Barrett Sports Media’s Top 20 Mid-Market Sports Radio Program Directors in 2021

The BSM Top 20 is a fun, subjective series that many enjoy every year. We appreciate everyone who takes the time to participate in the voting process to help us determine the best in the industry in the various categories we recognize. Given the size of the sports media industry, there are tons of additional categories that could be voted on and debated, but asking our panel to do more than they already do is not something with which I am comfortable with. These folks have stations and businesses to run, not days to spend making selections for you.

But BSM staff, past and present? Well, that’s another story.

Although we are each busy with daily responsibilities, we all love the industry and spend time following, writing about and analyzing it. Hundreds of thousands of people visit this site every month to read our content, including many members of the media industry, and if they enjoy the words presented on this screen enough to digest it, then I’m sure they will enjoy and will appreciate how our team views some of the best in the industry in other categories.

Which brings me to BSM Selections of specialties. I created a survey for our crew that contained 21 questions, all of which offered a number of choices for our crew to choose from. These categories were different from the BSM Top 20 and represent twenty-one (21) votes in total by our current staff and some select former members. As this is the last day of the Top 20 series, we would like to once again congratulate all winners and recognized brands, and remind you that provided sufficient entry is received, a News Radio version of the Top 20 will ship later this year. .

Here now BSM’s Top 20 Specialty Picks (plus a bonus pick)!

Sports Insider of the Year: Our team has selected adam schefter as the best sports insider. Adam garnered 33% of the total vote. Ken Rosenthal finished 2nd. Adrian Wojnarowski came third.

Sports Media Journalist of the Year: With 60% of the votes, Andre Marchand of the NY Post was recognized by our team as the top sports media reporter of 2021. Next was Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, followed by Richard Deitsch of The Athletic.

Sports Media Podcast of the Year: I’m sure checks were mailed or beatings promised to our crew if the votes didn’t come their way but Demetri Ravanos prevailed with BSM’s Media Noise Podcast. Sports Media with Richard Deitsch came second, followed by the Marchand & Ourand podcast.

Sports Media Website of the Year: the New York Post continued to receive accolades from our team for presenting the best sports media website of the year. Between Andrew Marchand and former BSM contributor Ryan Glasspiegel, the Post has positioned itself well in the sports media space. Next, The Athletic followed by Outkick.

Sports Media Story of the Year: A case could be made for the arrival of the Manningcast, the sale of Outkick to FOX, the highly publicized saga at ESPN involving Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols or Dave Portnoy’s ongoing feud with Business Insider, but our pick was Betting brands go all-in on sports media. With DraftKings investing millions in the Dan Le Batard Show and VSiN, and FanDuel committing 30 million a year to Pat McAfee, the sports betting giants have shown they are here to stay and are determined to make an impact.

Sports Media Leap of Faith of the Year: Our crew pledged their support to Dan Le Batard and his friends making the leap from ESPN to start their own company, Meadowlark Media with former ESPN executive John Skipper. Since taking the plunge, Le Batard and company may not have the same reach they once did, but they have found new ways to excel in a rapidly changing sports media environment. Finalists in this category included WJOX Roundtable going the same way as Le Batard and launching “The Next Round”, and the Midday 180 team launching OutKick 360 and entering the syndication space.

Radio Play by Play Announcer of the Year: When Kevin Harlan is on the radio, the game just seems bigger. Our crew took notice as Harlan received 50% of the total vote. Next in the category was SF 49ers voice Greg Papa and NY Mets broadcaster Howie Rose.

TV Play by Play Advertiser of the Year: This field was teeming with top talent, but one name stood above the rest, Al Michaels. The legendary Hall of Fame announcer (who every network should be trying to hire right now) won 33% of the vote to beat CBS’ Jim Nantz. FOX Sports’ Joe Buck took third place.

Game Show Analyst of the Year: It was one of the most hotly contested categories we’ve had, and ultimately, NBC Cris Collinsworth was chosen as the top game show analyst by our team, getting 25% of the total vote. FOX Sports’ Troy Aikman and Joel Klatt finished behind Collinsworth, each with 15% of the vote, and ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy and Dick Vitale.

Sports Opinionist of the Year: When it comes to sports talk on television, there is Stephen A. Smith then everyone else. The king of the “First Take” got 70% of our team’s votes to be recognized as the winner of the category. If we created another category for best social videos, Stephen A. might also win this one for his Dallas Cowboys post-game videos. I know he would have my vote.

Sports Television Studio Show of the Year: While football fans needn’t be convinced of the quality of our winning show, when Inside The NBA doesn’t stand tall, there’s nothing else you can call it but a upheaval. The winner according to our staff by difference of 1 vote on TNT’s hit NBA program was NFL Red Zone. Sundays aren’t the same without Scott Hanson’s fantastic show. This is a true testament to the quality delivered by Hanson and his team. First Take and PTI tied for third place.

Sports Television Studio Host of the Year: NFL RedZone may have won the Studio Show category, but when it comes to studio hosts, our team picked the big one. Ernie Johnson as the category winner. EJ’s consistent influence on Inside The NBA alongside Shaq, Charles and Kenny is what makes it one of the best sports TV shows. In fact, whenever Ernie leads a sports TV show, you know you’re watching one of the best in his craft in action.

Sports Television Studio Analyst of the Year: Few have the ability to inform, entertain and engage an audience like Charles Barkley. Chuck received 50% of our team’s votes, with ESPN runner-up Dan Orlovsky taking home 20%. Five others tied with 5%.

Sports Radio Social Brand of the Year: WFAN in New York did a terrific job of creating additional press and conversation through their well-produced video work, audiograms, images and articles and that was enough to influence our staff into recognizing the NY sports brand as the category winner. Second place was 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, followed by a tie between ESPN Chicago and SKOR North.

Sports Betting Brand of the Year: Although the big boys like DraftKings, FanDuel and Penn National started investing big in talent and brand partnerships, when it came to content creation and daily interest, the top sportsbook brand according to our team was VSiN. With the network airing original radio and video content 7 days a week, podcasts produced to satisfy diverse betting tastes, and videos, newsletters and betting guides created to help bettors make smart gambling decisions, VSiN stood above the pitch to grab 50% of the vote. BetQL came second, followed by OutKick.

Sports Betting Show of the Year: The pick in this category according to our team was ESPN daily bet. Hosted nightly by Doug Kezirian, DW received 40% of the vote to emerge victorious. Then follow The Barstool Sports Advisors and Follow The Money.

Sports Betting Talent of the Year: The stream of personalities talking about sports betting on radio, TV, social media and podcasts is endless, but the person who stood out the most according to our team was ESPN. Joe Fortenbaugh. Fortenbaugh secured 25% of the vote to retain BetQL’s Nick Kostos. A four-way tie for third included “Big Cat” Dan Katz, Ariel Epstein, Clay Travis and Cousin Sal.

Sports Betting App of the Year: It was a tight race, which was won by 1 vote per Caesars. Those emperor announcements with the Manning family probably helped. The same goes for their exceptional incentives to sign up. Caesars garnered 30% of the vote to produce victory. On their heels were FanDuel and DraftKings, each tied with 25% of the vote.

Professional Wrestling Audio Show of the Year: This has quickly become a massive category with many top wrestlers now hosting shows. But for this year, the choice fell on SiriusXM Open exploded with Dave La Greca, Bully Ray, Tommy Dreamer and Mark Henry. Next, Jim Cornette’s podcast “The Cult of Cornette” was followed by a triple tie between Ric Flair’s Woo Nation, 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff and Talk Is Jericho.

Independent Podcast Company of the Year: Brands with millions of people flocking to their content in other places tend to generate a podcast audience well. But those without built-in benefits must turn every stone to find ways to connect with listeners, attract advertisers, and become a bigger part of the mainstream conversation. Regarding this category, the group that our team chose as this year’s winner with 43% of the vote was Locked to Podcasts. Next was Blue Wire followed by Bleav.

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