City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Rush Limbaugh tops talk radio rankings as usual, Glenn Beck moves up

Rush Limbaugh

For the fourth year in a row, Rush Limbaugh is the most influential radio talk show host, according to Talkers magazine.

Limbaugh draws at least 15 million listeners a week. He remains the top-rated show on 640/WGST-AM. He’s had a field day going after Pres. Obama and the Democrats this past year. And he continues to be influential without the benefit of Fox News, which has fueled the growth of No. 2 host Sean Hannity (14 million weekly radio fans and two to three million viewers per night on Fox News) and No. 3 host Glenn Beck (9 million-plus listeners on radio and two to three million viewers per night on Fox News).

Beck’s influence has grown exponentially just in the year he’s been on Fox News and Talkers moved him up to No. 3 from No. 5 as a result.

This is not a scientific survey or poll. The magazine used the following criteria: courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.

Four Georgia-based talk show hosts made the Top 100: WSB-AM’s Neal Boortz, Clark Howard and Allen Hunt and Athens talk-show host Martha Zoller.

Conservative-leaning Libertarian Boortz, whose ratings on WSB from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Atlanta have slipped the past year, edged up to No. 13 after falling from 9 to 10 to 14 the previous three years.

Consumer expert Howard, heard after Boortz on WSB from 1 to 4 p.m., slipped to 28 from 27, 30 and 27 the prior three years despite having a solid year in terms of affiliate growth.

Former pastor Allen Hunt, who recently started a national weekday show but continues to operate locally on weekends on WSB-AM, debuted at No. 41 last year and moves up to 37.

Martha Zoller, who moved from WDUN-AM to WXKT-FM a few months ago in the Athens area, is a regular on various cable news shows. She debuted last year at No. 91 and moves up to 89.

Michael Savage, heard from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on WSB-AM, is ranked No. 4, down from 3.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, on from 1 to 3 p.m. on 1160/WCFO-AM in Atlanta, falls a slot to No. 5.

She’s not to be confused with Laura Ingraham, who is also on WCFO-AM from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The conservative talker holds at No. 6.

Dave Ramsey, the consumer/money management advocate, now has a show on Fox Business and holds at No. 7 after climbing from 12 in 2008 and 21 in 2007.

Growing conservative talker Mark Levin, at No. 8, is now the evening syndicated host on 640/WGST from 7 to 11 p.m.

Lou Dobbs, the crusty independent who lost his CNN show last year but continues to do a radio show, slips from 8 to 9. He’s heard from 7 to 9 p.m. on WCFO in Atlanta.

At No. 10 is the top liberal talker Thom Hartmann. He’s not heard locally.

Mancow, heard on WCFO from 3 to 7 p.m. is ranked No. 14, down from No. 9. Legal expert Bill Handel, heard on weekends on WSB-AM, is at No. 18.

Mike Gallagher, on air from 8 to noon on 920/WGKA-AM, is No. 19, down from 15 in 2009 and 9 in 2008 and 8 in 2007.

Don Imus, on mornings on WCFO, keeps falling, from 7 to 20 to 21. Michael Medved, heard from 3 to 6 p.m. on WGKA, falls to 23 from 21 and 20 the past two years. WGKA morning host Bill Bennett holds at No. 25 for the fourth year in a row. Howard Stern, who presides over at Sirius XM, holds at 32. When he was on FM radio in 2006, he ranked No. 1. (Bubba the Love Sponge, who is on Sirius XM and FM, is at No. 45)

Weekend tech gal Kim Komando, heard locally on WSB-AM, is at No. 39, down from 24 in 2007, 36 in 2008 and 37 in 2009. Dennis Prager, heard from noon to 3 on WGKA, is at No. 40. Hugh Hewitt, on at 6 to 9 p.m. on WGKA, is at No. 67, up from 71.

Terry Gross, host of “Fresh Air” and heard at 7 p.m. weekdays on WABE-FM, is ranked No. 70.

Talkers also lists 150 other radio personalities in a miscellaneous 101-250 list. Most are not heard here. The only Atlanta-based crew to make it is the 2 Live Stews, heard from 1 to 4 p.m. on 790/The Zone and syndicated on Sporting News Radio. Syndicated Colin Cowherd, heard on 680/The Fan from 10 to noon weekdays, is also included.

Syndicated morning hosts Tom Joyner (Kiss 104.1) Steve Harvey (Majic) and Rickey Smiley (Hot) are more entertainers than talk show hosts so they are not on the list. Syndicated Rev. Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine on WAOK-AM get no love either.

26 comments Add your comment


March 3rd, 2010
3:39 pm

What about the Kimmer?


March 3rd, 2010
3:41 pm

WGST needs “The Kimmer” back.

Atlanta needs “The Kimmer,” now more than ever.


March 3rd, 2010
4:41 pm

How the hell is Michael Savage number 4.

He is a fanatical conservative who is miles away from common sense. How can anyone listen to him is beyond any comprehension.


March 3rd, 2010
5:19 pm

What’s up with Dummy Shaffer? Still doing the pod cast from Mom’s basement?


March 3rd, 2010
5:36 pm

Limbaugh sucks! Who are the mindless idiots this guy is influencing?

K. Peterson was awful

March 3rd, 2010
5:50 pm

What a strange man. Odd ball on the air and off. Lap dog sidekicks. An Atlanta that is no more (thank goodness).


March 3rd, 2010
6:34 pm

Where’s all this liberal bias I keep hearing about? 99 percent of talk radio is nothing but rightwing blowhards who base their opinions on hatred and distrust of the other side and conspiracy theory spin.

Chuckie D

March 3rd, 2010
6:48 pm

Hey TrafficHeadache,

Take your head out of your A$*&$ so you can hear the blabbering of Keith “I’m so better than anyone” Olberman and Chris “I get a tingling feeling” (and oh yeah, for 30 minutes I forgot that Barack Obama was black~~~” Matthews and you’ll see and hear the liberal bias.

Take a drink and smell the coffee and Lighten Up Francis—


March 3rd, 2010
10:21 pm

haha – lighten up francis, too funny

Absurd !

March 4th, 2010
12:15 am

Rush continues to be so popular because he continually points out the absurdity of the absurd in the life.

Evander Ho Chasing Holyfield

March 4th, 2010
1:13 pm

Kimmer??? The wife beating alcholic?? Yeah let’s bring him back. Mayb he can bring on Chris Brown or Charlie Sheen as sidekicks

dat dude

March 4th, 2010
4:27 pm

Savage, Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity…I guess hate and racism is what drives rating. Good job america, you’re showing your true colors.


March 4th, 2010
5:08 pm

Talk radio is a wasteland. Nothing but an echo chamber of kneejerk conservative paranoia.

That Dude

March 4th, 2010
5:46 pm

Sid, sir U get it…Big Up’s to you!!!

Bill Maher

March 5th, 2010
9:29 am

They have radio, I have HBO.


March 5th, 2010
11:26 am

HBO Vs. political discussion. I choose AM radio. It is just time spend becoming more informed. I drive a lot. About 90% of what they say is more well reasoned then what the other side is offering.


March 5th, 2010
1:25 pm

Awww. Rush said the most profound statement of 2010. A rich man goes into the hospital with the best insurance, they know who you are and comes out and say the the American healthcare system is fine, nothing needs to be changed. Gotta love him.

March 5th, 2010
2:03 pm

who is the editor of Talkers MAG…Bill O’Reilly!LOL

Pago Flyer

March 5th, 2010
2:23 pm

Actually, Dennis Miller has a good and funny talk show.

Dacula D

March 5th, 2010
3:26 pm

What about the Hermanator?

Quinton L Burke

March 6th, 2010
10:38 am

Look! the followers of the “talking heads” of Limbaugh, Savage, Coulter, Ingraham, Hannity and Beck are mostly ill-informed white folks that seems to think that they are the only ones with the right answer for our society. They are nothing more than 21st century racist, and their followers are just gullible sympathizers. Why don’t they all do the world a favor and just keep quiet!!

Rightwing tards

March 6th, 2010
12:30 pm

a drug dealing/taking racist leads the ratings? Way to go America. How bout we get Anne “I’m a crazy bitch” Coulter a radio show and call it a day.


March 7th, 2010
8:42 am

Liberal blowhards Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy and Janeane Garofalo spew hate and conspiracy but appear nowhere on the charts. Maybe someday you Lefties will figure out that the average American thinks your Liberal agenda is &*%#^$.


March 7th, 2010
8:25 pm

folks this is racist f_____ america this is what they do but time will come that god bring his wrath on this racist country!

[...] Beck (9 million-plus listeners on radio and two to three million viewers per night on Fox News). Rush Limbaugh tops talk radio rankings as usual, Glenn Beck moves up | Radio & TV Talk __________________ My reality and experience are certainly unique. I own them,not you. And I [...]

Ronnie Reagan

March 13th, 2010
10:39 am

If it weren’t for the Conservative talk show hosts on Radio & TV, we would be led along like the Liberals, completely in the dark & ill informed. In the Military they called it “Need to know…….We know & you don’t need to!”