Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Top 10 Radio Programs

I was interested in knowing what the top listened to talk radio shows and this is what I found:

  1. Rush Limbaugh (14.75 million)

  2. Sean Hannity (13.75 million)

  3. Glenn Beck (8.25 million)

  4. Michael Savage (8.25 million)

  5. Dr. Laura Schlessinger (8.25 million)

  6. Laura Ingraham (5.75 million)

  7. Mark Levin (5.75 million)

  8. Neal Boortz (4.75 million)

  9. Mike Gallagher (4.75 million)

  10. Michael Medved (4.75 million)

What I find interesting about this find is that out of these 10 only 1 is not a "conservative" talk show host. And even him (Neal Boortz) generally supports conservatives but actually considers himself a Libertarian.

What I am wondering is, are there any worthwhile "liberal" talk shows out there and if so, why don't they have more listeners? What's wrong, don't liberals know how to turn on a radio? (Just a joke of course).


  1. My theory is that the vast majority of the talk radio market is built on the coattails of Rush Limbaugh (Sean Hannity is a prime example of this). Limbaugh, who is a very talented broadcaster, became this huge success and because of that radio programmers decided that conservative talk radio was the way to go. Of the people on this list, Dr. Laura was the only one besides Limbaugh that was in the top 10 prior to the conservative take over of talk radio (at one time Art Bell was # 4).

    At this point liberals haven’t broken into the market because 1) the market is too conservative focused, and 2) there hasn’t been a liberal host with the talent of a Limbaugh that could break through the current conservative stranglehold on the market. From what I can tell, most liberal talk shows are also aping Limbaugh except they are using liberal talking points instead of conservative ones. This obviously isn’t going to work. The one exception that I’ve heard to this was a guy named Phil Hendrie, but his show isn’t on here anymore.

    The market will open up to liberals once there is a really good liberal host that can attract an audience like Limbaugh. I’m sure that it will happen someday.

    Since we’re talking talk shows, I’ll go ahead and list my favorites.
    1. Talk of the Nation
    2. Car Talk
    3. Neal Boortz
    4. Coast to Coast AM
    5. Clark Howard
    6. Glenn Beck
    7. Kim Komando
    8. Phil Hensrie
    9. All Things Considered

    Bill O’Reilly used to rank very high on my list but he is no longer on the radio and his replacement, Fred Thompson, is just not a good talk show host.

  2. I have heard of a few of the talk shows you listed here but can't say I have listened to many of them.

    I used to listen to Limbaugh years and years ago and I listened to Hannity a couple of years ago but not for long.

    These days I listen to Glenn Beck in the morning on my way to work, Dave Boze on the way home from work, Savage every once in a while but a lot less now and I started listening to bits and pieces of Mark Levin via his podcast.

  3. Beck is great. Levin on the other hand is a shrill polemic, IMHO.

    Three of the shows I listed (Talk of the Nation, Car Talk, and All Things Considered) are on NPR. Clark Howard is a consumer advocate (and sadly his show is only on on the weekends here so I miss it a lot). Kim Komando’s show is about computers and is on on the weekends. Coast to Coast AM is Art Bell’s old show and is on overnights. The new hosts are not near as good as Art was though.

  4. Yeah, I like Beck too. I have not listened enough to Levin to make an opinion about him yet though.

  5. Radio stations put what sells advertising on the air... advertisers sponsor shows that have more listeners.... THAT is why liberal talk radio doesn't succeed.

    People don't tune in so advertisers don't sponsor and therefore we need government to step in and make things "fair".

    However leftwing controlled government doesn't see a reason to step in and control the leftwing dominated news media.

    Funny how that is.

  6. "At this point liberals haven’t broken into the market because 1) the market is too conservative focused,..."

    The "market" is too conservative focused.
    So you are saying that the consumer (the listener) is mostly conservative since the market is simply a reflection of the demand.

    Since the demand (market) favors a conservative radio host/program, and advertisers are compelled to advertise with the show having the largest listening audience... explains why and how liberal talk radio is a complete failure.

    It doesn't sell... but instead just smells.

  7. I am simply saying that is how the market is focused at the moment. That doesn’t mean that liberal host couldn’t be successful though. To use an analogy, no one thought that the alternative and underground rock bands of the 80’s could be successful on a mainstream level. Then Nirvana changed all of that and for a decade all that was popular in the mainstream were alternative rock bands.

    Then again though, just because the masses like something doesn’t mean that whatever that thing or person is, is good or the best. Apple has consistently made better computers yet Microsoft has dominated the market for 30+ years. The market often equates to mob rule, and as our Founding Fathers warned, the mob can be a scary thing.