What could be so paradoxical? It’s the “Heavy Hundred,” the rankings of national talk hosts that editors of Talkers magazine make each year by reading chicken guts, scoping ad sales possibilities, and making sure no toes are stepped on.
The magazine, self-proclaimed as the "Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media,” strains for HH to be the Oscars of talk radio, and as usual we're underwhelmed.
It's a quirky list; made to promote the magazine's influence in the industry; kiss industry ass, and sell those large, colorful, spendy ads. (Syndicators, agents, and stations show their love to their famously egotistical but needy talent by putting their faces in big ad lay-outs in Talkers, or so they say).
What are the criteria to get in the list? It's not just numbers - the august editors claim their "painstaking compilation" is based on courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.In other words, they pull it out of their ass.
It's an annual ritual- those who make the list use it on their résumés and promo the shit out of it; and those who don't -- scoff.
Although Talkers is an industry coffee table rag, it gets cred because reporters have no place else to go when they need national radio ratings (those numbers are tightly guarded by those who’ve paid for them). Media cites the Talkers lists despite they are to scientific ratings what Intelligent Design is biochemistry.
When talk radio needs a spokesman, dapper publisher Michael Harrison is very, very available, and can be counted upon to make bland, authoritative pronouncements about talk radio any time the topic becomes of national interest.
Talkers is a dinosaur- an oversized, monthly, print mag that got original online content on their primitive website very late in the game. It depends on those vanity print ads, seminars, and tours.