Talkers magazine, the bible of the talk radio industry, is out with its list of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time — and Rush Limbaugh is No. 1.
The list, which Talkers calls “The Heaviest Hundred,” is featured in the magazine’s 20th anniversary issue. The rankings are not based strictly on audience, Talkers explains.
“Aside from the hosts whose numbers and fame demand their inclusion on this list, the selection process was ultimately subjective with the goal being to create a roster reflective of the industry’s diversity, colorful history, and cumulative flavor as well as giving credit where credit is due.”
Talkers gave consideration to “courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent, and uniqueness,” as well as historical relevance.
The top 10 on the list:
1. Rush Limbaugh. “The most important innovator in modern news/talk.”
2. Howard Stern. “The standard by which younger-demo talk is judged.”
3. Larry King. “The ‘king’ of syndicated talk during the format’s infancy.”
4. Sean Hannity. “The modern-era titan of conservative news/talk.”
5. Don Imus. “Remains relevant after four decades as talk icon.”
6. Arthur Godfrey. “Pioneer of unscripted talk radio and live endorsements.”
7. Dr. Laura Schlessinger. “The champion of moralism in the current talk radio era.”
8. Sally Jessy Raphael. “An early leader in friendly, female chat.”
9. Barry Gray. “Father of the call-in show. Early anti-establishment character.”
10. Bruce Williams. “Trailblazer in syndicated, business and life how-to talk.”
Glenn Beck is No. 22 on the list of 100.
Other hosts on the list include long-time New York “king of talk” Bob Grant (No. 11), Barry Farber (12), Michael Savage (19), G. Gordon Liddy (38), Michael Medved (61), Bill O’Reilly (70), and Joe Franklin (71).
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