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2/27: Rush Limbaugh tops talk radio rankings again

Rush Limbaugh, not surprisingly, is the most influential talk show host in America for the third year in a row, according to Talkers magazine.

Given how often he gets quoted by politicians and media, Limbaugh remains the Man. He has been for two decades and still draws more than 14 million listeners a week. Locally, on WGST-AM, he gets beaten by WSB-AM’s Neal Boortz and Clark Howard and sometimes loses to sports radio among men 25-54.

(Four people from Georgia did make it on the top 100 — Howard, Boortz, Allen Hunt and Martha Zoller.)

The purely subjective criteria: courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.

Sean Hannity is No. 2 again. He has 13 million-plus listeners and locally, he draws strong numbers for WSB-AM from 4 to 7 p.m.

Michael Savage holds at No. 3. He isn’t very popular here, having been bumped on WSB-AM a year ago from 7 to 10 to 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in favor of Herman Cain.

No. 4 is also the same as 2008: Dr. Laura Schlessinger. She was not on the air in Atlanta for awhile but is now on WCFO-FM/1160 from 1 to 4 p.m.

No. 5 is Glenn Beck, heard locally from 9 to noon on WGST-AM. I bet with his new Fox News TV show, where he’s getting strong ratings, he will move up in 2009.

The other Laura, Laura Ingraham is the top female news/talk host, heard locally on WCFO-FM/1160 from 9 to 1 p.m. (after moving from WGKA-AM).

Dave Ramsey has seen his star rise, from 21 to 12 to 7 in three years. He’s heard locally from 3 to 7 on WGST-AM and he talks money matters, a hot topic in this day and age.

Lou Dobbs, the iconic CNN personality, enters at No. 8 and is heard from 7 to 9 on WCFO-AM.

Mancow, heard mornings on WCFO-AM, is ranked No. 9.

Some dude I’ve never heard of a “progressive” talker named Thom Hartmann is at no. 10.

Atlanta’s own Neal Boortz, heard from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WSB-AM, has fallen from 9th to 10th to 14th in three years.

Mike Gallagher, heard on WGKA-AM from 9 to noon, dropped to 15th from 9th (and 8th in 2007). Don Imus, heard (at least in bits and pieces) on True Oldies 106.7, dropped from 7th to 20th. Michael Medved, heard from 3 to 6 p.m. on WGKA-AM, fell from 20 to 21 after rising from 29 in 2007. George Noory, heard late at night on WGST-AM is ranked No. 24, up from 26 in 2008 and 28 in 2007. Bill Bennett, on mornings on WGKA-AM, holds at 25 for the third year in a row. Atlanta-based cheapskate on WSB-AM Clark Howard (1 to 4 p.m.) edges back to 27 from 30 (he was 27 in 2007, too). Howard Stern slipped from 1 in 2006 to 12 in 2007 to 13 in 2008 to 32 this year. That shows how much he’s fallen off the radar now that he’s on Sirius XM.

Dennis Miller, heard late afternoons on WCFO-AM, is ranked at No. 34. WSB’s weekend tech gal Kim Komando slips from 24 to 36 to 37. WSB’s rapidly growing weekend show Allen Hunt arrives at No. 41. WGKA’s Dennis Prager falls from 35 to 42. WGKA’s Hugh Hewitt falls from 65 to 71. WDUN’s Martha Zoller, who makes frequent appearances on Fox News and CNN, debuts at No. 91.

Among the unranked 101 to 250 includes the Colin Cowherd, heard locally on 680/The Fan and the 2 Live Stews on the Zone. Rickey Smiley, heard on WHTA-FM, makes the cut, too. Mike Malloy of Nova M is included, too. Although Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden could arguably be called talk show hosts, they were not included.

37 comments Add your comment


February 26th, 2009
9:40 pm

my my, someone doesn’t seem to like michael savage very much. i believe this is the second time in a row rodney has tried to convince us of the unpopularity of dr. savage. i’d like to see the nighttime ratings. i would be 5 dollars savage is one of the most highly rated shows on atlanta radio for that time.


February 27th, 2009
6:55 am

Wait. You’re telling me that the Stews beat out Buck and Kincaide, The Rude Awakening, and Chuck and Chernoff on 680? I find that so hard to believe. The 680 shows are head and shoulders above the competition.

The Gentleman Masher

February 27th, 2009
8:31 am


Sounds like this is just Nationally Syndicated hosts, which the Stews are. Don’t believe they do very well in their hour, head-to-head, with Buck and Kincade.


February 27th, 2009
9:08 am

Just curious: When you say that Limbaugh “gets beaten (in the Atlanta market) by WSB-AM’s Neal Boortz and Clark Howard and sometimes loses to sports radio among men 25-54,” are you combining Limbaugh’s audience from both WGST (AM 640) and WDUN (AM 540), or looking at WGST numbers only?

Many of Rush Limbuagh’s listeners in the northern metro (especially in Gwinnett County) listen to him on Gainesville’s WDUN. There are also listeners catching Limbaugh WDUN’s HD signal at 102.9FM.

And what about the web streaming audience?


February 27th, 2009
2:58 pm

Take all black radio off the airwaves. too much racism in them.

The Follower

February 27th, 2009
8:01 pm

Nothing like bringing up the rear behind two idiots: 1) Joseph WDUN is 550, not 540. 2) Mark, perhaps if you had a brain, you’d have it out playing with it.


February 27th, 2009
10:19 pm

Just a slip of finger, Follower, not of the brain. But I appreciate your deep concern.


February 27th, 2009
11:51 pm

Seems there is a lot of “in fighting” among the radio people. That is why Dr. Savage is constantly the target by the likes of Boortz, Levin, etc. Dr. Savage’s is well liked here and is the top rated in his time period.

John Rocker Fan

February 28th, 2009
11:13 pm

The 2 Live Stews are a disgrace to all broadcasters. They cater to the uneducated, unemployed, ghetto trash of society. They will be the death of 790 the zone.

Nick Wright

March 2nd, 2009
9:31 pm

It can be considered a badge of honor that Limpbag doesn’t have a dominating audience here.


March 3rd, 2009
10:43 am

Whoever made the comment, “Take all black radio off the airwaves. too much racism in them.” is very close-minded and racist themselves. I am so sick and tired of the racist comments. I am a white-woman in America. Can we all just love another in spirit and truth as God loves us! I will pray for the person who made such an ignorant comment.


March 3rd, 2009
12:18 pm

Obviously Jessica, you’ve never listened to the “Stews” or alot of black radio. If you did, you would hear a steady dose of anti-white sentiment constantly. If white hosts talked that way about blacks they’d be fired. The Stews constantly bring race into discussions and it’s a shame because they are entertaining guys. I just can’t stomach their race-baiting and I’ve tried. I emailed 790 2 yrs ago and told them that they are driving away white listeners in droves and apparently it’s killing their station.

Erik from Atlanta

March 3rd, 2009
2:24 pm

I listened to Stern on Sirius-XM. Somedays,he sounds like he rather hanging out at his house on Long Island with the new wife Beth-O.

How come Howard Stern’s A-List celebrity friends don’t appear on his show since he went to Sirius-XM?


March 3rd, 2009
2:36 pm

This article relies on Talker Magazine’ s “100 most important talk radio show hosts”. Who decides which is the most “important”? I notice they list numbers for Hannity, Savage, and Dave Ramsey but no one else. Why is that? Is there something being hidden here? What are Glenn’s numbers? What are Laura Ingraham’s numbers? What about Rush? That would be far more “important” to me than someone’s subjective opinion.


March 4th, 2009
1:53 pm

Savage is much better than Cain. I listen to Savage online at 6PM instead of WSB Radio. I think Boortz had a lot to do with getting his boy Cain the 7 PM slot. Remember when Boortz helped Royal T get a show? it sucked more than Herman Cain.


March 5th, 2009
6:08 pm

RUSH WHY DO YOU NOT Talk about this are you apart of this “CIA Agent Leaks FEMA Camps Intel”


March 5th, 2009
6:13 pm


March 5th, 2009
6:13 pm

Enter your comments here


March 5th, 2009
6:20 pm


[...] Michael Savage: Britain bars America’s third most popular radio guy for ‘fostering extremism or hatred’ In case anyone was wondering just how far right the popular right-wing radio shows and personalities have gone, this is an indication. Savage is wildly popular, pulling in probably over 10 million listeners a week. [...]


May 17th, 2009
7:44 pm

Didn’t realize WCFO AM 1160 had all those popular talk show hosts on their station now. Will have to check that station out.

[...] Originally Posted by edfreeman Waterboarding is torture. Glad we got that out of the way. OTOH, kudos to those two for being willing to learn, and telling the truth after they did. While some seem to have gotten it out of the way, from what the blogsphere and many on the right have been saying, it is a piece of cake, not torture, why is everyone whining. So, it is taking these kind of exercises to get folks focus. I would prefer to see a week long camp for those who want to "learn". That way it will not quite be the very simple controlled, EMT in the room, know you are going to walk out in 5 minutes experience these guys have. As for mancow ratings, he is currently ninth in National ratings [talker] 2/27: Rush Limbaugh tops talk radio rankings again | Radio & TV Talk [...]


June 13th, 2009
1:57 am

Anyone know how these articles accurately keep track of satellite radio listeners? Last I checked, there is no way to keep track of how many people are listening to a particular channel at any given moment on satellite. Also, where can I find daily radio ratings, or average listeners per day; an estimate like “14 million listeners a week” is rather vague and is an easy way to massage the numbers. Sure is easy to spot a biased article when I see one. What would it be like to read articles prepared by people who were impartial and only conveyed facts?

Limbaugh Still Matters

July 22nd, 2009
4:47 pm

[...] by Dan from Chicago on July 22, 2009 Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and others continue to rally support against President Obama’s most radical proposals. The silent majority of Americans, the same group that delivered two landslide victories to Ronald Reagan, are tuning into conservative talk radio in record numbers. [...]

Scott Walker

August 11th, 2009
4:39 pm

Wow. I guess this list serves as a direct reflection of how poor the educational system is in the US. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people.

Scott Walker


August 13th, 2009
7:35 am

And Scott Walker is one of those stupid Americans.


August 14th, 2009
4:46 pm

Daffy Duck could have a show on WSB-AM and draw a healthy rating against all the other stations. Not cutting down the host, but that station has a brand and 500,000 watts


October 7th, 2009
2:15 pm

Dr. Savage must be doing something right (no pun intended) He was banned in the UK. The UK, the one that is being invested by muslims.
I’m Savage!!!


October 7th, 2009
2:18 pm

Correction..That should read INFESTED..sorry just finished reviewing my portfolio.


October 7th, 2009
2:19 pm

Matt…See Arbitron Ratings!

gary burns

December 7th, 2009
11:09 pm

I listen to almost all of them, but hate the in fighting. Savage has an aggressive style and yes he has been critical of others, but its the “New York way”. I met many New Yorkers at Wendlestedts Umpire School in Florida and they at first seemed super aggressive. That turned me off but as I got to know them, I realized that they were not mean people. It is just their way of communicating. For that reason I can say it is even more impressive that he(Savage) is 3rd overall. Mark Levine hates Savage. I don’t like people being critical with me either, but I also learn about some of my weaknesses that way. Savage has been critical of Cunningham ,which is one of my favorites, but Cunningham has forgiven Savage and I really respect him for that. I think Levine likes Cunningham. I wish Mr. Levine could forgive people that maybe say things they should not have and just maybe wishes they would have not said some of those things.


December 9th, 2009
11:12 pm

Rush is the KING. He and Savage are so different in their style but both are extremely entertaining. Bright, funny, and for the most part they are right. Hannity is so annoying and talkative that I can’t take him. Boortz is so impressed with himself he can’t stand it and I can’t stand him for very long. He bashed O’Reily, Beck, Savage, Dr Laura and it looks like they are all passing him by. Sour Grapes. Herman Cain is a great guy, but to pull Savage for his show is just showing local arrogance. No one listens to Cains show and i believe Mark Levin is opposite him on the dial and much better.


December 19th, 2009
9:46 pm

Where the hell is Mark Levin? He has over 6 million listeners a week and he’s not even mentioned?? Crazy.


January 14th, 2010
8:30 pm

Shame that Pragger is 42nd when a loser like Savage is in the top ten.

Ruth Wood

February 11th, 2010
7:27 pm

I gave up listening to Michael Savage because he bad mouths his fellow broadcasters. He owes his career to Rush but he bad mouths him all the time. He thinks that because he has a PHD that that makes him smarter then others.It doesn’t. He talks about what he had for dinner every night like we care.And every other show is an encore performance. If he knew in advance that he coulden’t make it he would get a standin. But he can’t drag his dead ass in there so they have to do an encore preformance.He doesn’t let callers finish a sentence and then says “thanks for the call” “thats all”


February 21st, 2010
11:53 am

Where’s the all night guy who used to broadcast the eerie and the supernatural from somewhere near Las Vegas. Was his name Art something? There’s a new guy at KFI doing the same thing now. Savage is smarter and more entertaining than Rush. He talks about other matters besides politics because he knows what a crushing bore it can be. I mean, the amount of cant alone is unbearable on most of these ignorant shows. I’ve just got a BA, but that’s more than Rush has.


February 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

u people are all idiots. glen beck hannity and rush limbaugh dont give a damn about this country!!! these guys are MILLIONAIRES. hate and ignorance sells. hell with this country lets improve our ratings(profits). beck rush and hannity are laughing all the way to the bank SUCKERS!!!